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Miracle Fatty Acid Adds Years to Your Life

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDFish Oil

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

Omega-3s may determine how long you’ll live – and it’s not just because they’re good for your heart.

Omega-3s may now have a profound effect on anti-aging by slowing down the shortening of telomeres.

What are telomeres? They’re protective tips that cap the ends of your DNA. Each time your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter. When your telomeres run down, cell division stops, and your life ends.

While this may sound like a clip from a science fiction movie, it’s real. And it’s about to change the world of medicine. Everything you’ve been told about aging is about to be transformed by this new science.

You may not have heard about this new breakthrough yet. That doesn’t surprise me.

Organized forces in the mainstream media and established medical community don’t want you to know about this. Even though the Nobel Prize was awarded last year for telomere research, the importance of this life-changing discovery has been ignored.

In fact, they say anti-aging is impossible.

But the truth is it’s now possible to slow down the shortening of your telomeres. I just read about it in a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which confirmed the connection with Omega-3s.(1)

Just because you may not be hearing about this on the evening news, don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of this important scientific breakthrough.

You already know the many benefits of Omega-3s. Now it’s possible for you to add years to your life, simply by doing something you already believe in. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Here are three steps you can take to bulk-up on Omega-3s right now:

Step 1: Eat fresh fish three or four times a week.  I recommend coldwater, high-fat variety fish like:

Step 2: Eat more raw nuts and seeds.  For many years, nuts have gotten a bad rap for being high in fat. But in reality, nuts are a great source of Omega-3 and other life-enhancing nutrients. Here are some of my favorites:

Step 3: Take 3 to 5 grams of Omega-3 fish oil a day.  I recommend my formulation of Peruvian fish oil that packs two to three times the Omega-3s you find in leading brands, and five times more Omega-3s than a can of tuna – without the mercury. These oils can help you:

  • Strengthen your heart and blood vessels
  • Maintain blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range
  • Help support joint and muscle health
  • Keep your triglycerides (blood fat) in the safe range
  • Sustain healthy HDL (good cholesterol) levels
  • Boost your memory and brainpower
  • Protect your blood vessels and nerves

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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Resources:

Ramin Farzaneh-Far, MD; Jue Lin, PhD; Elissa S. Epel, PhD; William S. Harris, PhD; Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD;Mary A. Whooley, MD. “Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease.”JAMA. 2010;303(3):250-257, January 20, 2010.

Tags: ,

Lobsters & Telomeres

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDLobster

I found something interesting in my research the other day. An “under the radar” animal that only grows stronger and more fertile with age.

Its power never weakens. From birth to death, it never stops getting better and stronger.

But it’s not an animal you think of as being powerful and virile.

It’s the lobster.

Lobsters are part of an exclusive group of animals we call “biologically immortal.”

They only die if they get eaten or injured from a predator, or get a rare disease, but never from old age. They don’t have a built-in life expectancy in their cells.

They constantly are getting stronger, bigger and more virile. If left alone they get huge and can live for centuries. Every few years you’ll hear about someone catching a giant lobster. I’ve read about 25-40 pound and 140-year-old lobsters. And those are just the ones that have been caught.

Why do they grow so large and live so long?

It’s telomerase, the enzyme that helps rebuild and maintain telomeres.

In humans, telomerase production is turned off when you’re an adult. So our telomeres get shorter with time, creating older cells that result in everything we attribute to aging. Wrinkles, joint soreness, foggy memory and everything that goes along with it.

In lobsters, telomerase production is ramped up their whole lives.(1) So it’s a constant, abundant stream that helps keep their telomeres long and stops their cells from ever dying.

Even at our best, we will never live forever. But if you can maintain highly functioning telomeres you can produce cells that keep you looking and feeling younger.

I’ve discovered a nutrient that does just this.

You need to boost a little-known—but Nobel Prize winning—molecule in your body, nitric oxide (NO). NO can expand blood vessels, increase blood flow, improve muscle performance and help erectile dysfunction.

But what few people know is that it also helps maintain telomeres.

Recently, I read a study from Circulation Research that examined the effect of NO on telomere length. They performed a test by injecting a NO supplement into a culture of umbilical cord blood vessels. The cells from these blood vessels are perfect for testing because aging affects how they function, and they have an effect on aging themselves.

They found boosting NO helped maintain telomeres and reduced the number of the cells that died.(2) It helps to prompt your telomeres to create younger cells again—not the old ones most adults are stuck with—that keep you looking, feeling, and moving like a younger person.

It’s so critical that one German study found that even if your “normal” NO production is inhibited it can accelerate cell death, and affect your telomeres.(3)

In my practice, I recommend my patients take arginine—an amino acid that converts to NO when it enters the body—to boost their NO production.

