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Zinc Deficiency: An Epidemic?

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetShrimp

When you think of the health benefits of zinc, you probably think of immune health first. Zinc supplements are the first thing many of us turn to when we feel a cold or flu coming on. And for good reason, because zinc is essential for a well-functioning immune system. But the benefits of this vital mineral go far beyond helping to ward off the common cold.

In fact, zinc is vital to your brain – for learning and consolidating memories and helping to regulate your mood. It has also been found to boost heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, support the gastrointestinal system and reduce leaky gut, enhance athletic performance and even support hormonal health and fertility.

Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of this crucial nutrient. According to the World Health Organization one-third of the world’s population – over 2 billion people – are deficient in zinc.

And while it is estimated that only 1 in 10 Americans are technically considered “zinc deficient,” a much higher percentage are still grossly insufficient.

And one of the primary causes is a grain-rich diet.

Zinc Binders in Grains Promote Deficiency

Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, the USDA still recommends grain-based foods as the foundation of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, as it relates to zinc, a grain-based diet is rich in copper, lignans and phytates – three compounds that can dramatically reduce the bioavailability and absorption of zinc.

And while many grain-based foods are fortified with zinc to improve their nutritional profile (on paper), research shows that zinc-fortified foods do not necessarily increase serum concentrations of zinc in the body.

What’s more, the forms of zinc that are most often used for fortification – including zinc oxide and zinc sulfate – are inorganic forms of the mineral, which are poorly absorbed.

But that’s not all… lifestyle factors and your own health status can also play a role in the levels of zinc in your body.

Are You Living a Zinc Deficient Lifestyle?

Excess consumption of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and other competing minerals (including calcium, iron and copper) can all reduce zinc levels or increase your body’s requirement of it. Stress, infections, low stomach acid and certain medications can do the same thing.

Pregnant and nursing mothers should also be especially vigilant about zinc levels, as deficiencies are commonly associated with the bodily changes that come with pregnancy. And this is critical, because zinc deficiencies during pregnancy and lactation have been linked to miscarriage, low birth weight, and developmental problems in children.

And if you are vegetarian (or worse, vegan), your risk of a zinc deficiency is increased dramatically. That’s because about 44% of the zinc in the American diet comes from meat, fish and poultry. Even well-planned vegetarian diets fall short on zinc, according to research performed at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The ARS study also showed that 21 percent less zinc was absorbed from a vegetarian diet compared to an omnivorous one.

Add this decreased absorption to the lower zinc content of a vegetarian diet and you have a prescription for deficiency.

So How Much Zinc is Enough?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc is currently 8-11 mg. However, like most RDA values, nutritional experts believe this is only a minimum acceptable level, at best.

In fact, studies show that our Paleolithic ancestors consumed an average of 43 mg of zinc per day from grain-free, legume-free, whole-food sources – the most bioavailable forms.

Today, modern Americans consume roughly 10 mg daily. But remember – it’s what you absorb that matters. If only 15 to 35 percent of the zinc you consume is absorbed (which is common) then you are likely deficient.  

With all of the factors that influence zinc metabolism, and the highly processed diets that most people consume, it’s easy to see how a deficiency in this critical nutrient has become epidemic.

And though it doesn’t get the press it deserves, you can be sure that this has negatively impacted the health and quality of life of millions. The authors of a review on zinc and human health, published in the Archives of Toxicology state:

“Zinc is an essential element whose significance to health is increasingly appreciated and whose deficiency may play an important role in the appearance of diseases.”

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

One reason why this epidemic goes unnoticed is because the symptoms of zinc deficiency are diverse and can be attributed to numerous other factors. These symptoms can include:
 
•    Acne
•    Anxiety
•    Asthma
•    Behavior Changes
•    Chronic Diarrhea
•    Dandruff
•    Delayed Wound Healing
•    Depression
•    Diarrhea
•    Fatigue
•    Frequent Infection
•    Hair Loss
•    Headaches
•    Impaired Memory
•    Joint Pain
•    Learning Disabilities
•    Loss Of Appetite And Taste Perception
•    Sensitive Skin
•    Severe PMS
•    Skin And Respiratory Allergy
•    Slowed Sexual Maturation
•    Unhealthy Weight Loss Caused By Loss Of Appetite
•    Vision Problems
•    White Spots In The Fingernails
 
The Most Absorbable Food Sources of Zinc

The best sources of zinc are the same foods our ancestors enjoyed including, grass-fed meats, wild seafood, and pastured poultry.

