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Grilled Steak Panini

Try this recipe for another reason to use your grill...as if you needed another reason! Grilling is so fun and easy, and clean up is a breeze. So gather some pals and get ready to sizzle!

Grilled Steak Paninis
Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teres major steak
salt, as desired
1 loaf (1 lb.) focaccia, ciabatta, French or Italian bread, cut horizontally in half
8 slices tomato
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine seasoning ingredients; press evenly onto steak.
2. Place steaks on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill to desired doneness. Carve steak into thin slices. Season with salt, as desired.
3. Spread sauce over bottom half of bread. Top evenly with tomato, steak, and cheese. Close sandwich.
4. Place sandwich on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, until cheese is melted, turning once and pressing down on sandwich with spatula to flatten slightly.
5. Cut sandwich crosswise in half. Cut each half diagonally to make 4 triangles.

-Adapted from The Healthy Beef Cookbook


Your Sports Drink...

by Catherine Ebeling, RN BSN


Athletes everywhere pick up sports drinks to quench their thirst and replenish carbohydrates. Do they really work? Do energy and sports drinks help performance or do they just add empty calories? A recent scientifically formulated new sports drink called "Beyond Hydration" water may actually be the only drink that does. However the leading sports drinks on the market may actually be detrimental to athletic performance.

Expensive and highly visible advertising campaigns, and celebrity athlete spokespersons give many people the impression that these drinks are healthy and essential during or after a workout to replace lost electrolytes, carbohydrates and fluids.

Although simple carbohydrates are helpful for athletes engaging in high-intensity exercise, are sports drinks effective, or even appropriate, for the average gym member or weekend warrior? Studies seem to be split on the matter.

In one study, researchers prepared beverages containing glucose, maltodextrin or neither, so that they tasted identical, and gave them to athletes, who rinsed the drinks around in their mouths before spitting them out during exercise. Despite not reaping the energizing effects of the carbohydrates in the drinks, the rinsing of the simple sugar mixes were shown to "significantly reduce the time to complete the cycle time trial," while the placebo drinks had no such effect. The data was so impressive that the researchers concluded "much of the benefit from carbohydrate in sports drinks is provided by signaling directly from mouth to brain rather than providing energy for the working muscle."

Another study found that citric acid, commonly found in sports drinks, ate away at the enamel coating on teeth. As a result, the drinks could easily leak into the bone-like material underneath, causing a weakening and softening of the tooth that could result in severe tooth damage and even tooth loss if left untreated.

Sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water. As this recent study pointed out, brushing your teeth does not help because citric acid in the sports drink will softens tooth enamel so much it could be damaged just by brushing.

These beverages may cause irreversible damage to dental enamel, potentially resulting in severe tooth decay according to a study reported in the January/February issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's clinical, peer-reviewed journal. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth structure and shape, while protecting it from decay.

The leading brands of sports drinks on the market typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium. They also often contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial flavors, and food coloring, none of which belong in your body.

If you are exercising to lose weight and get into shape, you should know that sports drinks and energy drinks will cause weight gain, similar to drinking soda. It is a sad irony that many people work hard and sweat to lose weight, only to gain weight from drinking sports drinks.

And although these drinks are often referred to as "energy" drinks, in the long run the sugar they contain does just the opposite. A quick explosion of energy followed by a plummet in blood, as your pancreas floods the body with insulin to balance out the toxic stimulation to your blood sugar. So the quick energy you may feel from the sugar soon becomes less energy as your blood sugar drops.

"Energy drinks" were popularized in the U.S. with the 1997 introduction of Red Bull, a carbonated beverage from Austria that contains 80 mg of caffeine in every bottle - about the same amount as is found in a cup of coffee. For comparison, classic Coca Cola contains 23 mg caffeine and Mountain Dew contains 37 mg caffeine.

Other brands of "energy drinks" may contain twice as much or more caffeine as Red Bull, plus other questionable ingredients such as guarana - a South American caffeine-containing herb.

The calories in these drinks do provide some energy, but mostly their content of caffeine and taurine turn up one's feelings of alertness and may produce troublesome side effects such as anxiety, irritability, heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, and indigestion.

These manifestations are more likely to occur with "energy drinks" than with hot coffee, which is usually drunk more slowly than the chilled "energy drinks". "Energy drinks" can also lead to dehydration because caffeine stimulates urination and thus increases water loss. Dehydration during athletic activities not only reduces performance, but also can cause painful muscle cramping.

Because it is metabolized by the liver, the fructose in high fructose corn syrup does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. This is most likely a big reason Americans continue to get fatter. Fructose raises serum triglycerides significantly. For complete internal conversion of fructose into glucose and acetates, it must rob ATP energy stores from the liver. ATP is the fuel, which supplies the energy to muscles, especially while exercising. If you are robbing your muscles' energy stores, then actually the sports drink is decreasing your athletic performance.

And if your sports drink is low calorie and sugar-free, be warned that it likely contains an artificial sweetener, which is even worse for you than high-fructose corn syrup or sugar.

Sports drinks also contain large quantities of salt, which is there to replace electrolytes. However, unless you're sweating profusely and for a prolonged period, that extra salt is simply unnecessary, and possibly harmful.

