The Wellness Blog

Meal Planning Ideas for Your Healthy (and Busy!) Lifestyle

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 01:43 PM


It’s 5:00 pm on a Tuesday…

You’re exhausted and hungry. You don’t know what’s in the fridge at home. And you don’t have the time or energy to conjure up a meal. So you pick up take-out for you and your family on the way home.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, you’re not alone. The number of meals eaten away from home has more than doubled in the last few decades. And unfortunately, our waistlines (and our pocketbooks) are paying the price. In fact, many families spend the cost of a new car in restaurants and take-out food each year.

A few more questions…

Do you ever buy things at the grocery store you don’t need… and forget to buy what you really do need?

Are you tired of the eating the same old meals over and over again?

Are you tired of hearing, “What’s for dinner?”

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could use a meal plan.

But here’s the thing… if you eat food, you’re already a “meal planner.” The average person spends more than five hours each week figuring out what to eat.

The question is whether your “meal plan” is one that involves flying by the seat of your pants from one day to the next… or whether it is one that creates order out of chaos, reduces stress, saves you time and money, and helps you and your family to enjoy better health.

If you’d prefer the latter, please keep reading…

Failing to (Meal) Plan is Planning to Fail

Forget for a moment, the undue stress caused by an overly busy, unorganized lifestyle. Not having a plan for what to buy and what to cook is costing you a LOT more than you think.

Just take a look in your fridge. There’s a good chance there are wilting vegetables in the crisper that will never make their debut on your dinner table. There are probably also some leftovers, well past their prime. Most of this food will end up in the garbage bin or compost pile.

In fact, while most families make an average of two trips to the supermarket each week (or eight per month) … the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service estimates they end up throwing out 25 to 50 percent of the food they buy!1,2

What’s more, each added trip to the store costs an average of $30 in unplanned expenses. Given these figures, the average family of four could save $250-$350 every month just by making one weekly supermarket trip and having a plan for every food they purchase.

This will also reduce “impulse” buys and make your weekly grocery trip a breeze, saving you hours that can be spent on better things than running back and forth to the grocery store and roaming the aisles wondering what you’re going to cook for dinner.

Here are a few meal planning ideas that will save you time and money:

  • Think Big to Save Big - Buying in bulk is a great way to save on pantry staples, frozen foods and meat (especially larger cuts). And with food prices going up just about every month, non-perishable food purchases are a form of investment. Not only do you save money, but you make a return on your savings to boot!
  • Shop Online to Help Your Bottom Line – There are many options to buy organic foods – literally from soup to nuts – at 10 to 50 percent less than local stores. Many retailers offer free or low-cost flat-rate shipping. In addition to the purchase savings, you’ll save time and fuel and make fewer unplanned purchases.
  • Make Your Freezer Your Friend – Invest in an extra freezer for bulk meats, poultry and fish. The extra storage allows you to buy larger cuts and to buy in bulk for deeper discounts. It also allows you to cook larger meals and freeze the extra for later. A large, well-stocked freezer also means fewer trips to the store.
  • Love Your Leftovers – More often than not, we purchase or prepare too much food. Too often, those leftovers get pushed to the back of the fridge where they wither, wilt and rot. This can account for hundreds of dollars in waste every month. The solution: Only buy as much perishable food as you need for a week and make a plan for your leftovers. While fish and shellfish aren’t the best candidates for next-day meals, soups, chilis and roasted meats taste just as good (if not better) the next day.
  • Make a List… and Stick to It! – For most shoppers, as much as 70 percent of grocery store purchases are unplanned! And this is no accident. Successful grocery stores have buying psychology down to a science. In fact, research shows that every extra minute you spend at the store equates to two dollars more on the receipt. So, go to the store with a well-prepared ingredient list from your meal plan and stern resolve: If it’s not on the list – don’t buy it!

Planning your meals – from deciding what to cook, making a grocery list, to leftover planning – is where saving money starts. Without a meal plan, you’ll spend more at the store, make more trips and throw more food away, potentially costing you hundreds of extra dollars a month.

We’d love to hear from you. Does planning meals for your family cause you stress? Or, do you have it down to a science? What tips do you have for planning better and saving precious time and money?


 Ed Note: Kelley Herring is the founder of Healing Gourmet. She is currently developing the world’s most advanced (and easy to use) completely personalized menu and meal planning program, called Meal Genius™, featuring dozens of items from the US Wellness Meats catalog of natural and pasture-raised products. It is especially useful for those following a special diet and for those with allergies and food intolerances. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks to come!


  2. US Dept of Ag, Ag Economic Research Service

Topics: Product Information, Good Fats

Kitchen Therapy for a Happier, Healthier You

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 @ 03:17 PM


Nearly 58 million Americans suffer from depression, anxiety or some form of mental health issue. Nearly 50 million of these people have turned to pharmaceutical drugs, with potentially dangerous side-effects.

You’ve probably seen research that exercise, sunlight and a healthy gut-friendly diet can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Research also shows that the key to a brighter and more stable mood might be as easy as stepping into your kitchen to whip up a delicious meal or bake a fresh batch of cookies (low sugar and grain-free please – we recommend Wellness Bakeries).

Sound like a pie in the sky idea? It’s not. In fact, a number of mental health care clinics across the country use cooking and baking as therapeutic tools for people who suffer from depression and other mental health problems. And these clinics are seeing great results.

But you don’t need clinical studies or reams of research to know this is true. Instinctively, you know that you enjoy a sense of purpose and accomplishment when you tackle a new recipe or bring a beautiful culinary creation to the table.


Cooking & Baking: Food for the Body, Medicine for the Soul

Psychologists say that culinary activities fit into a type of therapy called “behavioral activation”.

In this form of therapy, the goal is to alleviate a low mood by increasing positive activity and goal-oriented behavior… while curbing passivity and procrastination.

When the mind is focused on following a recipe, negative thinking is curbed. Self-esteem is enhanced as the students chop, blend and sizzle their way to the end goal – a completed dish.

Jacqueline Gollan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says:

“If the activity is defined as personally rewarding or giving a sense of accomplishment or pleasure, or even seeing the pleasure of that pumpkin bread with chocolate chips making someone else happy, then it could improve a sense of well-being.”

One study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that baking classes increased concentration, and provided a sense of achievement for patients being treated in inpatient mental health clinics.

And if you have kids at home or grandchildren who visit, including them in culinary activities can set them up for a healthy future, too.


The Kitchen: The Foundation for Lifelong Physical and Mental Health

Recent research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that childhood obesity begins with fewer parents spending time cooking with their kids.