Food Serving Mg of Zinc
Oysters 3 oz 154 mg
Beef Liver 3 oz 4.5 mg
Beef 4 oz 4 mg
Lamb 4 oz 3.9 mg
Lobster 3 oz 3.4 mg
Pork 3 oz 2.9 mg
Duck Liver 3 oz 2.7 mg
Chicken 3 oz 2.4 mg
Chicken Liver 3 oz 2.1 mg
Turkey 4 oz 2 mg
Shrimp 4 oz 1.9 mg
Scallops 4 oz 1.8 mg

In addition to these foods being high in zinc (and devoid of zinc-binding substances that reduce its absorption), they are also rich in a compound known to boost zinc absorption: Protein!

Another effective way to increase zinc absorption? Add a grass-fed whey protein shake to your meals.  Whey protein is rich in cysteine and methionine – two amino acids that enhance zinc absorption.

You can also include zinc-rich nuts and seeds including pumpkin seeds (1 oz, 3 mg), cashews (1 oz, 1.6 mg), and almonds (1 oz, 0.9 mg) to boost your intake. But be sure to soak them to reduce the phytates that make zinc inaccessible to the body. (Better Than Roasted does the work for you… and they taste great!)

Because zinc supplementation can interfere with other important nutrients in the body, and most zinc supplements are poorly absorbed, it’s best to rely on getting this important nutrient from the whole food sources listed above.

And if you think you may have a zinc deficiency, simple and inexpensive tests are widely available. Often correcting low stomach acid with betaine HCL can dramatically increase the absorption of zinc and other nutrients you get from your food – no synthetic supplements required. As always, talk with your doctor.


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ED NOTE:  Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product – Better Bread – a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.

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References
1.    Michael Hambidge. Human Zinc Deficiency J. Nutr. May 1, 2000 vol. 130 no. 5 1344S-1349S
2.    Sturniolo GC1, Di Leo V, Ferronato A, D'Odorico A, D'Incà R. Zinc supplementation tightens "leaky gut" in Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2001 May;7(2):94-8.
3.    Zinc: Dietary Supplement Facts by CDC
4.    Chasapis CT, Loutsidou AC, Spiliopoulou CA, Stefanidou ME. Zinc and human health: an update. Arch Toxicol. 2012 Apr;86(4):521-34. doi: 10.1007/s00204-011-0775-1. Epub 2011 Nov 10.
5.    Prasad AS. Discovery of human zinc deficiency: 50 years later. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2012 Jun;26(2-3):66-9.
6.    Hess SY1, Brown KH. Impact of zinc fortification on zinc nutrition. Food Nutr Bull. 2009 Mar;30(1 Suppl):S79-107.
7.    Brown KH1, Wessells KR, Hess SY. Zinc bioavailability from zinc-fortified foods. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 May;77(3):174-81.
8.    "Vegetarians, Watch Your Zinc!”. March 1998 , Agricultural Research magazine.
9.    Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd. Paleolithic vs. modern diets—selected pathophysiological implications. Eur J Nutr. 2000 Apr;39(2):67-70.
10.    Cordain L. The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups. JANA. 2002;5(3):15-24.
11.    Cordain L, Brand Miller J, Eaton SB, Mann N, Holt SHA, Speth JD. Plant to animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, 71:682-92.
12.    King JC. Does zinc absorption reflect zinc status? Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2010 Oct;80(4-5):300-6.
13.    Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Zinc. Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001:442-501.
14.    Prasad AS. Zinc deficiency in humans: a neglected problem. J Am Coll Nutr. 1998;17(6):542-543.
15.    Wapnir RA, Stiel L. Zinc intestinal absorption in rats: specificity of amino acids as ligands. The Journal of Nutrition [1986, 116(11):2171-2179]
16.    Kassarjian, Z., Russell, R. Hypochlorhydria: A Factor in Nutrition. Annual Reviews of Nutrition. 1989. 9, 271-285.
17.    Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21

Soothing Duck Broth

When people hear the words "Duck Soup," they often think of a movie made by the Marx brothers.

