Paleo-friendly Football Game Snack | Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

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Via Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites. | Football/fall food

OH

MY

GAWWWWDD

I will SO be making this snack  the next chance I get. My two favorite food items all rolled into one. It looks heavenly. 

These are the only ingredients you need:

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 Large sweet potato, peeled
  • 4-6 slices sugar-free bacon
  • olive oil
  • chili powder
  • toothpicks

 

My nutrition options while on the (go) job

Well. It’s been two weeks on the new job. And my food choices have been limited and poor. I’ve made some bad choices about what I’m eating while I’m at work.

I think I have my lunch food items covered. I’m able to bring a lunch, and I can usually scarf down my salad quickly when I get the time.

My problem is the multiple hunger pangs throughout the day. On my feet all day, I need some sort of healthy good choice. Something that is easily portable, Paleo-friendly (meaning not full of sugar & simple carbs) and tasteful.

Carrying around fruit can be challenging at my job. And I can’t lug around my lunch bag. I visit multiple units in multiple floors of a hospital.

These Quest bars might be the answer. Some flavors are absolutely delicious, while others are a bit to be desired.
I’m still experimenting with the multiple flavors. But the nutritional content and value is promising.

I’ll keep ya posted.

While im pretty picky, I’m open to other choices. Anyone have any good suggestions?

Life Lately: IRL Became More Important Than URL

*TAP*TAP*TAP*…

Is this thing still on?

Yep. I’m still around. It’s been equal parts busy, personal choice and laziness. Most days I just haven’t had the time to sit down and blog. Other days when I did have some time away from IRL, I simply didn’t have the desire to type or post a blog entry. When my desire to blog became less and less, I became quite complacent and just down right lazy.

For the first time in 4+ years I didn’t have an additional agenda. I could simply live life. Earn a living (or at least try to) and enjoy the fruits of my labor with those I’ve neglected over the past 4+ years. I’ve been spending good quality time with my wife. I’ve tried to spend more time with my family, although the distance has become a challenge. And recently I’m spending some fun times with new friends that I’ve met in our new place of residence.

The transition from student Nurse Practitioner to Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Certified (ACNP-BC) continues to be a long, educational and enlightening experience. I don’t think my wife and I were prepared for its Tsunami-like effect on our lives, both personally and professionally. You won’t hear me complain, it’s just been challenging at times.

My focus ever since this past school year has started was to graduate and pass my boards. I (including passing my comprehensive exam) accomplished both of those tasks, but had to ride a roller coaster of a journey along the way. I was offered an amazing job opportunity as my first job out of Graduate school, but it would take us 90+ miles away from where we were currently living.

Here have been the past 3.5 months for us:

March

  • Put our house (of 8 years) on the market to sell
  • finished last of my classes and clinicals
  • planned & arranged graduation activities
  • began packing the house
  • Entire month of April had an average of 2 showings a day for greater than 4 / 7 days of the week
  • each house showing we had to arrange for someone to be present and available
  • declined two separate offers on the house
  • began studying for my board exam

April

  • accepted an offer on the house
  • made numerous arrangements to iron out final financial terms as well as inspections and surveys on house
  • Graduated from Graduate school
  • continued to study for boards

May

  • final OK that offer and sale of house would be confirmed
  • signed final sale of house and had a 13 day turnaround to be completely moved out of our home of 8 years
  • spent almost a full month arranging our new home and settling in
  • got lost many, many times in our new city we called home
  • made additional long commutes home for holiday and birthday celebrations with family
  • traveled to future city of residence numerous times to look at possible places to live
  • signed lease to rent a town house
  • Had a medical emergency in the family that required immediate surgery
  • successfully moved to new home, but still were employed at old city of residence
  • both of us began commuting to work 90 miles one way 3+ days a week to work
  • continued to study for boards
  • took board exam last of the month and PASSED

June

  • realized almost too late that the process of gaining licensure as an ACNP in my state was not an automated process (unlike licensure as an RN)
  • jump through numerous hoops to streamline the licensure process as well as the credentialing process at my new soon-to-be employer
  • both of us continued the long commute
  • almost had to wait an additional 2-4 weeks to start new job due to paperwork and red-taped document logistics (whew)

July

  • successfully started the new job
  • the credentialing process continues with more paperwork, committee approvals and applications
  • my wife finally found and accepted a new job within our new area of residence

This is just a snap shot of my life recently. I can’t even begin to explain the financial strain this move created for us, but we’re getting by OK. Even after all of the roller-coastering, things are turning out pretty darn good.

