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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This is a topic I have been meaning to speak on for quite a while. I briefly spoke of Functional Medicine a few posts ago, but I wanted to expand.

 

Let me start by saying modern medicine is necessary for certain things such as, emergencies, trauma and acute issues. However, it hugely lacks within the realm of chronic illness.

We are experiencing an avalanche of chronic diseases like we’ve never seen before.

 

This disease avalanche is taking over our country.

 

I’ll explain.

 

According to the modern medicine model, patient care is complete when a diagnosis is made and a drug is prescribed.

 

This is where patient care should begin.

 

Modern medicine is solely focused on disease and diagnosis. Every patient that walks into the office receives a diagnosis and a drug to match.

 

A simple question is never asked. That simple question is, why? Why is this patient having x, y and z symptoms?

 

Modern medicine is reliant on prescription drugs. Prescription drugs never target the root cause of disease, instead they simply cover the problem.

 

But, where would the money be if patients were simply healed through diet and exercise?

 

For these reasons, I become more and more frustrated with modern medicine everyday.

 

In case you forgot…

 

Functional medicine is an active approach to assessing, preventing and treating complex chronic disease. Notice the word preventing. Functional medicine recognizes that each patient is unique and complex. Functional medicine does not try to fit patients into cookie cutters. As a functional medicine practitioner, we hold a patient-centered view rather than a disease-centered view. Furthermore, we strive to enhance the health span not just the life span of patients. Basically, we are concerned with making people feel well, not just managing chronic illnesses with drugs.

 

 

29 million people in the United States have diabetes and these are just the folks who have been diagnosed. Sadly, this number is dramatically increasing. Furthermore, 1 in 4 people are pre-diabetic.

 

This is no joke.

 

With that being said, I have many clients who fall into that category. In fact, I have many clients who are on prescription drugs such as Avandia and Lipitor to treat diabetes and other chronic illness.

 

Before I start ranting, I want to paint you a quick picture.

 

For those of you that don’t know, Lipitor is a statin that treats high cholesterol and heart attacks (resulting from the high cholesterol). What many don’t know is, Lipitor also causes diabetes.

 

Avandia is a prescription used to treat diabetes. Again, what many are unaware of is Avandia also causes heart attacks.

 

Tell me if I’m wrong…. but this seems very ironic.

 

Doesn’t seem so silly that my main goal is to get people off of prescription drugs now does it?

 

I like to ask clients if their doctor ever recommends nutritional advice to them.

 

Typically the answer is yes. Reassuring.

 

But wait…

 

The other day my client brought me the “diabetic nutritional advice” that her doctor recommended.

 

I was speechless.

 

The list included a variety of processed foods that contained the words low-fat and sugar-free.

 

These are by far the worst options for a diabetic.

 

My favorite option was the sugar-free pudding listed at the bottom of this so-called handout.

 

This is not even REAL FOOD!

 

I had to calm myself down by taking a few deep breaths.

 

This list did not include one single vegetable or fruit. No complex carbohydrates like oats and no lean protein. In fact, her doctor said to stay away from fruit and oatmeal because it would spike her blood sugar.

What?!

 

I will continue to pound my head against the wall wondering why it’s so difficult to use food as medicine.

 

It comes down to something very simple.

 

What do we need to thrive?

 

Whole foods.

 

Vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats and water.

 

Prescription drugs are not a part of this list.

 

It doesn’t get more simplified than that.

 

Of course there are other things we need such as oxygen and movement, but point being, food is medicine.

 

Enjoy this delicious recipe, I know it’s been a while!

 

Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

 

1.5 lbs lean ground turkey

1 onion

5 cloves garlic

1 red bell pepper

1-8oz can tomato sauce (watch for other ingredients here)

1-15oz can tomato paste

1 can of chipotle in adobo (again watch ingredient list)

1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1-15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

chili powder

dried oregano

salt/pepper to taste

 

4-6 sweet potatoes (depending on size)

 

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Scrub sweet potatoes and place in preheated oven to bake. Bake time will depend on the size of the potato, I baked mine for about 40 minutes.

 

In a large pan, drizzle olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, garlic and red pepper, sauté for 5-6 minutes with salt and pepper to taste. Add ground turkey (note: mine was already precooked, I just pulled it out of the freezer).

 

Once turkey is fully cooked add chili powder (to taste), dried oregano, salt/pepper and about 2-4 tablespoons of the sauce from the chipotle in adobo. Feel free to chop chipotle peppers and add them as well, it will be spicy! Add tomato paste and sauce. Simmer for 4-5 minutes over low heat. The mixture should be very thick, however if it’s too thick, add a little water to thin it down.

 

Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and cut in half to allow them to cool. In a glass pan, place sweet potatoes flesh side up. You can scoop out some of the middle if you’d like, I left them whole and scooped the filling over the top. It worked just fine! I didn’t want to waste any of the sweet potatoes.

 

If you’re feeling rebellious like I was you can sprinkle a small amount of cheddar cheese on top.

 

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 more minutes.

 

Enjoy!

 

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