Derek Hersch, lead author of the CDC study and collaborator on the Food Explorers cooking education program at the Minnesota Heart Institute Foundation says:

"It is important to expose children to healthy foods in a positive way. Creating habits and behaviors at this age is the most important part of it."

Hersch found that children ages 5-12 who were enrolled in cooking education programs experienced numerous healthy benefits, including:

• Increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber
• Boost in confidence in food preparation
• A willingness to try new foods

But you don’t need to enroll your kids or grandkids in an expensive cooking program to get the same benefits. In fact, Hersch says that kids can reap even more benefits by cooking in their own home, where they are comfortable.

What’s more, home-cooked meals generally contain more nutrients and fewer calories than those consumed outside the home.


Home Cooking: Missing Ingredient in the Recipe for Health & Joy

Virginia Woolf said it best when she said: “One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well.

And what better way to dine than with fresh, whole foods, prepared simply in your own home with the people you love.

Not only will you provide your body and your family with more health-promoting nutrients that foster physical health… you’ll also enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment, well-being and purpose that will give your mental health a boost as well!



Kelley Herring is the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free, and low-glycemic baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and much more.



  1. Mental Illness Statistics. The Kim Foundation.
  2. Citizens Commission on Human Rights -
  3. Hersch D. Perdue, L., Ambroz, T., et al. The Impact of Cooking Classes on Food-Related Preferences, Attitudes, and Behaviors of School-Aged Children. A systematic Review of the Evidence, 2003-2014. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 2014.
  4. The Road to Mental Health Through the Kitchen. Wall Street Journal. Dec 9 2014. 

Topics: Product Information, Good Fats

What is a Ketogenic Diet… and How Could it Help You?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 @ 08:54 AM


It seems every year a new diet trend catches the attention of the masses.

Paleo and gluten free have certainly had their time in the spotlight – and for good reason. Most people enjoy better health and find it easier to maintain their ideal weight when they follow a grain-free, ancestral diet.

But there’s a new diet that is all the rage…

Well, it’s not exactly new. In fact, this diet was developed in the 1920s for the treatment of epilepsy in children. It’s still used to effectively reduce seizures. But it has become better known for a profound effect on weight loss, the prevention and treatment of cancer, and for its brain boosting benefits.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about the ketogenic diet – a very low-carbohydrate, adequate-protein, high-fat diet that can improve your metabolism and your health.

Because glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert to energy, it is the primary source of fuel for most people. However, when you significantly lower your intake of carbohydrates (while increasing healthy dietary fat) you transition from a sugar-burning state to that of a “fat burner.”

This state of ketosis is a natural process that has helped the human species survive during times when food was not readily abundant.

And one of the major benefits of the ketogenic diet is its ability to starve cancer cells … without starving you!

The Ketogenic Diet and Cancer

In his book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, Professor Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D., explains how cancer can be viewed and treated as a metabolic disease.

There are two primary types of metabolic processes that take place in your body:

•    Fermentation – a process that converts sugar to acids, gases, or alcohol

•    Respiration – this process involves the oxidation of nutrients in the tissues, the production of carbon dioxide and water, and the exchange of respiratory gases in the lungs.

In the development of metabolic disease, the natural fermentation process appears to support tumor cell growth, whereas respiration creates an unwelcome environment for these cells.

Therefore, the growth and progression of cancer cells may be managed by changing the metabolism from fermentable metabolites (glucose and glutamine) to respiratory metabolites (ketone bodies).

Your healthy cells can easily adapt from using glucose as the primary source of energy to using ketones. Cancer cells, thankfully, cannot.

Dr. Seyfried explains:

“Tumor cells cannot use these ketone bodies because of their respiratory insufficiency. This represents an elegant, non-toxic way to target and marginalize tumor cells.” 1

The Ketogenic Diet and Brain Health

The ketogenic diet has also been shown to be effective natural treatment for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, traumatic brain injury, hypoxia (oxygen deficiency), and ischemia (blood supply deficiency).

When ketones are produced in the liver, they are also produced in the brain by cells called astrocytes. These special compounds have been shown to protect the brain in numerous ways, including by:

•    Decreasing free radical production
•    Boosting production of brain-protective antioxidants
•    Reducing amyloid plaque (the sticky substance which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease)

And these benefits are in addition to the proven effects against epilepsy and other seizure disorders. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology revealed that epileptic patients, who remained free of seizures for a period of two years or more on the ketogenic diet, could frequently discontinue both the diet and anti-convulsant medications while experiencing no relapse in seizure activity.2

The Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet is also a safe and effective way to attain your ideal body composition.

As carbohydrate intake is significantly reduced, your body has limited glucose available to use for energy. As a matter of survival, your metabolism will begin burning fat instead.

And when your body is in a state of ketosis, you will continue burning fat… even when you're sitting down and doing nothing!

It is this shift – from sugar burner to fat burner – that makes the ketogenic diet so powerfully effective for weight loss.

In a study published in the journal Nutrition, 363 participants followed either a low-calorie diet (LCD) or a low-carb ketogenic diet (LCKD). Over one hundred of these participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers determined that both diets improved BMI, waist circumference, blood sugar levels, A1C, cholesterol, and triglycerides. However, the LCKD was so effective at reducing blood sugar that the diabetic participants were able to reduce or eliminate their diabetic medication early in the trial!3

In addition to increased fat burning, another appealing benefit of the ketogenic diet is that once your body has adapted to a state of ketosis, between-meal hunger and cravings fade away. Many who follow the diet report going for extended periods without eating, and yet still feeling happy, energized and fully satisfied.

Foods to Eat (and Avoid) on a Ketogenic Diet

It’s important to remember that the ketogenic diet is NOT a high-protein diet. In fact, eating too much protein can block ketosis. This is because your body is able to convert protein to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

So, while a ketogenic diet should include healthy sources of protein from wild and pastured sources, like beef, poultry, pork, eggs, fish and shellfish, it should also be abundant in healthy fats.

These should include avocado and avocado oil, tallow and lard, pastured butter and ghee, macadamia nuts and oil, olive oil, coconut oil and coconut butter and full-fat dairy, like raw cheeses and heavy whipping cream.

Of course, you should also eat a rich variety of colorful, non-starchy, phytonutrient-rich vegetables. Aim to consume at least 8 to 10 servings each day.

An easy way to increase your servings of veggies is whole food juicing with low-carb, above ground vegetables (organic celery, cucumber, kale and spinach, plus a lemon and an inch or two of ginger is my go-to juice). This way, you can drink your veggies with every meal! Juiced vegetables also pack a nutrient punch and are much easier for your body to digest and utilize.

Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet include:

•    Grains and starches (including starchy veggies)
•    Sugar in all forms (plus artificial sweeteners)
•    Unhealthy fats like vegetable, corn and seed oils
•    Low-fat dairy products (these contain more sugar per volume and are devoid of important nutrients like CLA)
•    Most fruit (lemons, limes and low-sugar berries are okay in moderation)

It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks of following a ketogenic diet plan for your body to become “fat-adapted” – the process of shifting your metabolism from sugar to fat-based sources for fuel.

When this happens, not only will fat oxidation increase naturally, your body will also start to produce ketones that can be used as an additional source of fuel!

Have you tried a ketogenic diet? If so, what was your experience?



Kelley Herring is the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb (and keto-friendly!) baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and much more.



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Topics: Product Information, Good Fats

Grain-Free Goodies

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Jul 30, 2016 @ 10:59 PM


Using Healthy Flours to Make Grain-Free Goodies

If you follow the all-natural, grain-free, low-glycemic diet that our ancestors enjoyed, then you might have decided that most cookies, cakes, bread and pizza just aren’t on the menu.

And if we’re talking about the usual processed foods and traditional recipes for these goodies, that’s probably a good thing. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Thanks to a new breed of grain-free flour alternatives and all-natural, low-glycemic sweeteners it can be easy to make, paleo-friendly desserts (as well as breads, biscuits and crusts) that are every bit as delicious as they are nutritious.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss how to make healthier baked goods by switching out the flours you use. Then stay tuned, because in a follow up article, I’ll show you how to sweeten your baked goods in a way that won’t sour your health.

Many bakers believe that whole grain flour is a healthier choice than white flour. However, whole grain flours are still very high in carbohydrates and score high on the glycemic index. In fact, did you know that the glycemic index of so-called “healthy” whole wheat is among the highest of ALL foods?

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating two slices of whole wheat bread spikes your blood sugar more than helping yourself to six teaspoons of table sugar!

High glycemic foods cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Chronically high blood sugar is directly linked to nearly every chronic disease including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, macular degeneration, PCOS and many more.

High insulin levels also block fat burning and promote the storage of fat. So, if you want to avoid that “muffin top” then stay away from grain based flours. Of course, wheat flour also contains gluten – an allergenic protein that causes health issues for many people.

What about Gluten-Free Flours and Baking Mixes?

Unfortunately, the term “gluten-free” does not always equate to “healthy.” Most gluten-free flours use ingredients such as rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour and sorghum flour – which can spike blood sugar even MORE than wheat flour.  So while the gluten is missing, the health harming consequences are still there.

The good news is that there are truly healthy options you can use to create delicious baked goods… I’m talking about nut flours!

Nut flours are surprisingly versatile. They lend buttery richness to all kinds of baked goods – from crisp biscotti to moist cupcakes. And unlike grain-based flours, they are naturally gluten free and low carb too.

The Best Nut Flours to Use in Your Baking

  • Almond Flour:  This staple flour can be used to create everything from fluffy pancakes to crispy cookies. However, you should opt for “blanched” almond flour, which contains no skins. Unblanched almonds can add an unpleasant aftertaste when baked.
  • Coconut Flour:  Coconut flour appears light and fluffy. But it is actually quite dense and fiber-rich, so a little goes a long way. A rule of thumb is to use one egg for each tablespoon of coconut flour in your recipes. Also, most recipes that call for coconut flour specify “sifted coconut flour”. This is important, because one half cup of coconut flour does not equal one half cup of sifted coconut flour. Always sift then measure, or your baked goods can end up dry and dense.
  • Hazelnut and Pecan Flour: These nut flours are a bit richer. They are best used in combination with almond flour to punch up the nutty flavor. They are great for pie crusts and cookies of all kinds.
  • Sunflower Seed Flour: For those who may be allergic to nuts, sunflower seed flour can be used anywhere almond flour is called for. This flour is available online and it’s also easy to make your own. Simply grind fresh, raw seeds in a high powered blender to a fine powder. Caution, however: processing too long will create seed butter, so watch closely.

It’s also important to know that nut flours contain healthy fats… but these fats can go bad if they’re not protected. Nut flours should be stored in airtight containers away from light and heat (and preferably, refrigerated). If you buy in bulk, freeze in airtight bags.

Of course, it is not quite so easy as simply substituting an unhealthy flour for one that has a better nutritional profile. There are lots of tricks and tips to using nut flours in your baking. And your health depends on it! If you enjoy baked goods and you value your health, take some time to learn study online recipes and resources for the best ways to use these superior alternatives.

For those who are looking for a quick (and healthy) shortcut Wellness Bakeries has created a range of grain-free, gluten-free and low-glycemic breads, breakfast, dessert and other blend-and-bake mixes that can help you enjoy all your favorite comfort foods – without concern for your health. Check out their line of products carried by US Wellness Meats.

Now, you really can have your cake… and eat it too!

And stay tuned for my next article, where I will show you how to create the exact taste and texture of sugar, with none of the guilt. 


Kelley Herring is the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free, low-glycemic baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and much more.


Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

Can Your Sugar Cravings Lead to Candida Overgrowth?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 @ 01:56 PM


It's no secret that eating too much sugar – in all of its various forms – can ruin your health.

We’re all familiar diabetes and hypoglycemic, two of the most common metabolic conditions which can be the result of a high-sugar diet.

But did you know that sugar can also damage your immune system. It can contribute to an overgrowth of bacteria, yeast, and fungus… and allow potentially harmful organisms like Candida albicans to thrive in your body?

You may have heard people talking about “candida” as an illness. But what they're referring to is not the candida itself, but rather an overgrowth of this opportunistic pathogen.


Everyone Has Candida... No Matter How Healthy You Are

As you know, your body contains billions of bacteria, yeasts and even funguses. Most of the time, these microorganisms are kept in balance. And they are absolutely necessary to a healthy body.

They help you digest and extract nutrients from your food. In fact, in some cases, their own secretions can provide beneficial vitamins and other nutrients. They help to support your immune system and even play a part in blood sugar regulation.

But there are a number of factors that can cause certain species to proliferate wildly and become pathogenic. Soon your healthy inner ecology is thrown out of balance. Your immune system becomes compromised. A cascade of health consequences can soon follow.

And the over-consumption of sugar is one of the most important factors that can cause this to happen…

A new study, published in Nature Communications, shows that even a little bit of sugar on the cells of Candida albicans can trigger this organism to transform into a pathogenic fungal state and then cause the death of immune cells that would normally be able to defend themselves.1

"The addition of glycosylated proteins, which are proteins with a sugar attached, re-models the surface of the fungal cells," says Professor Leah Cowen, lead researcher on the study.

Stop and think about that for a second...

