404 Practical Nutrition http://practicalnutrition.com with Ana Elisabeth, RD & Associates Thu, 31 Dec 2015 02:51:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Get Out Of That Winter Slump! http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/get-out-of-that-winter-slump/ Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:44:14 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=3056 For us here on the East coast, it’s been a long winter! By now most of us are feeling the effects of being stuck indoors during our free time, which can lead to a lower than usual mood and perhaps even a little weight gain from the lack of physical activity. The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel- Spring is finally here!

I had the chance to chat with Kara and Scot from Channel 3 this week about some simple foods that will help get you out of that slump….simple snacks that will boost your energy, help you shed a few of those winter pounds, and boost up that immune system so you can enjoy as many of the beautiful days to come as you can! Watch the video below to learn more!

WFSB 3 Connecticut 


Click Here for the Recipes!


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


Ana 🙂

Cheddar and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/cheddar-and-apple-stuffed-chicken-breasts/ Fri, 13 Mar 2015 02:10:28 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=3045 Apple Cheddar Stuffed Chicken - bordered

Hey there gang, it’s Joe Stapleton here again with another post and recipe! I came across this one while digging through some old cookbooks, and after trying it just have to share it with you all! I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to make un-breaded chicken breasts more appetizing without going overboard on the calories, and this one certainly fit the bill. It’s essentially a lower carbohydrate version of chicken Kiev, with a prosciutto wrap replacing the breading. Even with the prosciutto wrap it still ends up being about half the calories, carbs, and fat of chicken Kiev, with more protein!. The real fun is on the inside though, where it just screams New England! It’s stuffed with a blend of shallot, cheddar cheese, and green apple, yum!

What little carbs are in this entrée come from the Granny Smith apple, so they’re the kind of carbs we like over here at Practical Nutrition. You know, the ones that come from fruits or vegetables, can be organically and locally sourced, and that come with a myriad of health benefits along for the ride! Believe it or not, that old adage popularized by Benjamin Franklin ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ isn’t all that far from the truth! Apples are high in fiber, which can increase your satiety, keeping you full longer. They are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which are powerful antioxidants that can lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Green apples have two extra benefits over their more commonly consumed red cousins: the first being their potassium content. Granny Smith apples have even more potassium than other apples, which can further reduce risk of heart disease and help to stabilize your heart rhythm! Lastly, while both red and green apples can help your teeth if you can’t brush after a meal, green apples are even better at this job! Both varieties stimulate saliva production from chewing their tough, fibrous skins, but the tart flavor of a green apple stimulates this even more, and saliva is our first line of defense against cavity causing bacteria in our mouths! Just remember to have a glass of water after an apple to wash away the sugar and acid leftover from your delicious treat!

Let’s get back to the real reason you’re reading though, the recipe! When we prepared this dish last weekend we made it with gratin dauphinoise (French scalloped potatoes) and grilled asparagus, paired with a nice Italian trebbiano and some hopeful wishes of melting snow and warmer weather. (Given the fact that it’s been beautiful all week and some actual honest-to-goodness grass is peeking out of the snow, it looks like someone out there answered our prayers, so you’re welcome!)

Oh, and for anyone using PN Rx for their macronutrient counts, one full stuffed chicken breast equals roughly 2 proteins, 2.5 fats, and only 0.5 carbohydrates. The full nutritional breakdown is in the recipe. Enjoy!

Cheddar and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Recipe Type: entrée / dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Joe Stapleton
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 thick skinless boneless organic chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 cup shredded Vermont sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • sea salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a small roasting pan.
  2. Put a chicken breast on a cutting board, rounded side up. Use a small, sharp knife to cut a pocket along the length of the chicken breast, cutting as deep as you can without cutting through to the other side of the ends. Repeat with the remaining breasts, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator.
  3. To make the stuffing, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the apple and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft but not falling apart. Stir in the cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the stuffing among the chicken pockets. Wrap one and a half slices of prosciutto around each breast. Then rub the tops with the remaining oil and sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Transfer the chicken to the prepared pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices are piping hot with steam rising and run clean with no sign of pink when the tip of a sharp knife is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 3-5 minutes.
Serving size: 1 breast Calories: 329 Fat: 13 Saturated fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 8 Sugar: 5.2 Fiber: 1.5 Protein: 35
Maple & Toasted Coconut Breakfast Delight http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/maple-toasted-coconut-breakfast-delight/ Wed, 11 Mar 2015 01:58:35 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=3040 Hi everyone!

By now you all know I love all things coconut. Well, I recently found (and fell in love with!) “Dang” Coconut Chips. All I can say is …Dang! If you like coconut, you’ll do what I did and find a way to sneak these into every meal/snack of the day. Although coconut is high in fat, I’m okay with it! Eating enough healthy fat actually reduces your cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates…both things we should try to avoid eating. Additionally, coconut is known for it’s immune boosting, skin enhancing, heart healthy, and mood boosting properties- so how can you say no?! 

Dang Coconut Chips come in many flavors- Sea Salted Caramel (my favorite!), Lightly Salted, Greek Yogurt, and Dark Chocolate Coated (haven’t tried this one yet, but it might be neck to neck with Sea Salted Caramel…guess I’ll have to find out!)

As far as packaged snack food goes, it’s hard to find a healthy choice…but these certainly fit the bill! With a short ingredient list of words I can pronounce- only organic coconut, coconut sugar, and sea salt,  you can’t really beat it. Throw these yummy delights on a salad, eat them plain as a snack, add to a trail mix, or put on top of a yogurt or smoothie as shown below. Check out Dang’s website for a free recipe book by clicking here (they have things like Coconut Pad Thai, Grain Free Cranberry Granola,  and Coconut Roasted Brussel Sprouts!)…I can’t wait to try some of these myself! By the way, these are available at most large grocery stores so you should have no problem tracking them down.


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

Ana 🙂

Maple & Toasted Coconut Breakfast Delight!
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Wallaby Organic)
  • 2 Tbls Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Dang Coconut Chips
  1. You guessed it! Place yogurt in a bowl. Add maple syrup to yogurt and top with coconut chips (or do it the other way around!). Most importantly…enjoy the goodness!


Eat Like a Greek, Feel Like a God! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/eat-like-a-greek-feel-like-a-god/ Thu, 26 Feb 2015 22:54:20 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=3026 Practical Nutrition would like to introduce Joe Stapleton! 

Hey there everyone! My name is Joe Stapleton. I’ve been working with Practical Nutrition for a couple of weeks now and am exited to be able to contribute my first blog post! So to keep things official, I’ll start with a little about me: I’m a Master’s Student and RD to be (both to be completed in June, yippee!) with a B.S. in Nutritional Science. I’m also a NSCA certified personal trainer and love absolutely everything about health and wellness! My love of nutrition and fitness spawned from my own personal experiences in the Marine Corps, in which I learned through the rigors of military life (sometimes the hard way) just how important it is to keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level, because you never know just what life is going throw at you!

Enough about me though. Without further ado, here is some information that will hopefully help YOUR journey to optimal health  and wellness…enjoy!

One of the diets generating a lot of buzz around both the scientific and the foodie communities lately is the Mediterranean diet. Don’t let the word diet fool you though, this is no fad. The Mediterranean diet sprang from the observation that mimicking the typical diet consumed in the Mediterranean area led to a reduction in incidence of heart disease and obesity, despite the macros of the diet being high in fat and accepting of moderate alcohol (red wine in particular). Essentially, the diet consists of eating mostly plant-based foods, with the majority of grains being whole. While high in fat, the fat comes mostly from oils and nuts. Fish and poultry are emphasized over red meat, and herbs and spices are used much more significantly to flavor dishes rather than salt. The ‘Mediterranean diet Pyramid’ is shown below to give a visual representation of the relative proportions.

The one thing about this diet that we would tweak here at Practical Nutrition though would be the significance of protein. As longtime readers/clients already know, over here at Practical Nutrition we like to skew our intake a little more in the direction of lean, organically sourced (if possible) protein. Increasing the proportion of lean protein in the diet has shown benefits for the athletic population (more efficient muscle recovery), the elderly (staving off sarcopenia and bone loss), and those looking to lose or maintain their weight (through extending the period of satiety before feeling hungry again). So we love the idea of the Mediterranean diet, and the data looks great regarding its effect on many chronic diseases, but don’t forget to keep up your intake of lean protein! 

So to celebrate this fantastically simple way of looking our food, today we’re providing a recipe for a delicious chicken, green bean, corn, and farro salad with goat cheese. With the relative proportions of ingredients, the use of the ancient Tuscan grain farro, and the inclusion of goat cheese, this makes for a decidedly Mediterranean dish. Just a little aside on farro by the way: this grain reportedly was what kept the Roman Legion’s bellies full during their long marches whilst conquering southern Europe (Spartan Race fuel, anyone?), is quick to cook, and each serving provides both 7 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, wow! It is wheat derived, but has decidedly less gluten than other wheat products, so those that are gluten conscious shouldn’t worry (for those readers that are gluten-free or Celiac, simply swap out the farro in the recipe for brown rice, still delicious!).


Chicken, Green Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese
Recipe Type: Lunch/dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Joe Stapleton
Serves: serves 4
  • 1/2 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 12 oz green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups yellow corn kernals
  • 3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Boil farro in a medium saucepan until just tender (about 20 minutes). Drain, set aside to cool.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet on medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in skillet until golden brown, roughly 8 minutes each side. Allow to cool and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
  3. Cook green beans in a saucepan of boiling water until crisp-tender (about 4 minutes). Drain and rinse.
  4. Mix chicken, farro, and green beans in a large bowl. Add corn and green onions.,
  5. Combine 2 tbsp oil, marjoram, and sea salt in a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour over salad, toss to coat.
  6. Sprinkle with goat cheese just prior to serving. (this recipe is great chilled or room temperature!)
  7. To really capture that Mediterranean vibe, serve with red wine. Cheers!


Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/glutendairy-free-dark-chocolate-covered-rice-cakes/ Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:35:50 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=3017 It’s a pretty snow day here on the east coast….which in my mind automatically translates  into “stay in my PJs all day and taste test some yummy new recipes!” Even though it’s not February yet (national chocolate month, and national heart health month!), I was looking to make something chocolatey that I would feel really good about eating (and give me some extra energy to shovel the 24 inches of snow off the walkway!).

These dark chocolate covered rice cakes really hit the spot…I used Lily’s baking chips, which contain no sugar, are certified organic, and absolutely delicious! Here in CT you can get them at TFC Health Foods in Farmington for a great price.  I also used Lundberg’s brown rice cakes, which also are certified organic, and a super “clean” grain that gives this treat a nice crunchy texture. We don’t do tons of grains here at PN, but when we do have them we like to make sure they’re gluten free, as unprocessed as possible, and consumed in a moderate portion.

When I have a treat I avoid eating something that will drain my energy or cause me to “crash” 15 minutes later- that’s why I love having unsweetened dark chocolate and treats with no refined, white sugar in them.  Having a way to nip the sweet tooth in the bud  is important…that’s why I’m planning on keeping a few of these chocolate covered rice cakes in baggies at my desk as a mid day pick me up, sure to help beat the winter blues!

Enjoy a sweet little indulgence…have an amazing week!

Ana and Amanda 🙂

Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
  • 10 Brown Rice Cakes (we use Lundberg brand)
  • 4 TBLS Coconut Oil
  • 1 Package Unsweetened Dark Baking Chips (we use Lily’s brand)
  • Toppings as desired (sea salt, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds, cacao nibs, etc.)
  1. Line a baking pan with wax paper.
  2. Put the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a medium sized pot on medium/high heat. Stir continually until the chocolate is melted and well combined (take off of the heat as soon as it is melted).
  3. Use tongs to dip each rice cake into the chocolate sauce and lay on the wax paper lined baking pan (I broke each rice cake in half so make more servings- this is up to you).
  4. Sprinkle toppings on top as desired (I used coconut flakes)
  5. Allow to cool in fridge for about 2 hours, and then store in a plastic baggy or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  6. Sampling while making these IS permitted.
  7. Enjoy!
PN Rx: [br]2 fats and 1 carb per 1/2 cake



Happy New Year…Read This and Celebrate You! http://practicalnutrition.com/news-bites/happy-new-year-read-this-and-celebrate-you/ Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:45:31 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2978  

Happy New Year from Practical Nutrition!

We wanted to take this opportunity to encourage each and every one of you to reflect upon the past year. No matter what type of year it’s been for you, try to joyously celebrate the highs and acknowledge the lows as well. Set some time apart to be honest with yourself  thinking about what you are proud of and what you might have done differently.

“Optimal health”  is comprised of much more than what you eat or how you move your body. It’s about the way you perceive your self worth and how you value yourself and others around you. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you do some reflecting, and think past the immediate resolutions you are busy making, and focus more on new, healthier mindsets you want to carry with you into the new year. We love this list of “20 Resolutions Everyone Should Make” from www.mindbodygreen.com:

  1. Release what no longer serves you.
  2. Live less out of habit and focus on intent.
  3. Raise your standards.
  4. Look for the good in others instead of focusing on the bad.
  5. Be OK with not being OK.
  6. Look in the mirror and like what you see.
  7. Be kind to yourself when you’re learning something new.
  8. Be OK with not knowing. Learn to love the journey.
  9. Stop apologizing.
  10. Let love guide you.
  11. Stop rushing things that need time to grow.
  12. Know the difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough. Let enough be enough.
  13. Travel to that place you keep thinking about. It’s in your heart for a reason.
  14. Trust yourself more.
  15. Let go of who you think you are so you become who you want to be.
  16. Be thankful for today.
  17. Don’t worry about how your life looks. Instead, focus on how it feels.
  18. Invite your inner child out to play daily.
  19. Let yourself be you.
  20. Stop trying so hard to get to where you think you should be and see you are exactly where you need to be.

 Click here for a printable version of these great resolutions, and a list of “2014 Questions for Reflection” from www.morgandaycecli.com. These are fun to bring to a gathering or answer yourself as you reflect on the past year.

Also, it’s not too late to sign up long distance or in person for the “New Year, New You” detox program! Click here to learn more!

We look forward to being in touch with you all in 2015….we have so much to be excited about!

Have a happy and healthy New Year…

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

Ana and Amanda 🙂









PS- For any existing or new client, mention the code “healthy2015” on your next order or Practical Nutrition service anywhere from January 1st-january 15th and receive an extra 10% off your order or service!

Lemon Cookies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Sugar Free/Soy Free) http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/lemon-cookies-gluten-freedairy-freesugar-freesoy-free/ Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:13:22 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2973 lemon cookies

Are you looking for a healthy holiday treat to share with family and friends that isn’t packed with sugar? I recently made these AMAZING lemon cookies. I grew up eating the lemon squares made from the box that were absolutely delicious so I have always had a soft spot for lemon desserts. I decided to attempt a lemon cookie using almond flour, eggs, and lemon juice/zest and couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. I brought these cookies as a dessert on Christmas Eve and my entire family loved them. Not to mention they are super simple and easy to make. These will definitely be a holiday staple! Enjoy!


Lemon Cookies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Sugar Free/Soy Free)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 cookies
  • 2 cups Almond Flour
  • 2 large Organic Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Xylitol
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. It will make a thick cookie dough-type batter.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and separate batter into 12 cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Store in airtight container in fridge or freezer.
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 130 Fat: 11g Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 5g


Dark Chocolate Cherry Holiday Parfait http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/dark-chocolate-cherry-holiday-parfait/ Sat, 20 Dec 2014 19:52:46 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2943 Everyone loves sweets during the holidays- and most of us love chocolate! It’s normal to crave a little something sweet, even after a healthy meal. Our bodies need certain minerals found in natural sweeteners, for example, magnesium found in unsweetened cocoa and zinc in maple syrup. It’s important to eat natural, unprocessed sweets that satisfy your taste buds, unlike white, refined, packaged, sugary foods that are hard to stop eating once you start. Having some of these basic sweeteners on hand is a must for me:

  • 100% real maple syrup
  • Raw, local honey
  • Fresh/frozen fruit
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 70% or darker chocolate
  • Stevia
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes (even though they don’t have a direct sweet taste, they contain minerals and healthy fat that can help combat a sugar craving)

Honoring your bodies nutrient needs with whole foods and not depriving yourself what your body is looking for is key to succeeding in your overall wellness. Check out this delicious recipe for a quick, simple, and visually pleasing dessert option for yourself or your guests this holiday season.


Ana and Amanda

Dark Chocolate Cherry Holiday Parfait
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 serving
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein (sweetened with stevia- or use plain and add 1 packet stevia, or 2 tsp maple syrup or honey)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the cherries and cacao nibs. Combine well until a thick, pudding-like texture is reached. Add more almond milk if the mixture is too thick and more coconut flour if it’s too thin.
  2. Add a layer on the bottom of a parfait cut, followed by a layer of dark frozen cherries, and continue to do this until the mixture is used up. Top it off with a layer of dark cherries, cacao nibs, and a pinch of coconut flakes as a “snow like” topping for winter. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
PN Rx: 2 fats, 1 protein, 1 fruit per serving

Shepherd’s Pie http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/2936/ Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:01:25 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2936 Hi Everyone!

I  have gotten a lot of requests for a Shepherd’s Pie recipe after I posted a picture of it last week so here it is! This recipe is definitely under the comfort foods category. It has tons of flavor and is a deep, warm dish. The best part is that because I used mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes it leaves you feeling light and satisfied.





shep pie 2

Shepherd’s Pie
Recipe Type: Comfort
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3lb Organic Grassfed Beef (www.tfchealthfoods.com has great discount meat)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 5 large Carrots (I like the multi-colored carrots from Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped Green Beans
  • 1 large head of Cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp Organic Butter
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Chili Pepper Sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in all of your chopped vegetables and cook covered until the carrots are soft. Place vegetables in a large glass baking dish (9″x13″).
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, fill the bottom of a large sauce pan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.
  4. Chop up your head of cauliflower (I like to do this over a sink because it is SUCH a mess) and place inside of a steaming basket in the large sauce pan. Steam for 5-8 minutes or until soft.
  5. Add your meat to the large pan and cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan and add beef to vegetable mixture in glass baking dish.
  6. Once cauliflower is done steaming, grab your blender/food processor and in 1-2 batches (depending on the size of your machine) add cauliflower, butter, almond milk, and salt and pepper. Blend until you get a thick, creamy mixture.
  7. Before adding the mashed cauliflower to your beef and veggie mixture, add 1/2 a cup of Trader Joe’s Chili Pepper sauce and mix until everything is coated.
  8. Spread your mashed cauliflower on top of the meat and veggie mixture. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until your cauliflower is slightly browned.
Red Curry Meatballs (Crockpot) http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/red-curry-meatballs-crockpot/ Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:53:35 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2910 Tonight I will be hosting a holiday potluck at Talcott Family Chiropractic at 6:45pm. Everyone is welcome to join and bring a healthy, tasty dish. We have some people bringing dishes like beef stew, organic salad, and apple crisp to name a few. We will be talking about how to stay healthy during the holidays and sharing good food. I made these delicious Red Curry Meatballs. They are very low maintenance but absolutely delightful.