Also the excess salt will actually make you thirstier and make you want to drink more, while causing you to retain water and feel heavier.
In many ways drinking sports drinks is not a whole lot better than chugging a can of soda after your workout. Less than 1 percent of those who use sports drinks actually benefit from them.

Unless you exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time, sports drinks are unnecessary. It's only when you've been exercising for longer periods, such as 60 minutes or more, or at an extreme intensity, such as on a very hot day or at your full exertion level, that you may need something more than water to replenish your body.

Anything less than 45 minutes will not result in a large enough fluid loss to justify using these high-sodium, high-sugar drinks.

Besides water, the best thing to quench your thirst may be a new product just emerging on the market.

Beyond Hydration Water
is the most hydrating drink on the market. Its 74 electrolytes and 18 amino acids don't just quench your thirst; they hydrate the inner cells all while delivering nutrients such as B3, B5, B6, B12, and removing metabolic waste from the cells.

Beyond Hydration does all of this without adding high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, preservatives, and other junk that slow the body down. It not only rehydrates the body, it aids in muscle recovery, mental clarity and energy.

Formulated by a team of scientists, it actually helps to increase ATP (the body's fuel source for muscles) by 9%! Studies have actually shown Beyond Hydration Water to bring about a noticeable improvement in performance in athlete's strength and endurance, as well as a reduction in muscle soreness.

When you get down to natural nutrition, real hydration and total body performance, Beyond Hydration stands alone. Because unlike its competitors, Beyond Hydration goes beyond hydration (with 74 electrolytes!) to provide your body with the natural minerals it needs for energy, exercise recovery and cellular hydration.

If you really want a drink that is better than water to improve athletic performance and truly hydrate the body, drink Beyond Hydration Water.


Bill Sanda, BS, MBA, "The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup", Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2003.

Dr. Mercola, "Disgusting Truth About Sports Drinks Revealed", April 23, 2009

Beyond Hydration Water Jan 2009

Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D., "The Downsides of Bottled Water and Energy Drinks",
Johns Hopkins University, Sep 13, 2007.


Chicken Cutlets with Sweet Pea Puree & Garlicky Oven-Roasted Potatoes

When Ivy Larson, co-author of the Whole Foods Diet Cookbook: 200 Recipes For Optimal Health, was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 22, she'd never even heard of "whole foods". After exploring options, and at the suggestion of her neurologist, she and husband, Andrew Larson, M.D., discovered a natural approach to improve her health through lifestyle modification and nutritional therapy.

After adopting their new diet together, both Andrew and Ivy saw a quick and dramatic improvement in their body fat percentages, blood pressure and energy levels. The couple has shared their healthy living program through their previous books, workshops and "Lifestyle Makeover Programs" to help improve the lives of tens of thousands of people across the country.

The cookbook offers a lifelong, nutritionally sound strategy and sustainable way of eating that is entirely compatible with busy modern lifestyles, yet still address the dual need to be nourished and to enjoy delicious foods. It provides medically sound and up-to-date dietary advice with a collection of healthy, tasty and easy to prepare all-natural "whole foods" recipes.

Enjoy these recipes from Ivy and Andrew's new book.

Chicken Cutlets with Sweet Pea Puree & Garlicky Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Chicken Cutlets with Sweet Pea Puree
1 (9 oz) package frozen petite peas
1/4 cup whipped organic cream cheese
2 tablespoons raw honey
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons Chardonnay
Unrefined sea salt, to taste
1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced, boneless, skinless, free-range chicken breasts (also called cutlets)
White pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Place the frozen peas in a microwave-safe dish and heat for three minutes, or until thawed and barely warm. (or use your preferred method to thaw and warm)

In a food processor or blender, add the peas, cream cheese, honey, lemon juice, garlic, mint, Chardonnay, and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set puree aside.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Hear 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high hear until hot but not smoking. Saute the chicken in 2 or 3 batches, turning once until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per batch. Add remaining oil when necessary to keep chicken grom sticking or burning.

Transfer chicken to serving plates and drizzle with Sweet Pea Puree. Serve puree on the side in a gravy boat.

Garlicky Oven-Roasted Vegetables and Potatoes
6 medium red-skinned potatoes, quartered
Unrefined sea salt, to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
Paprika, to taste
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 red bell peppers, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 zucchini, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into bite-size pieces
1 head of garlic, each clove peeled and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the potatoes on a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, and paprika, and toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil. Toast the potatoes for 20 minutes, tossing once.

Place the bell peppers, zucchini, red onion, and garlic on a second roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Toss the vegetables with the remaining 2 or 3 tablespoons oil and season with salt. Place the vegetables in the oven next to the pan with the potatoes, and roast the vegetables and the potatoes for 40 minutes.

Remove the potatoes and vegetables from the oven and allow to cool several minutes. Toss the potatoes and vegetables together lightly, season with a bit more salt and serve at once.

For more information on Ivy and Andrew Larson, check out their website. Their book is available for pre-order now, reserve your copy today!



We have the perfect new addition to our products...charcoal. And not just any charcoal, Kiawe Ono Charcoal!