The presence of sugar can change Candida cells from a beneficial microbe to a deadly invader with the ability to disarm your immune system.

You see, there are actually two forms of Candida:

  • One is a yeast-like state. This is a non-invasive organism that lives in harmony within your inner ecosystem. We all have this form of yeast in our bodies. These populations are usually low, basically indiscernible… and somewhat beneficial.
  • The other form of Candida is fungal. In this form the organism produces root-like structures called rhizoids. In this filamentous form the organism can penetrate the lining of the gut causing inflammation and permeability of the intestinal wall (or leaky gut).

When your gut flora is healthy – and in the absence of a high-sugar diet – your immune system helps prevent the yeast organism from becoming an infectious fungus.

But in a great many people, the parasitic fungal organism grows out of control and overpopulates. It penetrates the gastrointestinal tract and allows foreign materials and pathogens to enter the bloodstream. This can cause chronic widespread inflammation, ongoing allergenic responses and increased risk for autoimmune conditions and other disease states.

In some cases a transformation of Candida into its fungal state and subsequent overgrowth can cause a potentially fatal blood infection called candidemia. In fact, this is the fourth most common blood infection in the United States, affecting 400,000 people every year.2

And all of this can be mediated by too much sugar in your diet…


So Does This Mean You Can't Eat ANY Sugar?

One study, done in 1999, suggests that if your immune system is strong, you should be able to consume sugar and defend yourself against candida just fine.3

In the experiment, the researchers tested 28 healthy volunteers for candida before, during, and after they ate a high-sugar diet.

What happened?

The diet did not significantly increase the frequency of oral or fecal candida samples.

But something interesting did happen...

The people who already had elevated counts of oral candida had an increase in fecal candida. This led researchers to conclude that different diseases – particularly diabetes – may be affected by candida differently.


Diabetes and Candida

Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body is no longer able to regulate blood sugar normally. Two key traits among diabetics are high blood sugar and a suppressed immune system.4

And when your immunity is low, Candida has the chance to take hold. So if diabetics often have a weak immune system, logically they're more susceptible to candida.

One study tested diabetics and people with impaired and normal blood glucose to see how their blood sugar levels affected the growth of oral candida.5  The results showed that diabetics were more likely to be infected with oral candida than people with normal or impaired blood glucose regulation.

Other studies have also shown that diabetics are much more likely to experience Candida overgrowth.6

But whether or not you have diabetes, it's important to understand that dietary sugar intake is an important mediator in the transformation of candida to its pathogenic fungal state.

Even if you're healthy now, if you consume sugar and other high-glycemic carbohydrates on a frequent basis, you're slowly destroying the organs and cells that regulate your blood sugar. And this can eventually lead to diabetes, a suppressed immune system, and set the stage for candida overgrowth.


How You Can Prevent Cravings and Keep Your Immune System Strong

1. Ditch the sugar and follow an ancestral, naturally low-glycemic diet: The healthiest for most people is the one our ancient ancestors thrived on, including naturally-raised meats, a variety of colorful vegetables, berries and nuts. If your sweet tooth is calling, consider low-glycemic alternatives like erythritol and stevia. In fact, US Wellness Meats now carries a range of grain- and gluten-free baking and dessert mixes made by Wellness Bakeries that exclusively use natural and low-glycemic sweeteners.

2. Eat more fermented foods: Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and others contain powerful doses of beneficial probiotics, which promote healthy digestion, support your immune system and keep pathogenic bacteria and other organisms (like Candida) from growing out of control. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup per day of these foods. And up your consumption as you feel appropriate.

3. Herbs and Spices: Common herbs and spices like oregano, basil, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric are highly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and high beneficial phytonutrients.  Use these herbs and spices liberally in your sauces, marinades and recipes.

4. Sun, Fresh Air, and Movement: Our ancestors lived in a symbiotic relationship with their natural environment. And their health was better for it. Research shows that vitamin D is effective against cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, type-2 diabetes, depression, and so many other diseases.  Get outside and go on a walk. Spend some time in nature. Relax. Do something fun. You need sun, fresh air, and movement to be healthy and happy.


Kelley Herring is the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free, low-glycemic baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and much more.



  1. Teresa R. O’Meara et al. Global analysis of fungal morphology exposes mechanisms of host cell escape Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 6741
  2. Society for Experimental Biology. "Stopping Candida in its tracks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2015.
  3. Michael Weig et al. Limited effect of refined carbohydrate dietary supplementation on colonization of the gastrointestinal tract of healthy subjects by Candida albicans. Am J Clin Nutr. June 1999. vol. 69 no. 6 1170-1173
  4. Geerlings SE, Hoepelman AI. Immune dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1999 Dec;26(3-4):259-65.
  5. Huang JH, Liu Y, Liu HW. Comparative study on oral candidal infection in individuals with diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose regulation. Zhonghua Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2012 Jun;47(6):335-9.
  6. Mohammad Hossein Lotfi-Kamran et al. Candida colonization on the denture of diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2009 Spring; 6(1): 23–27.
  7. Mona Ghasemian, Sina Owlia, and Mohammad Bagher Owlia. Review of Anti-Inflammatory Herbal Medicines. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2016; 2016: 9130979.
  8. Rathish Nair and Arun Maseeh. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr-Jun; 3(2): 118–126.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

The Anti-Aging Nutrient that Fights Mental Decline

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jul 01, 2016 @ 11:11 AM


By the year 2050, nearly a third of America’s population will be 65 years or older. And our rapidly aging population faces a serious problem…

It’s estimated that Alzheimer’s will directly affect 14 million people in the US in the next 10-20 years. And the problem is compounded because this devastating condition does not just take the brain of the sufferer... it also creates anguish and hardship for loved ones.

For every patient who suffers this disease, you can generally multiply that by a minimum of four close family and friends…

That would mean that by the year 2050, over 50 million people in the US will be suffering in some way from Alzheimer’s.

But today you will learn about a powerful form of protection from this debilitating disease… and one of the most important age-related nutrients on the planet.

A review of studies published in the International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology had this to say about this natural compound:

“It extends cultured human fibroblast life-span, kills transformed cells, protects cells against aldehydes and an amyloid peptide fragment and inhibits, in vitro, protein glycation and DNA/protein cross-linking.”1

In plain English that means this nutrient provides powerful protection against the development of Alzheimer’s in a number of significant ways.

This nutrient is L-Carnosine…

And today, we’ll take a look at exactly how l-carnosine can help you age well.

But first, if you’re serious about decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s… you need to know how it develops in the brain (and which dietary factors increase your risk).