Holiday Potluck at Talcott Family Chiropractic

Location: 230 Farmington Ave Farmington, CT 06032

Time: 6:45pm-7:45pm

Everyone is welcome!

Red Curry Meatballs (Crockpot)
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 3lb Organic Grassfed Beef
  • 2 tbsp Ground Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 large Organic Egg
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • Sea Salt
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 6oz can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 14oz can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Curry Powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add all ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl (except for the meat) and mix well. Add in your ground beef and mix with your hands until fully incorporated.
  3. Form the meat mixture into small meatballs and place inside a crockpot.
  4. Pour sauce on top of meatballs and cook on low for 8 hours.


Buffalo Chicken and Egg Muffins http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/buffalo-chicken-and-egg-muffins/ Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:09:39 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2871 Hello everyone!

I wanted to share a delicious and simple recipe that I have been making to have as meals or snacks. These egg muffins are great as an afternoon pick me up. They fill you up with protein and the healthy fat from the eggs leaves you feeling satisfied. Just pack them up in your lunch box and you will be all set!

Here is a link for the silicone muffins cups that I mentioned in the instructions. They are so worth buying. I use them all the time and nothing ever sticks. They are also great to make your own Reese’s with. Just melt dark chocolate and place in the bottom of the muffin cup. Then add 1/2 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter and pour a little more chocolate on top. Place in the freezer and if you used those silicone cups they pop right out.

Have a great weekend!


Buffalo Chicken Oregano and Egg Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast/Snack
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
  • .75lb of Organic Free Range Chicken Breast
  • 6 large Organic Free Range Eggs
  • 1/2 an Onion, chopped
  • 1/8 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken breast seasoned with black pepper in a baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Once the chicken is done (or if you are using leftovers) place in a large bowl and shred with 2 forks or chop up with a knife.* Add your 1/8 cup of hot sauce to the chicken and mix until all pieces are coated.
  3. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add garlic powder, oregano, and onions. Mix until even distributed.
  4. Fill silicone muffin cups halfway with egg mixture then fill the rest of the way with shredded buffalo chicken.
  5. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes to see if browned on top. Bake for a few more minutes if not.
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 76 Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 11g
*I usually end up using chicken that I had made in the beginning of the week. You could also prep chicken ahead of time in the crockpot and just add a little liquid (1/8 cup water, 1/8 cup Frank’s Red Hot). Then after 8 hours on low you have delicious shredded buffalo chicken.
“Party Perfect” Hemp Hummus http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/party-perfect-hemp-hummus/ Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:58:37 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2817 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
Preventing the “Holiday Hangover” http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/preventing-the-holiday-hangover/ Mon, 17 Nov 2014 01:46:13 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2784 Hi everyone!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, ushering in the holiday party season! We know how hard it can be during the holidays to stay on track with a healthy food and exercise plan. When the splurging on treats, big meals and drinking goes a little bit too far it’s all to easy to run into what we call the “holiday hangover.” It can creep up quickly, even after the first few festivities.  You know, the “I’m waking up thinking about sugar” habit starts, the headaches, increased appetite, more frequent colds/sickness from a depressed immune system, and yes…the potential dreaded holiday weight gain.

But! We come bearing good news! Practical Nutrition chatted with Scot and Kara from Channel 3’s Better Connecticut to discuss some simple ways to avoid the hangover (and still enjoy the holidays!). Watch the video below to make this a happy and healthy holiday season!

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Click here to download the recipes and key points featured in the video! 

Click here if you’re interested in joining us for a “Healthy for the Holidays” 10 day cleanse!

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

Ana and Amanda

Red Pumpkin Curry http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/red-pumpkin-curry/ Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:14:24 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2755 I saw some recipes for a red thai curry that I have made before and then decided to combine two of my favorite things: curry and pumpkin. Because why not?! It’s getting a little cooler out and I have found that soups are extremely convenient for quick meals. They are a great way to switch it up from salads. I heat up the soup on the stove then add in shredded chicken that I make at the beginning of every week and veggies. My favorite veggies to add to curries/soups are kale and shaved brussel sprouts. They give it great texture and are packed with important vitamins and minerals. This recipe is the perfect amount of spicy and sweet. Enjoy!


Red Pumpkin Curry
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 7-8
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 4 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsp Roasted Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Roasted Pumpkin or 1 1/2 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add in coconut milk, broth and curry paste. Mix until paste is completely incorporated.
  2. Add in all of your spices now then your fish sauce, garlic and onion.
  3. Add in the roasted pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Now get out your blender and pour the mixture in there in a few batches. Puree everything so you get a nice smooth texture.
  5. Once you have pureed your soup now is the perfect time to add in some leftover protein (chicken, ground beef, white fish) and veggies.
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 70 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 9 Protein: 2
Join Our Wellness Retreat to Hawaii This Winter! http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/join-our-wellness-retreat-to-hawaii-this-winter/ Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:08:29 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2736 “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: 

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 2.20.29 PM

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!

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 3.18.51 PM

A Delicious Clean Getaway Breakfast


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

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 2.11.24 PM

Local Bananas…Great Any Time of the Day!

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 2.20.15 PM

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

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 2.11.38 PM

Relax Outside of Your Bungalow and Feel the Warm Hawaiian Air

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 2.53.20 PM

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 

Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free) http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/holiday-recipes/creamy-pumpkin-soup-glutendairysoy-free/ Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:36:03 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2672 It’s that time of year! EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored and packed with sugar, which is sad because pumpkin is delicious. That is why I have been recreating my favorite fall pumpkin recipes and this soup is one of them.

I love pumpkin for many reasons:

  • Packed with fiber and complex carbs but not too many so it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar
  • Contains Vitamin A and antioxidants in its beautiful orange color as well as B Vitamins
  • It can be savory OR sweet! This is my favorite thing about pumpkin. You can bake it in the oven with butter, salt and pepper or blend it in a soup with coconut milk and cinnamon. It can cure any craving!

This soup makes 10 cups! You can make the whole batch and freeze half or share with friends and family 🙂




Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free)
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
  • 3lb Cubed Sugar Pumpkin
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 4 Organic Carrots, Chopped
  • 1 Organic Apple, Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 4 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pumpkin on tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on it. Chop up onion, garlic, carrots, and apple and place around pumpkin. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  2. Once the veggies are cooked, heat up a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in coconut oil and all spices. Stir 1 minute.
  3. Add in chicken broth, maple syrup and vegetables. Mix and bring to a boil then reduce to low.
  4. In batches, pour the soup mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour smooth soup mixture back into the large sauce pan on low. Add in the can of coconut milk and mix until all incorporated.
  6. Your soup is now ready!
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 131 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 21 Protein: 2
Coconut Peach Cobbler (gluten/dairy free) http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/sweet-recipes/coconut-peach-cobbler-glutendairy-free/ Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:41:59 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2658 There’s nothing like a homemade pie or cobbler when the weather starts to get cooler. I was craving something baked the other day and whipped together this quick peach cobbler- it satisfied the craving because it’s full of fiber and unrefined sweetener (honey and maple syrup!). This cobbler can be made with almost any kind of fresh fruit- try apples, mixed berries, peach and berries, or anything your heart desires. Enjoy!

Coconut Peach Cobbler (gluten/dairy free)
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 10 ripe peaches, washed and cut into slices
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (I used gluten free but they don’t have to be)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (we use Kerrygold grass fed butter)
  1. Preheat the over to 375 and coat a 10″ round baking pan with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent the cobbler from sticking to the pan.
  2. Place all the peaces in a bowl and coat them with the honey, 2 tbsp of the coconut oil, and 1/4 cup of the coconut flakes; set bowl aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the oats, maple syrup, coconut flour, remaining coconut flakes, baking soda, baking powder, the remaining melted coconut oil, and the butter.
  4. Put the peaces in the pan and top with the “oats mixture”; drizzle a few teaspoons of extra coconut oil over the top for an extra crisp at the end.
  5. Bake in the over for about 20 minutes or until the top is a light brown and the peaces are bubbling through the top.
  6. Enjoy on it’s own, with a scoop of SO Delicious vanilla coconut ice cream, or drizzled with some coconut cream for an extra indulgence!
PN Rx For 1/8 of the cobbler, 1.5 carbs, 1 fruit, and 2.5 fats
Fast and Filling Fall Snacks! http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/fast-and-filling-fall-snacks/ Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:54:48 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2621 Hi everyone!

Happy September! Fall is closing in on us quickly…along with the beautiful foliage and harvest foods comes a busier schedule. For most people, running kids around to sports, rushing through meals, and having less time to meal prep on the weekends means their food choices become less healthy. Fortunately, we came up with some easy, tasty, and healthy snacks for the fall. It’s important to make sure you snacks include protein (whey protein powder or eggs), fiber (fruits/vegetables), and healthy fat (avocado or coconut oil) to make sure your blood sugar is nice and steady. By eating a combination of the right nutrients every 3-4 hours, you’ll experience increased energy levels, less sugar cravings, and a better overall mood. Most importantly, you prevent “hanger” (anger brought on by hunger) and keep everyone around you happier as well!

Check out this quick video of some easy snack ideas and have a wonderful start to the new season! Click here for a copy of the recipes featured in the video.

Have a great week!

Ana and Amanda

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Orange Fudge Bites (No-Bake/Sugar Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free) http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/holiday-recipes/orange-fudge-bites-no-bakesugar-freegluten-freedairy-free/ Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:08:26 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2614 Need a healthy dessert to bring to a holiday party? These Orange Fudge Bites will be a hit! My Mom is famous for her “Modeen Fudge Brownies” that include a lot of sugar and cream cheese. She makes them for all holiday and birthday parties and they certainly are delicious. I wanted to come up with a healthier type of fudge recipe that didn’t have a ton of ingredients. This recipe is simple and only requires a blender so there is very little clean up. It also contains cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut butter, as well as whey protein, which are all nutritionally beneficial. I used xylitol as a sweetener in this recipe. It is very comparable to sugar. It has about the same sweetness but very few calories or carbs. Xylitol is naturally occurring in the fiber of many fruit and vegetables such as berries, oats, and mushrooms. Xylitol has been shown to help stop the production of tooth-decaying acid. This means bacteria cannot create acid in your mouth throughout the day and cause cavities. Another sugar substitution for this recipe would be stevia, which is another natural sweetener. Remember, these are a healthy alternative to a regular dessert but they are still a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation. Enjoy!




Orange Fudge Bites (No-Bake/Sugar Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free)
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 2 scoop Grassfed Whey Protein (Vanilla or Chocolate)
  • 4 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp Xylitol
  • Juice of 1 Medium Orange
  • Sea Salt (sprinkle on top)
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until you get a thick, pudding-like consistency.
  2. Grab an empty ice tray and spoon the fudge batter into the tray filling each cube to the top.
  3. Place in freezer for 2 hours or overnight.
Serving size: 2 squares Calories: 132 Fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 6g Sugar: 1g Protein: 6g
Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free) http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/breakfast-recipes/peach-zucchini-bread-glutendairysoynutsugar-free/ Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:15:40 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2581 Hi Everyone!

I have been fortunate enough to get a number of giant zucchinis from a friend’s garden, which has lead to a lot of zucchini recipes. I previously made a delicious zoodles and meatballs recipe here.  This time I decided to make a light zucchini bread and added peaches since I had some I needed to use. It came out fantastic! I hope that anyone that has an abundance of zucchini is getting some use out of these recipes for healthy ways to use it all. I love zucchini bread but it often contains a lot of sugar. Even if it is a healthier option such as raw honey or pure maple syrup, it still all breaks down to sugar and can lead to cravings later on. If you are struggling with sugar cravings or find yourself wanting carbohydrate heavy foods often try taking sugar completely out of your diet. In this recipe I used Stevia, which is actually an herb often called sweet leaf. I only had to use 1 tsp for the entire recipe. You can eat a serving and then be satisfied rather than wanting to eat the whole loaf! I also made mini muffins out of this too, you just cut the cook time in half. Enjoy!

Be well,


zucchini bread

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp stevia, powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 pasture-raised eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and fruit and mix well. Add in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make sure the coconut flour mixes in and break up all those little chunks that form.
  3. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or use a non stick silicone pan. Clean up is super easy and the bread never sticks.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. I made a small loaf and some mini muffins out of mine. Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes.
1/8th of loaf PN Rx: 1 fat, 1/2 carb
Grain Free Breakfast Cereal! http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/grain-free-breakfast-cereal/ Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:04:37 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2568 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!
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
  • 1/2 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)
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 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
  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
Baked White Wine Sea Bass http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/baked-white-wine-sea-bass/ Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:59:16 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2562 seabass


I often find myself making the same types of meals all of the time because it is easy, but it’s fun to switch it up every couple of weeks. I bought Wild Caught Sea Bass at BJ’s a few weeks ago and finally decided to cook it. I had never eaten sea bass before so I wasn’t exactly sure how to prepare it but I looked around online and combined a few different recipes. I think it came out really good and was a nice way to change things up. The sea bass can be replaced with any white fish you want. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new foods! I paired mine with some wild rice and brussel sprouts.Enjoy this simple and easy recipe!


Baked White Wine Sea Bass
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 10-12oz Wild Caught Sea Bass
  • 1/3 cup White Wine
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Fresh Cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place fish in glass baking dish. Cover with white wine, garlic, salt and pepper. OPTIONAL: Let marinate in fridge for 25 minutes.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and bake for another 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillet.
  4. When fish is done cooking cover with fresh cilantro.
PN Rx:[br]3oz serving= 1 protein
Part II: Day After Damage Control and Bonus Salmon Salad Recipe http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/part-ii-day-after-damage-control-and-bonus-salmon-salad-recipe/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:10:03 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2544 IMG_6477


A couple weeks ago I talked about how to healthfully incorporate splurge meals into your diet. The post includes 5 tips on how to minimize damage from splurge meals so check it out if you have not already. Today I want to talk about tips for the day after a splurge meal or weekend that got out of control. It’s never a good feeling waking up and feeling like you over did it. Luckily, you get to wake up to a new day where you have the opportunity to make good choices for your body that will help feel better. The major part of feeling better is getting all of those toxins out of your body. We do this by including specific foods and beverages that support detoxification. I have also included a delicious salmon salad recipe that would be perfect for a day after detox! Enjoy!


5 Day After Detox Principles


1. Start your day with 1 cup warm water (not boiling) with the juice of half of a lemon squeezed in. Optional: add 1 tbsp of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 tsp raw honey for a more intense detoxification. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and cleansing agent by balancing out the pH in your body. Lemons may seem acidic but they actually alkalize the acidic, toxic environment in the body. This is also a great concoction to help with acid reflux, nausea, bloating, and indigestion. You can also add lemon to your water throughout the day.



2. Focus on a high protein breakfast. Many of us have stress in our daily lives and often wake up feeling exhausted. One great way to help replenish and balance your stress hormones is to make sure you are including protein in your breakfast. You want to balance your meal out with healthy fats as well so help fight those sugar cravings you will most likely be dealing with. A perfect example of a day after detox breakfast includes:

Day After Detox Breakfast

2-4 eggs

1 cup sautéed kale

1/2 an avocado

Include a glass of coconut water with this to help replenish electrolytes and you will feel great!


3. Include leafy and cruciferous greens such as kale, brussel sprouts, asparagus, swiss chard, spinach, and broccoli to help provide your liver with the proper nutrients it needs to detoxify. You can try including this delicious salmon salad Ana and I made at the beginning of the summer.

Maple Pepper Salmon Salad
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 8oz Salmon
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Maple Pepper Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover salmon in marinade and place on baking sheet with foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. While the salmon is baking, chop up your vegetables.
  3. Put the kale in a large bowl and add 1 tsp of olive oil at a time. Massage the olive oil into the kale with your hands until all kale is covered. Add more olive oil as needed. This makes the kale softer.
  4. Mix all veggies together and separate on two plates. Cut avocado in cubes and divide on two plates.
  5. Once salmon is done top salad with 4oz salmon each.


4. Eat beets and beet greens. Not only do beets contain antioxidants such as betaine and betalains but they also contain fiber, iron, betacyanin, folate, and betanin. The pectin fiber in beets helps flush out toxins from the liver instead of being reabsorbed into the body. Beet greens also contain all of the beneficial nutrients in leafy greens so don’t add them to a stir fry instead of tossing them in the garbage. Try out this delicious beet recipe we post a while back.


5. Drink at a minimum half your body weight in ounces of water. If you are active and sweating more often add 25oz of water. In order to help flush out toxins and support detoxification naturally in the body we have to be hydrated. The best way to do this is to constantly sip on water throughout the day.


Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/zucchini-spaghetti-and-meatballs/ Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:39:13 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2547 Does anyone have zucchini or summer squash overflowing in their garden? This recipe is a great way to use a lot of it! To julienne the squash or zucchini use a julienne peeler. I also included a really basic sauce recipe because I did not have any tomato sauce but I did have tomato paste so I made my own. It actually came out amazing! It had a lot of flavor and was really easy. I definitely recommend making it if you have a few minutes while the meatballs are cooking.  I had this for lunch for about 3 days and did not get sick of it. It is absolutely delicious, enjoy!




Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • Meatballs:
  • 2lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour (or any gluten free flour)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Zucchini:
  • 3 zucchini’s, julienned
  • sea salt
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • Easy Sauce:
  • 2 6oz cans organic tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. First add all of your sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add all spices, flour, and the egg in a large bowl and mix. Once all ingredients are mixed add in your ground beef and mix with your hands until all spices are worked in.
  3. Form into meatballs and place inside crock pot. You can also bake this in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes each side.
  4. If cooking in a crock pot, cover meatballs in 2/3 of the sauce. Save the rest of the sauce to add at meal times. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Julienne your zucchini/squash and place in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. This is when a lot of the water comes out of the veggies. This allows them to stay more firm like noodles when you top them with the meatballs.
  6. Put zucchini/squash in large container with peppers and store in fridge. Top with meatballs and 2-3 tbsp sauce when serving.
Part I: To Splurge Or Not To Splurge? http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/part-i-to-splurge-or-not-to-splurge/ Tue, 08 Jul 2014 02:10:06 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2091 There are a lot of mixed emotions out there when it comes to cheat meals. At PN, we like to call them “splurge meals” because you aren’t cheating on anything, you are just indulging in a way you normally wouldn’t. It’s a splurge and should not be something that you feel guilty about. We feel that splurge meals can be included in a healthy lifestyle once a week or once every other week depending on what your goals and circumstances are. Here are some practical guidelines for including splurge meals in a healthy way with minimum damage. Stay tuned for a Part II: Day After Detox blog post that gives you tips for the day after a splurge.


5 Practical Tips for Splurge Meals

1. Make it a splurge meal not a splurge day. One of the biggest mistakes I find people making when it comes to including a splurge is having an entire cheat day instead of a cheat meal. A lot of damage can be done in an entire day but you can mitigate a lot of that damage if you try to keep your splurge to one meal. This limits the exposure to sugar and toxins that your body is getting, which reduces the amount of inflammation that will occur after a splurge.

2. Eat a well balanced meal of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat 2-3 hours before your splurge meal. This will allow you to go into your splurge meal feeling balanced without overwhelming cravings. You also will not be absolutely starving leading you to over eat unhealthy foods. Eating a meal of protein and complex carbohydrates, such as chicken with leafy greens and sweet potatoes, has also been shown to improve your carbohydrate tolerance in your meals later in the day. This means the carbohydrates in your splurge meal won’t increase your blood sugar as much as they would if you did not eat that meal a few hours before.

3. Balance your protein, carbs, and fat a little. Even though you are about to splurge there is no reason to send yourself on a sugar roller coaster that will leave you craving for days. If you are splurging with a sweet treat at some fat from coconut, organic cream, or nuts to the mix. This will help you feel satisfied sooner and avoid you going back for more. If you are having some fried food or a meal heavy on the carbs be sure to include a protein source (chicken, beef, fish, pork, eggs, dairy). This will also help you feel satisfied and balanced to avoid completely overdoing the less healthy foods.

4. If you’re an athlete, try not to have your splurge meal the night before a big day of training. Your body will be inflamed and recovering from the splurge meal. If you are not used to eating whatever foods you included in your splurge meal this could affect your workout. If you are looking to get a lot out of a specific day of training avoid this. If you just want to get in a good workout after eating a big meal then go ahead. Just remember your body may not respond the way you are used to and you probably won’t feel as great.

5. Enjoy it! At PN we feel it is important to have a balance. Indulging in a meal that you would not normally eat is nothing to feel guilty about. Take care of your body, enjoy your meal, drink lots of water and then remember that tomorrow is a new day. It is not the end of the world if you go overboard on a splurge meal. Your body will adjust. We just try to get people to realize why they are going overboard. Is it cravings? Are these caused by a chemical imbalance from your diet? Is it more emotional? Are you present and conscious when you are eating your meal or are you distracted? There are a number of factors that contribute to overeating. We work with our clients to address these. Our emphasis is on being present and listening to your body even when it is easier to just keep eating. Slow down and ask yourself some of these questions and see if it helps.


We hope you have found these 5 tips for splurge meals helpful. Look out for Part II: Day After Detox Tips!

Amanda and Ana

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/slow-cooker-bbq-pulled-pork/ Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:10:11 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2530  




Summer is in full swing, which means lots of BBQs, family parties, friendly get togethers and the 4th of July! All of these events have many things in common, but the one that stands out the most to me is food. It can be very easy to let your healthy eating habits dwindle during the warmer summer months but if you make small conscious decisions on a daily basis you can avoid excessive damage to your body and continue working toward long term health. One way you can continue your healthy eating habits through the summer is to find healthy condiments or make your own. Ana and I recently talked about healthy condiments on Better Connecticut.

Pulled Pork is a very popular summer food and one of my favorites! BBQ sauce is one of the primary ingredients in pulled pork and often has sugar and high fructose corn syrup as the main ingredients, which is not something you want to include regularly in your diet. Bone Suckin BBQ sauce is a great brand that does not contain any inflammatory ingredients. They use honey to sweeten the sauce and that’s all! You can find it at Stop and Shop, Big Y, Whole Foods and most other health food stores. Not to mention it also tastes amazing. Try it out in this simple BBQ Pull Pork recipe and let us know how you like it!




Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3-4lb Pork Shoulder
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2-1 jar Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce (depends on amount of pork)
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Raw Honey
  • *Add 1 tsp Cayenne pepper for a spicier pulled pork
  1. Place pork shoulder in crock pot.
  2. Mix all other ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Pour on top of pork shoulder.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add more BBQ sauce to taste.




Decadent Chocolate Protein Pudding (High Fiber/Protein) http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/sweet-recipes/decadent-chocolate-protein-pudding-high-fiberprotein/ Mon, 30 Jun 2014 01:40:49 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2525 pudding


It can be hard to find a healthy dessert that leaves you feeling satisfied without spiking your blood sugar and sending you on an emotional roller coaster. I often find myself avoiding desserts all together because of how much they affect my mood, appetite, recovery from workouts, and sleep. I was thrilled when I discovered psyllium husk fiber. You can add it to a recipe to thicken the mixture. It makes the mixture gel and comes out like real pudding. It also adds a high quality fiber that helps keep you full and slows how quickly your body digests sugar. You can find the psyllium husk fiber at any health food store.

Most importantly, when eating desserts whether they are healthy or not, it is essential to listen to your body. Pay attention and enjoy the food you are eating and also notice if you are full or not. If so then put the fork/spoon down. You can always save it for another day. This will help keep your body in a balance and avoid overeating and cravings.





Decadent Chocolate Protein Pudding (High Fiber/Protein)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop Whey Protein
  • 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Psyllium Husk Fiber
  • 1/2 tsp Stevia
  1. Heat a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add all ingredients and mix until combined.
  2. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and begin to gel. Remove pan from heat and put mixture in a glass bowl. Place in fridge for 30min to an hour.
  3. Top with fruit, almond butter, cacao nibs and/or unsweetened coconut flakes.
PN News Segment on Better Connecticut: Healthy Summer Condiments http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/pn-news-segment-on-better-connecticut-healthy-summer-condiments/ Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:57:55 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2509 Hello everyone!

It’s finally summer and the weather is beautiful! This means a lot of fun weekends spent outdoors and a lot of cookouts! If you have been eating the Practical Nutrition way throughout the year, focusing on eating foods in their most natural form in a balanced state throughout the day, then you may feel that common summer condiments cannot be included in your daily diet. This is true for many of the common brands found at the grocery store that contain inflammatory ingredients such as vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup, however, you can look out for good ingredients and even make your own at home with 5 ingredients or less! Ana and I discussed healthy summer condiments on Better Connecticut. Watch the 5 minute segment to learn more about what ingredients to avoid and healthy alternatives you can make yourself at home. And don’t forget to scroll down for 3 marinade/dressing recipes with 3-5 ingredients each!

WFSB 3 Connecticut


Take Away Points Video:

  • When reading a nutrition label for condiments, dressings, and marinades avoid the following: vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar/cane sugar, artificial colors/flavors/additives. These ingredients all contribute to inflammation, sugar cravings, weight gain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • When trying to find a healthy option for condiments/dressings/marinades look for the following beneficial ingredients: olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, organic honey, pure maple syrup, stevia, lemon juice, balsamic/apple cider vinegar, and herbs.


Maple Pepper Marinade
Recipe Type: Marinade
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add your favorite protein: chicken, fish, or beef. This recipe has been tested on all types of chicken, fish and beef and everything tastes great! Get creative and add more ingredients if you want or keep it simple and use this easy marinade to flavor your meals all summer long!


Homemade Creamy Ranch Dressing
Recipe Type: Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Dill
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  2. Store in glass air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week .


Homemade Balsamic Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasonings
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until mixture has emulsified.
  2. Store in a glass, air tight container on the counter or in fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Gluten Free Bread Recipe http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/gluten-free-recipes-for-good-health/gluten-free-bread-recipe/ Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:05:12 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2472 photo-6


Every once and a while I like to make some fresh baked gluten free bread to top with avocado and an over easy egg. I avoid eating more processed bread with gluten because of the inflammatory response that gluten creates in your body. Not to mention the fact that gluten is extremely addictive so I try to keep it out of my diet as much as possible. This gluten free bread recipe not only tastes delicious but is a great substitution for those times when you want bread. You can slice up the entire loaf then place in freezer safe bags to save for later. Try this recipe and you won’t want to eat heavily processed bread again!


Gluten Free Bread Recipe
Recipe Type: Bread
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 cup Millet Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1/4 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch/Flour
  • 1/4 cup Skim Milk Powder
  • 3 TBSL Sesame Seeds or Quinoa Flakes
  • 2 tsp rapid dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (115 degrees F)
  • 1 TBSL Xanthum Gym
  • 1 TBSL Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
  1. I use a silicone bread pan that the bread does not stick to but if using a metal pan grease and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine warm water with yeast and honey in a small glass bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine millet flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, almond meal, tapioca starch, milk powder, xanthan gum, and salt and mix.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar, oil, and eggs to the yeast mixture and mix well.
  5. Now add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients slowly in small portions mixing well between until all ingredients are combined.
  6. Pour batter into a bread pan, top with sesame seeds or quinoa flakes and let rise in a warm place while you are preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Once preheated, bake bread for 35-40 minutes.
  8. Remove bread and let cool for 10-15 minutes. I like to slice the entire loaf up and then put in freezer safe baggies to save for later.



Green Tea Ice Cubes! http://practicalnutrition.com/product-review/green-tea-ice-cubes/ Sun, 08 Jun 2014 15:31:09 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2494 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 🙂 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/sweet-recipes/chocolate-avocado-pudding/ Thu, 29 May 2014 00:06:47 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2449 Avocados are one staple item I try to always have in my kitchen. Not only can they brighten up any meal with their delicious flavor but they also provide the same vitamins and minerals that a dark leafy green,like spinach or kale has. To top it off, 1 avocado contains 10-15g of fiber depending on the size. That is a little over 1/3 of our daily needs for fiber! Using something like an avocado to make a healthy dessert was very fun and is a great food to share with friends. Enjoy!


Avocado Chocolate pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 Spotted Banana
  • 4 TBLS Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • Coconut Flakes and Raspberries to garnish
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Add more almond milk if mixture stays too thick.
  3. Can serve right away and top with coconut flakes and fruit or put in air tight tupperware in fridge. This pudding tastes great the next day!
Classic Cobb Salad (with a PN twist!) http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/classic-cobb-salad-with-a-pn-twist/ Tue, 27 May 2014 02:33:44 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2452 Cobb salads are delicious and full of high protein, healthy ingredients! However, they are one of those foods you don’t really want to order at a restaurant. It’s hard to know that you’re getting  healthfully sourced ingredients, such an unprocessed, uncured bacon from humanely raised pigs, a dressing made without any vegetable/canola oil or fake mayo, and free range, organic eggs and chicken! Finding a restaurant that values the integrity of all of the main ingredients of a Cobb salad is tough- that’s why I love making these at home! The dressing is my favorite part…check out the recipe and let us know what you think!


Classic Cobb Salad (with a PN twist!)
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 4 cups organic mixed greens
  • 4 slices all natural, uncured bacon (cooked crispy and crumbled into bits)
  • 2 organic hardboiled eggs (sliced into pieces)
  • 1 medium organic roma tomato
  • 1 medium organic chicken breast (you will need 1 TBLS coconut oil, 2 TBLS coconut flour, 4 TBLS coconut flakes, and 1 egg if you’re not using leftover chicken)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 TBLS fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  1. First cook your chicken breast, or slice some leftover chicken you have into strips. I like to cut mine into strips, batter it with 1 egg and 2 TBLS coconut flour and then sauté lightly in 1/2 TBLS coconut oil in a pan in coconut oil for about 4-5 minutes, or until brown. I then place the strips on a baking sheet on the other 1/2 TBLS coconut oil and top with coconut flakes and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees (no longer because you don’t want the chicken to dry out). If you don’t like coconut chicken you can do this same process with olive oil and sea salt/pepper.
  2. Next, place the mixed greens on your plates and top with all of your vegetables, crumbled bacon, and sliced egg. I like to do it in rows, but you can do different style of layer depending on your visual preference.
  3. Lastly, to make the dressing simply mix all of the remaining ingredients together until well combined. Add a touch more oil and lemon juice if you like it thinner. When the chicken is done, place the strips on your salad while still warm, put the dressing on the side in a small bowl, and enjoy!
  4. PN RX (per salad): 4 free veggies, 1.5 protein, 3 fats
5 Reasons To Include Nutritional Yeast In Your Diet And How To Use It http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/5-reasons-to-include-nutritional-yeast-in-your-diet-and-how-to-use-it/ Fri, 23 May 2014 18:57:47 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2318 I was recently introduced nutritional yeast and I really enjoyed the flavor but I wanted to know more about why it was good for me so I did a little research. For those of you that are wondering, nutritional yeast contains a deactivated yeast and is free of Candida Albicans strains, which makes it safe for those worried about Candida.

Top 5 Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

1. Nutritional Yeast is packed with B vitamins including Folic Acid and B12. This is what gives it its yellow color. B12 is usually only found in animal products but nutritional yeast is a good source, which makes this a great addition to the diet for vegans and vegetarians.

2. Nutritional Yeast is high in 15 different minerals including Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Chromium, and Selenium. These minerals are important for our health and longevity. Nutritional yeast is an easy way to ensure you are getting enough of each. Just add a sprinkled to a salad or on your eggs in the morning.

3. Nutritional Yeast is naturally Gluten Free. It is grown on beet sugar or molasses  then fermented and dried.

4. Nutrition Yeast is a complete, bioavailable source of protein since it contains all 18 amino acids. One serving typically contains 6-9g of protein, depending on the brand.

5. Nutrition Yeast is a good source of fiber. It contains about 3g in one serving and will contribute to keeping your gut healthy when eaten with a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables,  and well-sourcced animal products.

Now that you know many of the health benefits of nutritional yeast and why you should incorporate it into your diet let’s talk about how you can do that.


5 Delicious Ways To Use Nutritional Yeast

 1. Add it to baked vegetables. 

Simple Recipe:


1 head cauliflower

1T olive oil

1t black sesame seeds

1/4c nutritional yeast


1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. Take all the ingredients and drop them in a mixing bowl.

3. Toss it with your hands until all is coated.

4. Spread on a baking sheet with foil and cook for about 20-25 minutes.


2. Use it as a substitute for cheese on salads, eggs, sauce dishes. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy but nutty flavor that tastes great on almost anything. I like to make gluten free toast, spread avocado on it then sprinkle some nutritional yeast and top with a fried egg with a side of veggies of course. This is a balanced and nutritious way to start your day!


3. Make nutritional yeast popcorn:


½ cup popcorn kernels

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

dash of pepper and cayenne


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the popcorn kernels, stirring until completely coated in oil.

2. Cover the pot, and shake it every 30 seconds or so until the kernels start to pop.

3. Once the kernels are popped, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and spices.


4. Add nutritional yeast to soups. 


5. Make homemade kale chips with nutritional yeast for a nutritious and flavorful snack. 

Try out this delicious recipe here!

Springtime Super Food (and yummy spring rolls!) http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/springtime-super-food-and-yummy-spring-rolls/ Sat, 17 May 2014 18:09:30 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2407 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: Ana
  • 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
  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.
PN RX (may vary depending on ingredients) [br]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!


Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/raw-cacao-cookie-dough-smoothie/ Fri, 16 May 2014 11:27:17 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2417 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 cacao

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!
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • 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)
  • 1/4 cup water, or more to desired consistency
  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!
PN RX: [br]1 Protein, 1 Fat, 1/2 Carb

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

Ana and Amanda 🙂

Practical Nutrition’s Interview on the Paleo Diet http://practicalnutrition.com/news-bites/practical-nutritions-interview-on-the-paleo-diet/ Wed, 14 May 2014 14:30:48 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2393 Ana and I were recently interviewed on our view on the Paleo Diet, which has become quite popular these past couple years. I have seen this first hand working in and being apart of the CrossFit community for 3.5 years now. I followed a Paleo Diet for about 2.5 years but did not find it was sustainable for me and have found the same for many other people I encounter. While we were preparing for the interview we began by looking at the similarities that our nutrition principles have with the Paleo Diet and also at the differences between the two lifestyles. It gave us great perspective and was a nice reminder of what it means to be healthy and how important balance is.

Similarities & Areas of the Paleo Diet That We Value:

  • The exclusion of processed foods. At Practical Nutrition we encourage our clients to avoid processed and prepackaged foods as much as possible. The focus should always be on food in its most natural form possible as often as possible. If your great great grandmother wouldn’t eat it… neither should you!
  • The source of our food matters. Many people that embrace a Paleo lifestyle begin to learn about the source of their food and try to get cage free eggs, grassfed meat, and wild caught seafood. We think everyone should be aware of where their food comes from and try to choose the healthiest and most sustainable source.
  • The Paleo Diet tends to be higher in protein and fat than the Standard American Diet (SAD), and it sure is sad. The average American gets more than 55% of their calories from carbohydrates, which are most likely from added sugar and refined processed carbs (bread, chips, baked goods, soda). We believe a healthy diet needs a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat that fit your goals and activity level. This higher level of protein helps reserve muscle tissue and also increases gut absorption of Calcium.
  • Gut integrity and health is a major focus of the Paleo approach. The entire point of restricting grains, dairy, and legumes is the premise that they can cause inflammation in our digestive system. The majority of our immune system is found in our digestive tract, which is a pretty good reason to make sure it is healthy.
  • Fermented foods are a staple in a healthy diet. Many people have never heard of fermented foods and are unaware of their benefits. Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut all contain healthy bacteria that are needed by our gut. These bacteria provide a balanced and healthy environment in our digestive system and improve immune system health.
  • We especially appreciate the fact that the Paleo lifestyle doesn’t just focus on food but also places emphasis on sleep, stress, and exercise. We always try to encourage our clients to include regular exercise into their schedules, which can be hard with busy lifestyles but we know how important it is for energy, sleep quality, and long term health in general. Sleep is always a big topic in our offices. We stress the importance of getting adequate sleep and often come up with different nutritional protocols and lifestyle factors to improve sleep.