A Quick History of Charcoal
Kiawe Charcoal is the original charcoal dating way back before the days of the BBQ, before there were any manufacturing plants or additives to make products for us. It was as natural as it gets. Taking wood, usually limbs, branches, etc. and heating this wood in a closed area in the absence of oxygen is how you make lump charcoal. Specifically what is produced is carbonized wood … Lump Charcoal! And then came along big business and a chance to mass-produce a product for “us”.

As early as 1912, Henry Ford was coveting timber reserves in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for automobile manufacturing. Ford’s sawmill was used to build wooden auto parts.

In 1924, a chemical plant was built to convert the tons of waste wood generated by the Ford sawmill into charcoal briquettes. For many years, Ford Charcoal Briquettes could be purchased only at Ford automobile showrooms around the country.

And of course, briquettes are still made today using wood char (heat source), mineral char (heat source), mineral carbon (heat source), limestone (uniform visual ashing), starch (binder), borax (press release), sodium nitrate (ignition aid) and sawdust (ignition aid).

You probably know what Borax is but what is mineral char? Well it’s a soft, brownish-black coal also called brown coal. This produces that empyreumatic smell. What is an empyreumatic smell? It’s the peculiar smell and taste arising from products of decomposition of animal or vegetable substances.

Kiawe (Pronounced: KEE-AY-VAY) … the Ono (Good) stuff.
Kiawe is actually a transplant, it arose from a seed brought from the king's garden in Paris (where it also happened to be a transplant from the Sonora Desert) and planted at a church in Honolulu in 1828. It became a great tree shading Our Lady of Peace Cathedral between Bishop Street and what is now Fort Street Mall.

Father Alexis Bachelot, first Catholic missionary to Hawaii, brought the seed from the king’s garden in Paris. The entire plain of Honolulu, once bare, became covered with Kiawe trees. Tree cover resulted as the hardy Sonora Desert species spread.

The Hawaiian people quickly realized that Kiawe was also the source the greatest cooking fuel ever, Kiawe Charcoal. Today, Kiawe and Ono Charcoal are the traditional Hawaiian Luau charcoal used at backyard BBQ’s as well as by gourmet chefs around the world.

The Green Advantage
• ALL NATURAL, 100 % hardwood charcoal with no chemical additives
• LIGHT WITH OR WITHOUT lighter fluid
• BURNS HOTTER than briquettes. 1 lb. of Ono Charcoal produces the equivalent heat of 2 lbs. of briquettes
• LOW ASH increases food quality and reduces environmental pollution

We are currently the only online location to buy Kiawe Ono Charcoal. Try some today with a great grass fed steak or free range chicken! Enhance your grilling experience with a 15 lb bag or a 20 lb bag. You're sure to love the results!


Tenderloin Steaks with Blue Cheese Sauce

May is National Beef Month! Let's celebrate with a great beef recipe!

Blue Cheese Sauce
2 Tbs. cream cheese
4 tsp. crumbled blue cheese
4 tsp. plain yogurt
2 tsp. minced onion
Dash ground white pepper

4 beef tenderloin steaks (6 oz each)
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chopped chopped fresh parsley

Combine Blue Cheese Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Rub steaks with garlic. Season steaks with salt and grill to desired doneness. Let steaks rest. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

So easy and so delicious!

-Adapted from The Healthy Beef Cookbook


Garden Ready

Spring is my favorite time of year. I'm ready to get out of the house, the lawn is desperate for attention and the garden is calling my name. Here, in the Midwest, it's been a wet spring so far and few people have their gardens in. I'm one of the many that's been waiting for the sun to shine to get to work. I was excited to start my heirloom tomato seeds indoors a few months ago, however, my excitement was halted by the sight of my puny, spindly plants. I sadly accepted that I was destined to grow the "improved" gmo versions instead. But no! I got a call on Saturday from McKenzie (who used to work here) and she had found a greenhouse with heirloom tomato plants. My garden growing season just got a little brighter. To appreciate my excitement you have to realize where we are. Our office is in a town of 126 people...needless to say, we're in a very rural area and it can be difficult to find "specialty" items. So I made the hour-long drive to a Mennonite greenhouse called Hillcrest Farms and couldn't be any happier with my purchase. I spoke to the owner, Robert, for a while about their heirloom plants. I was actually shocked at what he had to say. They have a difficult time selling heirloom plants, he said that people just don't want them. They had oak leaf lettuce for sale which is an heirloom plant from the 1800's and produces ALL summer, even through the heat. He displayed it with the other lettuce varieties and ended up giving it away for free because nobody would buy it. Heirloom plants are not hybrids, they are the same plants that our ancestors grew. When you consume produce from heirloom plants, you're essentially eating a slice of history. So, when you head to the nursery or greenhouse to buy your plants just remember: heirloom = awesome! If you have a green thumb there are several online stores that sell heirloom seeds. Since my green thumb has apparently wilted, I'll stick with the plants that are ready to be put into the ground. Here's to wishing all the gardeners an abundant year! Good luck and good health!


No GMO Challenge Giveaway - Enter Now!


What's non-gmo AND free...a $100 gift certificate for US Wellness Meats! Enter today here and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get you an extra entry (remember to comment that you signed up!)

Good luck!


