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15 Bacon Recipes That Will Rock Your Mind

15 Bacon Recipes That Will Rock Your Mind

Bacon is the darling of the food world. Nothing else comes close to adding more flavor to food than bacon — just ask Jim Gaffigan.

As a bacon lover myself, I was especially pleased to find out just how many Primal or Paleo meal plans include the use of bacon in their recipes. This is important because of how much fat is in bacon. If your meal plans combine too many of the wrong carbs with fat, it’s a recipe for disaster. However, when you add bacon to the recipes I have listed below, you’ll not only be able to enjoy this tasty treat, but place it alongside other great foods so that your body benefits.

Take that, bacon haters! Without further ado, here are my top 15 bacon-induced recipes that your body will thank you for later. The majority of these recipes are awesome because they don’t need a ton of prep (and they include bacon!).

Bacon Snacks:

1. Baked Bacon

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    A lot of people shy away from eating more bacon because of the mess. When improperly tended to, your apartment or house ends up smelling a little too much like bacon (like that’s a bad thing!). For those with more sensitive olfactory senses, take heart. Just take your favorite baking sheet, line it with aluminum foil, and layer out your bacon til the sheet is full. Place it in an oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes (check every 15 minutes and flip as desired). The clean-up time is reduced, and if desired, you can pour off the bacon fat for other recipes to enhance the flavor.

    2. Bacamole
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      Some of the best recipes come from combining ideas from the places we eat with a little bit of our own imagination. To make bacamole, combine your favorite guacamole recipe (here’s mine from Nom Nom Paleo) with the addition of a few extra ingredients: bacon, dried cherries, and cooked corn. Chips are optional as shown.

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      3. Pumpkin and Bacon Burgers with Honey Drizzle

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        This recipe combines pumpkin puree, onion, spices, and honey for an outstanding flavor combination — all you have left to do is garnish it with bacon. Other options include cutting up the bacon and frying it in with the burger. It’s up to you. For added health benefits, use grass-fed beef which is high in omega 3 and reduces inflammation in the body. Simply combine the ingredients, fry it up in a pan, and garnish with drizzled honey over the burgers and bacon. Yum!

        4. Sweet Potato Skins with Bacon

        Potato-Skins1

          Whether as a snack during the next big game or an appetizer, who can resist potato skins? This recipe, put together by the Primal Godfather, Mark Sisson, substitutes the traditional potato with the nutrient-dense and low-carb sweet potato, and includes beef and, of course, bacon. The end result is a slightly sweet and memorable treat. After baking your potatoes for 50 minutes, hollow them out and, in a separate bowl, mix in cooked ground meat, spices, and bacon. Garnish with green onion and sour cream.

          Bacon for Breakfast:

          5. The McSOG Breakfast Sandwich

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            It would be a sin to show a recipe roundup without bacon for breakfast! For the McDonald’s lover in you, here’s a healthy version that has no flavor comparison. Mix coconut flour and egg for your “muffin” and then sandwich in layers of bacon, sausage, and your favorite style of eggs. It’s low-carb and high-flavor, without even having to go through the drive-thru. I’m lovin’ it!

            6. Hungry Man Sweet Potato Casserole

            casserole1

              Nothing’s easier to create in the kitchen than a dish using a crock pot. It’s easy here, once again. Once you’ve cut up some sweet potatos and onions, layer the ingredients from Paleo Pot‘s recipe into your dish. Pour the eggs over the mixture and then let the time and temperature take over. In less than six hours, you’ll have more than enough food for many breakfasts to come, as well as lunch or dinner if you so choose.

              7. Bacon-Crusted Quiche
              bacon-egg-quiche2-800x596

                Who loves Grandma’s Apple Pie? How about Bacon’s Bacon Pie? The foundation of this dish is a quilted fabric of bacon love topped with eggs, coconut milk, sliced tomatoes, onion, spices, and, of course, more bacon. This recipe from FastPaleo can be reimagined with whatever vegetables or ingredients are around the house. Save some for Grandma — she might put an extra $10 in your next birthday card.

                8. Savory Breakfast Casserole

                breakfast-casserole

                  As a cousin to the Hungry Man Casserole, this recipe from PaleOMG combines eggs, chorizo, shredded sweet potato, onion, hot sauce, and spices to create a beautiful oven-baked creation fit for a Royal Feast. Preheat to 375, add cooked ingredients, bake for 30 minutes, and call in sick to work after you eat the whole thing. If you didn’t garnish with bacon, darn — make it again!