What Sets Us Apart:

  • At Practical Nutrition we encourage eating every 2-3 hours to maintain stable blood sugars. This also allows us to eat smaller meals and not overload our systems with too many carbohydrates, protein, or fat at once. Most Paleo programs encourage eating 3 meals a day without snacking. We have found that this does not work for many people, however, meal frequency is always based on the individual. We experiment and find what works best for them and helps them meet their goals.
  • We put more of an emphasis on getting a variety of foods in order to get a variety of different nutrients. We do not exclude all grains, dairy, and legumes so this helps our clients achieve a variety. We do avoid gluten so we encourage gluten free grains such as all types of rice, quinoa, millet, spelt, and buckwheat for people that are active. We always encourage people to pair their gluten free grains with a protein in order to keep blood sugar levels stable. We recommend getting the majority of your carbohydrates from fruits and starchy vegetables like beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and carrots.We also emphasize buying organic dairy products that are at least 1-2% fat if you tolerate dairy.
  • One practical tip we share with our clients to provide balance is to eat twice as many vegetables as fruit.
  • At Practical Nutrition we also focus on portion sizes. We help people learn how much food their bodies need to support their lifestyle and goals. This creates a balance of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat that improves energy, mood, sleep, and overall long term health.
  • Another major difference between our approach and the Paleo Diet is the importance that we place on detoxifying the body on a regular basis and making sure the liver is healthy. We understand the vital role the liver plays in overall health and promote foods that improve and maintain proper liver function. Liver friendly foods include: beets, brussel sprouts, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard, asparagus, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Lastly, we leave room for enjoying food. We live in modern society with food and beverages that are apart of our culture. We give people the tools they need to be successful in everyday life. We all are put in difficult situations to make food choices during the holidays, warmer months when there are always a lot of parties and events, and especially on vacation. We believe that being able to have a balance of healthy eating and indulgence while still working toward your goals is the key to long term success and health.

Ana and I had a great time discussing all of the areas we appreciate from the Paleo Diet and lifestyle and comparing them to our own. We both agreed that the Paleo approach can be a great place to start a new healthy lifestyle but that it is not always the best place to stay for everyone. It was great to be reminded of how different nutritional approaches can benefit people in a number of ways so we wanted to share this with all of you.


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

Amanda and Ana

Gluten Free Philly Steak and Cheese http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/gluten-free-philly-steak-and-cheese/ Thu, 08 May 2014 20:54:05 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2376 philly


I love recreating some of my favorite foods into healthier versions that provide nutrition but still satisfy a craving. Sometimes even just one meal of processed food and refined carbohydrates can throw you off the wagon and cause a host of sugar cravings, mood swings, headaches, and complete loss of motivation and energy just to name a few. When you are craving something that isn’t going to provide your body with the nutrients it needs and even take away many nutrients during the process of digestion try to make a healthier version. This way you can still enjoy your food but you leave all the nasty side effects of cheat meals behind. I love philly steak and cheese sandwiches and sometimes I want bread but I know how it will make me feel. I picked up some gluten free buns from Trader Joe’s along with some organic shaved steak and raw cheese to make this delicious and satisfying meal. The gluten free buns are still a concentrated source of carbohydrates and more processed than fruits and vegetables so I try to make them a treat but overall this is a great substitution.


Gluten Free Philly Steak and Cheese
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 4 Gluten Free Rolls
  • 1lb Organic Shaved Steak
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 8oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 2 Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Raw Cheese to taste
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and melt butter. Add in Worcestershire, hot sauce and garlic powder and mix.
  2. Add in shaved steak and cook until no longer pink but try not to overcook.
  3. Heat up gluten free rolls and toast in oven for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 4oz of shaved steak to each roll with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Place 1oz of cheese on top and heat in oven until melted.
  5. We cut ours in half then put 2oz on each half and a little cheese on top.
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Whole Chicken http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/dinner-recipes/slow-cooker-lemon-garlic-whole-chicken/ Wed, 30 Apr 2014 19:17:20 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2369  








Before I made this recipe I had never actually cooked a whole chicken before. I always just got chicken breasts or thighs. It was fun making the entire chicken and it came out so moist! It was delicious as leftovers on salads and mixed into stir fries. Don’t let the fact that it is unfamiliar scare you. This recipe is very simple and was easy to prepare thanks to my slow cooker. Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Whole Chicken
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 whole Organic Free Range Chicken (4-5lb)
  • For the rub:
  • 4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • For the slow cooker:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pealed and mashed
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  1. Chop up vegetables and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rinse chicken then dry with a paper towel. Combine rub ingredients and rub garlic cloves all over chicken then rub with spices.
  3. Place lemons and garlic cloves inside chicken and place in slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours. If less than 5 pound chicken will take about 6 hours.
  5. Place in a glass baking dish and broil on high for 4-5 minutes to get a crispy skin.
You can add some chopped up sweet potatoes in the slow cooker with the chicken for some healthy carbs.


5 Ingredients That Can Trigger Migraines http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/5-ingredients-that-can-trigger-migraines/ Fri, 25 Apr 2014 01:37:03 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2345 Migraines are extremely common. Most people either get migraines themselves or know at least one friend or family member that suffers from them. According to the Migraine Health Union, almost 5 million people in the U.S. experience one migraine attack per month. Unfortunately, many people do not know that certain ingredients in food can actually trigger migraines and avoiding these foods can help decrease your migraines and improve your quality of life. In this post, we will share with you 5 ingredients to avoid that can trigger migraines. Everyone is a little different and needs vary from  individual to individual, especially if you have food allergies or sensitivities, but these 5 ingredients commonly trigger migraines. For this reason, we recommend reaching out to a Registered Dietitian for an individual consult in order to figure out what your triggers are and the best changes to make in your diet.

1. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is a salt added to foods to enhance flavor. Many food manufacturers add MSG to cheap, low quality foods in order to bring out their best flavors and get people to eat and buy more of them. MSG can be hard to find in an ingredients list on a food label because there are many names for it to help keep it hidden. Some people have noticed that foods that list “natural flavors” on the ingredients list cause migraines but this one is tricky. Natural flavors can include MSG but it does not always. Food manufacturers use this phrase to keep their recipes a secret also. The most important part of this is to read your labels and avoid MSG as often as possible. It can take up to 3 days to trigger a migraine.

Look for these names on food labels:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Hydrolyzed Protein: (plant, vegetable, any kind)
  • Sodium or Calcium Caseinate
  • Autolyzed Yeast, Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Food, Yeast Nutrient
  • Textured Protein
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Gelatin

Foods that contain MSG:

  • Most common brand-name salad dressings have MSG. Gourmet dressings are usually ok.
  • Cake mixes
  • Almost all sodas contain natural flavors.
  • Almost all canned or frozen soups
  • Some yogurt and most cottage cheeses will most likely contain MSG.
  • Most candy and gums
  • Meats, steaks, and roasts are usually safe if they have been cut at the store. Pre-formed, frozen hamburgers are rarely free of MSG.
  • Chicken and turkey are safe only if it is fresh. Many brand-name chickens and turkeys have been injected with Hydrolyzed Protein.
  • Breads, muffins, and baked items: some of these contain autolyzed yeast or other hidden forms of MSG. Make sure you check your labels! Bakery items that have fruit usually contain MSG.
  • Eating out at Chinese restaurants you will most likely encounter MSG.
  • Soups at restaurants commonly contain MSG.
  • Fast food restaurants use MSG to enhance the flavor of their food.

2. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye has been shown to cut off blood flow to parts of the brain, which can trigger migraines. Another research study conducted at the University of Columbia concluded that a migraine is a common neurological manifestation in celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and IBS. If you do have a sensitivity, allergy, or less than healthy digestive tract, gluten could be causing your migraines. Try cutting it out for 30 days then add it back in and see how it makes you feel and if it triggers a migraine.

Foods that contain gluten:

  • wheat starch
  • wheat bran
  • wheat germ
  • couscous
  • cracked wheat
  • durum
  • einkorn
  • emmer
  • farina
  • faro
  • fu (common in Asian foods)
  • gliadin
  • graham flour
  • kamut
  • matzo
  • semolina
  • spelt
  • barley
  • bulgur
  • oats (oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains and may be contaminated)
  • rye
  • seitan
  • triticale and Mir (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free)

3. Nitrites and Nitrates which are preservatives found in any food that have been cured, smoked, pickled or canned. Nitrites and nitrates can be inflammatory to the brain for certain people and trigger migraines.

Foods that contain nitrites and nitrates:

  • Bacon and any other cured meat
  • Sausage
  • Jerky of any variety
  • Anything canned or pickled contain nitrates to preserve color and flavor

4. Artificial Sweeteners such as NutraSweet or Equal also known as aspartame. Over 75% of food complaints to the FDA about food chemicals are about adverse reactions to aspartame. One of the major complaints about aspartame is migraines or headaches. Aspartame is literally a brain toxin found in over 6,000 food products. Anything that says “Sugar Free” on the front label should be a big red flag. Whenever you see any food that says sugar free, light, low carb, or any other health claim make sure you turn it over and read the nutrition label. Figure out what the food manufacturer is replacing normal ingredients with.

Foods that may contain aspartame:

  • Sugar Free Yogurt, Ice cream, pudding,
  • Protein Powders
  • Protein Bars
  • Jelly, Jams
  • Diet Soda
  • Hard Candy
  • Breath mints
  • Gum

5. Sulfites and Tyramines found in dried fruits and alcohol can also trigger migraines. Alcohol also dehydrates you and your brain. When your brain is dehydrated the tissues shrink and the lack of water decreases the transfer of minerals to the brain leading to problems in function, headaches, and migraines. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. (Example: If you weigh 160lb then your water goal would be 80oz a day)

Foods/Beverages that contain sulfites and tyramines:

  • Dried fruits including prunes, figs, apricots
  • White and red wine
  • Many processed foods contain sulfites, another reason to read your labels!
  • Beer, sherry, vermouth, and bourbon




Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/dinner-recipes/sweet-and-spicy-chicken-wings/ Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:24:59 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2321 spicy wings


I opened a wonderful email from my older sister the other day with this recipe inside. She said that these wings were to die for and that I had to make them. She was right! This recipe is a great substitution for fried hot wings. It is the perfect amount of sweet from the honey and spicy from the chipotle peppers. I made this the other night and they were gone in a day and a half! They are amazing. These would be great to bring to a party or family gathering. Enjoy!


Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3lb Organic Chicken Drumsticks
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Raw Honey
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger or 1tsp Dried Ginger
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers in adobo minced, plus 1 Tbsp of sauce
  • 1 tbsp Potato Starch
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken. Don’t go crazy with the salt, the sauce makes up for it.
  2. Place chicken in glass baking dish.
  3. While oven is preheating, combine all remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until it begins to thicken (about 15 minutes). If it does not thicken you can take 1 tbsp of Potato Starch and mix with 2 tbsp cold water then add to sauce and it will thicken right up.
  4. Toss the chicken in the sauce. You can let these marinate over night or cook right away.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes then flip and bake for another 25 minutes.
I had about 1/2-1 cup of sauce left over. You can add this to the chicken as it cooks or save it and make burgers out of it. I also marinated salmon in it and it came out very good! Get creative!
Avocado Dream Salad http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/avocado-dream-salad/ Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:15:29 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2245 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
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Amy
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 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
  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 http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/teriyakisesamebisonballs/ Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:19:12 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2162 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
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-7
  • 2lb Organic Ground Bison
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  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 http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/herb-vinaigrette-baked-salmon/ Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:40:12 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2164 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
Recipe Type: Fish
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1.5 to 2lb of Wild-caught Salmon
  • 6 Tbsp Zesty Herb Dressing*
  • Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  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.
Serving size: 4oz Calories: 288 Fat: 18 Protein: 33
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (Purification/Cleanse Friendly) http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/chocolate-chia-seed-pudding-purificationcleanse-friendly/ Sun, 06 Apr 2014 00:36:57 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2155 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 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)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup Organic Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey
  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.
Serving size: 1/2 recipe Calories: 156 Fat: 7.5 Carbohydrates: 15.5 Protein: 7
Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/bacon-wrapped-sweet-potato-bites/ Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:23:52 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2145 photo-5


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
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1lb bacon, cut strips in half
  • tooth picks to keep bacon in place
  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 http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/maple-pepper-salmon/ Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:49:53 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2129 photo-5

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
Recipe Type: Fish
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1lb Wild Caught Salmon
  • 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  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.
Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/quick-and-tasty-wheat-free-pasta-with-veggie-marinara/ Mon, 24 Mar 2014 23:58:11 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2117 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
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
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!
  • 1/2 Bag Black Bean Spaghetti*
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 Bag Ming Bean Spaghetti*
  • 6 and 1/4 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)
  • 1/8 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!
  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!
PN RX for 1/4 of the sauce and 1 Cup Pasta: 2 Carbs, 2 Fat, 1 Veggies, 1 Protein
Practical Nutrition “Clean Getaway” To Hawaii http://practicalnutrition.com/events/practical-nutrition-clean-getaway-to-hawaii/ Fri, 07 Mar 2014 04:42:18 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1973 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


Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/breakfast-recipes/sweet-potato-quinoa-cakes/ Mon, 03 Mar 2014 01:52:27 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2105 photo-5

Everyone should try out this healthy side dish that is full of vitamins, minerals, and complex carbs. I have had sweet potato and quinoa cakes in the past and loved them so I decided to make my own at home. I love the quinoa cakes at whole foods but they have Canola oil in them so I try to avoid them. Canola oil is inflammatory as are other vegetable oils. This recipe is a little different from the sweet flavored cakes. It has more of a Mexican flavor but I am going to make a sweet version too. These cakes would be a great addition to any meal!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked (1 c dry)
  • 1.5 Tbsp organic butter
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • sea salt
  • 1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs or almond flour
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat up a large skillet and add butter, sweet potatoes, and red onions. Cook on medium heat until soft (about 15 minutes).
  3. Bring 2 cups of water in a medium sauce pan to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa and bring down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  4. In a large bowl, add sweet potatoes and mashed. Add the cooked quinoa and mix well.
  5. Now add all of your seasonings and bread crumbs. Mix well.
  6. Add 1 egg and mix with hands until everything is incorporated.
  7. Form into medium size patties. I made 17.
  8. Place patties on cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serving size: 1 cake Calories: 83 Fat: 2 Carbohydrates: 13 Protein: 2



Horseradish Almond Crusted Chicken http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/horseradish-almond-crusted-chicken/ Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:04:28 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=2001 Chicken

This recipe was inspired by a mustard crusted chicken my Mom used to make when I was growing up. I think it had breadcrumbs and a bunch of other seasonings including ground mustard. I really wanted to replicate an even healthier, gluten-free version. This recipe is very simple and easy so even if you are new to cooking you will be able to handle it. It tasted good cold on a salad too! Enjoy!


Horseradish Almond Crusted Chicken
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 2lb Organic Chicken Breast Tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 4-5 Tbsp Horseradish (I like plain old Stop and Shop Brand)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Organic Butter/Coconut Oil
  • .5 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt the organic butter or coconut oil (on stove top or microwave).
  2. Place your chicken in a large, glass baking dish and cover with butter/coconut oil.
  3. Now sprinkle the 1/2 cup of almond flour and garlic powder over each piece of chicken. Spread horseradish over each piece as well.
  4. I sprinkled everything on top then mixed it all together when I put the horseradish on top so everything is combined. You can do this with your fingers to make it easier.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
Serving size: 4oz Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 28g
Hawaiian Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl! http://practicalnutrition.com/amazing-foods/pn-cinnamon-breakfast-bowl/ Fri, 14 Feb 2014 04:10:56 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1986 I just got back from an amazing trip visiting some friends and family on the Big Island of  Hawaii. Eating fresh, local foods and learning about tropical region medicinal foods and herbs were the two main themes. 99% of my food was from a local source or grower. Consistently eating plants grown without the use of chemicals and consuming protein from animals fed their proper diet immediately brings an abundance of  life and energy to your body.  Whether it was coconut oil from local coco’s, a star fruit I picked from the back of my cabin, or an avocado from a friend’s backyard, I was always snacking on a high fiber, life giving treat! One thing I did a lot of over there in between exploring some delicious new foods was surf! I needed a quick, high protein snack for before I jumped in the water so I could maximize my time in the waves (after all, I wanted to get in as much water time as possible after the 15 hour journey from winter in Connecticut!). Breakfast bowls are big in Hawaii, and I’ve actually posted a recipe involving a blueberry smoothie as a base of a breakfast bowl as a post surf meal in the past. But since I didn’t always want to use the blender on this trip, I adapted this simple yet tasty version of a breakfast bowl that all of us can  enjoy back here on the mainland but still bring back the flavors and aloha from the island!

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 11.12.16 PM

A beautiful rainbow on a flat day over a favorite surf spot- Pohoiki’s 2nd Bay, Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaiian Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl!
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Enjoy this high protein, energizing treat as a snack, breakfast, or frozen as a sweet treat at night!
  • 1 Cup 2% Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Fage brand)
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Mango Chunks OR 1/2 Cup Fresh Organic Papaya
  • 3-4 Sliced Strawberries
  • 1/4 Avocado Diced
  • Pinch of Alfalfa Sprouts (get those greens in as much as you can!)
  • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Local Honey (optional)
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein (optional- 15 grams protein)
  • 1 TBLS Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  1. Put yogurt in bowl (mix in protein powder if you are using it), and top with sliced fruit, sprouts and avocado. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sea salt, and coconut flakes. Drizzle with honey and enjoy while thinking about a place or person you love!
** “Dry mix” of cinnamon, coconut flakes, and sea salt can be mixed in advance to save time [br]*** PN RX: 1 protein (2 if using protein powder), 1 fruit, 1 fat
Chicken Parmesan With Mung Bean Fettuccini http://practicalnutrition.com/organic/chicken-parmesan-with-mung-bean-fettucini/ Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:36:25 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1966 It’s a snowy day in New England and on snowy days when I’m stuck at home I like to cook! I can remember growing up and every time we were stuck in the house because of the snow my Mom would start cooking up a storm of good food. I had some organic chicken that I got on sale, marinara sauce, and this Mung Bean Fettuccini so I decided to make chicken parmesan. It came out SO good! I used tapioca flour before I breaded them this time and it really made a huge difference. The breading didn’t fall off at all and they came out a lot crispier. The Mung Bean Pasta is from this brand Explore Asian. They have a ton of different types of pastas made from beans and seeds. They have very few ingredients (usually just the bean and water) and taste great! They also have a lot of protein and fiber in most of the different types, which is a plus. I definitely recommend trying some out! Enjoy the recipe!