Say "NO" to GMO...join the No GMO Challenge today!


The No GMO Challenge begins today and will change your life!

This is a rolling challenge and you may enter at any time. It'll keep going until we get the GMOs out of our food supply in America. Click here for complete details. By joining, you'll have chances to win great prizes such as grass fed meats, GMO-free salad dressings, and organic coconut oil.

Good luck!

UPDATE: The No GMO Challenge just made it's way to CNN. The word is spreading!


Mushroom and Olive Burgers

It's that time of year again, the weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?! FIRE UP THE GRILL! I'm ready to inhale the aroma of grass fed burgers on the grill!

For a tasty recipe, try these Mushroom and Olive Burgers from Shannon Hayes' cookbook The Farmer and the Grill. It's difficult to find a good cookbook of grass fed meat but Shannon has done a wonderful job with this one!

Mushroom and Olive Burgers

1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds grass fed ground beef

Combine the chives, mushrooms, olives, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic in a medium-sized bowl, mix well. Add the ground beef. Using your hands, mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the meat. Loosely shape the beef into 4 meatballs, then gently flatten each ball until it is just sh of one-inch thick. With your fingertips, make a small well in the top of each patty to prevent the meat from getting puffy over the flames. Set the patties aside while you light the grill and brush off the cooking grate.

When the grill is medium-hot and you can hold your hand five inches about it for no more than three or four seconds, brush it down lightly with vegetable oil, then set the patties directly over the flame, with the well facing up. Grill, covered, for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium burgers, remembering that, for safety, ground beef should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F.


"Going Green"...Finally!

Earth Day has been around nearly 40 years but has gained the most popularity in recently years. Now, more than ever, going green is on many of our minds (and the "in" thing to do). Many of us already incorporate sustainable and green aspects into our daily lives. In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we'd like to know what you do to help our planet or what you would like to do or see done by others.

While in St. Louis this past weekend, I took this picture from my hotel. In the foreground you can see a small part of a community garden, pretty cool!

Give us your thoughts! Even if it seems so simple to you, it may spark some interest in someone else!

Happy Earth day to you!


Killer Meat

by Catherine Ebeling, RN BSN
April 5, 2009

Front Page Lies?

It was front-page news last week. In the Los Angeles times the headline read, "Killer Meat". It was the ..."Largest study of its kind finds that older Americans who eat large amounts of red meat and processed meats face a greater risk of death from heart disease and cancer."

The study in a nutshell went like this:

Calling the increased risk modest, lead author Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute said the findings support the advice of several health groups to limit red and processed meat intake to decrease cancer risk.

The findings appeared in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study goes on to state that over 10 years, eating the equivalent of a quarter-pound hamburger daily gave men in the study a 22 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease. That's compared to those who ate the least red meat, just 5 ounces per week.

Women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less.

For processed meats, the increased risks for large quantities were slightly lower overall than for red meat. The researchers compared deaths in the people with the highest intakes to deaths in people with the lowest to calculate the increased risk.

The researchers surveyed more than 545,000 people, ages 50 to 71 years old, on their eating habits, then followed them for 10 years. There were more than 70,000 deaths during that time.

Once again we have a media conspiracy and biased reporting, but it is taken as absolute truth by the general public who believe the media and the stories they put out.

At the same time that this paper appeared, showing increased red meat consumption to be tied to a slight increased risk of death (and showing that those subjects eating white meat had less risk), a couple of other papers came out in the online pre-publication section of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), one of the world's most prestigious nutritional scientific journals.

These two AJCN papers came about at the same time as this highly publicized study on meat and mortality, but demonstrated the opposite results. They got no press coverage whatsoever. It seems clear that the press is biased against red meat.
Knowing this, careful readers should take the negative stories the media reports about red meat with an enormous grain of salt.

Another study in the advanced online section of AJCN titled "Mortality in British Vegetarians" results from the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford) shows that things are not always as they seem. Yet we have heard nothing of this study in the press. Most people would answer the question of whether vegetarians or non-vegetarians are healthier with vegetarians being the healthiest. One would think that if a study came out from (Oxford) published in a mainstream scientific journal showing that vegetarians don't live any longer than non-vegetarians and actually have a higher incidence of colorectal and other nasty cancers it would be newsworthy. But this story too, has been totally ignored in the media. There are several flaws to the recent red meat study...

We all know that eating processed meat full of additives, preservatives, and heavy-duty chemicals like nitrates and nitrites is harmful and will contribute to a higher rate of cancer. So why was this included in the study with regular red meat?

The other flaw in the study was that they did not differentiate between commercially raised, grain fed beef pumped full of hormones, antibiotics and harmful fats and grass-fed organically and naturally raised beef high in cancer fighting CLA's and omega 3's . There is a HUGE difference, in fact it is like night and day.

How can it be that our ancestors ate naturally raised beef and lived long and healthy lives, cancer free? Surely there must be more in the mix than just the excessive red meat and processed meats.

Some things to think about with a study like this:

The groups that ate the most red meat and processed meats also had the highest smoking rates, although the researchers did their best to factor smoking out of the final statistics.