But duck soup actually has an important role in the cooking traditions of many countries. Duck is quite beefy in flavor, and makes a very robust and refreshing broth. Several cultures traditionally used duck soup to treat lung problems, and to help an invalid recover their strength.

In Chinese medicine, duck meat and duck soup are often used to treat asthma, coughs, lung problems, and other illnesses. And a properly made duck broth is so tasty and renewing. I find it energizing.

The best parts of the duck for making soup are the wings and gizzards, as they create a very gelatinous broth, which sooths the stomach. U.S. Wellness Meats now sells high quality natural duck wings and duck gizzards, which are perfect for making duck broth.

This soup uses a traditional Chinese flavor combination to flavor the broth. The use of unrefined sea salt adds nourishing minerals to the broth. It is delicious as well as nourishing.

8 USW Broth max

Makes approximately 8 quarts.

INGREDIENTS

2 packages U.S. Wellness Meats duck wings

1 package U.S. Wellness Meats duck gizzards

3 organic green onions, cut into two-inch pieces

3 organic garlic cloves, halved

3 slices organic fresh ginger, each slice being about the size of a quarter (25-cent coin)

2 tablespoons coarse unrefined sea salt

Plenty of filtered water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in a large stainless steel stockpot. Add enough filtered water to cover the duck pieces by about four inches. Heat the pot over high heat until the broth reaches a boil, then reduce the heat so the broth simmers slowly rather than boils. This may take awhile, due to the large volume of ingredients and liquid.
  2. When the water is close to boiling, remove the scum that rises to the top with a slotted spoon. This can also take awhile, but is necessary.
  3. Once the broth has reached a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 12 hours or longer. It will be ready after 12 hours.
  4. Using a ladle, strain into jars, and cover. When the bottles have cooled down, refrigerate. The fat will rise to the top and will solidify in the refrigerator. This fat cap will help preserve the broth. The fat should be removed before serving, and can be used for many cooking purposes. The broth should be brought to a quick boil when reheated, then allowed to cool to the desired degree of hotness.
describe the imageStanley Fishman is a cookbook author and blogger who is an expert on cooking grassfed meat. Stanley uses traditional flavor combinations and cooking methods to make the cooking of grassfed meat easy, delicious, and tender. Stanley has written two cookbooks that make it easy to cook grassfed meat —Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo. Stanley blogs about real food and the cooking of grassfed meat at his blog Tendergrassfedmeat.com.

The “Super-Nutrient” in Your Slow Cooker

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

Happy New YearIt’s the time of year for merriment. And for most people, holiday indulgences can leave you feeling sluggish and dull as you ring in the New Year.

But it’s not just holiday overindulgences that tax our liver and leave us feeling low. Every day we’re exposed to a barrage of assaults from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the chemicals we come into contact with.

Our modern world a toxic soup and we can’t help but bathe in it.

And while many people choose to more “drastic” measures (like a multi-day juice fast) to help counteract the damage, there’s a more practical way to lighten your liver’s burden and cleanse away occasional culinary sins and environmental toxins…

Drink bone broth!

The Non-Essential Nutrient That’s Essential for DetoxifyingBroth

Bone broth is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including the amino acid glycine. Glycine is the simplest of all amino acids and is considered “non-essential.” That means that it can be produced by the body.

But when it comes to detoxification, glycine is absolutely essential. In fact, without enough glycine, your liver’s ability to do its job comes to a slow grind.

You see, glycine is one of several starting compounds needed to make the body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent: glutathione.

The Most Miraculous Anti-Aging Substance (Your Doctor Hasn’t Heard Of)

Glutathione is made up of just three amino acids bonded together – glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. And while glutathione is a very small and simple molecule, its function in the body is extremely diverse… and unquestionably vital.

It’s so important that more than 89,000 medical articles have been written about it!

The first way that glutathione works its healing magic is by recharging the other antioxidants in your body. These include vitamin C, vitamin E and lipoic acid. Without glutathione, free radicals would overwhelm your antioxidant defenses and cause rapid physical deterioration.