How Alzheimer’s Develops (And How L-Carnosine Benefits the Aging Brain)

Many theories exist to explain the causes of Alzheimer’s. The most prevalent involve the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and damage caused by advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and oxidation.

Beta-amyloid proteins are compounds that come and go in our brain. Problems arise when we accumulate more than we clear. The result is sticky plaques that damage neurons, nerves and arteries in the brain. And so we start to see symptoms of dementia.

But, there’s something else lurking inside those plaques: Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).

Most people know about free radicals. But did you know AGEs are just as detrimental when it comes to aging?

AGEs form when sugars combine with proteins (or fats) in a special chemical reaction. It's called the Maillard reaction, and is a normal metabolic process. But it can go haywire when it overburdens our body.

But there’s something we do in our daily diet that pushes the levels even higher... browning food! This is the culinary version of the Maillard reaction.

Sugary marinades on fried meats, drippings and the browned crisp on top of baked desserts. These all introduce AGE’s into our body.

The following quote, found in Life Extension Magazine sums it up:

“The human body might be viewed as an extraordinarily complex mixture of chemicals, reacting in a low temperature oven with a 76-year cooking cycle.”2

The Maillard reaction cranks the oven up to high heat. And the resulting AGE's influence ‘cross-links’ in tissue proteins. In other words, the proteins become damaged and dysfunctional. And that includes those sticky beta-amyloid proteins in the brain.

But as you will soon see, l-carnosine can act as the “oven cleaner”!

But there’s just one more thing you need to know about…

The Youth Diminishing AGE-Oxidation Cycle

Researchers believe that free radicals (oxidative stress) are part of AGE’s forming. And AGE’s produce more free radicals!

It’s a vicious cycle.

A study conducted in 2005 at the Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University concluded… both AGE’s and oxidative stress to be key factors in Alzheimer’s. The researchers stated:

“Our findings support the idea that aldehyde-mediated modifications, in concert with oxyradical-mediated modifications, are critical early pathogenic factors in Alzheimer's disease”

So, let’s see how l-carnosine benefits and some simple and immediate action you can take.

How L-Carnosine Benefits Against Alzheimer’s

Carnosine is found in the brain, muscles, and heart. It's made from just two amino acids (beta-alanine and histidine). Its job is to guard against the naturally-occurring damage associated with energy production.

Carnosine reaches deep into cellular DNA to slow the rate of deterioration and reduce damage. And L-carnosine can benefit the aging brain by:

  • Acting as a special ‘antioxidant’ and protector against brain-damaging AGE’s. Carnosine actually combines with sugars - sparing your body’s protein.
  • Reacting with cross-linked proteins and helps to remove them from the body
  • Stopping oxidative damage from free radicals
  • Providing protective effects against amyloid beta

Researchers from the Institute of Gerontology in London demonstrated these effects. They introduced amyloid beta to cultured rat brain cells, producing toxic damage. By adding carnosine to the mix they demonstrated a large decrease in damage.

The researchers concluded:

“We postulate that the mechanism of carnosine protection lies in its anti-glycating and antioxidant activities, both of which are implicated in neuronal and endothelial cell damage during Alzheimer’s disease. Carnosine may therefore be a useful therapeutic agent.”3

How You Can Get Enough Carnosine… and Reduce AGE’s

Did you know that the “carno” in carnosine refers to meat? That’s where you’ll find natures l-carnosine benefits! Grass fed beef and other red meats contain 1500mg/lb. Pastured poultry and pork contain 2000mg/lb.

Just a single 3.5oz serving of high-quality, pasture-raised meat will provide you with 330 – 440mg of age-defying l-carnosine.

Now, you might be wondering, how much carnosine do I need to enjoy the anti-aging benefits? Most experts recommend about 500 mg/day of l-carnosine.

As you can see, it’s very easy to achieve this level with just a couple servings of grass-fed beef, pastured chicken or pork daily (no pill popping required!).

Be sure to maximize your anti-aging protection by following these three basic ancestral diet principles:

  1. Cook Correctly: Cook your anti-aging proteins with a slow cooker, pressure cooker, with gentle poaching or low temperature roasting. You can also go raw... try a delicious steak tartare, beef heart tartare or carpaccio.
  2. Protect with Color: Include high amounts of antioxidant rich foods in your diet. Choose dark leafy greens (organic spinach, kale) and deeply-colored foods (red beets, berries, pumpkin, winter squash). Add antioxidant superfoods like turmeric, cacao, cinnamon and fresh and dried herbs!
  3. Choose Condiments Wisely: Avoid cooking meats with sugar-containing ingredients to prevent AGE formation. Instead of sugary sauces, opt for healthy and savory options like Paleo remoulade (made with Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise), mustard, horseradish, chimichurri and pesto.

And of course, you can’t ignore regular exercise and a good nights sleep for a healthy brain. Do all these things daily to protect you and your loved ones from dementia related distress.


Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…



  1. Hipkiss AR. Carnosine, a protective, anti-ageing peptide? The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 1998:30(8);863-868.
  2. Life Extension Magazine. Carnosine Report 2006.
  3. Preston JE, Hipkiss AR, Himsworth DT, Romero IA, Abbott JN. Toxic effects of beta-amyloid(25-35) on immortalised rat brain endothelial cell: protection by carnosine, homocarnosine and beta-alanine. Neuroscience letters. 1998:242(2);105-108.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

Glutamine to the Rescue

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 @ 05:48 PM


Glutamine to The Rescue

(Are You Truly Getting Enough?)


Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It is also considered ‘non-essential’ – but don’t let that term fool you. It just means that your body can produce this compound itself. It is not ‘essential’ in that it comes from your diet.

The reality is that glutamine is incredibly essential. A review conducted in 1990 and published in the Journal of Surgical Research agrees…

“Its classification as a nonessential amino acid in biochemistry and nutrition textbooks is misleading and underestimates its importance as a nutrient. Newer studies suggest that glutamine may be indispensable in times of critical illness.”1

And many of us are critically low in this vital nutrient. According to research, psychological and emotional stress depletes glutamine.2  And that’s bad news since its job is to keep us healthy and keep chronic disease at bay.

By including glutamine in your ancestral diet, you support your body’s ability to manage common daily ailments… and help to prevent them from turning into something worse.

So, let’s take a look at how glutamine benefits your health and the most nourishing (and tasty) way to get it daily.

IBS? Your Gut Wants 30% of Your Glutamine

If you suffer from bloating or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you may have leaky gut. This is when the integrity of your gut lining becomes compromised, allowing food particles and even toxins to pass into the bloodstream. Not only can this cause gastrointestinal symptoms, it also sets the stage for allergies, autoimmune conditions, widespread inflammation, brain fog and chronic fatigue.