The groups with the least red meat consumption also ate the most fiber, fruits and vegetables, which we know are good for your health, irrespective of whether you eat red meat or not. White meat consumption also included fish, which is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, a cancer fighting and heart healthy nutrient.

If the researchers are right, they could be underestimating things, because the general population of the US eats worse than the members of this study group.

What he did not point out is that the study did not even attempt to differentiate between factory meat and grass-fed meat.

This is a crucial difference, as there is much evidence that growth hormones and preservatives such as nitrates can cause cancer, and other diseases. It is well known that nitrates and nitrites commonly used in processed meats can cause cancer. If people eating red meat in the study died sooner, it was not from the meat, it was from the poisons added to the meat.

Causes of death for those in the study included diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, ulcers, pneumonia, influenza, liver disease, HIV, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and more.

The study failed to look at fiber consumption, such as fruit and vegetables, which can have a big impact on cancer rates.

"Meat is an excellent source of zinc, iron, B-12 and other essential vitamins and minerals. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines say to eat a balanced diet that includes lean meat. In this way, you derive a wide array of nutrients from many different sources. It's the best return on a nutritional investment you can get.

The biggest issue I can see is that the study did not differentiate between grass-fed beef and commercially raised, hormone and additive loaded beef. There is a world of difference and the press treats all red meat as the same, which is so far from the truth. Unfortunately for grass-fed beef and all the health benefits it has, also gets a bad rap as well.

The solution is simple:

Eat only grass-fed and grass finished meats, and avoid processed meat with nitrates or other preservatives. Unlike commercially raised beef, grass-fed meat is loaded with cancer-preventing nutrients such as omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid, and vitamin E.

Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed animals. Omega-3s play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. Of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly and cancer fighting. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat, among other things.

Amazingly, they are also 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack. Omega-3s are essential for the brain, mood, and emotional well being as well. People eating a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, or Alzheimer's disease.

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may significantly reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies, these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading.

Clearly grass-fed meat is NOTHING like commercially raised beef.

Although omega-3s are abundant in seafood and certain nuts they are also found in grass-fed meats in a big way. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to the feedlot to be fattened on grain, they begin losing their supply of this highly beneficial fat. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.

It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent have blood levels so low that they cannot be detected.

Perhaps this fact alone could be a factor in this most recent study.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid is another vital part of this puzzle. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of this type of fat. When cattle are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets. (A steak from the most marbled grass-fed animals will have the most CLA, as much of the CLA is stored in fat cells.)

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.

In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA-a mere 0.1 percent of total calories-greatly reduced tumor growth. There is new evidence that CLA reduces cancer risk in humans. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Switching from grain-fed to grass-fed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category.

The most natural and effective way to increase your intake of CLA is to eat the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grass-fed products each day: one to two ounces of raw dairy cheese, and two servings of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grain-fed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection. And in doing so, you increase the harmful components of these commercially raised foods.

In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grass-fed animals is also higher in vitamin E.

The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle-even if they are given vitamin E supplements.

In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Again, most Americans are deficient in vitamin E, so we see another link to this latest faulty study. If Americans on the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) are deficient in Vitamin E, then it raises their risk of life-threatening diseases. Nature has given us a healthier alternative to weight control-eat meat from animals raised on fresh pasture. Meat from grass-fed animals has about half the fat as meat from grain fed animals and significantly fewer calories. It also gives you a bonus supply of vitamins E, A, D, and beta-carotene.

The point is don't get excited by studies reported through the mass media. Studies like this are clearly biased and the media reports on what it wants to report. Obviously we don't get the whole truth or even much of any truth. Studies like this have many flaws and are done to get the outcome that is desired. Educate yourself on the best foods and you will be miles ahead of those who read the news for nutrition information.

As a journalist once remarked: what is news? News is whatever the reporter decides it is. In my opinion, they decided wrongly in this case.

Eades, Michael, M.D., The Blog of Michael Eades,


Johnson, Karla P., AP Medical Writer, CHICAGO


Rock & Roll Fever

This is really funny! Watch it all! It's short and you'll probably get a chuckle out of it!


Fad Diets...what are we thinking?!

We’ve all heard of “fad diets” and many of us have even tried them. After a fad diet has failed, what are you left with? An unhealthy body that’s been deprived of needed nutrients. Would we even need fad diets if we ate traditional, healthy, unprocessed foods? What about the old saying: everything in moderation? What are your thoughts about fad diets? We’d like to hear what you have to say! Do you have any healthy products to satisfy your sweet or salty cravings?

From Glamour Magazine:
They may be called fad diets, but, man, these weight-loss ideas sure stick around longer than leggings and platform wedges. The Cookie Diet may have earned some street cred when Jennifer Hudson was associated with trying it, but the plan got its start in the ’70s. And that Master Cleanse BeyoncĂ© reportedly used to slim down? It’s
probably older than your mom. Read on for more ways women have fought fat for the past century. (Note: Some are really bizarre and unhealthy.)