Along the way I joined a real CrossFit box (gym), which has been an amazing experience (I still want to blog about that). Social media took the back burner. I had more important things to take care of.

Lastly, a good friend and fellow social media hound influenced my recent non-blogging actions. Dr. Mike Sevilla took a bit of a sabbatical from his on-line life. While he thought he was leaving permanently, he’s returned with some great insight on social media practices, thoughts on branding and just the general purpose and functionality of what social media is and how we horribly misuse, abuse and over-utilize its service(s).

His actions and words greatly influenced my lack of interest in blogging recently (not sure he knows that) as well as me taking a step back and really observing what the heck is going on out there.

I realized I didn’t like it much. And I realized I was part of the problem. I whole-heartedly agreed with Mike. There was far too much negativity, blaming, complaining and accusing out there. Everybody continues to pick sides, point fingers and just basically yell out there. I see and read little to no meaningful communication anymore.

I want to get back to enjoying the act of blogging, the concept of sharing and the pleasure of having some quality dialogue with those that want to have it.

In closing here’s been my life in pictures recently (still love my iPhone):

Hmm…

Let’s just see where this thing takes me.

Wholly Ingredients Batman!!!!

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Via Kitchen Sink Cookies | Shine Food – Yahoo! Shine

Wholly cow. Don’t those look gooooooood. Saw those posted on Yahoo! as a great recipe using nothing but ingredients in your cupboard.

Well, they probably are good. But how good are they for you?

Check out the ingredients closely:

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Seriously?????

A cup and a half of SUGAR. ONE AND ONE-HALF a cup of sugar. 

WOW.

My teeth hurt just reading that.

I’m jumping back into the kitchen. My attempt at No Bake Berry Bars!

I decided to get jump back into the kitchen this past week after a long lay-off due to school and schedules. My attempts at new Paleo creations has restarted. This time around I’m of course following in the famous footsteps of a Paleoista of sorts, miss Juli Bauer, a.k.a PaleOMG.

Of course I have to dive into a dessert / treat / snack: NO BAKE BERRY BARS 

INGREDIENTS:

Crust
12 medjool dates, pits removed
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Toppings
6-8 oz blackberries
6-8 oz blueberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut butter
sprinkle of cinnamon
pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. First make your crust. Add all ingredients for the crust to a food processor.
2. Put crust ingredients in an bread pan, press down until evenly distributed.
3. Now heat up a small saucepan under medium heat. Add your blackberries and blueberries, along with your maple syrup.
4.Once blueberries and blackberries begin to break down and slightly explode so there is more juice in the pan, add your syrup. Be sure to continuously stir so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn.
5. Once you have almost a runny jam, add your melted/softened coconut cream concentrate along with cinnamon and salt.
6. When all ingredients are incorporated, pour mixture on top of crust and press flat. Put in the fridge to harden for 30-45 minutes.
7.Cut into squares and serve!!

Via Again Faster – Equipment for CrossFit – No Bake Berry Bars

After the initial read and watching the video, I knew I could pull it off except for the coconut butter. I tried to find some at my local stores, but came up short. I made a vain attempt at a substitution by adding coconut oil. I don’t think it was an equivalent sub, but it worked out ok.

Here are my ingredients getting ready to start:

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I have no experience with dates of any kind, so I was a lil nervous about chopping up these dates in my food processor… (thankfully they did fine)

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The blueberries did not break down, nor did they burst to help turn the topping into a syrup-like glaze, so my bars had whole blue berries in them (not such a bad thing). I also added raspberries.

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This was the coconut butter I had microwaved and melted down. Like I said, I didn’t know the first thing about coconut butter, so I sort of winged it. I come to find out later, I could have made my own coconut butter! (Lesson learned for the next batch I attempt)

 

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The crust turned out good, although I think I may have added too many nuts. Here I’m pouring the glaze over the crust:

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And the final product:

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I actually let this sit for several hours before I even attempted cutting it up. The glaze didn’t really ‘form’ much, it was still soft and liquid-like when I went to cut it up. Nonetheless it was still tasty and the bars cut up nicely:

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I’ll definitely tweak my preparation by adding the coconut butter next time, and I’ll wait out the blueberries cooking down to see how it should look. Either way, I’ll be making this one again real soon. It was quite tasty.