But glutamine can help…

You see, glutamine acts as fuel for your digestive system. While most of your organs and muscles use glucose to power their functions, your digestive tract uses glutamine!3  And your small intestine utilizes 20-30% of what you eat!

But it does not only serve as fuel for your gut… it can also heal it.

The cells that line your intestines are replaced approximately every three days. Glutamine is required to build strong and healthy new gut cells… and to seal up any damage to the delicate epithelial lining.

A study published in the Lancet demonstrated this with patients who were fed nutrients intravenously. Those fed with the addition of glutamine experienced no change in the permeability of their gut. This was considered a positive result, because the participants who were not given glutamine, experienced an increase in gut permeability.4

But the benefits of glutamine go far beyond gut health…

Glutamine Benefits: Support Detoxification, Prevent Disease and Slow Aging

Detoxing is big business. If you’ve been low on energy or felt ‘old’ before your time, there’s a good chance you’ve tried some sort of “cleanse”. But if you know where to look in nature, you can support your innate ability to detoxify… all by itself.

Glutamine plays an important role in boosting glutathione – which is known as your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier. From a 2002 review, published in the journal Nutrition...

"Experimental animal studies have shown that the administration of GLN [glutamine] increases tissue concentrations of reduced glutathione [GLT]”.5

Not only does glutathione fight free radicals and help to neutralize toxins… it actually slows down the aging process. But stress and illness deplete it. So if you want to keep your detoxification systems working and slow the hands of time... be sure to get enough glutamine!

And that brings me to the healing ancestral food that’s chock-full of this important nutrient…

Get All Your Glutamine Benefits from One Healing Recipe

Taking a high quality glutamine supplement is a good idea in times of illness or acute stress. It is especially important if you know that you have leaky gut – or if you suffer from food allergies, autoimmune illness or digestive ailments (which can all be related to leaky gut).

Most health experts recommend that you ramp up the dose over a few days or weeks until you are taking between 10 and 40 grams per day (with food).

But there is also a delicious food you can enjoy every day to get the benefits of glutamine…

Bone broth!

As one of the richest sources of glutamine, bone broth helps to heal the gut, detox the body and support your immune system.

Here are two super simple ways to whip up a batch of superfood bone broth!

  • 3 pounds grass-fed beef bones, chicken feet, pastured pork bones (frozen is fine)
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, cleaned well and cut in half, or 1 medium sweet onion, quartered
  • 8 cups filtered water (no more than 2/3 full)
  • 2 Tbsp. high-quality sea salt
  • 2 tsp. organic apple cider vinegar

Pressure Cooker Method: Add all ingredients to a large pressure cooker (at least 6 quarts). Do not exceed two-thirds full. Add remaining ingredients. Lock the lid, select high pressure. If you're using an Instant Pot, cook for 2 hours. If you're using a standard pressure cooker, let the contents of the pot reach high pressure, then immediately decrease the temperature to the lowest possible setting. Cook 40-50 minutes (use more time for large shank bones). Remove from heat and let pressure release naturally (10-15 minutes).

Slow Cooker Method: Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Place on a medium heat and slow cook for 24 hours. Stir occasionally to infuse the broth with the most nutrition.

Then simply strain and enjoy!

For optimum health, base your diet around ancestral foods high in healing fats (like tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil), grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, wild fish and organic vegetables and fermented foods… and be sure to add a daily cup of glutamine-rich bone broth for its deep healing benefits.


Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley's newest book, Better Breads –including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins, and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…



  1. Souba WW, Klimberg VS, Plumley DA, et al. The role of glutamine in maintaining a healthy gut and supporting the metabolic response to injury and infection. Journal of Surgical Research. 1990;48(4):383-391.
  2. www.aminoacid-studies. Glutamine.
  3. Reitzer LJ, Wice BM, Kennell D. Evidence That Glutamine, Not Sugar, Is the Major Energy Source for Cultured HeLa Cells*. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 1978;254(8):2669-2676.
  4. Van der Hulst RRWJ, von Meyenfeldt MF, Deutz NEP, et al. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. The Lancet. 1993;341(8857):1363-1365.
  5. Roth E, Oehler R, Manhart N, et al. Regulative potential of glutamine-relation to glutathione metabolism. Nutrition. 2002;18(3):217-221.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

USWM at Paleo(f)x - Austin, TX

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 @ 04:49 PM

Only a handful of my friends will stomach Liverwurst.

Even fewer when it comes to Pemmican.

What the Paleo f(x) Conference with 5,000 attendees held in store for me completely flipped that standard.

Never, I thought, would I see a child throw a temper-tantrum because their parents would allow them to have ONLY ONE piece of Liverwurst. When this happened, I knew I was with MY people!

Grant with One Stop Paleo Shop Team

Being the only booth with Bacon, you can imagine how popular we were. And how wonderful we made The Palmer Events Center smell! Not only was it delicious, but the accolades we received  due to its lack of ingredients (Pork Bellies & Celtic Sea Salt) could fill a novel:

  • No sugar?
  • No honey?
  • No nitrates or nitrites?
  • Whole30 approved!
  • This is the way Bacon should taste!
  • Nothing but Pork and Hickory Smoke!
  • Reminds me of my Grandmother!

Needless to say, we were out of bacon in less than a day and a half! Note to self: bring more bacon next time!

Of course, we brought more than just Pork Bacon, Pemmican, and Liverwurst. Braunschweiger, Plain & Spicy Beef Jerky, Original, Salt & Pepper, and BBQ Pork Rinds were ready to serve. To the dismay of many, Pork Rinds were gone by the end of the second day! I found a fellow Pemmican addict in Maureen Quinn, who was equally saddened that it needed to be rationed by the third day.

Amanda Love, from The Barefoot Cook (sorry, not the Barefoot Contessa!), was gracious enough to cook up Ribeyes, NY Strips, Top Sirloin, and Leg of Lamb Steaks.

By the end of the conference, everyone knew exactly where the delicious whiff of meat was emanating.

But, I would feel guilty if I didn't tell you about some of our friends that we ran into:

After hours of grazing my way through Paleo f(x), I don't know how I had room for dinner.

What an unforgettable experience; Meeting the members of my Paleo Family to share our passion for this exploding revolution!

Happy Meating!

-Grant D. Cooper

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Pork, Good Fats, Misc Info, US Wellness Meats

Hydrate Nature's Way

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Jun 04, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Coconut Water Benefits: Nature’s Plasma

During the days of World War II, there was a shortage of medical saline. As you can imagine, this was a life or death issue for injured soldiers. In a pinch, doctors found that the water from young coconuts was a good substitute. With a nutrient profile similar to blood plasma, many soldiers received intravenous treatment with coconut water.