1930s-’40s diet trends: smoking and the Master Cleanse
Models and celebrities must have gotten the idea that smoking keeps you thin from somewhere, right? It turns out a 1920s-’30s ad campaign is to blame. Cigarette brand Lucky Strike used the line “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet.” Ugh! Do we even need to remind you of all the reasons — infertility, heart disease, lung cancer — smoking is one of the unhealthiest habits for you? Women looking for a quicker fix opted for the lemonade diet, or Master Cleanse. Developed by Stanley Burroughs, the diet allowed only lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Nearly 70 years later, BeyoncĂ© reportedly used the same program to shed pounds for her role in 2006’s “Dreamgirls.” Talk about staying power!

1950s diet trend: prayer
Want to drop pounds? Pray for weight loss. The idea may sound nutty to some, but in the 1950s, the Christian dieting industry exploded. After losing 100 pounds, Reverend Charlie Shedd wrote the book “Pray Your Weight Away,” which was published in 1957. The best-seller set the trend for future titles such as “I Prayed Myself Slim” (1960), “Help Lord,” “The Devil Wants Me Fat!” (1978) and “The Weigh Down Diet” (1997), which advised readers not to confuse physical hunger for what was really spiritual hunger. Think this trend has died? Think again. In 2002, Don Colbert, M.D., published What “Would Jesus Eat?” and “The What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook.”

1960s diet trend: support groups and cabbage soup

The ’60s were all about sharing the love, and the concept even applied to dieting. Dieters began forming support organizations. Early in the decade, a group of compulsive eaters formed Overeaters Anonymous. And in 1961, Jean Nidetch invited friends into her New York City home to talk about weight loss. Two years later, after losing 72 pounds, she launched Weight Watchers. But dieting wasn’t always so friendly. The Cabbage Soup Diet was published in a book during this time. It promised dieters they would lose 17 pounds, but users mentioned the gassy side effects — not exactly conducive to close encounters, huh?

1970s diet trend: diet pills
The era touted the miracle of diet pills. Some claimed to stop the body’s absorption of carbs. In essence, they promised you could stuff your face with pizza and bread without consequences. After reports of vomiting and abdominal pain, however, the FDA pulled the pills in 1983 to investigate the long-term side effects. This turned out to be a good thing because researchers found that the undigested starch was going straight to the colon — yikes! Dexatrim was another pill of the era. The appetite suppressant contained the drug PPA (phenylpropanolamine), and in 2000, it too was pulled from the market. The pill was eventually reincarnated as Dexatrim Natural Ephedrine-Free, though some critics still aren’t convinced it’s safe. Our take: Unless they’re prescribed by your doctor, pills are almost never a good idea.

1980s diet trend: Scarsdale Diet
The 1980s swung away from easy fixes and back to hardcore discipline with the Scarsdale Diet. It was a two-week high-protein, low-carb and super-low-calorie diet (1,000 calories or fewer per day!). Author Herman Tarnower, M.D., claimed that by going on and off the diet every two weeks, followers could lose up to 20 pounds per week without any long-term deprivation of any vitamins or minerals. But the food list was restrictive: no butter, no salad dressing (except lemon and vinegar) and no alcohol. Your snack choices were either raw carrots or celery — that’s it. If losing 20 pounds a week sounds too good to be true, it is. For most people, consuming fewer than 1,200 calories a day is considered a starvation diet.

1990s diet trend: low-carb Atkins
Throughout the ’80s, people became aware of red meat’s association with heart disease, so they thought carbohydrates were the answer to a longer life, says Gabriella Petrick, PhD, a food historian at New York University. “The medical knowledge at any given time gets reflected in diets prescribed,” she says. “In the ’80s, the popularity of lean chicken also exploded. And in the ’90s, the Atkins diet was a reaction against ideas in the 1980s that said you need a high-carb diet.” People who had ballooned from all the carbs fell in love with Dr. Atkins. Although he’d been around before the ’90s, his popularity soared after the book “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” was released in 1992.

Top 5 diet trends of today
We’re not sure what the lasting diet fad of today will be, but we’ve narrowed down our best bets:
1. Celebrity-endorsed diets: Stars like Jessica Simpson and Eva Mendes swear by Harley Pasternak’s 5-Factor plan.
2. Portion control: 100-calorie pack, anyone?
3. Organic diets: Followers believe that organic foods, without the preservatives and additives of their nonorganic counterparts, may help the body’s digestive system run more smoothly.
4. Diet delivery: Services like Chefs Diet and NutriSystem deliver either fresh or frozen prepackaged meals right to your door.
5. Sweet and savory diets: Think Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet (which originally began in 1975) —Jennifer Hudson is reportedly a cookie-diet fan — or the eat-croissants-for-breakfast-and-veggies-for-lunch philosophy of “French Women Don’t Get Fat.”

(The above article is from TodayShow.com, originally from Glamour Magazine.)

We’d like to hear from you! What do you think about fad diets? Do you have an alternative? Let us know!


Why Butter is Better and Tallow is Terrific!

This article has moved! Click here to go to this article on our new blog!


The Mother of Slow Food

Watch CBS Videos Online

Click here for more on the 60 Minutes interview with Alice Waters.

Here's the link to her delightful restaurant website.


Spring Fever

Spring is almost here which is so exciting! And that means it's just about time to fire up the grill. My taste buds are ready for a perfectly grilled grass fed steak. Try this simple addition to liven up any steak. The main ingredient, cilantro, is delicious in so many dishes and can easily be grown at home.