Chicken Parmesan With Mung Bean Fettucini
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 13
  • 2.5-3lb Thinly Cut Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1.5 cups Rao’s Marinara Sauce*
  • 1Tbsp Basil
  • 1Tbsp Oregano
  • 1Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2Tbsp Thyme
  • 4-5Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Bag Mung Bean Fettuccini
  • Spinach to plate
  • Herb Goat cheese (or any other) to top with
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare 3 bowls for dipping and breading chicken. Bowl 1: tapioca flour; Bowl 2: 2 eggs, whisked; Bowl 3: almond flour and rest of seasonings. Place a plate at the end of the bowl station. Then place a large glass baking dish next to that to put the chicken in after you pan fry them.
  3. Heat large pan with 2.5Tbsp of butter or coconut oil (so a total of about 5Tbsp for 2 batches). As soon as you turn your pan on start preparing the chicken strips.
  4. First, cover with tapioca flour, then dip in egg, then cover with almond flour mixture. You can place the chicken on the plate until the pan is ready.
  5. Fry chicken 2 minutes on each side. I did 2 batches of the chicken breasts in a large pan.Once the chicken is done browning on each side place in the large glass baking dish.
  6. Get a large pot and set up on stove. Fill pot with water to cook pasta in. Turn burner on high.When water boils at add pasta and lower heat to medium for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Bake chicken in oven for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
  8. When pasta is done, strain in colander and set aside.
  9. To plate take about 2/3 cup pasta and place a handful of spinach on top. Then place 1 chicken strip or 1/13th of recipe (mine had 13 strips) on top of the spinach and top with your favorite cheese. I used about an ounce herb goat cheese that tasted delicious.
Calories: 527 Fat: 24 Carbohydrates: 26 Protein: 62
*You can use any pasta sauce you want. I just like the Rao’s Homemade Marinara that I found at Stew Leonard’s because it doesn’t have any sugar or vegetable oils in it.
PN Remedies For Dealing With And Preventing Gout http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/pn-remedies-for-gout/ Fri, 31 Jan 2014 19:01:33 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1952 What is Gout? Gout is a type of arthritis that is characterized by painful, stiff, and inflamed joints. It is often the big toe that is targeted but it can happen in the knees, ankles and other toes as well. The swelling and pain are a result of excess uric acid that forms crystals in your joints. This is what it looks like:

Gout is 4x more likely to occur in men than women. You are also at increased risk if you are between the ages of 30 and 50 and are overweight. You can lower your risk of gout by 85 percent simply by reducing your intake of sugar. Gout is often associated with high intake of red meat and fat but the real risk is sugar intake. Especially high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is known to keep the body from getting rid of uric acid (the build up that causes Gout). Since fruit has a balance of glucose and fructose and doesn’t have nearly as much fructose as a processed food that is made with high fructose corn syrup, it does not act the same way as high fructose corn syrup.

My partner in life and crime, Ian, has somewhat frequent flare-ups of Gout in the toes of his right foot. He is a big guy, 6’3″ 250lb, and has been extremely active all of his life. His size and stress on his body has a lot to do with his Gout flare-ups but we knew that nutrition could help. This has led to a lot of research on Gout and experimentation with different nutritional remedies. He has been able to keep his Gout under control using these tips so check them out!

*At the end I have included a Gout Power Drink to drink on a daily basis to help prevent gout as well as fight painful symptoms.

7 Practical Gout Remedies

#1: Drink Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar– treats gout and arthritis. The acidity in the vinegar helps relieve acute pain. Add honey to boost the body’s anti-inflammatory response. Add some raw honey to help further fight inflammation.

#2: Add baking soda to a beverage: can help lower the amount of uric acid, giving you relief from the pain

-Mix ½ tsp of baking soda in a glass up to 4 times a day

#3: Include lemon juice daily: helps alkalize the body and neutralize the excess uric acid in the blood stream. What does this mean? Many of the foods we eat cause our bodies to be in an acidic state, such as sugar, high protein foods, grains and bread products, and booze. Lemon juice, which seems acidic, actually helps our bodies become more alkaline (less acidic and more neutral). This is what makes it great for everyone, but especially those with Gout, to drink on a daily basis.

#4: Eat 15-20 cherries a day. Cherries, whether sweet or sour, are also helpful in treating gout due to their antioxidant properties. Cherries also contain anthocyanins, which can reduce inflammation and help with gout flare-ups.

-Strawberries are also a good choice!

#5: Elevate the joint whenever possible. This reduces blood flow to the area, which is good. When blood flows more quickly to the area, more white blood cells accumulate at the joints and cause further inflammation.


#6: Limit alcohol, sugar sweetened beverages, and ELIMINATE high fructose corn syrup.

-Alcohol slows the breakdown and excretion of uric acid so it hangs around in your joints longer and can actually cause a flare-up to come on.

-Elevated blood sugar causes inflammation in the body and can weaken the immune system.


#7: Avoid soy products. Studies have shown that after individuals’ drank soy milk, their uric acid levels were increased by 10% more than if they drank regular milk or ate high protein foods.

Gout Power Drink

  • 8oz Glass of Water
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Mix all ingredients in a glass.

  • Drink 2-3 times a day to help prevent and treat Gout symptoms.


Homemade Zesty Herb Dressing http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/homemade-zesty-herb-dressing/ Mon, 27 Jan 2014 00:20:10 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1944 photo-2


Store bought dressings often contain inflammatory vegetable oils that can harm our bodies. It is very difficult to find dressings actually made with olive oil and that do not have offending ingredients. Many people will just use oil and vinegar but that can get boring. Making your own dressing is VERY easy! You just need olive oil, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, some herbs and a blender. Using a blender allows the mixture to emulsify and not separate.

Homemade dressings are also a great way to incorporate more unfiltered apple cider vinegar into your diet. To learn more about apple cider vinegar check out our blog post on it here.


Homemade Zesty Herb Dressing
Recipe Type: Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 2 tsp Parsley, dried
  • 1 tsp Thyme, dried
  • 2 tsp Basil, dried
  • 1/4 tsp Local Maple Syrup or Stevia
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.
  2. Store in a glass container. Does not need to be refrigerated.
Serving size: 1 Tbsp Calories: 63 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 0 Protein: 0
Lemon Garlic and Herb Crockpot Chicken http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/lemon-garlic-and-herb-crockpot-chicken/ Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:13:59 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1940 photo-1


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
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 6 Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Lemon, thinly slices
  • 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2c water
  • Mrs. Dash Original Blend
  • Oregano
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  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 1/2c of water to protect crock pot.
  4. Heat on low for 7 hours.
4oz of chicken breasts= 1 Protein
Detox Your Kitchen! http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/detox-your-kitchen/ Mon, 13 Jan 2014 02:09:28 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1926 It’s that time of year- the holidays are sadly over and most of us are ready to step up our game in the fitness and nutrition department!  It can be tempting to follow a trendy plan that leads to a quick result. I understand completely the desire to see that quick weight loss, fast muscle building, renewed energy, etc. But if you were really honest with yourself, you would probably agree with me that most of these trends aren’t maintainable. I think the best place to start your journey to better health, increased energy, stable blood sugar, healthy blood lipid levels, weight loss, etc. is right where you (hopefully) do most of your eating- in your very own kitchen! Watch the clip below to learn how to “detox your kitchen” of food offenders preventing us from reaching our goals. Start with this simple task and add in more steps with your diet plan when you are ready.












PN Stuffed Peppers http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/pn-stuffed-peppers/ Tue, 07 Jan 2014 15:30:18 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1919 photo


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
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 2lb Organic Ground Beef (Grassfed if possible)
  • 6 Peppers (I did red and yellow)
  • 1 cup of Fresh Salsa
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp Gluten Free Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
  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.
3/4 cup of meat mixture: 3-4 fats depending on leanness of ground beef, 2.5 proteins[br][br]*The stuffed peppers freeze and reheat really well! I usually make 3lb at once then freeze them and reheat them later.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Why It’s Good and How to Use It! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/apple-cider-vinegar-why-its-good-and-how-to-use-it/ Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:16:22 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1907 photo (15)

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) isn’t as “far out” as it sounds- it’s simply made by taking the juice of fresh apples and allowing the process of fermentation (by adding bacteria and yeast) to turn the sugar from the apple juice into alcohol. After a bit more fermentation time the alcohol is turned into an acidic, sour tasting vinegar full of beneficial health properties (letting nature take its course always has healthy results!)  It’s something that is inexpensive, easy to find, and can make a huge difference in overall health (a somewhat rare combination of attributes!). Its unique flavor can add some variety to using the usual balsamic or red wine vinegar in a dish or salad dressing. Including about 2 TBLS of ACV per day can benefit your body in many ways:

  • Assists our body to detox (much needed after the holidays!)
  • Prevents indigestion
  • Helps reduce sugar/carb cravings
  • May help improve a bacterial related tummy ache (or reduce discomfort after eating a large meal!)
  • Helps to combat fatigue (rich in minerals our body may be missing such as magnesium and potassium)
  • Makes your hair shine and teeth whiter- use ~1 TBLS of ACV in cold water a few times a week after shampooing and then rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar- who would have thought?!

There are many ways to use ACV- drink 1 TBLS in warm water with lemon and honey as a detoxifying way to start the day, or use on vegetables or salads for a nutrient dense condiment. I always buy mine raw and organic, I like the brand Eden Organics, but any high quality brand will do and last for a while! The dressing in the recipe below is one of my favorites, but definitely experiment with different herbs, 1 part olive oil, and 3 parts ACV for a delicious and health conscious dressing that will keep in the fridge for weeks!

Until next time, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Lemon Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing!
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3 Parts Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Part Olive Oil
  • 3 TBLS Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
  • Sea Salt to Taste
  • Juice of 1 Fresh Lemon
  1. Whisk all ingredients together and store in fridge for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy on salads, cooked vegetables, or anything else you would need a delicious dressing for!
** PN Rx: 2 tsp oil=1 fat



Maple Walnut Granola http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/maple-walnut-granola/ Tue, 31 Dec 2013 14:23:20 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1886 granola jar

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!


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

Maple Walnut Granola
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 40
  • 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
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Carob Chips
  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.
PN Rx of 1/4 cup:[br]1 Carb, 2.5 Fats, .25 Protein


Balsamic Baked Brussel Sprouts http://practicalnutrition.com/detox-cleanse/balsamic-baked-brussel-sprouts/ Fri, 27 Dec 2013 02:02:46 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1862 balsamicbrussel


I really love brussel sprouts. I know this is not the case for everyone but brussel sprouts are a great detox food. They are so good for your liver, which is one of the most important reasons we should include them in our diets on a regular basis. This recipe is simple and adds some flavor to the brussel sprouts so that even people that may not love them will enjoy them!

Check out how I bought my brussel sprouts!

raw brussel

I found them at stop and shop! There were a lot on there and they stayed fresh a lot longer because they weren’t picked yet. I definitely recommend buying brussel sprouts like this, especially if you are not going to cook them right away. You just rip them off and cook them. Easy!

Balsamic Baked Brussel Sprouts
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 stalk of brussel sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop brussel sprouts in half and place in glass baking dish.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and rub brussel sprouts until all our covered.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
Practical Nutrition Challenge: 11 Tips For Better Health http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/practical-nutrition-challenge-11-tips-for-better-health/ Tue, 24 Dec 2013 03:33:44 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1869 Making the commitment to “better health in 2014” may sound good, but with so much information out there we recognize it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. We’re so happy you’re taking the time to read this post! It priorities and highlights where we feel your focus should be as you think about health related changes you may want to make for the upcoming year.

PN Mascot: Representing the Foundation Of Health!

PN Mascot: Representing the Foundations Of Health!

Anyone who knows Amanda or me knows that we’re goal setters who are always up for a challenge…especially when it comes to trying something new that we know will benefit our health. Recently, I (Ana) started a new 20 minute “move my body” routine that leaves me feeling amazing even when I don’t have enough time for an “official” workout (you can email Amanda or me if you want to learn more about that routine- I’m hooked!). As we approach the new year and come out of what may have turned into a few “toxic” few weeks food wise, you can set similar goals for your food habits. Here are a few simple ideas to get you going. We suggest picking one a week, and building an arsenal of healthy food related tips and tricks that can make a huge impact on your overall health if maintained over a period of 3 months or more:

  1. Include a mug of hot water with fresh lemon daily- this contributes to alkalizing the body (some studies show that cancer cells cant thrive in an alkaline environment), and promotes gentle daily detox
  2. Drink half your body weight in oz per day of water (more depending on your exercise routine)- this will help you take a healthy poop at least once a day and also keep food cravings at bay
  3. Make sure you are getting enough high quality omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis. The form our body utilizes best come from cold water, minimally processed fish.  If you don’t eat a lot of  fish take some god fish oil (ask us if you have questions on this- individual needs vary and the quality/integrity issues with fish oils is particularly high in the supplement industry)
  4. GREEN AND RED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! Get 2-3 cups of these life givers every day (organic if possible!)- kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, beets (check out Amanda’s balsamic beet recipes and develop a new relationship with these guys!), arugula, sprouts, berries, pomegranates, etc. etc.
  5. Buy your meat locally and organic/grass fed (for red meat) whenever possible
  6. Eat 3-4 organic eggs per week (the whole egg!)
  7. Try not eating food that comes in a package for one week and see how you feel- instead make 2-3 “batch” cooked recipes throughout the week for lunches and dinners- cook once and eat 3 times! For breakfast and snacks try some nuts, fruit, eggs, smoothies, or Greek Yogurt- all of these just involves some thinking ahead
  8. Keep a food journal for a week- but don’t focus on the food you’re eating- focus on the thoughts/feelings you have before you eat- what have you eaten all day up to that point? Are you hungry or thirsty? What is driving your hunger- social setting? Routine? Boredom? Other emotions? Getting a handle on the psych behind our own food choices is empowering and ushers in lasting change
  9. Check out the ingredient list on all the food you eat- forget about the number and nutrition facts. Instead, make sure what you’re eating really have in it what it claims to be (i.e. granola bar- is it 1% granola and 99% chemicals and sugar? i.e. sports drinks- is it artificial flavors, sugar, and chemicals or real food based sources of electrolytes (lemons, maple syrup, sea salt, etc) that have what your body needs?) Again, more of a thought process technique
  10. Try including fermented foods every day for a week. Not only do they improve the count of “good belly bugs” aka probiotics (strengthening our immune system and improving brain health- brain/gut connection), they contain live enzymes that help break down our food (you might notice a flatter stomach),  and B vitamins for lots of energy. They aren’t as overwhelming as you think- easy sources are found at all health food stores and include Kefir (much like yogurt!), Kombucha (yummy fizzy tea like drink!), sauer kraut, fermented carrots or cucumbers, etc!
  11. Last but not least, know your body. Take some time to learn what your individual nutrition needs are. Think about what makes you feel the best/most alive/best levels of energy and relate those feelings to the food choices you were making during that time. Haven’t experienced how your food choices can boost your mood, success, relationships, and happiness in your life yet? Take some time and see what you might be missing in your diet- you will be surprised how much a few small changes in your diet can affect many areas of your life for the good

In our mind, overall wellness involves the optimal healthy of mind, body, and spirit. On a physiological level, the above combination of these 10 simple habits result in steadier blood sugar levels, a healthy body weight, reduction of overall systemic inflammation, a stronger immune system, and a more efficient detox system in your body. When thinking about making some health changes for the new year and doing some “damage control” from the holidays, think about all the positive things you CAN do not about the things you will have to give up. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions!

Keys to success always include:

  • Accountability
  • Measurable Goals to Track Your Progress
  • Know Why You Want to Reach Your Goals- Be Internally Motivated and Remind Yourself of This Frequently
  • Predicting Your Potential Road Blocks
  • Just Getting Going…
  • And Just Keep Going!

Here’s to the health and happiness of you and the ones you love! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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

Ana and Amanda 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken and Food Prep Tips http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/sweet-and-spicy-baked-chicken-and-food-prep-tips/ Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:30:08 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1845 chicken thighs


Sometimes food prep can be hard but it doesn’t have to be. This is just one example of recipes that I like to prep in bulk in the beginning of the week. It is easy but most importantly it tastes really good.

Here is a snap shot of a night of food prep. I also made hardboiled eggs and a huge batch of mashed sweet potatoes mixed with butter and cinnamon that are not pictured here. I will make 15-20 hardboiled eggs at the beginning of the week (to feed two extremely active people) to have as small meals and snacks. These save me a lot. Sometimes I find myself putting them on salads when I run out of chicken or red meat. I’m always very thankful I have them in the fridge.


food prep

Whenever I am making a giant salad I always make at least 2 on the side in tupperware to have salads already prepped and packaged that I can just grab. Making your food easily accessible like this makes your life a lot easier during busy mornings.

Do you have any food prep tips? Please share in the comments section 🙂


Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
  • 8 bone-in skin on organic chicken thighs (or other meat you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or organic butter
  • Rub:
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
  • Glaze:
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the rub ingredients and rub on all chicken thighs.
  3. Heat the coconut oil or butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Place chicken thighs into the pan and brown the skin (2-3 minutes per side).
  4. Transfer the chicken thighs to a glass dish and place in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Combine the glaze ingredients. Brush the glaze over each chicken thigh and then bake for another 20 minutes.
  6. Let rest for at least 5 minutes then dig in!
The Hidden Health Secrets Of Hemp Seeds! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/the-hidden-health-secrets-of-hemp-seeds/ Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:01:03 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1851 Discovering hemp seeds was a game changer for me. If you’re looking for a plant based protein, hemp has it all. On top of containing all of the amino acids our body needs (making it a “complete protein”), they have a perfect ratio of omega 3:omega 6 fat’s which keeps inflammation down in the body and helps our brain, heart, mood, and joints.