Of course, you won’t be hooking yourself up to the nearest coconut. But this does offer insight into the health benefits of coconut water.

In 2000, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine published a review about coconut water, describing its plasma-like benefits:

“Medical resources routinely used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients may be limited in remote regions of the world. When faced with these shortages, physicians have had to improvise with available resources, or simply do without. We report the successful use of coconut water as a short-term intravenous hydration fluid for a Solomon Island patient.”1

But it’s not just human cells that come to life…

Coconut water has been used in horticulture for more than 50 years.2  It is also used to promote the growth of fungi, bacteria and for preserving cells from the ligaments of teeth!3

Once you look closer at the properties of coconut water, you will see why it has so much to give. A review published in the journal Molecules calls coconut water “one of the world’s most versatile natural products”.

So let’s see how coconut water benefits your body at the cellular level… and how you can use it to improve your health. 

Decrease Blood Pressure and Increase Vitality!

If we enlarged your cells, you would see a vast network of vitamins, minerals and amino acids – all whizzing among a globe of water. But they’re not there by accident. To be healthy, our cells need the right nutrients – in the right ratios! These ratios allow your cells to communicate with each other.

One of the key ratios is the amount of sodium to potassium. In fact, this electrolyte ratio is so important that it is often called the “vitality ratio.” When it is out of balance your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke all increase.

A 2011 study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at the effects of sodium and potassium on our health.4   The researchers analyzed over 12,000 adults. They followed up with them for almost 15 years. They found that heart disease is closely associated with a high ratio of sodium to potassium. They also found a significant increase in death from other diseases.

According to a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine, our Paleolithic ancestors consumed nearly 16 times more potassium than sodium. Now, compare that to the average American today, who consumes two times more sodium than potassium!

Of course, we don’t know exactly what our ancient ancestors consumed. And we don’t know the “ideal” ratio of sodium to potassium for optimal health. But a number of health experts recommend that it should be between 1:2 and 1:3.

In other words, for every 1000mg of sodium in your diet, you should consume 2000-3000 mg of potassium.

The good news is that it’s easy to improve your vitality ratio.

The first step is to cut out processed and package foods. This is where most of the sodium in our diet comes from – not because we’re shaking too much salt at the dinner table. Next, add more potassium to your diet.

And coconut water is a delicious way to do it!

Eight ounces of coconut water contains 250 mg sodium to 600 mg potassium (1:2.4 ratio). And while it’s not the richest source of potassium you can consume, it can go a long way toward meeting your recommend daily requirement of 4,700 mg – especially when combined with other ancestral foods, like:.

•    Whole avocado – 975 mg
•    3 cups green vegetables – 800-900 mg
•    1 cup cooked spinach – 839 mg
•    2 ounces pumpkin seeds – 588 mg
•    1 banana – 422 mg
•    3 Tbsp. dried herbs – 300 mg (approx)
•    2 Tbsp. raw cacao – 160 mg
•    1 scoop (20 g) Vital Whey– 100 mg

Try a smoothie with a cup of coconut water, raw cacao, half an avocado, half a banana, a scoop of Vital Whey, a handful of spinach and enough water to reach the proper thickness. This equates roughly to a blood pressure lowering 2,000 mg of potassium – almost half your daily requirement in one delicious drink.

Coconut Water Benefits Tired, Aging Cells

Coconut water isn’t exactly water. And that’s part of its anti-aging charm! It is actually part of the endosperm of the coconut. The purpose is to provide nutrients to the developing flesh inside the fruit. That means it comes packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other phytochemicals.

One of these is kinetin.

If you look at various anti-aging creams you might see kinetin(Kn) listed as a key ingredient. Research demonstrates that kinetin can exert anti-aging effects in both animals and human cells.

A 1994 study found that when kinetin was introduced to human cells in vitro, aging was delayed. The researchers stated:

“Results show that the cytokinin Kn delays the onset of several cellular and biochemical characteristics associated with cellular ageing in vitro.”

 And when the cells had kinetin removed…

“On removal of Kn from the culture medium, aging characteristics began to reappear”.5 

 Research also shows that kinetin:

•    Exists naturally in human DNA
•    Functions as an antioxidant against free radical damage
•    Shown to slow aging in fruit flies

So, not only does coconut water benefit cellular health… it could also make them functionally younger!

Five Tasty Ways to Use Coconut Water as Cell Food

For rapid hydration: Drink one cup of coconut water after sports or if feeling under the weather. Use in place of commercial electrolyte drinks which are loaded with added sugars, artificial flavors, colors and other unhealthy ingredients. For excessive sweating, vomiting or dirrhea, you may want to just add an extra ¼ tsp of quality sea salt.

Reduce sugar intake: Use berries with coconut water in smoothies to create the sweetness. Replace high sugar fruits like bananas with potassium-rich avocado.

Switch up your coffee and tea: Try a coconut water iced coffee or iced tea for something a little different.

Add to juices: Try a low-sugar juice like cucumber, celery, ginger, spinach and lemon. Top off with coconut water for a refreshing, hydrating drink.

Coconut water vinaigrette: Mix ¼ cup coconut water, 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper.

When selecting coconut water, always look for those packed in cartons (not cans), and made with no added sugar or preservatives. For water fresh from the coconut, look for Thai young coconuts. They are cream colored, with a pointed top – and the freshest coconut water you can enjoy.

Start enjoying coconut water today to optimize hydration, boost disease-fighting potassium levels and slow cellular aging!


Kelley Herring is the author of the new book Better Breads – which includes more information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…



  1. Campbell-Falk, D. Thomas, T. Falk, TM. Tutuo, N. Clem, K. The Intravenous use of coconut water. American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2000;18(1):108-11.
  2. Yong JWH, Ge L, Ng YF, Tan SN. The Chemical Composition and Biological Properties of Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) Water. Molecules. 2009;14(12): 5144-5164.
  3. Gopikrishna V, Thomas T, Kandaswamy D. A quantitative analysis of coconut water: a new storage media for avulsed teeth. Endodontology. 2008;105(2):61-65.
  4. Yang Q, Liu T, Kuklina EV, et al. Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011;171(13):1183-1191.
  5. Suresh I, Rattan S, Clark BFC. Kinetin Delays The Onset Of Ageing Characteristics in Human Fibroblasts. Biomedical and Biophysical Research Communications. 1994;201(2):665-672

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

Grandma's Favorite Spice: Diabetes Disruptor

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, May 21, 2016 @ 10:36 AM

Four Health Benefits of Cinnamon – One Common Disease

Cinnamon is so delicious and comforting that it might seem strange to consider it a medicine. But cinnamon can’t fool us with its intoxicating aroma and sweet, spicy taste that Grandma loved.