But this amazing substance is also an essential part of your liver’s ability to detoxify the blood.

Here’s how it happens…

Glutathione: Your Body’s Crucial Cleanser

First, the blood is filtered by the liver. Think of this as the deep cleaning phase. Toxins and other unwanted chemical junk are removed from the blood and converted into water-soluble chemicals (called conjugates). These conjugates are then reduced to smaller fragments, which can then be more easily neutralized and excreted.  

The next step is called phase II detoxification. This is where enzymes and antioxidants – including glutathione – step in to neutralize the metabolic debris and free radicals that were gathered or generated in the first phase.

Day in and day out, your body performs these complex housekeeping tasks. But this internal “maid service” does not come without a cost – each and every time the body cleanses compounds from the blood, glutathione and other vital nutrients are depleted.

And the more toxins you are exposed to, or the longer the exposure, the more costly this “housekeeping” becomes from a nutritional standpoint.

This is exactly why you need to…

Detox Weekly… Not Yearly

Humans are in contact with more toxins today than ever before in history. From radiation to the tens of thousands of chemicals we’re exposed to in our food, water and air – your health depends on being able to continuously and efficiently detoxify.

The best way to achieve this is to provide your body with a constant supply of the nutrients that facilitate internal cleansing – including glycine.

And making bone broth is the best and easiest way to incorporate the glutathione-boosting benefits of glycine into your diet.

Here are some quick tips to get the most:

Cook Slow & Low: Longer cooking times at lower temperatures help to ensure maximum extraction of glycine and other important nutrients in bones. To make bone broth simply add 4-5 large bones to a slow cooker and fill three-quarters full with water (you can add salt, seasonings, onions and vegetables, if you wish). Make sure you have enough water in the pot and cook for 24 hours on low to create a nutrient-dense broth.

Add Parts: Marrow bones are the standard for making bone broth, but you can get more glycine if you add parts like chicken feet.

Consider the Fat: If you make a bone broth predominantly from beef bones, the fat will be saturated. However chicken parts will produce more omega-6 fats. For this reason, you should consider scraping (if it’s cold) or ladling the fat from top of bone broth made from chicken.

Make Gelatin Cubes: If you won’t be using or consuming all of your nutrient-rich bone broth within four to seven days, simply spoon or pour the amount you want to store into ice cube trays and freeze. Then pop out the cubes and store them in a zip-top bag for quick individual use. They can be added to soups, stews and sauces or just gently heated for a soothing, cleansing drink.

To lighten your liver’s load, you should also avoid processed foods and chemicals, limit your alcohol consumption and engage in regular exercise. But for the toxins that inevitably make their way into your body, boosting glutathione and other key nutrients goes a long way to protecting your health. And consuming glycine-rich bone broth is one of the best ways to do that.

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Ed Note: Do you want to learn more about boosting your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier? Check out Kelley’s comprehensive series The Food Cure where you’ll learn the 4 supplements and 13 foods you should be eating every day to maximize your body’s production of this miracle substance!

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REFERENCES

1.    N.R. Gotthoffer. Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine.
2.    De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A, Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-29
3.    Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in sickness and in health. The Lancet 351(9103):645-646
4.    Fidelus R.K., Tsan M.F. Glutathione and lymphocyte activation: a function of aging and auto-immune disease. Immunology. 1987 61:503-508.
5.    Wellner V.P., Anderson M.E., Puri R.N., Jensen G.L., Meister A. (1982) Radioprotection by glutathione ester: transport of glutathione ester in human lymphoid cells and fibroblasts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81, 4732

Paleo, Primal, and Price

The question has arisen recently on various blogs about whether the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price are compatible with the Paleo and Primal movements. A similar question has been raised as to whether the Weston A. Price Foundation and its members are hostile to the Paleo and Primal movements.

I have studied Dr. Price’s work for years, so much so that my copy of his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, has literally fallen apart. I have been a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation for years. I have followed a Weston A. Price style diet for over six years. I have read and studied almost every article on the vast website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have designed my cookbooks to be completely compatible with the teachings of Dr. Price. I have strongly advocated the Weston A. Price style of eating on my blog, and still do.