Once you boost NO production, over time, your telomeres will be better, and you should feel the difference creating younger cells makes on your body.

Another study I read from the National Academy of Science of the United States of America used a common biological marker in cells from blood vessels to test the effect of arginine (plus citrulline and other antioxidants) on telomeres, and cell death.

After a few treatments with arginine, the number of cells that showed signs of age-related deterioration decreased and telomeres were better maintained.(4)

You can get arginine either from arginine-rich foods like red meats, nuts, spinach, lettuce, seafood and eggs or by supplementing.

If you prefer supplementing, I recommend taking 50mg daily of arginine. It’ll help you kick-start your body’s production of NO drastically which will help maintain your telomeres.

But for even better results take 50mg of citrulline with your arginine. It helps maximizes the effectiveness of arginine.

You see, arginine metabolizes in the intestines and the liver. From there it converts into NO. But, after long-term or heavy use, its effectiveness can waver because of arginase.

After heavy use, arginase blocks arginine’s NO conversion in the liver. Citrulline can block arginese activity, and allow arginine to convert freely into NO.

It also can boost your NO itself because it enters the kidney converting quickly into arginine and absorbing. Raising plasma and tissue levels of arginine and enhancing NO production.(5)

By taking them together citrulline should provide you an additional NO boost, and help you get the most out of your arginine. Giving you a powerful NO-boosting one-two punch for your telomeres.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

______________________________________________________________________________

Resources:

1. Klapper W, et. al. “Longevity of Lobsters is Linked to Ubiquitous Telomerase Expression.” FEBS Lett. 1998; 143-6.
2. Vasa M, et. al. “Nitric Oxide Activates Telomerase and Delays Endothelial Cell Senescense.” Circulation Research. 2000; 540-542.
3. Scalera F, et. al. “Endogenous Nitric Oxide Synthesis Inhibitor Asymmertic Dimethyle L-Arginine Accelerates Endothelial Cell Senescence.” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2004; 1816-1822.
4. Hayashi T, et al. “Endothelial Cellular Senescence is Inhibited by Nitric Oxide: Implications in Atherosclerosis Associated with Menopause and Diabetes.” PNAS November 7, 2006.; 17018-17023.
5. Romero M, et. al. “Therapeutic use of Citrulline in Cardiovascular Disease.” Cardiovasc Drug Rev., 2006 Fall-Win

Shrimp with Garlic, Chili, and Mushrooms

I never touch farmed shrimp. Wild shrimp have so much more flavor, are raised naturally, and without antibiotics or other additives. Obviously, these were the shrimp eaten by our ancestors, (not the modern farmed version). However, most of the shrimp available in the U.S. is farmed, often imported from farms in Thailand or Vietnam, under conditions that have been criticized by some authorities. Fortunately, U.S. Wellness Meats has some excellent frozen wild shrimp available, and this shrimp is perfect for this recipe.

I have experimented with several traditional Spanish dishes for sautéed shrimp. Some combined shrimp with garlic and a touch of hot pepper. Others combined shrimp with mushrooms. And there are many variations on both recipes, some using paprika. All of them use a fair amount of olive oil to sauté the shrimp. All were good, but none were special. This one is special, in my opinion, and combines shrimp, garlic, mushrooms, paprika, hot pepper, olive oil, and my own addition—butter. I like it the best.

I want to share an important tip for thawing frozen shrimp. Take them out of the freezer for 3 hours, then place them in a colander, and run a gentle stream of cool water over them, rotating them under the stream until they are thawed. It only takes a few minutes. This is best done with plastic gloves, to protect your hands against any sharp edges. If you use another method, it is likely that the water released by the thawing will soak into the shrimp, and the shrimp will be soggy when cooked.

Another tip for cooking frozen shrimp, an old one that is well known by many cooks, is to place the thawed shrimp in a bowl, and sprinkle them lightly with sea salt. This really improves the flavor, and makes them taste fresher.

I might mention that eating shrimp during the holiday season, especially New Year's Day, is believed to bring good luck for the new year by many cultures. It certainly is a delicious theory to try out!

2 USW Shrimp Med

Serves 2 to 4.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound U.S. Wellness Meats wild caught raw brown shrimp, thawed

1 teaspoon coarse unrefined sea salt

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish

4 tablespoons pastured butter

6 cloves organic garlic, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon hot chili flakes

1 teaspoon mild paprika, preferably Spanish, (smoked paprika is also great in this recipe)

1 cup crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Stir well, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the olive oil and the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is hot and bubbly.
  3. Raise the heat to medium high, and immediately add the garlic, chili flakes, and paprika. Stir the spices into the butter and oil, mixing well, for about twenty seconds.
  4. Add the shrimp, and stir-fry until the shrimp turn opaque, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms, and stir-fry until the mushrooms are cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes.