Its always good to remember that hemp is different from marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana come from the mother plant Cannabis Sativa. The main difference between the two is that hemp does not contain the active chemical “THC” which causes the effects of marijuana use. This is why consuming hemp seeds or any other hemp products will not affect any type of drug test.

The unique nutritional profile and diverse flavor potential hemp contains makes it something that I always have in my cabinet. The video below should help you understand a bit more about this super food and offer some practical tips on how to use it!

Practical Nutrition Attends Misfit Toys Throwdown http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/practical-nutrition-attends-misfit-toys-throwdown/ Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:38:53 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1833 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!
Treating High Blood Pressure Naturally, Part 1 http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/treating-high-blood-pressure-naturally-part-1/ Fri, 06 Dec 2013 14:20:16 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1810 High blood pressure, aka hypertension, is one of the most common chronic diseases plaguing us today. In fact, it’s the number one most frequent reason for a visit to the doctor’s office, and for good reason… hypertension is a major cause of stroke and heart disease, affecting approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide. According to projections, over 90% of adults in the United States will develop hypertension by age 65, but only 34% are able to return to a healthy blood pressure! That is a problem! 

The first thing most people do when diagnosed with high blood pressure is to start drug treatment. While this will lower your blood pressure into a healthy range, and that will make your doctor happy, this doesn’t get to the root of the problem… it just covers up the symptom. There’s a reason your body felt the need to increase your blood pressure, and it’s not because it wants to kill you; it’s because there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

There are two root causes of hypertension in most cases:

  1. Low potassium intake
  2. Weight gain

And that’s where we should target our treatment.  I will get into the details of these and provide practical tips over the next couple of weeks. But today, I’d like to focus on what does NOT cause high blood pressure… sodium. This topic needs special attention, due to the excessive media attention sodium gets.

Salt is required for life.

First, you need to know that salt is a nutrient. Salt contains sodium and chloride, both of which are important for our health. Sodium is important for normal cellular metabolism and for maintaining proper fluid volume. It also plays a role in the nervous system, allowing us to move or react to our environment, among other things. Chloride is needed for stomach acid production, a necessary component of digestion and an important defense against food-borne pathogens. Salt is a nutrient that our bodies need, despite the image it gets these days. 

Some of us are more sensitive to salt than others.

In reality, we all respond differently to reducing salt intake. Some experience an increase in blood pressure, others see a decrease, and still others see no change at all. Take this 1987 study, for example. Subjects had normal blood pressure to start, and their sodium intake was restricted to 1600 mg/day, a very low level. This graph shows that the change in blood pressure varied wildly depending on the person. Some people are “salt-sensitive”, while others are not. And it turns out, whether we get enough potassium has a big impact on our salt sensitivity. More on that next week.

Reducing salt too much can be harmful.

There was an article in the New York Times about this recently, click here to read it for yourself. The truth is that restricting sodium to the level that the Dietary Guidelines recommend, 2300 mg per day, can be dangerous. According to a researcher quoted in the article, “As sodium levels plunge, triglyceride levels increase, insulin resistance increases, and the activity of the sympathetic nervous system increases. Each of these can increase the risk of heart disease.” In other words, following the guidelines for sodium can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

For every study showing a benefit for reducing salt intake, there’s a contrasting study showing the opposite.

What does it all mean?

When we have this much conflicting information on salt, it means we’re missing something. I’ll break it down for you.

  1. Foods that are high in sodium tend to be junk foods that are also full of additives, artificial flavors and colors, sugar, and more. Think canned, boxed, and frozen foods. In fact, 80% of our sodium intake comes from processed foods… and there’s much more going on there than just sodium.
  2. People who eat a lot of processed food tend to eat too much food in general and are prone to weight gain (one of the main causes of high blood pressure).
  3. In addition to being full of sodium, junk foods are also very low in potassium (the other main cause of high blood pressure).

Hopefully that clears things up on sodium! 

Stay tuned for next week’s post, where we’ll get into treating the first cause of high blood pressure: potassium!

PN Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/snack-recipes/pn-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/ Tue, 03 Dec 2013 22:49:47 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1757 pn cookies


Do you need a healthy dessert recipe to bring to a family member’s house for the Holidays or maybe just to have at your own? Here at PN we love healthy desserts that won’t leave you feeling guilty. That is why we came up with this simple and nutritious chocolate chip cookie recipe! Check it out!

PN Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins
  • 2 cans organic chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups organic peanut butter or other nut butter (unsweetened)
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 1/2 cups enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas then process in a food processor or blender until they start to make a paste.
  3. Add in peanut butter, egg, and honey and process/blend until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into a large bowl and mix the chocolate chips in.
  5. Form into small balls (about 1-1.5 inches) then press flat on cookie sheet. My recipe made 34 small cookies.
  6. Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will not harden. They stay soft but are done cooking. Store in fridge in airtight container. These cookies also taste great frozen!
PN Rx for 1/34 of recipe or 1 small cookie: 1.5 Fats, 1 Carb
Tropical Dream Smoothie (Video) http://practicalnutrition.com/weight-loss/tropical-dream-smoothie-video/ Mon, 02 Dec 2013 02:10:48 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1742 This tropical smoothie will make you forget about the cold and the snow, and it’ll keep your beach vibe going all winter!



Tropical Dream Smoothie
Recipe Type: Smoothie
Author: Brendan
Serves: 1
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 8-12 fl oz unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 scoops SP Whey Pro
  • Dash of salt
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency!
Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories: 324 Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 41g Sugar: 29g Sodium: 243mg Fiber: 8g Protein: 19g Cholesterol: 25mg

photo (1)

Black Friday Nutrition Deals! http://practicalnutrition.com/uncategorized/black-friday-nutrition-deals/ Thu, 28 Nov 2013 17:26:41 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1727 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 

There 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!

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/breakfast-recipes/homemade-breakfast-sausage-patties/ Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:44:55 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1713 bfast saus


Are you looking for a healthy way to start your Thanksgiving off? Try our homemade breakfast sausage recipe. These patties are great to cook in the beginning of the week and grab as a quick breakfast or snack on the go!

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 17 mins
Total time: 22 mins
  • 1lb organic ground pork
  • 1lb organic ground beef
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1Tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground cloves and cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the spices in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add in ground meat and mix with your hands until everything is combined.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Form the meat mixture into small patties. I made 14 total.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip then bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn oven broiler on high and broil for 1 minute on each side.
PN Rx of 1 pattie: 1 Fat, 1 Protein
Nutritionism: Food is More Than the Sum of its Parts http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/nutritionism-food-is-more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts/ Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:56:52 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1703 In a nutshell, “nutritionism” is the process of studying food by reducing it to the nutrients it contains. This concept comes from Michael Pollan, who wrote the popular books “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”… both are highly recommended. Pollan makes the case that in order to really understand what makes up a healthy diet, we need to study the food as a whole, not the individual nutrients in it. Studying the nutrients in food, like we do so often in nutrition, allows us to understand the importance of vitamins and minerals in the body; then we can isolate them and put them in a supplement. The problem is, though, that sometimes these nutrients behave differently outside of the context of a real food.

Take the carrot, for example… we all know carrots are good for us. You’ve probably heard that they’re high in beta carotene. Well, when researchers have taken beta carotene out of the carrot and given it to people in pill form, it turns out it doesn’t have the same health benefits. Is beta carotene useless? Or is it just useless outside the context of the food it comes from? Context matters.

As another example, there have been studies testing all sorts of vitamin supplements… if we can just figure out what it is that’s so nourishing in those fruits and vegetables, then we can put it in a pill and help everybody! More often than not though, they studies don’t pan out. Vitamins C and E are perfect examples of this. We know they’re important antioxidants, but when taken in a pill, they just don’t function in the same way. Again, it doesn’t mean eating more vitamin C in food has no benefit, just that there’s no benefit to taking it on its own.

Food is far more complex than we know… there are over 200 known nutrients in a carrot and probably even more that we don’t know about. We can’t even begin to identify all of the nutrients in a given fruit or vegetable, let alone understand what they do in our bodies. And what if they interact with each other? What if some nutrients are only useful with the help of others? How will we ever get to the bottom of all that?

Maybe some day we will, but it won’t be any time soon. We would be arrogant to think we truly understand food’s intimate relationship with our bodies. Sometimes, you just have to trust the ancient wisdom of real food… Eat food, not vitamins.

Honey Lime Shrimp Tacos with Bacon Coleslaw! http://practicalnutrition.com/amazing-foods/honey-lime-shrimp-tacos-with-bacon-coleslaw/ Wed, 20 Nov 2013 03:07:43 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1698 Who doesn’t love tacos? They are delicious and low maintenance! Plus, you can stuff them with nutritious meat and veggies. You really just can’t go wrong! This is one of my favorite recipes that I have made to date! I love shrimp and definitely love bacon so it was a perfect pair. It is served in a corn tortilla, which also makes it gluten free. Check it out!


shrimp tacos

Honey Lime Shrimp Tacos with Bacon Coleslaw!
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Ana
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
  • 2lb extra large frozen shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • Corn tortillas
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 10oz Fage Greek Full Fat Yogurt
  • 1-2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce (2 is pretty spicy)
  • 1.5 cups cabbage coleslaw mix
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • .5 cups chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp bacon fat
  1. Thaw shrimp then let marinate in juice of one of the limes, honey, cumin, and chili powder.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bacon on foil on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy.
  3. Combine yogurt, coleslaw veggies, peppers, juice of one lime, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, and crumbled bacon in a bowl and mix well until combined.
  4. Add in 3 Tbsp of liquid bacon fat and mix well.
  5. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add in shrimp when hot and cook for about 2-3 minutes each side until pink.
  6. While shrimp are cooking, place corn tortillas (as many as you want) on cookie sheet in oven and bake for 1-2 each side.
  7. Place 5-6 shrimp in each taco and top with 2 Tbsp of coleslaw.
PN Rx for 2 small corn tortillas with 5 shrimp and 2T of coleslaw in each:[br]2 Proteins, 2 Fats, 1 Carb


Adding Fat to Your Veggies is Good For You! http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/adding-fat-to-your-veggies-is-good-for-you/ Fri, 15 Nov 2013 14:59:16 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1687 The low-fat craze of the 90’s just won’t die.  I thought we were past low-fat at this point, yet every time I go to the grocery store I’m still bombarded with the fat-free message… low-fat this, fat-free this, vegan-oil-free-fat-free-dressing that. In fact, Whole Foods has a full line of “healthy” fat-free salad dressings at the salad bar. In the school lunch program, fat is being pulled from the menu like never before in favor of whole grains, vegetables, and skim milk.  New York City schools have gone as far to ban butter(!?!?). For the average consumer, the message is loud and clear: fat is bad, mmmkay? We’ve gotta eat more vegetables! Eat your broccoli, eat your salad! Throw out the butter and oil! Fat’s killing the kids!

But there’s a problem with that. A big one. Of course vegetables are full of nutrients, but eating them without fat renders their fat-soluble vitamins useless. Getting those important nutrients in is why we eat veggies in the first place, isn’t it!?

To quote one study… “Essentially no absorption of carotenoids was observed when salads with fat-free salad dressing were consumed. A substantially greater absorption of carotenoids was observed when salads were consumed with full-fat than with reduced-fat salad dressing.” Translation: no fat = no absorption. A little fat = a little absorption. A lot of fat = a lot of absorption. Doesn’t get any simpler than that. We need fat for carotenoid absorption, no two ways about it.

Maybe I should explain exactly what a “carotenoid” is… carotenoids are a family compounds found in plant foods, like spinach, kale, carrots, tomatoes, etc. This group includes some nutritional all-stars like beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, among others. They provide a wide variety of health benefits, ranging from having anti-cancer properties, to promoting eye health, to preventing plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. In addition they can be turned into vitamin A in the body, helping us meet our need for that important vitamin. You don’t want to miss this stuff! But if you’re not adding fat to your salads or your steamed veggies, you’re not getting it!

Of course, you need to use some discretion here… don’t go overboard and add a half a bottle of olive oil to your salad. And try to stick with good, healthy fats, like olive oil, butter, and coconut oil. Fat isn’t bad; you need it! Get out of the low-fat mentality. Take your brain out, shake it out, smother it in butter, and you’re ready to go! Add fat to your veggies and enjoy it… your body will thank you. 🙂

Banana Berry Pancakes http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/breakfast-recipes/banana-berry-pancakes/ Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:18:07 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1676 pancakesHave you ever come home from a long day or had a crazy weekend and just do not feel like cooking anything complex or going to the store? That was me this weekend. I wanted to avoid processed foods, eating out, and harmful ingredient so I made these pancakes with what I had in the fridge! I had bananas (frozen-TIP: when your bananas start turning brown peel them and put them in a freezer safe bag for future use), blackberries, eggs, peanut butter, and protein powder, which all turned into delicious pancakes!

Banana Berry Pancakes
Author: Amanda
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup blackberries or other berries
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 scoops (40g total protein) unsweetened whey protein powder
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp powdered stevia
  • 2T organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  1. Mash banana and blackberries together using potato masher.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly until everything is evenly incorporated.
  3. Heat a small pan (6-8″) over medium heat.
  4. Spray the pan with coconut oil or add some butter.
  5. Fill the small pan with pancake batter and cook on each side until you see some bubbles then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side.
This recipe made 5 large pancakes. [br][br]PN Rx for 1 pancake:[br]1.5 Fat, 1 Protein, 1 Carbohydrate
Eating For Optimal Energy with Dr. Ronda Nelson on BlogTalkRadio http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/eating-for-optimal-energy-with-dr-ronda-nelson/ Mon, 11 Nov 2013 01:32:17 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1669 Are you eating healthy and feeling run-down during the day? In this radio program, Ana talks with Dr. Ronda Nelson of The Healthy Way Cafe about this important health issue. Click the “play” button below to hear the program. For even more information on improving your overall health and medical conditions naturally, visit Dr. Ronda’s website at www.restorationhealth.net. Enjoy!


Get Out of the Chair and Move! http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/get-out-of-the-chair-and-move/ Fri, 08 Nov 2013 16:08:52 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1664 Let’s talk about how we spend the 24 hours in a day… we can take 8 hours out for sleeping (If we’re lucky!). That leaves us 16 hours of waking time. How about we exercise for about 30 minutes a day, on average? That leaves us 15.5 hours. You’ll probably spend much of the remaining time at work, maybe some time with your kids, and probably at least an hour in the car. What precisely we do in that 15.5 hours isn’t all that important. What I would like you to ask yourself is this: How much of it is spent sitting?

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2003, about 55% of the average American’s waking time is spent being sedentary. As we’re learning more and more, sitting too much is terrible for your health. In fact, even if you get the recommended amount exercise, 30 minutes a day, you can completely undo those benefits by spending the rest of your day sedentary in a chair. It sounds like common sense that inactivity would be bad for us; if we’re not moving we’re burning fewer calories, so we’re more likely to gain weight. But it goes beyond that. Sitting continuously sets off a series of unwanted cellular mechanisms that immediately reduce your HDL and increase your triglycerides, two common risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Over the long term, we put ourselves at high risk for chronic disease, and that includes heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, as well as postural problems.

The solution is simple on paper but not so simple in practice: move more. Most of us probably don’t realize how much we sit… every time we’re at the computer, when we’re in the car, when we’re on the subway, when we’re at the movies, when we’re watching TV, when we’re reading a book, when we’re eating… it’s a part of everyone’s life. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and spending time in a chair; just don’t overdo it.

Of course there will be situations when we’ll be forced to sit all day. Many of us work jobs that require us to be seated at a desk most of the time. Luckily for us, there are a few solutions.

  1. Get up and stretch once in a while! Getting up to stretch and walk around for just 2 minutes every hour can mitigate the nasty side effects we get from staying seated.
  2. Get yourself a stand-up desk. Standing up while working is a great way to keep your postural muscles activated and avoid the perils of sitting. In fact, a great many famous people throughout history used stand-up desks, including Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, and Leonardo Da Vinci. In addition to the health benefits, many stand-up desk users report increased productivity and creativity working in this way.

What’s the take home message in all of this? Just because you’re going to the gym for 30 minutes a day doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing your body good. You’ve still got 15.5 waking hours left in your day that can’t be ignored. Be conscious of how much you sit, and do what you can to stay on your feet. Staying active throughout the day is just as important for your long-term health as intentional exercise at the gym!

Quick and Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/quick-and-easy-lemon-garlic-shrimp/ Wed, 06 Nov 2013 03:08:06 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1657 Shrimp provides a rich source of astaxantin, a carotenoid that is receiving special attention in the latest health research, primarily for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as omega-3 fatty acids. We know that omega-3 fatty acids are important for our health and this recipe is a great way to incorporate them into your diet!





Quick and Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
  • 2 15oz cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5lb shrimp, peeled
  • 2T olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1.5tsp sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss your chickpeas with 1T of olive oil 1/2 tsp sea salt. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. While those are baking, toss your shrimp with the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, red pepper, and salt. Let marinate while the chickpeas are cooking.
  4. Once the chickpeas are done, place the shrimp on top with some lemon slices. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until shrimp are pink.
Serving size: 1 1/3 cup
PN Rx: 1 Fat, 1 Protein, 1 Carb
Roasted Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/roasted-cinnamon-sweet-potatoes/ Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:30:11 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1645 Try this delicious take on sweet potatoes! They’re sweet, tasty, full of good nutrition, and easy to make in bulk for your busy week!

Roasted Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes


Recipe Type: Sweet Potatoes

Author: Brendan

Serves: 8


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (I used white sweet potatoes too!)

  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil

  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon

  • Add salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F

  2. Cut sweet potatoes into ~1 inch cubes and empty into a large mixing bowl

  3. Add cinnamon

  4. Add liquid coconut oil – you may need to run hot water over the jar for a few minutes

  5. Quickly mix all the ingredients – be sure to evenly distribute the coconut oil before it solidifies again

  6. Pour onto a baking sheet

  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender

  8. Enjoy! 🙂

Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 233 Fat: 10 g Saturated fat: 5 g Unsaturated fat: 5 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 34 g Sodium: 530 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 0 g

Chocolate Chia Mousse http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/chocolate-chia-mousse/ Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:26:38 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1640 Do you love chocolate? I sure do! I also love recipes that are easy, don’t make a mess, taste amazing, and incorporate healthy ingredients. This recipe has 100% cacao (squares and powder), coconut flakes/milk, chia seeds, and stevia/honey. That’s it! It is packed with healthy fats from coconut and chia seeds plus antioxidants from the dark chocolate. AND it only uses 1 pot (to heat the chocolate) and 1 glass jar. Check it out!