Though I am a member, I do not speak for the Weston A. Price Foundation. Nobody speaks for the Foundation except its officers, officially designated spokespeople, and board members. I speak for myself.

I consider the teachings of Dr. Price to be compatible with a number of Paleo and Primal diets.

I support, respect, and admire the Paleo and Primal movements.

We have so much in common. We are all looking for an alternative to the horrible modern diet which has destroyed the health of so many people. We all reject modern processed foods in favor of real food, food that humans have thrived on for uncounted years. We are all trying to base our diets on the wisdom of our ancestors. So many of us have had amazing health benefits from following the food wisdom of our ancestors. We are natural allies. We should unite politically to protect our access to real food. We should support, encourage, share what we know, and learn from each other. And many of us have been doing exactly that.

The Many Diets of Doctor Price

As many of us know, Dr. Price traveled the world for ten years, visiting and studying various peoples who were eating the traditional diets of their ancestors. Each one of these traditional people had relatives who were eating a modern diet in a nearby town or city, so Dr. Price was able to compare the teeth and health of those who ate traditional food to those who ate modern food. Dr. Price found that the people eating their traditional diets had perfect teeth, despite having no dental care, and were free of the modern chronic diseases that cripple and kill so many people in modern cultures, both then and today. In other words, they had no cancer, no heart disease, no birth defects, not arthritis, no asthma, no allergies, no tuberculosis, none of the modern chronic diseases. They were so much healthier than we are, in so many ways. Yet, the relatives of those people, if they made the terrible mistake of eating modern foods, lost their teeth, and suffered from all of the chronic modern diseases, unlike their cousins who ate like their ancestors.

No two of the diets studied by Dr. Price were alike. There were peoples who ate traditionally prepared grains and dairy, along with meat and vegetables. There were peoples who ate meat, dairy, and vegetables, but no grains. There were peoples who ate only the animals they hunted, and ate no dairy, grains, or vegetables. Most of these peoples ate wild seafood, but some had no access to it. All of these peoples were healthy and free of chronic disease, with perfect teeth. And they had essentially no modern medical care, and no dentistry. So we know for a fact that all of these ancestral diets worked wonderfully for human beings.

Yet, all of these diets had something in common. They all ate meat, and they all consumed large amounts of animal fat, and/or fish fat. They all fermented various foods, a process that both preserved foods and increased the nutritional value. They all had sacred foods, foods that they valued above all others. These sacred foods were rich in animal or fish fat, including such items as organ meats, fish eggs, and butter. None of these peoples ate modern processed foods, even the kinds that were available in the 1930s.

So you can follow the research results of Dr. Price, and eat or avoid a wide variety of foods. You do not have to eat grains. You do not have to eat dairy. As long as you eat real, unmodified food, and eat plenty of natural animal fat, and avoid modern processed foods, you are on the path. You can also add in traditionally prepared grains and/or dairy, and still be on the path. It depends on how you respond to various foods, what you can get, how much work you are willing to put into it, and the condition of your body. The choice is yours, and I respect your right to make it.

The Many Diets of Paleo and Primal

There is no single Paleo or Primal diet. There are dozens of variations. Some allow some dairy and/or grains. Some do not. These diets are constantly evolving and changing as more is learned, a healthy and vital process that is great for the movement. Yet, all of these diets seek to eat the foods that our ancestors thrived on, and look to the wisdom of our ancestors in choosing food. Many of them seek to eat foods similar to those eaten before the advent of agriculture. No one knows for sure what Paleolithic people ate. We can make some pretty good guesses, based on what people without agriculture or herds have eaten in recorded history, and based on what some of the peoples studied by Dr. Price ate. Some of the details of what we do know are surprising. For example, some people who had no dairy animals ate animal milk. They did so by killing female animals, and eating the milk they found in the body. They would also kill young animals, such as bison calves, and eat the milk they found in the digestive system of the animal. We know that the Native Americans did this, and there is no reason to believe that any people who lived by hunting did not do the same. My point is that ancestral eating covers a huge range of foods.