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 #1 Kitchen Tool You Need to Save Time and Money this Holiday Season

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetCrockPot

With the holidays upon us, there are two things that most of us could use a lot more of: time and money. Today, I’ll show you how to save both time and money… and still eat like a king.

Unfortunately, many people think that eating right requires an array of chef skills, a big budget and spending hours upon hours in the kitchen. But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, with the help of one simple and inexpensive tool, you can feed your family the healthiest foods that money can buy. And you can prepare them in the time it takes to order takeout… for about the same price per serving.

All you need is a slow cooker!

The Easy, Old-Fashioned Way to Be a Great Cook

Slow cookers reached their peak popularity when they were introduced in the 1970s. Nearly every house in the suburbs had a Crock-Pot on the countertop. Over the years, this healthy and super-simple way of cooking became passé.

Thankfully, the versatile slow cooker has made a resurgence in recent years. And for good reason!

With little more than a few cups of liquid or sliced veggies, a sprinkle of seasoning or a pour of sauce, a slow cooker can turn even the toughest cuts of meat into buttery, fork-tender morsels.

Best of all, the slow cooker provides unparalleled convenience. Simply add your ingredients, turn the dial to low and come home to a moist, flavorful, nutrient-rich meal ready to dish up for your family.

Elegant, Fuss-Free Party Fare

And if you’re planning holiday parties this season – don’t overlook the many benefits a slow cooker can provide…

Not only will it free up your oven and stove top for other uses, but using the slow cooker almost guarantees a succulent, fuss-free meal that will take center stage at your table.

From beef and bison… to pork, lamb, chicken (and even seafood!), there’s no limit to the festive and delicious dishes you can create. Here are some of the best cuts of meat (and a few recipe ideas) for your slow cooker:
 
•    Lamb Shoulder: The rich flavor of lamb is perfect for the low, moist heat in a slow cooker. Add fresh sprigs of rosemary, lemon slices and juice, and chopped garlic for a Mediterranean-inspired meal with just five minutes of prep time.

•    Grass-Fed Beef & Bison Roasts: Make succulent fork-tender beef recipes like Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon, hearty brisket and spiced corned beef, and simple shredded beef for Paleo French Dip Sandwiches with budget-friendly roasts.

•    Grass-Fed Ground Beef: From a delicious Italian meal of Slow Cooker Bolognese with spaghetti squash, to German Meatballs and Cuban Picadillo, the slow cooker will make all of your favorite ground beef recipes simpler… and more delicious.

•    Gourmet Pork Shoulder & Sirloin: From traditional pork barbeque to Slow Cooker Tuscan Pork Loin Roast and Carnitas, all of your recipes using pork shoulder and sirloin turn out moist and juicy.   

And the options don’t end there. Your favorite ribs and chicken drumsticks will be “fall-off-the-bone” tender in the slow cooker. And if you’re a seafood lover, Cioppino and Shrimp Etouffee are two you have to try!

Now that you know the many ways the slow cooker can add more flavor (and precious time!) to your life, here’s another benefit…

Better Flavor, Healthier Meals

Slow cooking actually makes your meals healthier.

That’s right. Cooking protein-rich foods at high temperatures – even for short periods of time – promotes the formation of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs).

But cooking in a slow cooker – at or below 212 degrees Fahrenheit – creates negligible amounts of HCAs. Cooking “slow and low” also infuses your meat with wonderful flavor, a tender texture, and mouthwatering moisture.

So now that you know the many culinary options you can create, which slow cooker is the best one to choose?

Choosing the Best Slow Cooker

There are a wide array of slow cookers on the market that will suit your budget and needs. Some are more high-tech with programmable options. Others are extremely simple with simple “low” and “high” settings.

One important factor that many people overlook is the material used in the vessel. Many times it is “non-stick” and contains PFOA/PFTE. You should avoid “non-stick” slow cookers as these compounds are hormone disruptors and are linked with certain types of cancers. You should also avoid using plastic liners. They are marketed as a way to achieve a quick cleanup, but they can also leach dangerous compounds into your food.

Opt for a slow-cooker with a ceramic vessel. This will keep your food free from harmful plastic and non-stick chemicals, while still ensuring a speedy cleanup.  

Another important factor is size. The vessel should be at least two-thirds full during cooking. If it isn’t, the meat will cook too rapidly and the results can be dry and overdone. Consider how many people you typically cook for when purchasing a slow cooker.

Finally, here are a few tips for making all of your slow cooker meals turn out perfectly:

•    Brown First, But Only Sometimes: Browning whole cuts of meat prior to adding to the slow cooker is not necessary. However, searing first in a stable fat (like beef tallow) will help the meat develop more complex flavors. For ground meat, brown prior to adding to the slow cooker. This will prevent clumping and allow the meat to absorb flavors more readily.