Chocolate Chia Mousse
Recipe Type: Treat
Author: Amanda
Serves: 4
  • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk (gets lots of the cream in there!)
  • 3/4 cup almond coconut milk blend (unsweetened)
  • 3 squares of 100% cacao
  • 1.5 T raw cacao powder
  • 3 T Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/8 tsp stevia or 1tsp honey/maple syrup
  1. Heat a small pot over low heat. Add in chocolate squares and melt. Be careful not to burn the chocolate!
  2. Pour chocolate into a glass jar and add in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix everything really well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
PN Rx for 1/4 of recipe: 3 fats, .5 carbs
Pomegranate Salad! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/pomegranate-salad/ Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:40:12 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1629 Sweet, salty, crunchy, savory, refreshing, and disease preventing all in one…how can you go wrong?! The health benefits of pomegranates are endless! As we know they are full of antioxidants– they are one of the highest foods on the ORAC list. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity…the effectiveness of a food to fight off free radicals in your body, helping to keep your cells healthy and happy. Www.oracvalues.com will show you other foods to consume more of to boost antioxidant action in your body. Pomegranates are also are full of fiber, immune boosting vitamins and minerals, hydration, and help to curb sugar cravings. I had an extra pomegranate laying around from a lecture antioxidants I did last week, so figured I would get creative with a colorful and flavorful salad. After a bit of scrounging around in the kitchen to make something out of nothing, heres what I came up with. Not bad for on a whim…this will definitely be a staple for me as a beautiful side salad around the holidays.

Pomegranate Salad!
Recipe Type: Side Salad
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • Seeds and juice of 1 pomegranate (split in half and carefully scrape out seeds, seperating seeds from the fibrous rind)
  • 4 cups organic baby spinach
  • 2 TBLS sesame oil
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 4 TBLS toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBLS raw honey
  • 2 TBLS crushed walnuts
  1. Separate out 2 TBLS of pomegranate seeds for garnish. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, putting dry ingredients in first and topping with oils and honey. Gently shake until spinach is well coated and sesame seeds are evenly dispersed. Dish out onto 4 plates and garnish with extra pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
  2. PN Rx: 1 cup of salad= 2 free veggies and 2 fats
Why I Don’t Believe in Canola Oil http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/why-i-dont-believe-in-canola-oil/ Fri, 25 Oct 2013 03:08:40 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1616  

Ahh canola oil. If you haven’t heard of canola oil, then you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade. In recent years, this oil has exploded onto the scene to become the most popular cooking oil out there, to some extent replacing soybean oil and corn oil. It’s higher in monounsaturated fat, and it contains omega-3’s, so we’re told it’s healthier. But is it really a healthy choice?

Let’s start with a little history, just for context. The modern canola plant is the result of years and years of hybridization and genetic modification. There’s evidence of using the canola plant (then called rapeseed) that dates back about 4,000 years to India. No word on what it was used for. But more recently, in the 13th century, it was used as fuel for oil lamps. It was also used during World War II as a lubricant on steam engines. Until the 1970s though, it was basically inedible; it contained a highly toxic fat called “erucic acid”. The canola of today has been bred to have a low erucic acid content, which has allowed it to become a real, edible oil. Kinda weird huh? Formerly used to fuel oil lamps and as a lubricant on steam engines… now America’s darling cooking oil.

What about nutritionally? What about those healthy monounsaturated fats and the omega-3’s?

Well, the monounsaturated fats are great, but that doesn’t automatically make canola oil healthy. Oreos contain healthy dark chocolate, but that doesn’t make Oreos healthy, does it? No. What else is there to canola oil? You’ve heard it’s high in omega-3’s, but that’s a little misleading. Not all omega-3’s are equal, and the type in canola oil isn’t the type associated with all those health benefits… you can only get those healthy fats from fish. So that health claim is overhyped. It’s also pretty high in inflammatory omega-6 fats, although admittedly not as high as other vegetable oils like soybean and corn oils. In terms of healthy fat content, it’s average at best.

In addition, much of the canola oil in the store is genetically modified; if it’s not labeled organic, there’s a good chance it’s GMO. The effects of genetically modified foods on health are completely untested and unknown; I don’t advocate being the guinea pig.

And, although the FDA has approved canola oil as a safe food, it still prohibits its use in infant formula. What’s the deal with that? If it’s so healthy, why keep it from our babies? There seems to be something fishy going on there…

What about how canola oil is made? What can we learn from that? Is it a natural process?? You tell me…


It’s treated with chemicals, soaked in chemicals, and bleached. Not so natural is it? Nothing that needs that type of processing in order to become edible should even be considered food!

All in all, this is why I don’t believe in canola oil. It’s nutritionally neutral, it’s genetically modified, it’s suspiciously prohibited from infant formula, and it’s highly, highly processed. Remember the saying, don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food? Well, she sure would have a hard time recognizing canola oil! Unless maybe she had a steam engine to lubricate 😉

Balsamic Marinated Beet Salad http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/lunch-recipes/balsamic-marinated-beet-salad/ Wed, 23 Oct 2013 16:46:10 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1602 Beets are an extremely nutrient dense food. This means they contain a lot of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without having a lot of calories per serving. Some of the vitamins and minerals in beets include: folate, manganese, fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, tryptophan, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and copper.

Beets also contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are substances in food that help fight various diseases. Beets contain betalains, which have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Overall beets are a nutrient packed food that everyone should try to consume on a regular basis. Now I know this information, but sometimes I am not always in the mood for beets. I tried to come up with a recipe that would convince beet haters that beets are delicious and give the beet lovers a new way to enjoy them! Check it out!

beet salad


Balsamic Marinated Beet Salad
Recipe Type: Lunch
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 4-5
  • 3 large beets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets in foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes.
  2. While beets are baking gather the rest of the ingredients and place in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. When the beets are soft enough to put a fork in, take them out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Run beets under cold water and peel off skin. Chop up the beets into little cubes. Mix in with marinade and onions. Marinate in the fridge or eat immediately.
You can eat this beet salad as it is with some chicken, fish or meat and it will taste great. I put 3-4 big scoops on top of a big green salad that I made and used it as a dressing. Either way it is delicious![br][br]PN Rx: [br]1/5 of recipe= .5 Carb, 1 fat
To Snack or Not To Snack!? I Say Snack! http://practicalnutrition.com/nutrition-and-health-tips/the-ins-and-outs-of-snacking-for-weight-loss/ Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:55:37 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1604 snacks“Snack food” can be our best friend or worst enemy. Those of you who know me can vouch for the fact I’m eating something every 2-3 hours- its fun and restores my energy,  mood and focus almost immediately (if done correctly)! Eating “small frequent meals” is a great way to make sure you don’t eat too much food in one sitting or save the majority of your calories for a certain time of day or night. Both of these habits can lean to weight gain, unstable blood sugar, mood swings/irritability, depressed outlook on life, midday “crash” and abnormal sleep patterns. The good news is that allowing “clean”, mindful snacking to become a part of your everyday routine can transform these symptoms in as quickly as in one week!

Here are two questions I ask myself before I have a snack:

1. What have I eaten so far today? This helps me determine what to choose- assess your day’s intake for protein (chicken, eggs, fish, etc. etc.),  healthy carbs (fruits, vegetables, beans, complex grains- quinoa, etc), and beneficial fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut, etc.) for the day so far, and make choices based on what foods you might be missing.

2. Am I really hungry? Create a “mental” hunger scale in your mind to rule out eating because your bored, stressed, emotional, tired, etc. 1=real hunger (you haven’t eaten in 4-5 hours, you’re ready for a meal), 5= perfectly satisfied after a nice balanced meal, and 10=thanksgiving day stuffed. Snacks should be consumed when you are around a 3 on the hunger scale, and leave you at about a 4. If you’re unsure of your hunger, drink a big glass of water, get up and walk around for 10 minutes, and reassess the situation (dehydration can be mistaken for hunger). Never let yourself go below a 3 or above an 8 on the hunger scale (unless it’s actually Thanksgiving- that is your one exception!).

Here are some key things I look for/avoid when I choose my snacks for the day (who doesn’t love taking a munchie break?!):

– My snacks almost always contains a fruit or vegetable in one form or another (contains fiber- helps slow digestion and keep you feeling full; also offers the body some hydration)

– I avoid anything that comes in a package that is more than 5 ingredients (ie Seaweed Snax are in a package but they have 3 ingredients; almond butter is in a package but it contains: almond butter, and so on and so forth…)

– All I drink throughout the day is water, 2-3 cups of tea/coffee with limited additives, or the occasional cup of unsweetened almond milk. I avoid all artificially sweetened/low calorie/diet/light  beverages

– I make sure my snacks I pack for the day are a combination of sweet (fruit), salty (seaweed snacks, unsalted nuts that I add a few shakes of sea salt myself to), crunchy (veggies), savory (hummus), and for me a nip of chocolate…yum!

It takes a bit of work but the benefits of being prepared with healthy snacks overwhelmingly outweigh the hassle it takes to pack them. Here are some of my favorites: 

– Carrot/celery sticks dipped in almond butter, hummus, or sesame tahini (a sesame seed butter- so good!)

– Seaweed Snax with avocado slices and tuna if I need some protein

– 2 cups organic popcorn with 2 tsp olive oil and sea salt; in addition have some fresh sliced peppers and hummus

– Hard boiled egg mixed with 1/4 avocado on 10 rice crackers

– Simple Smoothie (made with whey protein, almond milk, stevia, coconut flakes, and 1 cup frozen blueberries- no blender needed, drink like a glass of milk with extra nutrition!)

– 1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin, 1 scoop protein powder, and dash of cinnamon

– Frozen (or fresh) grapes with 8-10 brazil nuts (super tasty, nutrient packed nut!)

– Greek yogurt with stevia, cinnamon, and fresh blueberries

– Hummus with cucumber slices

– Chai tea (brewed strong) blended with 1 scoop protein powder and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk; 1/2 apple on side

– 1/2 grapefruit mixed with 1/4 of an avocado with dash of sea salt

– Add a bit more protein to any of these to help make it a more substantial meal

One more thing…a lot of people ask me if its okay to eat before bed. My answer is pretty simple and can be applied to almost anyone: if its 2-3 hours after you’ve had dinner and you feel hungry again…have a snack! Ask yourself the questions outlined above and follow the guidelines above for any time of day and you’ll be fine. Listening to our bodies is a lost art…separate your emotions, stress from the day, and habitual food routines from your bodies physical needs… begin to trust that your body will tell you when it needs to eat. The key is listening and responding to that enough times in a row to form a new habit 🙂

Get creative, be prepared, and you will feel amazing! Its not about a diet or restricting the foods you love…and it sure isn’t about being perfect all the time…its about being in the mindset that food is powerful and experiencing the fact that it can transform the way you think, feel, and respond to the world.

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


Ana Elisabeth

Nutrition Myths: Humans Are Herbivores http://practicalnutrition.com/myths-and-misunderstadings/nutrition-myths-humans-are-herbivores/ Fri, 18 Oct 2013 01:11:28 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1580 If you’ve ever read any of the popular vegetarian/vegan books out there, then you’ve heard this argument. These authors might say something like… “Humans were never meant to eat meat; our physiology isn’t built for it. Our digestive tract, for instance, is much more similar to that of an herbivore, an animal who only eats plants.” To the average person just looking to eat healthy, this can sound alluring. That’s where I come in and tell you why it’s completely wrong!

Let’s look at some digestive tracts then, shall we? Below are the digestive organs of a human, a cow, and a cat, in that order. Cows are herbivores, eating only plants, while cats are mostly carnivores, and they can derive all the nutrition they need from meat alone. Humans are omnivores, and they lie somewhere in between.

You can see here that a cow, designed to eat grass, has four stomachs (not to mention the spacious interior and giant cecum).  If you’re counting, that’s three more than we humans have, and those extra stomachs serve to ferment fibrous plant material for digestion and absorption.  Humans don’t have this ability, which is why if we ate grass, it would come out just the way it came in. Ever seen undigested food in your poop? It’s always a plant food right? That’s why.

What humans do have, however, is the ability to produce HCl, aka stomach acid, to break down protein from animal products.  Cows and other herbivores can’t do this. Point: we’re not herbivores!

Carnivores like cats, as you can see above, have similar digestive systems to humans. While our physiologies are different, and cats thrive on an extremely high protein/low carbohydrate diet, you can see that we have all the same digestive machinery of an animal designed to eat meat.

Unlike cats, we humans rely on plant foods for needed carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Point: we’re not carnivores either!

Overall, humans take little pieces from herbivores and little pieces from carnivores. We’re unquestionably omnivores; our bodies run best when we feed it both plant and animal foods.

For more information, check out this article here entitled “Humans are Omnivores” (written by a vegetarian!), which goes into much more excruciating scientific detail.

Curried Chicken over Cinnamon Butternut Squash http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/curried-chicken-over-cinnamon-butternut-squash/ Wed, 16 Oct 2013 03:03:23 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1593 It’s fall, which means winter squashes are in full bloom! Butternut squash and buttercup squash are two of my favorites. Not only because they taste delicious with some butter and cinnamon, but also because they provide our bodies with some great nutrients.

1 cup of butternut squash provides:

214% of the daily value for vitamin A

32.8% of the daily value for vitamin C

22.9% of the daily requirement for fiber

*It also provides 6-20% of the following nutrients: vitamin B6, Potassium, vitamin K, Folate, Tryptophan, Copper, Vitamin B2, Omega-3 Fats, and Magnesium!

*To put these numbers in perspective, on food labels, a food is considered a significant source of a nutrient if it has 5% or more.

Who knew butternut squash had so many great benefits?

Curried Chicken


Curried Chicken over Cinnamon Butternut Squash
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 6
  • Curried Chicken:
  • 2lb ground chicken
  • 1T curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1T onion powder
  • 1/2 T garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • Cinnamon Butternut Squash:
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2T organic butter
  • 1 T Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut stem off of butternut squash first then cut the squash in half.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place squash cut side down. Bake for 45 min to an hour. Once you can stick a fork easily through the squash it is done.
  3. While your squash is baking, brown your ground chicken in a large pot. Once chicken is almost all of the way cooked through add in all of your spices.
  4. Once chicken is no longer pink and completely cooked add in your coconut milk and mix well. Change heat to low.
  5. When you can pierce your squash easily with a fork take out of the oven and let cool.
  6. Peel skin off of the squash then place in a large bowl and mash. Add in your butter and spices and mix until smooth.
  7. Take 1 cup of butternut squash then add 1/6 of the curried chicken recipe on top and enjoy!
1 Serving: 1 cup mashed butternut squash and 1/6 of curried chicken[br][br]PN Rx: [br]1.5 Pro[br]2 Fat[br]2 Carbs
30 Minute Chili! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/30-minute-chili/ Mon, 14 Oct 2013 11:15:49 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1528 chili 1Eat with the seasons- this super easy, warm, hearty chili has been hitting the spot lately. Check this out…batch cook it and enjoy it’s nourishing goodness as the nights get cooler and you crave those yummy comfort foods!


30 Minute Chili!
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 1 28-oz can(s) organic diced tomatoes with peppers, onions
  • 32 ounce(s) organic, grass-fed lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped organic onion
  • 1 16-oz can(s) organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-oz can(s) organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp(s) organic Chili seasoning (try Simply Organic)
  • 1 cup(s) spring water
  • 1 16-oz can(s) organic tomato sauce
  1. Brown beef in a deep pot over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Return beef to pot; sprinkle evenly with seasoning mix, add onion and sauté 1 minute over medium-high heat. Stir in diced tomatoes and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. PN Prescription: 1 serving=1 free veggies, 1 protein, 1 carb
The Skinny Ideal: It Wasn’t Always This Way http://practicalnutrition.com/myths-and-misunderstadings/the-skinny-ideal-it-wasnt-always-this-way/ Thu, 10 Oct 2013 23:49:04 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1545 If you’re a woman, I don’t think I need to tell you that society values thinness. Everywhere you look, there are thin models, thin actresses, thin news anchors… it’s a not-so-subtle hint. Thin is considered attractive, and you’ve been hearing the message loud and clear for most of your life. Of course I can’t stand it, but there’s not much I can do to change it. I’m only one man (who happens to like a little more meat on his gals 😉 ). What I CAN do, however, is show you that society didn’t always value thinness. In fact, just a few decades ago, thinness was frowned upon!

Take this ad, found in the book “Food in the United States, 1820-1890”. It’s for a weight-gain product called “Fat-ten-u”.

There are plenty of other ads for this product online, you can find a few of them here. Fat-ten-u is advertised to “make the thin plump and rosy with honest fleshiness of form.” Yes, you’re reading this right. There are no typos, and it’s definitely not April Fool’s Day. Here’s a quote from another ad… “[a thin woman] must, in the confines of her bedroom, through shame, try to cover her poor thin figure from the gaze of her beloved spouse.” I couldn’t make this stuff up. Women in the 1890s wanted to gain weight! Plumpness was attractive! Crazy huh?

I say this not to make anyone question their weight loss efforts; I definitely don’t want to discourage you from shedding a few unwanted pounds. But there are two important points I want to hammer home.

1.  Trends come and go. Right now, it’s cool to be skinny. One hundred years ago, it was cool to be plump. Things are always changing. Don’t get caught up in the current trends, and don’t assume that our temporary and ever-changing societal ideals have anything to do with how you should look.

2.  Everyone is different. Many women, no matter how hard they try, will never ever look like paper-thin models; their bodies just weren’t built for it. Many other women will never look pleasingly plump. Everyone’s different. There is no universal ideal body. Know yours, love it, and be confident in it; it’s the only one you’ve got!


Balsamic Mustard Glazed Chicken http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/balsamic-mustard-glazed-chicken/ Wed, 09 Oct 2013 02:10:56 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1525 Are you sick of generic chicken recipes that don’t have enough flavor? This recipe is packed with tones of balsamic and spicy brown mustard that keep the chicken moist. I am not a huge fan of chicken but this recipe changed my mind! It has a short ingredients list and is low maintenance, so check it out!