I have spent a huge amount of time lurking on various Paleo and Primal blogs, and reading a huge number of articles. It is clear to me that no one in the movement actually wants to dig in the earth for bugs, or grab a spear and hunt for mammoth. The focus is on eating the foods of our ancestors, the foods we have eaten for a very long time, the foods that our bodies are accustomed to, the foods that we thrive on. That is a wonderful goal, and I share it.

What Does the Weston A. Price Foundation Actually Do about Paleo and Primal?

I am speaking only from my own observations, as I do not speak for the Weston A. Price Foundation. As I see it, the view of WAPF has changed with the evolvement and change of the Paleo and Primal movements.

The initial book by Dr. Cordain advocated a low-fat diet, which was totally opposed to the teachings of Dr. Price, and the book was not well received for that reason, and others. But many in the Paleo and Primal movements understand the value of traditional animal fats, and even Dr. Cordain has backed off that position. One of the things I love about these movements is the willingness to learn and change as more is discovered. And these changes in position have had an impact.

I think it is the most recent actions of WAPF that are most relevant to the issue. In March 2012, my friend Sarah Pope, a member of the board of the Weston A. Price Foundation, attended the PaleoFX12 convention is Austin, Texas, as a representative of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Sarah took part in a panel discussion, had a wonderful time, and had her picture taken with some Paleo leaders, such as Robb Wolf and Nora Gedgaudas. She wrote two positive blog posts about the conference, and mentioned how the Paleo movement “has much in common with the nutritional principles of Dr. Price.” It is clear that the hand of friendship was extended and accepted. And that is exactly the way it should be.

The Paleo, Primal, and Price Movements Are Already Learning from each Other

Anyone who reads a number of Paleo blogs knows that many Paleo people like the teachings of Dr. Price and WAPF, and have adopted some of the traditional methods of food preparation taught by WAPF. In fact, I have seen a great deal of praise for Price and WAPF methods on many Primal blogs and forums. Conversely, many Price followers have learned from the Primal and Paleo communities and changed their diets. I have three good friends who have followed a WAPF diet for years. They have experienced great health benefits, but have had some bad problems at times. All three of my friends have modified their diets by adopting some Paleo principles, including avoiding grains, and have had wonderful results with their customized “Price-Paleo” diets.

I myself have adopted some Paleo and Primal ideas in what I eat, and the results have been great!

All of us are individuals, we are all different, and what works for some may not work for all. But friendship between the Paleo, Primal, and Price movements benefits all of us.

I am grateful for the Weston A. Price Foundation, whose priceless knowledge enabled me to save my life and restore my health. And I am grateful to the Paleo and Primal movements, which have inspired so many people to reject SAD and adopt ancestral eating, and has taught me some valuable lessons.

Article compliments of Stanley Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue. For more informative posts, check out the Tender Grassfed Meat website. 

Ginger Lime Chicken Bites

GingerLimeChickenBites main resized 600

Ingredients

Chicken:
1 TBSP coconut oil
3 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

Sauce:
Juice of 1 organic lime
2 TBSP coconut aminos
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBSP raw, organic honey
1 tsp granulated onion

Topping:
Chopped green onions
Sesame seeds

Process

  1. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken.  Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until browned and almost done.  About 5 minutes.
  3. Add sauce to skillet, turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered for another 5 minutes, or until chicken pieces are cooked through.
  4. Top chicken bites with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

This recipe and photo were featured in Paleo Magazine and taken from the newly released cookbook, The Healthy Gluten-Free Life.

Paleo-Friendly Super Bowl Eats

Super Bowl Sunday is here again! What are some of your best Super Bowl treats and eats? We have compiled a few simple and tasty recipes for you to enjoy compliments of a few of our Paleo-friendly featured chefs. Want more mouth-watering recipes from your Paleo favorites? We have recipes from much more including Balanced Bites, The Clothes Make the Girl, Paleo Comfort Foods, Jen's Gone Paleo and Everyday Paleo...to name a few. For more recipes visit our featured chef page

Pork and Apple Skewers

describe the image

  • 2 tart apples, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp traditionally fermented wheat free tamari or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions

Combine tamari, olive oil, half the maple syrup, and pork in large bowl and marinate for one hour or overnight. Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes. Alternate the pork and apples on about five or six skewers. Grill or broil in the oven 15 minutes or until brown. Turn and brush with extra marinade halfway through. Drizzle with remaining maple syrup and serve. Recipe compliments of Peggy Emch of The Primal Parent.

 

Herbed Chicken Skewers

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  • 5 pounds of chicken tenders
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup herbs de provence
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse chicken tenders under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Carefully remove the tendon with a knife. Cut tenders into large chunks. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, olive oil, herbs de provance, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for 2-4 hours. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Skewer chicken, and grill 12-15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Recipe compliments of Hayley Mason and Bill Staley of The Food Lovers Primal Palate

More of our Super Bowl Favorites:

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers  

Lamb Meatballs with Cucumber Coconut Raita 

Sliders with Roasted Garlic Ciliantro Chimichurri 

Sausage Stuffed Dates

For more mouth-watering recipes visit our monthly chef page

Free-Range Chicken Soup

The changing of the seasons brings out different cooking methods as we pull out our favorite recipe cards that haven't been seen for months.  Depending on your location, it may be getting cool enough to start making soups, stews, and roasts.  This free-range chicken soup recipe provides a hearty meal with simple, fresh ingredients to warm you up on the cool evenings to come.

free-range chicken, chicken soup

  • 3 -4 free-range chicken legs, or equivalent amount in any cut (skin removed)
  • 1-2 Tbs. butter (or your favorite oil or fat)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel leaves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
In a dutch oven on the stove, melt the butter and brown the chicken legs.  Add onion and carrot, cook for about 2 minutes.  Add celery, cook for another 2 minutes.  Add stock, fennel, and pepper.  Cover and simmer until meat falls off the bone, skimming any foam off the top periodically. Remove any bones.  Serve.

free-range chicken, chicken soup

Celebrating 11 Years!

When US Wellness Meats was founded back in 2000, we were raising and selling our grass-fed beef products only.  After a few short years in business we realized we needed to widen our horizons as there are so many other great products we could be offering!  So we started to branch out into grass-fed dairy and lamb products, and things continued to grow from there.  We would not be the company we are today without the other amazing farmers and producers who contribute to our business.    

We get customer questions weekly about the different sources of our products and where they are raised, so we decided an in-depth blog post would be a great way to address all of these questions at once!   

We’ll start at the beginning…  

missouri, grass-fed beef
Beef: Our beef is raised in the heart of the Midwest.  Most of our current production comes from three of the founding members of the company located in Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois.  We enjoy long summers with abundant rainfall to keep our pastures green most of the year.  We bale plenty of those warm weather grasses in the summer so the cattle enjoy those same grasses when snow is on the ground.   
 tasmania, grass-fed beef
We also source hard to come by cuts (such as hangar steaks, flanks, etc) from a farm run by personal friends of ours in picturesque Tasmania.  This island is the ideal place for grazing animals as they have a temperate climate that allows for grazing year round, and no hormones or GMOs are even allowed on the island.  Both our Midwest and Tasmania cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.  
grass-fed lamb, mutton
Lamb: Our lamb is also a Missouri product.  Raised just south of US Wellness headquarters near Perry, MO our lambs are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.  They enjoy lush Missouri pastures and plenty of rainfall.   
grass-fed bison, grass-fed buffalo, bison, buffalo
Bison: Our bison are roaming around the open pastures of the Dakotas and Northern Plains and our farmers there are dedicated to improving the native grasses of the area, and ensuring the natural way of life bison have been accustomed to for decades.  Our bison products are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.   
grass-fed buffalo, grass-fed bison
Pork: All of our pork products are GAP-certified, meaning they are raised in the best conditions possible.  Our pork comes from Heritage Acres which is a group of small, local Missouri farmers providing the finest quality, antibiotic-free pork.   
 
Poultry: We actually have two different poultry farms raising animals for US Wellness Meats.  Oaklyn Plantation in Darlington, South Carolina raises all of our free range 20-lb chicken bundles and ships those direct from the farmDue to growing interest and frequent customer requests, Oakland Plantation also started raising soy-free chickens in the summer of 2011.     