•    Go Easy on the Liquids: If you want to try your hand at a slow-cooker version of your favorite stovetop recipe, you will need to reduce the liquid. Slow cookers work by maintaining moisture inside of the sealed vessel, so any extra liquid will pool. A good rule of thumb when adapting your stovetop recipes is to decrease liquids by half.

•    Spice Wisely: Pungent whole spices like cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves can overpower a dish if they are added at the beginning of the cooking time. Be sure to use them sparingly. On the other hand, ground spices, dried and fresh herbs and citrus juices tend to get “washed out” during the long cooking time. Adding these during the last two to three hours of cooking can help ensure your dish has a fresh, flavorful punch.

•    Seal It Up: If your slow cooker doesn’t seal properly, you may find your meals turn out too dry as much of the moisture can escape during cooking. Put a light coat of oil on the lid and inner rim to help ensure your slow cooker seals in the moisture.
   
•    No Peeking! While it’s tempting to peek at the mouthwatering progress inside your slow cooker, try to refrain. Each time you open the lid moisture and heat are lost and the required cooking time increases.

Bringing healthy, budget-friendly and delicious meals to the table needn’t be a chore. With a good slower cooker and your favorite cuts of grass-fed meat, poultry and sustainable seafood, you can create amazing dishes for special occasions…and every night of the week.

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the Founder and Editor of Healing Gourmet the leading provider of organic, sustainable recipes and meal plans for health and weight loss. Be sure to grab Eating Clean & Saving Green: Your Guide to Organic Foods on a Budget and Eat Your Way Into Shape: Flip Your Body's Fat Blasting Switch and Melt 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks (includes a delicious 7 day meal plan!).  Claim your free copies here...

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REFERENCES

1.    Vaughn Barry, Andrea Winquist, and Kyle Steenland Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Exposures and Incident Cancers among Adults Living Near a Chemical Plant Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306615
2.    Jägerstad M, Skog K. Genotoxicity of heat-processed foods. Mutation Research 2005; 574(1–2):156–172
3.    Sugimura T, Wakabayashi K, Nakagama H, Nagao M. Heterocyclic amines: Mutagens/carcinogens produced during cooking of meat and fish. Cancer Science 2004; 95(4):290–299.


This Mineral Mends Your DNA

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDDNA

Every hour of the day, your cells are under attack. Normally, this is ok because your cells have a built-in DNA repair system that fixes any damage. But when your cells are undernourished, they can lose the ability to repair themselves. And that’s bad news.

Part of the reason for the explosion of cancer in modern times is because we’re not repairing our DNA. Our bodies aren’t getting enough of the nutrients we need to make this process work.

But you can help protect yourself with a simple mineral. I’m talking about zinc.

Zinc helps prevent – and reverse – this damage to your DNA. Studies show that zinc and zinc-containing proteins are some of the most important factors in repairing DNA breaks.(1,2)

And a study by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that supplementing with zinc reverses cell damage.(3)

Add this latest finding to zinc’s list of health benefits:

  • Heart-health booster
  • Essential to your prostate and sexual performance
  • Can prevent pneumonia and speed the recovery from colds
  • Promotes wound healing

I see patients that have dangerously low levels of zinc all the time. As many as 40 percent of older people in the U.S. are deficient.(4)

That’s a shame because it’s easy to get the zinc you need for healthy cells. Zinc is in many foods we eat. Some good food sources of zinc(5) are:

Food Source of Zinc Mg per Serving % of DV
Oysters, raw, 6 medium 33.07 300
Beef Chuck, lean, cooked, 3 oz 8.73 79
Crab, Alaska King, cooked, 3 oz 6.5 59
Lamb Shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 6.21 56
Turkey, cooked, 1 cup 4.32 39
Pork Shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 4.2 38
Unsweetened Chocolate, 1 square 2.73 24
Yogurt, plain skim milk, 8 oz 2.2 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz 1.6 14

 

Your body absorbs about 40% of the zinc in your food. But you still want to eat foods with zinc because it will enter your body in its natural form. And that means it will bring with it all the trace minerals, enzymes, and co-factors that make it work so well in nature.

How much zinc do you need every day? If you go by the U.S. government’s recommended daily intake (RDI), you would only get a tiny amount: 8 mg a day for women and 11 mg per day for men. Even the most of the popular multivitamins you can buy only have 15 mg of zinc in them.

The problem with going by the RDI is that those amounts were established to make sure people got the bare minimum of a nutrient to prevent a dietary deficiency. The RDI has nothing to do with how much of something you should get for optimum health.

At the very least, you need three times the RDI, and twice as much as the average store-bought multivitamin gives you.