Within cinnamon are a world of volatile oils and phenols, which act on different sites in your body to improve health. And one thing that science agrees on is that cinnamon promotes healthy blood sugar control. In fact, research reveals four distinct ways that cinnamon works to prevent (and even treat) diabetes:

  • Scavenges free radicals
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Acts like insulin
  • Blocks carbohydrates

In a recent study of 60 individuals diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, researchers found that patients who were given as little as one gram of cinnamon daily (about half a teaspoon) experienced an 18 – 29% decrease in their blood sugar levels.

And according to research, cinnamon acts in a “dose dependent” manner… in other words, the more you take (to a degree, of course) the greater the activity. And it’s delicious, so what better reason could there be?

Health Benefits Of Cinnamon

The spice we know as cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum Tree. This tree is actually from the same family that gives us avocados, bay leaves and camphor! These trees are all well known for their fragrant culinary and medicinal properties.

However, not all types of cinnamon are equal in terms of their health advantages. They each have unique qualities. Some of the active properties in this plant include cinnamtanins, cinnamylacetate, cinnamylalcohol and cinnamaldehyde (the oil that gives cinnamon its distinctive aroma and flavor).

Cinnamon: The Spicy Scavenger of Free Radicals

Cinnamon is a potent antioxidant. Out of all foods, it ranks among the top ten with a score of 131,000 on the ORAC scale.

It has been shown to fight against advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are strong contributors to chronic illness. AGE’s are the by-product of a chemical reaction between sugars and fats or protein. This is actually a normal part of your metabolism. But the formation of these damaging compounds rapidly accelerates when blood sugar levels increase.

These compounds are also produced when certain foods are cooked at high temperatures - especially meats marinated with sugar and then chargrilled as well as foods that are processed to add browning or caramelization.

But you can fight AGE’s with cinnamon…

In a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers found that cinnamon inhibited the formation of AGEs. Cinnamon also shows a scavenging effect on one particularly nasty type of AGE – methylglyoxal.1

So, eat a daily dose of cinnamon to fight AGEs – especially if you have metabolic or health concerns related to blood sugar.

Cinnamon for Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin resistance is among the first warning signs on the road to diabetes. Insulin helps to shuttle glucose inside our cells. But if you are insulin resistant, your cells can’t ‘see’ it. Cinnamon increases enzyme activity in the insulin signaling pathway. In other words, it helps your cells to recognize insulin again.

From a review posted in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

“… when compared to [other] herbs, spices, and medicinal extracts, aqueous cinnamon extracts (CE) potentiated insulin activity more than 20-fold, higher than any other compound tested at comparable dilutions.”2

Yet another great reason to go heavy-handed on this spice in your cooking.

Cinnamon… Acts Just Like Insulin?

Not only does cinnamon help your body to recognize insulin, it also acts like insulin! This is the result of a phytochemical called cinnamtannin B1 (cb1). Research shows that cb1 binds to insulin receptors and activates a process called phosphorylation. This encourages glucose uptake (thus helping to reduce blood sugar).

Researchers in Malaysia isolated cb1 and added it to 3T3-L1 fat cells. Surprisingly, the cells treated with cb1 were higher in activity than those treated with insulin itself. Cb1 even outperformed both mixed together.3

Cinnamon: The Natural ‘Carb Blocker’

Cinnamon is rich in active compounds which help decrease the amount of carbs digested and absorbed by the gut. These include tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, anthraquinones and glycosides.

Research published in 2011 in Nutrition and Metabolism put cinnamon to the test. The scientists found that cinnamon inhibited the digestive enzymes responsible for breaking starches into smaller units.

The result of this would be a lower blood glucose reading after a meal.4

Another study conducted by Thai researchers found various species acted on different enzymes. One species of cinnamon targeted maltase (the enzyme that breaks down maltose). Another inhibited amylase and sucrase.5

Selecting the Right Cinnamon

When selecting cinnamon use organic Ceylon instead of Cassia.

Most cinnamon found in supermarkets is Cassia. This type of cinnamon contains significant amounts of the anti-nutrient, coumarin, which can be harmful in high doses. If you are using Cassia, use less and not too often.

Experience for yourself the many health benefits of cinnamon. Mix it into broths, soups and marinades to boost flavor, balance blood sugar, and ward off age-promoting compounds. 

Cinnamon is best consumed alongside a healthy ancestral diet. But here are a few sweeter ideas for you.

  • Poached pear with cinnamon, erythritol and a little coconut cream
  • Make a protein packed smoothie! Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix and antioxidants like cacao, turmeric and ground ginger.
  • Cinnamon Paleo pancakes! (Go easy on the browning).
  • Soak a cinnamon stick in a cup of tea before drinking
  • Make a ‘cinnamon sugar’. Combine equal parts: erythritol and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of Paleo breakfast granola orlow-glycemic organic fruit like berries and apples.
  • Add a cinnamon twist to your morning Joe. Simply add to your freshly ground java beans, then brew as usual.
  • Slow roast your favorite grass-fed beef or lamb and pair with an Indian- inspired chutney or yogurt-based sauce spiked with cinnamon, turmeric and coriander.

And don’t forget, cinnamon is a warming spice! It is a great addition to hearty winter foods, like curries, chilis and stews. Make it a goal to include cinnamon daily for all its wonderful health benefits.  Especially those for diabetes and healthy sugar metabolism!


Kelley Herring is the author of the new book Better Breads – which includes more information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…



  1. Peng X, Ma J, Chao J, et al. Beneficial effects of cinnamon proanthocyanidins on the formation of specific advanced glycation end products and methylglyoxal-induced impairment on glucose consumption. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2010;58(11):6692-6696
  2. Bolin Q, Panickar KS, Anderson RA. Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. 2010;4(3):685-693.
  3. Taher M, Majid FAA, Sarmidi MR. A proanthocyanidin from cinnamomum zeylanicum stimulates phosphorylation of insulin receptor in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes. Jurnal Teknologi. 2006;44(F):53-68.
  4. Mohamed Sham Shihabudeen H, Hansi Priscilla D, Thirumurugan K. Cinnamon extract inhibits alpha-glucosidase activity and dampens postprandial glucose excursion in diabetic rats. Nutrition and Metabolism. 2011;8(1):46.
  5. Adisakwattana S, Lerdsuwankij O, Poputtachai U, Minipun A, Suparpprom C. Inhibitory activity of cinnamon bark species and their combination effect with acarbose against intestinal alpha-glucosidase and pancreatic alpha-amylase. Plant Foods For Human Nutrition. 2011;66(2):143-148.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats