Breaking Down The Fat Summit + Sweet Potato Hash

This past week, Dr. Mark Hyman has been presenting a symposium called The Fat Summit. It’s been really quite interesting, though time consuming. There was just no way I could listen to each and every interview, so by the end of the week I was cherry picking the interviews I was most interested in and would best benefit me and my clients.

Here were my take-aways from the summit:

  • The calories in/calories out model is broken – we all know at least one person who has done all of the correct things on paper and still not had the scale move the direction they wanted it to go in
  • Quality matters – high quality fats from grass-fed meats, coconut oil, avocados, and olive oil (not necessarily in that order) have no adverse effect on the gut micro biome, an important clarification as poor quality fats do have an adverse effect
  • Fat doesn’t make you fat – the low fat diet we were all told was best for us in the 80s & 90s has brain washed us so terribly that people, women especially, are terrified of eating fat and our bodies and brains are suffering the consequences in the form of elevated Type 2 diabetes and dementia/Alzheimers rates

That’s just scratching the surface. There was much conversation about statins, the adverse effects of sugar & processed carbohydrate consumption, and the psychology of cravings as well. If you have time and are so inclined, they are running an encore tomorrow for 24 hours. You can check it out here: fatsummit.com

Now, by popular demand, Sweet Potato Hash…

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*With how often I make this, I thought I’d have a better photo of it. Sheesh! Not that I need an excuse to make it, but now I have to so I can upload a more appealing photo of it!

Sweet Potato Hash

2-3 cups sweet potatoes – small dice (this is usually 2 mediumish or 4 smallish sweet potatoes)
4 slices of bacon chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
pickled jalapenos, diced (to taste)
salt – to taste
preferred seasoning – to taste (I often use 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp oregano and couple dashes paprika or about 1 tsp Penzey’s Fajita seasoning – I don’t exactly measure.)

Place the bacon in a cold cast iron or stainless steel pan with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and heat over medium heat. As soon as the bacon starts to sizzle, dump the sweet potatoes in the pan and stir, making sure the potatoes are coated in the fat. Smooth everything out so that as much of the sweet potatoes are touching the bottom of the pan as possible then don’t touch them for 10 minutes.

At 10 minutes, stir the sweet potatoes. If they are getting too brown, adjust the heat down as needed so as not to burn them before they are cooked through. Smooth back out then let sit for another 10 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos (if using), salt and seasoning and cook for another 3 minutes.

At this point, depending on your stove, pan type and how high or low your heat was, the hash will likely be ready. Give the sweet potatoes a check though. If they are still a little underdone, put a lid on the pan, lower the heat just a little, and cook for another 5 minutes. You might lose a little bit of texture but you’ll maintain the caramelization and will have the added bonus of having cooked through hash. It’s a win-win, I assure you.

Now I should note a few things on ingredient quality here. Sweet potatoes are not on the Dirty Dozen list, nor are onions or garlic, so please don’t feel the need to use organic here. Please use the best quality bacon you can – happy pigs taste better and their fat is far superior. Why does buying non-feed lot animals matter? Because humans and animals store toxins in their fat. Animals who are raised in feed lots tend to be fed prophylactic antibiotics and feed that isn’t what they’d naturally eat. Since bacon is by design a fatty substance, quality matters here. And feel free to experiment with other meats if you’d like. The bacon is nice but by no means a requirement. Please also read the labels on your pickled jalapenos, should you choose to use them. They often have artificial coloring in them and unnecessary preservatives. The only brand I’ve found that is free of stuff I’d rather not eat is Hatch and I found it at Whole Foods. But more than anything, just do the best you can.

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