I recommend 30 mg a day of zinc if you’re currently healthy. You might need a little more depending on your activities and health. For example for athletes, pregnant women and prostate protection, I recommend 100 mg a day.

Also, it’s very important to stay away from high fructose corn syrup. Ingesting a lot of this sugar causes deficiencies in almost all of your important minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

 

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

______________________________________________________________________________

Resources:

1. Fenton A, Shirodkar P, Macrae C, Meng L, Koch C. “The PARP3- and ATM-dependent phosphorylation of APLF facilitates DNA double-strand break repair.’ Nucleic Acids Res. 2013;41(7):4080-92.
2. Sharif R, Thomas P, Zalewski P, Fenech M. “The role of zinc in genomic stability.” Mutat Res. 2012;733(1-2):111-21.
3. Song, et. al. “Dietary zinc restriction and repletion affects DNA integrity in healthy men.” Am J Clin Nut. 2009; Vol.90, No.2, 321-328.
4. “Zinc Deficiences A Global Concern.” Oregon State University. Sept.17, 2009.
5. National Institute of Health – Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: zinc. www.nih.gov

Five Ways to Save Big on Healthy Foods

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetVeggies

Have you ever thought that it’s just too expensive to eat organic, healthy and sustainable foods? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, the number one reason people say that they don’t eat as healthfully as they should is due to the “high cost.”

Last week, Bernard M. wrote in to U.S. Wellness Meats with this comment:

“When you are a seriously seasoned senior living on a fixed income, it is not possible to live organically. I buy organic as much as I can afford, but not completely. Also it's hard to know if stuff is legitimately organic. Purchasing online is complex and usually more expensive due to shipping costs.”

While it’s true that eating organic can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning and careful selection, you can enjoy the highest quality foods… for roughly the price of a drive-thru meal.

Today, I’ll show you five simple ways to save big on the healthiest foods and to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for.

#1 - Enjoy Healthy, Budget-Friendly Cuts of Meat

If you’re on a tight budget, filet mignon probably won’t be making a regular appearance at your dinner table. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious, healthy and tender meat dishes.

The key lies in the cut.  

Here are three great choices from US Wellness Meats that are sure to please the palette, and are easy on the wallet too.

•    Roasts: Choose budget-friendly roasts, briskets and flatirons to create mouthwatering, low-fuss meals in the slow cooker. Whether you choose grass-fed beef or gourmet pork roasts, you can enjoy these money-saving meats for just $0.50 - $0.70 per ounce. Tender, shredded meats, cooked slow and low, are perfect served over mixed greens for a protein-packed salad, added to easy, baked frittatas, or enjoyed in gluten/grain free wraps and buns for a Paleo sandwich.

•    Grass-Fed Ground Beef: Hearty beef Bolognese, quick and easy stuffed peppers or cabbage leaves, and simple and festive beef “taco” salads are just a few of the delicious recipes you can make on the cheap with this staple. At just $2 per 4-ounce serving, keep grass-fed ground beef on hand for whipping up a delicious penny-pinching meal in minutes.

•    Mock Filet Mignon: For special occasions, use filet mignon’s more budget-friendly cousin: teres major. You’ll get virtually the same succulent, juicy flavor for less than half the price ($2.50/oz. for filet mignon vs. $1.06/oz. for teres major)Shrimp Cocktail

#2 – Be Smart with Seafood

While you’ll pay a premium for individual flash-frozen wild fish, sustainable shrimp is a more budget-friendly option. At just $0.90 per ounce, you can enjoy gourmet shrimp dishes like Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Coconut Shrimp and much more for around $5 per 6-ounce serving.

#3 – Choose Organics… Selectively

While I don’t advocate the use of pesticides (or other agro-chemicals), there are a number of conventional fruits and veggies that you can eat without much concern for pesticide contamination.

Here are the “clean 15” foods found to have low levels of contaminants:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados              
  • Bananas                
  • Blueberries           
  • Broccoli                 
  • Cabbage                
  • Garlic                    
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Shelling peas
  • Sweet corn
  • Watermelon

In general, foods with shells (like nuts and seeds) and inedible peels or rinds (like bananas, oranges or mangoes) can be purchased conventionally with little concern for chemical exposure.

While you can save a lot by being selective, you can save even more when you…

#4 – Buy Local and Seasonal

Joining a local CSA or co-op can help you save a bundle on farm-fresh veggies and fruits. Not only will you save money because you are buying direct, but less time from farm-to-table means you’ll get more nutrients too.

In fact, the Institute of Food Research found that up to 45% of nutrients in fresh vegetables are lost by the time they reach your plate!

Check out www.localharvest.org to find CSAs in your area.

#5 – Shop Online

While internet shopping can be overwhelming and sometimes expensive, there are several companies that make it easy - and even offer free (or inexpensive) shipping.

A few places you can find great deals include Vitacost, Amazon and Swanson’s Vitamins. If going the Amazon route, check out their Prime program – if you tend to purchase the same foods you’ll save a lot when you buy in bulk or get on their auto-ship program.

You CAN’T Afford To Not Eat Healthy

Still think you can’t eat healthy on a budget? Consider this:

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 75% of the money spent on health care is spent on chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

And yet more than 70% of all chronic conditions are preventable with a healthy diet and lifestyle! When it comes to eating healthy, the truth is that you just can’t afford not to.

To learn how you can save $4,400 on your groceries in the next year (including 100 Organic, Sustainable Foods on the Cheap and 15 Organic Menus for Under $5) pick up my free guide – Eating Clean and Saving Green. Click here to start saving on the healthiest foods today.

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REFERENCES

1.    Average fast food cost for a family of four is $16 or $4/serving. Anna Martin, Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences, Advisor, at the University of California
2.    Savings on food not wastedCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.  Chronic Disease Overview.
3.    Processed Foods to Blame for Obesity and Chronic Disease, healingsearch.com, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2814253.stm
4.    Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, p. 120
5.    US Dept of Ag, Ag Economic Research Service
6.    NY Daily News: Frozen Vegetables Are More Nutritious Than Fresh, Study Says; March 5th, 2010.
7.    Supermarket Psychology: How Your Grocery Store Entices you to Spend More, Kelleigh Lewis on March 21, 2011

Six Toxic Fish (Plus Safe and Delicious Alternatives)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetShrimp Cocktail

Fukushima. The Gulf oil spill. Polluted fish farms. Genetically engineered salmon.

While seafood – and omega-3 rich fish in particular – has always been an excellent source of vital nutrients, widespread contamination has left many of us wondering…

What fish is safe?

Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported. What’s more, a report by Food & Water Watch, found that less than 2% of the 860,000 imported seafood shipments were visually inspected and less than 1% were actually tested for contaminants.

If that’s not enough, there is an industry-wide “bait-and-switch” that is occurring. Fraudulently labeled seafood is turning up in cans, restaurants and even in your local grocery.

In today’s article, I’ll show you how you can protect yourself from the health-harming contaminants found in seafood and the clean options that will provide you with power-packed nutrition.

“Fishy” Seafood and The Safer Options

#1 Imported & Farm-Raised Catfish: Also called Basa and Swam, almost 90 percent of catfish comes from Vietnam – a country with loose regulations on the use of dangerous antibiotics and other chemicals.

Safer Catch: Like catfish, pollock is a mild, white fish with a delicate flavor that’s naturally low in mercury. Look for pollock from the US, Canada and Norway which provide the most eco-friendly harvesting.

#2 Eel: Also called unagi, eel is primarily farmed in China.  Toxic nitrofuran – a powerful carcinogen – and many other drugs and pesticides are used to reduce the spread of disease in eel pens. Eel is also highly contaminated with mercury and cancer-causing PCBs.

Safer Catch: Swap eel for squid – an eco-friendly option that is low in contaminants, a great source of protein and easy to prepare.  

#3 Atlantic Flatfish: These fish – including sole, flounder and halibut – are high in contaminants. They also have a long history of being overfished, contributing to the collapse of our oceans.  

Safer Catch: Swap Atlantic halibut for Pacific halibut– a delicious option that’s environmentally friendly.

#4 Imported & Farm-Raised Shrimp:  One of the dirtiest seafoods sold is imported farmed shrimp. Chemical residues, antibiotics and an assortment of other contaminants have been found in farmed shrimp.

Safer Catch: While avoiding imported, farmed shrimp can greatly reduce your exposure to contaminants, it’s important to note that 70 percent of domestic shrimp comes from the Gulf of Mexico. With the recent oil spill, this raises concern for the health of these shrimp stocks. Your best bet is MSC-certified wild-caught Pacific shrimp from Oregon.

#5 Farmed Atlantic Salmon: Due to cramped quarters, rampant disease and a steady diet of “fish meal”, farmed salmon is rife with chemical contaminants ranging from pesticides and antibiotics to PCBs. In fact, fish consumption data shows that 800,000 U.S. adults eat enough PCBs from farmed salmon to exceed the allowable lifetime cancer risk 100 times over! Also of concern is the FDA’s consideration to allow genetically engineered salmon to be sold, unlabeled, in the near future.

Safer Catch: Avoid chemical contaminants and “Frankenfish” by choosing only wild Alaskan salmon.