Grilled Steaks with Cilantro-Olive Paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 ounces pitted black olives
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Your choice of steak: Ribeye, NY Strip, Petite NY Strip, T-Bone, 6 oz or 9 oz Tenderloin
Add the first six ingredients to a food processor and puree, making a paste. Generously coat the steaks and allow them to come to room temperature.

Start the grill and heat to medium-hot. If you're using a gas grill, turn off all but one of the burners once it's come up to temperature. If you are using charcoal, be sure all the coals have been raked to one side. Using the hand test, the grate will be hot enough when you can hold your palm five inches above the it for no more than 3 seconds.

Sear the steaks for 3 minutes on each side directly over the flame, with the lid down. Then, move steaks to the part of the grill that's not lit. Set the lid in place and allow the steaks to cook, flipping them only once. Remove steaks to a platter and tent loosely with foil, allowing steaks to rest five minutes before serving. Be careful not to overcook the meat as it will continue to cook as it rests.

-Adapted from a wonderful guide to grilling called The Farmer and the Grill by Shannon Hayes


St. Patrick's Day Feast...$ave some green

Everyday we hear about it on the news, read about it in the paper, see evidence of it all around...times are tough. However, we still need to be able to take a break and relax. But these days we'll be smarter about how we spend our money to accomplish that! Eating in is a great way to save money and bring your family together. So, this St. Patrick's Day, grab a lager and enjoy this hearty meal at home!
Corned Beef and Vegetables

  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 potatoes, cut in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 (1.75pound) corned beef,* cut to fit if necessary
  • 1 onion, chunked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except cabbage and asparagus. Cover and cook 2 hours on high. Layer cabbage, then asparagus, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, cook about 2 more hours on high. Remove asparagus and place on a platter, remove the corned beef and remaining vegetables and place on a separate platter, or serve directly from the slow cooker. Serves 3-4.

*The corned beef is already seasoned, so additional seasonings are not necessary.

Fun for the kids:
Green up the day! Add a touch green to everything!
  • Make pistachio pudding or vanilla pudding with a couple drops of green food coloring
  • Make green jello
  • Add green food coloring to milk
  • Treat the kids with mint chocolate chip ice cream or green milk shakes
  • Give the above fun names such as: Leprechaun Pudding, Shamrock Jello, Lucky Milk, Blarney Stone Ice Cream/Shakes
  • Add naturally green veggies to your meal such as: asparagus, broccoli, leafy green salad, avacado...the list goes on and on!

These are just a few ideas to make the day a little bit more memorable! FYI: a small amount of food coloring can go a long way.


Mexi-Chicken Meatballs

For a tasty twist on meatballs, try this recipe using ground chicken and lots of other great ingredients.


  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and blotted dry
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno, halved*
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbl. milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can peeled whole tomatoes with their juices
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbl. chopped cilantro

In a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chicken, egg and milk. Roll the mixture into 20 meatballs, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Dust meatballs lightly with flour, tapping off any excess.

Wipe out the food processor and add the remaining garlic clove and jalapeno half; pulse until chopped. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the oregano and process until smooth.

In a cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer for a couple more minutes. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Serving suggestions: These meatballs are great over pasta or with crusty bread or alone as an appetizer.

*Remove the seeds from the jalapeno for a milder flavor. If you prefer the spiciness, leave all or some of the seeds.


Tropical Muffins

These tasty muffins pack the power of coconut...times two...coconut oil and shredded coconut!

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanila extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained well
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 3 Tbl macadamia nuts, finely chopped

  • 2 Tbl shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 Tbl macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbl turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tbl regular oats
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. For muffins, in a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine banana, buttermilk, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Stir in pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts. Spoon mixture into 12 muffin cups.
3. For topping, in a small bowl combine coconut, macadamia nuts, turbinado sugar, and oats.
4. Sprinkle topping over each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees or until muffins spring back when touched lightly. Remove from pan to cool.

Top with a bit of grass-fed butter...mmm...mmm...mmm...perfect!

Notes: A couple things that you may not keep on hand, buttermilk and ripe bananas, can readily be available. Whenever your bananas get too ripe to eat by themselves, toss them in the freezer until you're ready to use them for baking. Also, a substitute for buttermilk is 1 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar.

For information about the health benefits of coconut, check out these articles:
The Weston A. Price Foundation is exploding with information about this nutrient-rich fat.

Don't forget about all the other blogs participating in this carnival!


Healthy Dessert

When craving a sweet treat, a healthy one can be so much more satisfying. So lets satisfy and nourish our bodies and souls! We hope you enjoy this healthy treat!

Honey Berry Sorbet
  • 2 cups chopped fresh berries (like strawberries, raspberries, or a mix)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, heat berries, juice, mint and honey over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours (but no longer than 24 hours).

In a food processor, place berry mixture. Cover and blend until smooth; strain.

Stir in lemon peel. Pour into 1-quart ice-cream freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.



Beef Marrow Bone Stock

Healthy, delicious, nutrient-packed, vital, traditional....what are these words describing? Marrow bone stock, of course! Stock adds wonderful nutrients and delightful flavor to many recipes. Always use stock or broth which is homemade or purchased from a reliable source, never use bouillon cubes which are packed full of MSG and salt instead of nutrients.