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                  9. Bacon Tomato Basil Frittata
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                    Want to look crazy cool to your significant other? Go buy a cast-iron skillet if you don’t already have one. Now use it! Just combine 8-12 eggs and mix them up real good with some veggies and cooked bacon. Add in some onion and spices. Put the cast iron on medium heat and cover for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, uncover and put in your oven on 350 for 20-30 minutes. The result is a fragrant and gourmet way to start the day. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for the next morning! Bonus!

                    Bacon — It’s What’s For Dinner!

                    10. Bacon-Wrapped Honey Mustard Chicken

                    Bacon-Wrapped-Honey-Mustard-Chicken-Strips

                      Super easy and outstanding on the tongue. All you do is cut your chicken breasts into strips, roll bacon around each strip, brush a mixture of honey and mustard over all the strips, and plop it into the oven at 425 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. It’s probably taking me more time to type this than it will take for you to fix it. Perfect for a fast dinner or a snack for the kids. Thanks to Jan’s Sushi Bar for this great idea.

                      11. Big O Bacon Cheese Burgers

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                        Using Nom Nom Paleo’s Big O Burgers Recipe as a base, I add in some cheddar cheese along with the prescribed mushrooms and bacon, roll it up into patties. After cooking it on the stove top for 3-4 minutes on each side, I smother it with my favorite BBQ sauce. It’s not 100% Paleo, but it’s a decent cheat when you just feel like being a little decadent.

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                        12. Sweet Potato Buffalo Chicken Casserole
                        Potato and Buffalo chicken

                          This one literally needs no explanation for why you should fix it. Combine buffalo chicken with bacon and I’m yours. After dicing your sweet potato and chicken, toss in some olive oil, paprika, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Coat it all, throw it into a casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes in a 400 degree F oven. Add green onions and bacon to garnish it all off.

                          13. Meatza
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                            If you’re not familiar with Meatza, it’s simply a meat-crusted pizza with all the toppings you love, including the addition of bacon. Shape out your meat crust using ground beef and spices, cook it off at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes, add your favorite marinara sauce and toppings, then put it back in the oven some more. Easy, delicious, and yet another way to nibble on some bacon!

                            14. The Turkinator
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                              We’ve all heard of the Turducken, a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Well, that’s all great, but it’s missing the bacon. Whether you want to do the Turducken or you just want to wrap that baby in bacon and call it good, I present to you the Turkinator — your choice of turkey, but with life’s most precious resource, bacon. A sample recipe and the weave can be found here.

                              Bacon for Dessert:

                              15. Bacon-Sprinkled Chocomole

                              Chocomole

                                Last but not least, I present the final recipe — fittingly, a dessert. Many people don’t know this, but singer Jason Mraz loves avocados so much, he has a farm. And a recipe. Mash up your avocados, add dates, raw cacao, and carob powder, along with agave nectar if you like. Then, top it off with bacon sprinkles. Save room, this dessert is totally filling. And fulfilling.

                                Featured photo credit: Chris Isherwood via flickr.com

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                                Published on November 14, 2018

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                Symptoms of Fatigue

                                Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                • mental blocks
                                • lack of motivation
                                • headache
                                • dizziness
                                • muscle weakness
                                • slowed reflexes and responses
                                • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                • moodiness, such as irritability
                                • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                • reduced immune system function
                                • blurry vision
                                • short-term memory problems
                                • poor concentration
                                • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                Causes of Fatigue

                                The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                Anemia

                                Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                Diabetes

                                Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                Sleep Apnea

                                Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                Thyroid disease

                                An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Lack of sleep
                                • Too much sleep 
                                • Alcohol and drugs 
                                • Sleep disturbances 
                                • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                • Poor diet 

                                Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                1. Tell The Truth

                                Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                • How you feel
                                • What time of day it is
                                • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                • How your mind and body reacts

                                This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                4. Express More Gratitude

                                Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                5. Focus On Yourself

                                Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                7. Take a Power Nap

                                When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                8. Take More Exercise

                                The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                10. Improve Your Diet

                                Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                12. Get Hydrated

                                Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                The Bottom Line

                                These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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