This tastes great thrown on top of a salad or heated up and eaten with some greens and sweet potatoes!


Balsamic Mustard Glazed Chicken
Recipe Type: Lunch
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 17 mins
Serves: 7
  • 6 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 5T spicy brown mustard or dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a large bowl and mix well. Add in cubed chicken and mix around until chicken is evenly coated.
  2. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 4 hours or more. The longer the better. If you are in a rush you don’t have to marinate it.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add your chicken and brown both sides. You can do this by letting it cook for about 2-3 minutes each side.
  4. Turn heat down to low after browning and cover with a lid. Let cook for 5-6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
Serving Size: 1/7 of recipe[br][br]PN Rx: 1.5 Pro, 2 Fat
Pumpkin Chai Latte! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/pumpkin-chai-latte/ Mon, 07 Oct 2013 23:58:25 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1531 Unlike most pumpkin beverages you’ll undoubtedly be tempted by this season, this treat actually contains pumpkin (always make sure what you are eating/drinking contains what it says it is…label reading 101!) I made 2 of these lattes today and was tempted to make a third, but cleaning the blender 4 times in a day (I had a smoothie for breakfast) just seemed ridiculous (although we all know its been done before…)! Enjoy life, fall, family, friends, and treat your body and soul right with this yummy, creamy pumpkin chai latte!

Pumpkin Chai Latte!
Recipe Type: Hot Beverage
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • 2 chai tea bags (any type- I use organic tea whenever possible)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (organic dairy milk is okay too)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Maple Syrup (or other sweetener of choice: honey, stevia, etc; amount used depends on your preference)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  1. Boil your cup of water and steep the tea bags for about 7 minutes (less time if you don’t want it as strong). Heat up almond milk until almost at a boil. Pour hot steeped tea, hot milk, and all other ingredients into your blender or magic bullet. Blend for 2 minutes on high or until mixture is frothy when blender is stopped. Start with a small amount of sweetener and adjust until desired sweetness is found. Dust top with cinnamon, nutmeg and dash of the sweetened you choose. Enjoy the comfort and warmth of this yummy, must have seasonal beverage without all the extra additives and sugar you will find else where!

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

Ana Elisabeth

Post-Workout Superfood Smoothie http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/post-workout-superfood-smoothie/ Fri, 04 Oct 2013 10:43:23 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1474 Who wants to spend time in the kitchen after exercising? This simple fruit drink tastes great, is easy to make and is just what your body needs to for rejuvenation. It may be the perfect way to end a workout.

Post-Workout Superfood Smoothie
Recipe Type: Smoothie
Author: Brendan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
Drink this scrumptious superfood smoothie after a workout for a dose of quality calories and protein. It’ll help kick start recovery and keep you on top of your game!
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 scoops Standard Process Whey Pro (15g protein)
  • A pinch of Real Salt
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender for 15 seconds.
  2. Drink!
Calories: 418 Fat: 11 g Carbohydrates: 63 g Sugar: 35 g Sodium: 204 mg Fiber: 14 g Protein: 20 g



Banana Pumpkin Pie Muffins http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/banana-pumpkin-pie-muffins-cleanse-friendly/ Wed, 02 Oct 2013 01:59:28 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1485 Here at PN we like to make things realistic and practical for people. I am currently doing the 21 day cleanse and to be honest it is pretty hard. Doing the  21 day purification isn’t about not having a treat for 21 days (that just wouldn’t be realistic for me!)… plus it’s fall and I LOVE pumpkin. Needing to come up with “cleanse friendly” treats led me to developing a cleanse friendly pumpkin muffin! (to learn more about the 21 day purification program I am talking about, click here!)

Banana Pumpkin Pie Muffins (Cleanse Friendly)
Recipe Type: Treat
Author: Amanda
Serves: 10
  • Dry:
  • 1 cup of gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 scoops Whey Pro Complete or unflavored whey (60g)
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract
  • Wet:
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 3 T red palm oil or coconut oil
  • 3 T organic almond butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bananas in food processor or blender and blend almond or coconut milk until smooth.
  3. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the blender/food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  5. Add wet ingredient mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix with a whisk until evenly incorporated.
  6. Grab a paper towel and put some solid coconut oil or palm oil on it then coat a muffin tin with oil so the muffins do not stick.
  7. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
*If you do not have almond flour or want to leave out nuts you can use 1/2 cup of coconut flour and add an extra egg (so use 5 instead of 4), and leave out the almond butter or replace it with sunflower seed butter. I wouldn’t replace with peanut butter because of its distinct flavor. [br][br]For those of you following a PN prescription:[br]Serving size: 2 muffins (2 Fats, .5 Pro, .5 Carbohydrate)
Get Out Of Your Salad Rut! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/get-out-of-your-salad-rut/ Mon, 30 Sep 2013 02:53:29 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1477 fall salad

If you’re not careful salads can get boring really quick. Sadly, this causes you to miss out on their tastiness and health benefits…salads  are undeniably one of the healthiest meal choices there are (assuming you make a “clean” salad, aka not a leaning tower of creamy dressing/cheese/bacon/croutons). What helps me not get sick of having a salad almost everyday for lunch is making sure I have “go to” seasonal ingredients for my salads. Try some of these this week to get your green lunch’s rolling again!

  • Apple Slices- I always forget that adding an in season fruit to a salad gives it a nice twist- apples add a sweet and refreshing crunch
  • Sweet Potato Croutons- make some extra of these, you will thank me later…preheat your oven to 400*. Thinly slice 2 raw sweet potatoes into rounds; in a separate bowl mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp sea salt. Lightly coat the sweet potato in the oil mixture and spread onto a pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until crispy. Layer these on your salad to add a crispy and savory bite to your greens
  • Pumpkin Dressing! Click Here for the recipe! You can make a batch of this goodness and keep it in the fridge for a few days- it really ties everything in a fall salad together…it will all make sense after you try this dressing!
  • Cinnamon- Don’t forget that a small amount of a spice or herb can go a long way! Dust off a fall salad with a pinch of cinnamon and enjoy its blood sugar stabilizing qualities. Consider even trying a pinch of turmeric, nutmeg, thyme, basil, or rosemary to switch things up even more!
  • Pumpkin Seeds- Be careful not to throw away the “guts” of your jack o lanterns this year- save the seeds and toss them in olive oil and sea salt; put them in a preheated oven at 375* for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle them on your salad for a boost of minerals, fiber, and antioxidants too!
  • Avocado- Well, its not really a “fall food” but I can’t leave out my favorite “out of your salad rut” ingredient! No matter what avocados take a salad to a whole new level adding a boost of healthy fat that leaves your full and satisfied for hours! Slice them, dice them, put them in whole…however you can get them into the salad go for it!

The more you satisfy your taste buds with different flavors and textures of whole, unprocessed foods, the less you will crave foods that are damaging to your body (processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, packaged foods, sugary drinks, etc).

I took myself out of my “salad rut”  this saturday afternoon…the combination of the flavors, textures, and colors of the salad definitely did not let me down! The second I ate this salad my already elevated mood from this beautiful fall weekend was increased even more knowing the high quality fuel I was putting into my body. We enjoyed the salad with a side of sauteed almonds/scallions/sweet potatoes mixed into wild rice, and a glass of home brewed chai spice tea!

photo (3)


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

Ana Elisabeth

Harvest Pumpkin Dressing http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/harvest-pumpkin-dressing/ Fri, 27 Sep 2013 10:26:08 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1414  

Harvest Pumpkin Dressing
Recipe Type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: Seasonal
Author: Brendan
Serves: 4
It’s pumpkin season! Try this creamy pumpkin dressing on your salads this fall. It’s made from real-food ingredients, and it’s super tasty!
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp maple syruppumpkin dressing
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender for 10-15 seconds, that’s it!
  2. Makes about 1 cup.
  3. Keep refrigerated.




Banana Oat Cleanse Cookies http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/banana-oat-cleanse-cookies/ Wed, 25 Sep 2013 02:13:26 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1398 The Practical Nutrition Team wanted to come up with a little treat that could be eaten during our 21 day cleanse. These cookies are just sweet enough from the bananas but not too sweet that you can’t stop after eating 1 serving. Enjoy!

Banana Oat Cleanse Cookies
Recipe Type: Treat
Author: Amanda
Serves: 4
  • 3 Bananas
  • 2 tbsp Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Whole Rolled Oats or Quick Oats (during 21 day purification, use Gluten Free oats)
  • 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2 scoops Unsweetened Whey Protein (use about 20 grams worth of protein; you can also add 2 tsp vanilla extract for a hint of vanilla)*
  • 1 tsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the bananas in a blender or food processor with the milk and coconut oil and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the banana and milk mixture into a large bowl and mix in the oats, whey protein, cinnamon and baking powder until everything is incorporated evenly.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray a cookie sheet with coconut oil to avoid sticking.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop out the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. I made 16 small cookies but you could also make 8 larger ones to fit on one cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
*If you have an allergy or do not want to include the whey protein, just add 2 tsp of vanilla extract. The cookies will still be amazing. [br][br]For those of you following a PN prescription here is the nutrition information: [br][br]Recipe makes 16 cookies:[br][br]Serving size: 4 cookies (2 Grains, 1 Fat)
RD’s at the Big E: Fair Food Frenzy! http://practicalnutrition.com/news-bites/rds-at-the-big-e-fair-food-frenzy/ Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:42:15 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1384 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

Spicy Curry Shrimp! http://practicalnutrition.com/amazing-foods/spicy-curry-shrimp/ Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:12:35 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1346
Amanda’s Spicy Curry Shrimp!
Recipe Type: Quick and Easy!
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
One thing comes to mind with this healthful, tasty, quick and easy dinner: batch cook this flavorful bad boy to have some leftovers (if you can resist leaving some behind when you go to clean up!)
  • 2lb peeled, deveined shrimp (I used frozen uncooked shrimp I had in my freezer)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Coconut oil for sautéing
  1. Place shrimp in a large bowl and add lemon juice and spices. You can let it marinate for 20-30 minutes or just cook it right away.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil.
  3. Once it melts add shrimp and cook for 2-3 min per side.
  4. Make a big green salad with spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and cucumber and just place the shrimp on top.
  5. “It’s just so delicious!” -Amanda
4th Of July Guacamole Boats! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/snack-recipes/4th-of-july-guacamole-boats/ Mon, 01 Jul 2013 17:08:25 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1288 photo 2Well, its not exactly red, white, or blue…but…serving guacamole as an appetizer never gets old! Its full of healthy fat (keeps you full for hours- aka you will eat less “junk”!), contains lots of fiber, and tastes amazing! The recipes below is probably the easiest way to make a tasty guacamole, and will likely be the coolest looking snack at your picnic or summer get together. Who doesn’t like a dip served in a natural boat?!

4th Of July Guacamole Boats!
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 container of your favorite fresh salsa
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of sea salt to taste
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  1. Cut the 2 avocados neatly in half, maintaining the integrity and shape of the skin. Scoop out the insides witha spoon, saving the pits, and put in a mixing bowl. Mash with a fork until creamy.
  2. Add the salsa, garlic powder, and sea salt and combine well.
  3. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon to keep it fresh.
  4. Scoop guacomole back into the shells, placing the pits in 2 of the halves to keep them fresh and for presentation.
  5. Serve with your favorite dippers such as carrot, celery, zucchini, or bell pepper sticks, rice crackers or rice chips, organic blue corn (GMO free!) tortilla chips or apple slices for a sweet and salty treat!


Don’t forget…its summer picnic season and there are lots of “tempting” options out there– bringing your own healthy snack to share ensures that YOU will have at least one healthy food to snack on! Plan to succeed 🙂

Happy 4th everyone- I’m so grateful for the country we live in! Have fun, get some sun, and enjoy doing something you love! 

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

Ana 🙂

Can Strawberry Ice Cream Give You a Flat Tummy!? http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/can-strawberry-ice-cream-give-you-a-flat-tummy/ Wed, 15 May 2013 18:47:06 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1260 "Flat Tummy" Strawberry Ice Cream!

“Flat Tummy” Strawberry Ice Cream!

Summer’s almost here!! I love the longer days and warmer air on my skin…and of course feeling good in my bathing suit when I head to the beach (who doesn’t want to feel good in their bathing suit?!) When I think of having a flat tummy and overall feeling of “lightness” in my body,  I think of foods that promote a healthy digestion. If our digestive system is happy and working properly, we will have a flatter tummy, less bloating, more regular bowel movements, a stronger immune system, an easier time losing weight, improved mood and energy, and of course an increase in absorption of nutrients (to name just a few!) Here are some foods to avoid and foods to include more of if you want to work on that flat tummy this summer (enjoy the “Flat Tummy Strawberry Ice Cream” below to start your summer days out right!):

Foods For a Flat Tummy (eat  more of these):

  • Kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables
  • Probiotic rich foods (plain yogurt or kefir, fermented foods/drinks like sauer kraut and Kombucha, Miso soup, organic Tempeh)
  • Prebiotic Foods…aka food for the Probiotics (beans/legumes, artichokes, bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus)
  • Other fibrous and brightly colored foods such as avocados, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon!
  • Lots and lots of water (at least half your body weight in ounces per day!!)

Foods Against a Flat Tummy (avoid altogether/eat less of these):

  • Refined sugar and processed foods of any kind
  • Refined grain products (bread/pasta/crackers etc)
  • Alcohol
  • Fried foods
  • Any foods that your great, great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
“Flat Tummy” Strawberry Ice Cream
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Try this smoothie as an alternative to your everyday bowl of ice cream…enjoy the added benefits of the probiotics in the Kombucha which promotes a healthy gut and helps to curb that sweet tooth!
  • 1 bottle of Kombucha (a berry flavored one is best)
  • 3-4 frozen strawberries
  • 2 scoops unsweetened or natural vanilla whey protein (or other protein powder as a base)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Ice to achieve desired consistancy
  • 3-4 drops Stevia Sweet drops for added sweetness (optional)
  1. Put all ingredients in your blender (I use a Vita Mix which makes the consistancy like ice cream). Blend and add ice until you have achieved the consistency of your liking. Enjoy right away or freeze in popsicle trays or bowls for an ice cream treat for later!


Springtime Salad & Fruit Spritzer will help you slim down for summer. http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/springtime-salad-fruit-spritzer-will-help-you-slim-down-for-summer/ Fri, 10 May 2013 07:20:15 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1247 Spring has sprung! Are you ready for entertaining and for that warm weather wear? Here are two healthy items to help you get ready for outdoor fun without giving up the great flavors.


Spring Detox Salad – Serves 4


· 1 bunch kale (red or green)

· 1 whole beet; peeled and sliced into thin slivers

· 2 whole carrots; peeled and thinly grated

· Juice of ½ grapefruit

· ½ lemon’s juice

· 1″ cube of fresh ginger; finely diced

· Pinch of turmeric, sea salt, and black pepper

· Red, green, and yellow bell peppers; diced into cubes

· ¼ cup Brazil Nuts (optional)

· ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

· ¼ cup olive oil

Squeeze grapefruit’s juice into a medium sized bowl and whisk together with the ginger and turmeric. Combine with the carrots and beets and set aside to allow for marinating. In a another bowl, separate the kale from its spine and gently massage with lemon juice and 2 TBLS. of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until the leaves are notably more tender and smaller in size. Take the carrots and beets out of the grapefruit juice marinade and toss with kale. Add bell peppers. To make the dressing, add about ¼ cup olive oil to grapefruit marinade and whisk well; add a pinch of sea salt and pepper and continue to whisk until well combined (traditional vinegar to oil proportions are about 1 part oil:3 parts vinegar; adjust oil and salt/pepper additions to your liking). Pour dressing over the kale salad and gently combine until all ingredients are well coated. Toss in the Brazil nut slivers and pumpkin seeds, and serve immediately or keep refrigerated for later use. Enjoy as a healthy snack, side dish, or add some protein (chicken, salmon, hard boiled eggs, etc.) as a main entrée.


Spring Detox Spritzer – Serves 2

· 12 ounces plain seltzer

· 20 frozen blueberries

· 10 mandarin orange slices

· Lemon and/or lime pieces, cut small

· 2 lemon wedges

· 8-10 drops of Stevia “Sweet Drops” (natural sweetener)

Place fruit at bottom of a glass. Pour seltzer water over fruit mixture and squeeze lemon wedge into glass. Drop 4-5 Sweet Drops into the glass and stir gently. Garnish with lemon wedge and enjoy!

Sugar Craving Solution! http://practicalnutrition.com/recipes-for-good-health/sugar-craving-solution/ Sat, 20 Apr 2013 17:23:27 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1218 Try this smoothie first thing in the morning, or any time of day, to take the sugar cravings away! I find when I start my day out with some dark cocoa powder in my smoothie, I crave less sweets and carbs throughout the rest of the day. Enjoy this treat right out of the blender or freeze in popsicle trays for a whole food based, nutritious ice cream bar!

“Sugar Craving Solution” Smoothie (makes 2 servings):

1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 handful baby spinach

2 cups frozen kale

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 banana

2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

2 organic egg whites or 2 scoops of a high quality whey protein powder

1 scoop “Just Great Stuff” organic powdered peanut butter

15 cashews

1 TBLS. coconut oil

3-4 drops Stevia Sweet Drops

Water and Ice to achieve desired consistency

Put all the ingredients above into the blender in the order they are listed. Blend until well combined; enjoy the satiation of a well rounded, nutritionally complete smoothie that is guaranteed to  keep you full and happy for hours!.

Healthy Foods Your Kids Won’t Refuse http://practicalnutrition.com/on-tv/healthy-foods-your-kids-wont-refuse/ Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:45:10 +0000 http://practicalnutrition.com/?p=1191 Getting kids to eat healthier is about as difficult a task as a parent can have. Call a truce on the never-ending battle between what your child wants and what is best for them to eat. Ana’s simple principals and tips can help.

Ana’s Practical Tips for Healthy Foods Your Kids Won’t Refuse.

1. Focus on including Nutrient Dense Food- this will keep them full without excessive cravings for sugar.

-Protein (3-4 servings per day)
-Fats (3-5 per day)
-Fruits (2-3 per day)
-Vegetables (3+ per day)

2. Instead of focusing on replacing their junk food, try to identify the taste experience they are looking for with a better option