#6 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: According to the New York Times, Atlantic bluefin tuna have the highest levels of mercury and have reached near-extinction levels. Choosing more eco-friendly tuna varieties (like albacore or yellowfin) may not be the answer, either. Oceana  - a non-profit ocean protection group – collected 1,215 samples  from seafood vendors from 2010 to 2012. They found that 59% of tuna is not just mislabeled but it is almost entirely compromised of escolar - a fish once banned by the FDA.

Safer Catch: Swap tuna for smaller (but just as flavorful) Atlantic mackerel and sardines.  You’ll enjoy all of the health benefits of omega-3 rich fish, without the high levels of mercury and contaminants…not to mention questionable contents.

Keeping Healthy Fish on Your Plate and In Our Oceans

As the use of chemicals and unnatural agricultural practices soars to meet global food demand, it becomes increasingly more important to take a closer look at the origins of your food.

Know your farmer and your fishermen. Read labels. Ask questions.

While the health effects of these chemicals may not be immediately felt, their long term impact on human health is indisputable. Protect your health tomorrow by saying “no” to contaminated seafood today!

 

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ED NOTE: Do you love rich, buttery desserts… but not the grain or sugar? Then check out Kelley’s one-of-a-kind program called Guilt-Free Desserts. You won’t believe just how easy it can be to make extraordinary dessert creations that are as healthy as they are delicious!

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References
1.    Ronald A. Hites, Jeffery A. Foran, David O. Carpenter, M. Coreen Hamilton, Barbara A. Knuth, Steven J. Schwager. Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon. Science 9 January 2004: Vol. 303 no. 5655 pp. 226-229 DOI: 10.1126/science.1091447
2.    Ronald A. Hites, Jeffery A. Foran, David O. Carpenter, M. Coreen Hamilton, Barbara A. Knuth, Steven J. Schwager. Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon. Science 9 January 2004: Vol. 303 no. 5655 pp. 226-229 DOI: 10.1126/science.1091447 Lymbery, P. CIWF Trust report, "In Too Deep - The Welfare of Intensively Farmed Fish" (2002)
3.    EWG. PCBs in Farmed Salmon. Jane Houlihan. July 2003.
4.    Miyazaki,W., Iwasaki, T. Takeshita, A. Polychlorinated Biphenyls Suppress Thyroid Hormone Receptor-mediated Transcription through a Novel Mechanism J. Biol. Chem. 2004 279: 18195-18202. First Published on February 25, 2004, doi:10.1074/jbc.M310531200
5.    Schantz, SL., Widholm, JJ and Rice, DC. 2003. Effects of PCB exposure on neuropsychological function in children. Environ Health Perspect 111 (3): 357-576.
6.    Import Alert: Government Fails Consumers, Falls Short on Seafood Inspections. Food and Water Watch. May 30th, 2007
7.    New York Times. In China, Farming Fish in Toxic Waters. 12/15/2007
8.    Oceana Study Reveals Seafood Fraud Nationwide. February 21, 2013
9.    New York Times. Bluefin tuna and an ocean of troubles. Published: Monday, February 4, 2008
10.    Environmental Defense Fund. Seafood Selector.

The Most Asked Question…

By: Dr. Al Sears, MD

ElderlyOne of the most-asked questions I got when I was chatting with the folks who came to my recent “State of the Art Anti-Aging” Seminar was “How do I keep my brain young?”

Everywhere I speak, whether it’s here at my recent seminar or at lectures all over the world, people ask me how to keep their minds sharp.

During my presentation, I showed our guests how maintaining your telomeres can help. But if you are a regular reader, you know I always recommend food as your best source of nutrients for every part of your body.

So today I want to tell you about the foods I ‘prescribe” to my patients to keep their minds energetic and young, even while they sleep. Because if you feed your brain properly, you can have better recall and better concentration.

Eating well, is a fast, direct and reliable strategy for:

- Enhancing your cognitive abilities…

- Protecting your brain from damage…

- And counteracting the effects of aging.

Beneficial foods include those high in antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E. That`s because oxidation causes an age-related decline in mental functions, and a loss of telomere length. This can lead to everything from your garden-variety “senior moments,” to the more serious (and terrifying) Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are some of the foods that improve your brain’s performance and help give you more energy and focus.

1.The healthy omega-3 fats like you get from fish help build your brain cells. But there’s another kind of fat that’s very rare, and has great benefits for your brain. They’re called medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) – namely, capric acid and lauric acid.

These fats are only found in human breast milk, cow and goat’s milk, and coconut and palm kernel oils (which is not the same as palm oil). MCTs reinforce your skin, and strengthen your immunity to fight infection from bacteria and viruses.

But, MCTs also fight depression and inflammation, two major brain robbing conditions. Scientists are also studying these fats because they may fight Alzheimer’s. And animal studies have shown that these fats can protect neurons from injury and cell death.

Nursing babies get about 1 gram of lauric acid per kilogram of body weight each day. You can get about two grams of lauric acid from one tablespoon of dried coconut. Quality coconut milk will contain about three and a half grams for every two ounces. Coconut oil has almost seven grams per tablespoon.

2. Avocados give you mental might. Besides also having tryptophan, avocadoes have been shown to increase blood flow, which is the most important thing you can do to keep your brain working its best. As it turns out, the increased circulation you get from avocado nutrients is highly prevalent in the brain.

Eat More: 24 Brain Boosting Foods
Avocados Brussel Sprouts Eggs Romaine Lettuce
Oysters Cantalope Legumes Salmon
Bananas Chia Seeds Raw Milk Spinach
Blueberries Chicken Oranges Sweet Potatoes
Beef Cold Water Fish Peas Tuna
Broccoli Collard Greens Green Tea Turkey

3.  Don't be too quick to pass on that odd-looking potato.  Most people think of sweet potatoes as some kind of weird, orange thing your grandmother put on the table during Thanksgiving. But Grandma was on to something.

Sweet potatoes boost your body’s power to defend your brain from the incredible volume of toxins we’re exposed to in the modern world. In fact, the plant nutrients in sweet potatoes called anthocyanins may also help reduce your risks from brain-destroying heavy metals like mercury.

Eating sweet potatoes increases production of your two most powerful antioxidants, SOD and catalase, which I’ll talk more about in a little bit.

For now, let’s just say that brain tissue is extremely sensitive to oxidation and free radical damage, and that sweet potatoes are a great defense. Blueberries, cranberries, mangoes and other deeply colored fruits also have a similar but lesser effect.

4. Cacao can make every day happy and productive. More specifically, the seed the plant produces, the cocoa bean… which is of course, used to make chocolate.

Two studies give us great news about chocolate. The first study found that people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke.(1) The second study found that people who ate 50 grams of chocolate (about two ounces) once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than those who didn’t eat chocolate.(2)

How is this important to your brain? Because about 80% of strokes occur when there isn’t enough blood getting to the brain. During a stroke, the brain is starved of oxygen and nutrients and begins to die immediately.

Chocolate helps to counteract that in two ways. It’s rich in antioxidants and helps to increase circulation.

But remember, it is important to distinguish chocolate from sugary candies. You don’t have to worry about the fat in chocolate, that’s the good part. But you should minimize the added sugar.

Chocolates that have the most cocoa give you the most protection for your brain. Try to find chocolates that are at least 70% cocoa.

5. Foods with tryptophan are essential. Tryptophan is one of the ten amino acids your body can’t make, so you must get it through food. It helps our brains produce serotonin, which makes us feel relaxed and in control.

Tryptophan can help fight depression, insomnia and anxiety. Turkey is famous for having tryptophan, but cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and bananas are also good sources. Chicken, and beef also have tryptophan, but in smaller amounts.

 

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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Resources:

1. “Can Chocolate Lower Your Risk of Stroke?” American Academy of Neurology. aan.com. Retrieved February 2010.
2. Mayo Clinic staff, “Causes of Strokes.” Mayo Clinic. mayoclinic.com. Retrieved 9/27/2012.

Mixed Seafood Paella

IMG 0656 WM2 640x392 resized 600Recipe and photos compliments of Against All Grain

Ingredients (serves 4)
1½ cup chicken broth
1 cup clam stock (use all chicken broth if you omit seafood)
6 littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
6 mussels, scrubbed clean
½ pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed and crumbled (homemade or nitrate free)
2 chicken thighs, cubed (boneless and skinless)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon saffron threads
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 head cauliflower (about 4 cups chopped)
¼ cup fresh parsley
lemon wedges for garnish

Directions

Place the cauliflower floretts in a blender or food processor, and chop finely until it resembles short-grain rice. Set off to the side.

Combine the chicken stock and clam juice in a saucepan set over medium heat. Keep warm while you cook the meat.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown the chicken on all sides.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes, salt, paprika, pepper, and saffron. Continue to sauté for another 7 minutes until the onions have softened.

Pour ¾ cup of the broth mixture into the skillet, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the riced cauliflower and simmer for 15 minutes.

Bring the remaining broth to a boil, then add the clams and mussels. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes, until the shells have opened up. Discard any that haven’t opened. Remove the shellfish with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pink. Set aside with the shellfish.

When the cauliflower is tender and most of the juices have evaporated, nestle the shrimp, clams, and mussels into the paella. Cook for another 10 minutes then remove from the heat. Let the paella stand for 10 minutes before serving.

IMG 1026 WM

Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve each dish with a lemon wedge. Paella is best with a squeeze of fresh lemon right before eating.

Enjoy!

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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.  
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