Our second producer is in Oklahoma, and they raise free range birds for our smaller chicken packages.  All of their birds are raised under sunny Oklahoma skies on a non-GMO feed ration, in addition to the grass, sticks and bugs they enjoy on a daily basis.
 
Rabbit: Gourmet rabbit is one of the best kept secrets here at US Wellness Meats.  Our rabbit comes from a small farm in Michigan.   

Seafood: Our seafood products come from Vital Choice, one of the premier wild-caught seafood providers in the country.  Their products are certified sustainable, and most products are caught off the west coast and surrounding waters.  The only exception is our wild-caught raw shrimp which comes from a different company fishing off the coast of Mexico.
 
Dairy:  We are very lucky to be able to source grass-fed dairy products, without any added growth hormonesOur Pure Irish Kerrygold Butter is grass-fed from Irish cattle.  We have two different Amish dairies- one in Indiana, the other in Pennsylvania, who supply us with raw, grass-fed cheese as well as four different varieties of goat cheese.   
 
Olive Oil: One of the newest additions to our store is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, produced by Chaffin Family Orchards in Oroville, CA.  Most of their trees are over 100 years old and all the olives are hand-picked.  They use the animals on their farm to help with trimming and pruning – check out the goats on weed control!  
grass-fed goat, olive oil, olive tree 
We have carefully collaborated with like-minded farmers and individuals that hold their products to the same standards we believe in for our company. Long story short, we have built our business over the past eleven years while respecting our animals and our environment. We enjoy the products, just like our customers, so it remains our goal to offer the best selection possible.  

Summer Couscous Salad

couscous resized 600
Recipe by Chelsee Jensen
 
This is a wonderful main or side dish that is light, healthy and full of flavor!  Perfect for all of your summertime vegetables and chicken fresh off the grill, it can also be made a day ahead of time.  This is a great base recipe that has endless possibilities, so get creative and add whatever you love!  We prefer to eat this chilled on busy days when we need a quick meal straight from the fridge!  I hope you enjoy!
 
1 Cup couscous
1 1/2 Cups cherry tomatoes
1 head broccoli
10 asparagus
2 stalks green onion
1 Cup crumbled feta
1 Cup cranberries
1 1/2 Cups Chicken or Turkey, cooked and cubed
 
1 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbl Cider Vinegar
Fresh ground pepper
 
Prepare couscous according to directions (Add 1 cup of water to a small pot with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp butter. Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add couscous, stir well, and cover with a lid.  Let sit 4-5 minutes).

In the meantime, halve cherry tomatoes, dice green onions, cut broccoli into bite size peices, and asparagus into thirds.  Put broccoli and asparagus into microwave safe dish with a splash of water and cover.  Cook on high for 3 minutes until crisp tender.  Add olive oil and vinager to a big mixing bowl, wisk to combine.  Fluff couscous with a fork and add to the mixing bowl along with cherry tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, green onions, crumbled feta, cranberries and diced chicken or turkey.  Mix all together and add freshly ground pepper to taste.
 
Chelsee lives in Colorado with her husband and two young daughters where she works as the Social Media Coordinator for Well Wisdom.  You can find more recipes and articles written by Chelsee at http://www.wellwisdom.com/pages/Blog.html

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Cranberry-stuffed turkey burgers, chicken burgers

Try these burgers made with ground turkey or chicken and stuffed with cranberries, orange zest, and cheese.

In a medium bowl, mix together first five ingredients.  In a small bowl, mix together last three ingredients.  Divide the turkey mixture into six or eight equal portions, if you want three burgers divide the meat into six portions, for four burgers divide the meat into eight portions.  Flatten the meat portions into patties.  Top half of the patties with the cranberry mixture.  Top the cranberry mixture with the remaining patties.  Press around edges to seal.

Cook in a preheated skillet or on the grill over a medium heat until no longer pink.

Serving suggestions: toasted buns*, grilled or sauted onions, and/or lactofermented mayo.

Hint: wet hands before making the patties to prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.

*This recipe used gluten-free bread crumbs and hamburger buns made by Outside The Breadbox.  Their products can be purchased at a lovely little store in Loveland, CO called Granny's Gluten Free Zone.

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