Christmas Guilt Free Menu

By Shane YoungDecember 18, 2018

Hi Ascenders,


We’re counting down the days! Christmas is almost here and we want to prepare you for the coming holidays with the right food. As we jump from one holiday to the next there’s always a reason to screw up your diet and find an excuse not to exercise. Our goal is and always has been to lead you towards healthy long term changes in your eating habits. That means providing you with healthy alternatives!


Today we are going to present you with a very special Christmas guilt free menu.  The best way for you to approach this is by not overeating and not overloading on added sugars which peak your blood sugar. This is a healthy variation of food and of course tasty. 


Let’s see what we can put together.


1.Appetizer: Italian Style Zucchini Rolls

The cool thing about these low carb rolls is that you get a good amount of fat in at the same time. And not just any fat, but one of our favorite ones: Bacon! #yummy. What’s important to understand here is that with a solid fatty appetizer you will likely not overeat at your main dish afterwards because it fills you up without spiking your blood sugar.


Ingredients (for 4 servings (28 mini rolls)):

  • 3 small or baby zucchini, organic (210g / 7.4 oz)
  • 14 thin slices streaky bacon (175g / 6.2 oz)
  • 1 cup goat cheese, soft (200g / 7.1 oz)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained (55g / 1.9 oz)
  • 4 tbsp raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil



  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C/ 400 °F. Using a peeler, slice the zucchini into thin stripes. 
  2. Place in a bowl and add the vinegar. Make sure you cover the zucchini from all sides. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the bacon lengthwise and place on a rack or a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake until slightly crispy (but still soft) for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place a bacon stripe onto each zucchini slice. Top with soft goat cheese, a small piece of sun-dried tomato and freshly chopped basil.
  4. Wrap the zucchini rolls and pierce each one of them with a toothpick. Enjoy! 🙂


2. Main Dish: Nectarine Thyme Roasted Duck  


This one is special, because it takes a little more time to prepare, but it’s totally worth it. And to be honest: Christmas is just one time a year, you’ll need to make sure that this one is special ;). That’s why we chose the duck as a traditional Christmas main dish because it brings the family close together at the table. Even if the instructions take a bit more time, the recipe itself is an easy one. We won’t go super fancy here and keep it Paleo to still make sure that your blood sugar is under control and the animal protein saves your gains.


Here we go:



  • 1 young duck
  • Brine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 2 tbsp thyme fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp dried onion
  • 1 nectarine diced
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • Sauce
  • 5 nectarines
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp thyme fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp honey



Duck Preparation:

  1. Rinse and dry the duck, remove any organs
  2. Brine
  3. In a large bag combine: orange juice, salt, thyme, onion, nectarine and avocado oil. Stir until the salt is dissolved.
  4. Place the duck into the bag, and remove some of the air so the liquid surrounds the duck. Let brine for 8-12 hours. Keep in mind the longer in the brine, the saltier it will be.


Sauce Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Pull the duck out of the brine and pat dry, place in a pan, score the skin on the breasts.
  3. Put the duck in the oven for 20 min to brown slightly.
  4. In a food processor combine pitted nectarines, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey, and thyme.Pulse until a paste forms.
  5. Reduce oven to 350 F.
  6. Spread the paste over the duck and put back into the oven.
  7. Bake for 90 minutes to an internal temp of 165 F.
  8. Let rest and broil for 10 minutes before serving.


3. Dessert: Ascend Classic: Paleo Protein Chocolate Brownies 


Last but not least we’ll get back to a favorite recipe from last year and get you a good amount of anti oxidants with the cocoa powder (protein chocolate brownies). And seriously: What would be any Christmas without some type of sweetness and chocolate? So why invent the wheel new when we had the perfect ones ready?


Here’s the link to the recipe on our homepage:


With that we wish you a holly jolly Christmas.

Stay healthy, think longterm in your diet and try to keep the stress low! 🙂







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