Beef Pie

2 lbs beef stew meat
1/2 cup seasoned flour -1/4 cup each: spelt and whole wheat flours (seasoned with sea salt and black pepper)
2 Tbl olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup beef marrow bone stock
1 Tbl parsley
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
Sea salt, to taste

1/2 cup spelt flour*
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup beef tallow
1/2 tsp sea salt
cold water
1 egg, beaten

Dredge beef in seasoned flour. Heat oil in a skillet and cook meat until just browned. Add onion, carrots, stock, parsley, Italian herbs, and sea salt. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare crust: Add flour in a medium-sized bowl, add salt and stir. Add tallow and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Add a small amount of cold water, about a tablespoon at a time, lightly knead until dough forms, don't over-knead. Roll out crust so that it will fit the top of the pie pan.

Put meat mixture into a 9 inch pie pan, cover with pie crust. Cut of any excess crust. Press edges onto the rim of the pan to seal. Cut several vents in the crust to let out the steam. Brush with egg.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crust is done. Let cool for a few minutes, enjoy and nourish!
(Admittedly not the best picture, but wow, it tastes awesome!)

*Low-gluten flour, such as spelt flour, alone does not make a good pie crust.

This recipe can easily be made with more and/or different vegetables, if you prefer.

Along with beef stock, chicken stock is also great. The feet of chickens are thought to be the "secret ingredient" in making good broth, however, finding chicken feet can be a task in itself! If you're in the market for chicken feet, take a look at this package. They're expected to be available again in the next couple of weeks and they go fast!

Check out all the blogs participating in the Bone Broth Recipe and Tips carnival. Real Food blog carnivals occur every Wednesday - Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Cheeseslave rotate hosting duties.


Real Food on a Budget

If you're wondering how to eat well on a tight budget, we have good news for you - traditional food blogger extraordinaire Cheeseslave is hosting a "Real Food on a Budget" blog carnival today. Check it out for tons of great ideas! Here is our contribution:

In the midst of uncertain economic times, it can be tempting to cut your grocery budget by turning to cheap, processed food instead of high quality, nutrient dense "real food." However, reducing the quality of the food your family consumes can have real consequences, both now and in the future. So how can you eat real food on a tight budget?

A quick internet search for “eating well on a budget” will reveal dozens of useful tips for keeping your food budget in check. For your convenience, the US Wellness Meats staff has compiled a short list of our favorite tips for eating nutritious real food on a budget:
  • Grow your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs in a garden or in containers; shop at a farmer’s market or join a CSA (community supported agriculture) program if growing your own isn’t an option.
  • Choose locally raised, in season fruits and vegetables; frozen versions are a cost effective and nutritious substitute during winter months.
  • Plan ahead – plan meals in advance and shop only once per week; prior to meal planning, inventory your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to determine what you need to use before it expires or goes to waste.
To maximize your budget when ordering from US Wellness Meats:
  • Shop for weekly sale items, which are announced each Sunday and run through Saturday night.
  • Order primal cuts of steak and roast – you can save money by cutting a primal into portions at home.
  • Order bulk packages of your favorite products, from ground beef to steak to shredded beef. Our frozen meats are packaged to withstand long term storage in your freezer, which allows you to order in bulk without products going to waste. Splitting bulk packages with friends or family can also boost your savings on high quality grass fed beef.
  • New steak choices, developed as “value cuts,” including the flat iron and teres major, are equally tender and delicious alternatives to traditional cuts such as New York strip and tenderloin filet steaks.
  • Sandwich steaks, minute steaks, flank steak, and petite top sirloin are all outstanding values.
Finally, think of good nutrition as an investment which will pay big dividends in the future. Eating well today, even in this unsteady economy, will eventually lead to a savings in health care costs and will improve your quality of life along the way.

Curious about the Real Food on a Budget carnival? Visit Cheeseslave to get more information. Real Food blog carnivals occur every Wednesday - Kelly the Kitchen Kop rotates hosting duties with Cheeseslave.


Beef and Bean Burritos: A Great Family Meal

If one of your New Year's Resolutions was to feed your family a more nourishing diet, we found an easy, delicious recipe to help you keep that resolution:

Beef and Bean Burritos

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 cups prepared black beans (or 3 15-ounce cans black or pinto beans, rinsed, drained)
1 14-ounce container beef bone stock
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
4 green onions
Warm tortillas of your choice (flour, whole wheat, sprouted)
Grated Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro
Salsa (try Zukay)

  1. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until brown, breaking up beef with fork, about 6 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until onion is transparent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and cook 1 minute. Add beans, beef stock and chilies and cook until beans are creamy and thickened, crushing beans with back of spoon, about 15 minutes. Mix in green onions.
  2. Transfer beans to baking dish. Serve with tortillas, cheese, cilantro and salsa, allowing diners to assemble their own burritos at the table. Serves 8. - Recipe adapted from epicurious.com
What are your favorite nourishing recipes?
Do you need some nourishing recipes and ideas? Check out some of our favorite blogs:
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
The Nourishing Gourmet