PROS:

  • SUPER EASY to make
  • fairly quick prep-time
  • minimal equipment: only needed a food processor and a sauce pan
  • tasty: super sweet

CONS:

  • does not ‘hold’ well once out of refrigerator (temperature dependent)
  • raspberry and blackberry seeds make the glaze a bit ‘grainy’ (sees in my teeth)
  • I’ll actually have to make my own coconut butter [;)]

Thanks Juli, for another amazing creation.

Obesity rises even as calorie consumption lowers

I was doing some light reading and I came across an article this morning that caught my attention. It discussed the discovery of continued obesity, even though as a population we are eating ‘fewer’ total net calories.

(Reuters) – U.S. adults have been eating steadily fewer calories for almost a decade, despite the continued increase in obesity rates, according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers, whose findings appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed trends since the 1970s and found that among adults, average daily energy intake rose by a total of 314 calories from 1971 to 2003, then fell by 74 calories between 2003 and 2010.

“It’s hard to reconcile what these data show, and what is happening with the prevalence of obesity,” said co-author William Dietz, former CDC director of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, to Reuters Health.

“Seventy-four calorie sis a lot, and as I said before, we would expect to see a measurable impact on obesity.”

(And then the post finished by saying…)

But by now, “people should be losing weight,” Dietz said. The fact that they are not could be bad news

Via Despite obesity rise, U.S. calories trending downwards | Reuters

Once again, I’m no expert, but don’t you think this may have something to do with the QUALITY of the calories we are consuming, not the QUANTITY

GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT

Perfect timing.. spooky news feed

This came through my news feed this AM. How weird is this? I’m heading to the movie theater this afternoon?? And I was thinking to myself, hmm what can I snack on that is Paleo-friendly??

Here are a few limited choices for the Paleo nut heading to the movies this weekend.

 

  • Dehydrated Fruits: Don’t worry about adopting a raw-food diet on top of it; you can dehydrate all sorts of fruits in the oven. Apples, mangoes, and blueberries are all tasty options. The best part about these munchies? They’re eaten as easily as candy and have natural sugar, so you won’t miss that box of Skittles.
  • Pistachios: No need to worry about the crackling amongst a room of popcorn eaters. Pistachios, once opened, are delicious little morsels that will leave your salt craving at bay. By pouring the right portion into a container beforehand, you’re snacking in a smart way. Fret about snacking in the dark no longer.
  • Dark, dark chocolate: Bet you didn’t know chocolate was on the meal plan. As long as your bar is 90-99 percent dark chocolate, you’re in the clear. Most versions are around 70 percent, so your new form of chocolate might be stronger than you’re used to, but that just means you’ll be satisfied sooner. Break it up into pieces beforehand and put them in a bag for easy access.
  • Coconut water: Pepsi who? Forget your Big Gulp; on paleo there are tons of nutritious and yummy beverages at your disposal. Coconut is a great one for its ability to hydrate you, which can also ward off hunger. Opt for an unpasteurized version right before the show. Although they don’t last in your fridge as long as the pasteurized type, they’re straight from the coconut so completely legal on paleo.

via Healthy Paleo Snacks.

 

A Game Changer – What if everything we know about Cholesterol is wrong??

I foresee this being a game changer. I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground about the paradigm shift that’s happen in the world of nutrition concerning health & wellness. The preconceived notions of the Food Pyramid and now the My Plate are being challenged on a daily basis with anectdotal data and personal experiences. What I’ve been waiting for is the empirical evidence from the medical community. (check out all things related to Paleo eating)

And it’s slowly gaining momentum. More and more established physicians and medical professionals are pursuing the idea that we’ve been wrong all these years. Here’s another interesting video, this time from my arch nemesis, Dr. Oz:

Source: doctoroz.com via Sean on Pinterest

 

 

 

Via Is Everything You Know About Cholesterol Wrong? Pt 1 | The Dr. Oz Show

Follow the link above to check out the video series where Dr. Oz admits that he may be changing his mind on how we approach Cholesterol. A controversial new book by Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Dr. Johnny Bowden called “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will”.

Check em out and keep your eyes and ears open. A change is coming.