The Wellness Blog

The Benefits of Eating Organ Meats and How to Eat Them (PaleoHacks)

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 06:20 PM

This post was written by Jessie Dax-Setkus of PaleoHacks.  PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.

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It seems like the culinary world is finally embracing what we’ve known all along: offal, or organ meats,  offer a whole new range of delicious tastes and textures. And when you indulge in grass-fed beef tongue, heart, liver, brain, kidneys, sweetbreads, and tripe you open yourself up to powerful health benefits. For instance, there are 20 grams of protein, 4.1 grams of  calcium, 4.4 grams of iron, and 14.3 grams of magnesium in just one serving of beef liver!

Many of organ meats offer a leaner choice and denser source of nutrition that the outer meat. While, there are a ton of vital benefits gained with this diverse array of meat, it can be difficult knowing where to start.

Luckily, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you reap the benefits of organ meats!

1. Tongue

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Photo to the left courtesy of The Domestic Man

Beef tongue is not only flavorful and really shines in soups, but it packs high levels of iron, zinc, potassium, choline, and vitamin B-12. (2)  Beef tongue is also one of the most versatile meats -- It can be grilled, used as taco meat, layered in a sandwich, or mixed into soups.

Big Benefits:

  • High in iron, zinc, potassium, choline, vitamin B-12
  • Complete protein
  • Boosts immune system

Recipe Idea: Pickled Beef Tongue | The Healthy Foodie

2. Heart

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Beef heart has the equivalent amount of protein and calories to white-meat chicken—which is roughly 95 calories and 15 grams of protein and boasts a high amount of vitamin B-12 and iron (3).  Beef heart is also cost-efficient too as its ticket price is half the cost of beef chuck roast.

You can prepare beef heart similarly to a steak, add it to stew, make it into a burger, or even grill it up as a shish kabob.

Big Benefits:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein, vitamin B-12, and iron
  • Very cost-efficient

Recipe Idea: Heart Roast | The Paleo Mom

3. Liver

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Photo courtesy of The Domestic Man

As the most consumed organ meat in the U.S., liver proves to be one of the most concentrated, natural sources of vitamin A. (5Beef liver is additionally a great source in iron, copper, folic acid, cholesterol, and offers an “anti-fatigue” element when consumed as well—making it a favorite meal among athletes. (6)  However, as the filter organ of the animal, it’s important to make sure your beef liver is clean.

You can create a beef liver pate, turn it into meatballs, or stick with the traditional liver and onions!

Big Benefits:

  • Very high in vitamin A (retinol)
  • Keeps you alert

Recipe Idea: Beef Liver with Fig Bacon and Caramelized Onion Compote | The Healthy Foodie

4. Brain

Beef brain is brain food for lack of better words! It comes with a punch of protein and healthy fat (Omega-3 fatty acids to be exact), which keeps you fuller longer, meaning less time fixating on food and more on your tasks at hand. Not to mention that this protein also helps to maintain healthy muscles and a properly functioning immune system (7).  It is also rich in copper and selenium; this means more energy and more help for your immune system. (8)

Beef brain can easily be fried, used in curry dishes, with scrambled eggs, or made in a traditional Persian dish called Maghz that includes beef brain, cider vinegar, oil, chili pepper, turmeric, and lime!

Big Benefits:

  • Loaded with protein and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Keeps you full
  • Maintains healthy muscles and immune system

Recipe Idea: Mozgy | Almost Bananas

5. Kidneys

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Kidneys have a great offering of foliate iron, zinc, copper, and selenium (9).  Kidneys are also a great source of protein -- perfect for a post-workout meal. (10)  Note, like beef liver, make sure to check that your buying your meat from a safe, trusted source.

Beef kidneys are tasty when sautéed, simmered in a hearty stew, or baked in kidney pot pies.

Big Benefits:

  • Rich in folate, zinc, copper, and selenium
  • Amazing source of protein

Recipe Idea: Beef Kidney in Red Wine Sauce | Jenni Gabriela

6. Sweetbreads

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Photo courtesy of The Domestic Man

Sweetbreads are harvested from cows and consist of both the pancreas and gullet of the animal.  Sweetbread provides all the amino acids you need to repair your body tissues, and it boasts a large 25 grams of protein per four ounces. (12)

Grill these delicious morsels on skewers, fry them up Southern style, or pair them with bacon.

Big Benefits:

  • packed with amino acids and protein
  • Repairs body tissues

Recipe Ideas:

7. Tripe

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Photo courtesy of The Domestic Man

Although tripe requires at least 12 hours of slow cooking time for most dishes, it’s low in calories (about 80 calories per serving), high in protein, and low in fat. Mineral-wise it offers rich amounts of selenium, B-12, and zinc. (13)

Tripe adds an amazing texture to stews and soups, easily soaking up the flavors of the broth it’s cooked it.

Big Benefits:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein
  • Minimal amounts of fat
  • Rich in selenium, B-12, and zinc

Recipe Ideas:

If you loved this article, you might also enjoy PaleoHacks' Four Amazing Ways to Season Steak guest post.

For more delicious organ meat recipe ideas, visit US Wellness Meats' Offal That’s Not Awful Pinterest board.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Recipes, Paleo, Product Information, US Wellness Meats

Four Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Naturally

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sun, Dec 04, 2016 @ 01:25 PM


It is no secret that the average “modern” diet – rich in sugar, high-glycemic grains, inflammatory fats and a variety of preservatives and chemicals – is responsible for a serious deterioration in our collective health. The rates of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s are at all-time highs. Not to mention the related epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

But there is a lesser-known epidemic, also caused by the foods we eat. It results in a wide array of symptoms and is often misdiagnosed. I’m talking about the condition known as “leaky gut” – implicated in the rise of food allergies and intolerances, autoimmune illness, chronic fatigue and a range of brain and body illnesses.

In a previous article, I discussed the causes of leaky gut and its related health issues. If you have a leaky gut (and many of us do), you’ll want to read today’s article carefully as we discuss natural approaches to heal and seal your gut... and therefore improve your overall health.

This is based on a four-step protocol developed by Dr. Josh Axe that is designed to help heal leaky gut and address what is often the root cause of autoimmune illness and chronic inflammation.1

Healing Leaky Gut Step 1: Remove

The first step is to remove from your diet all foods known to promote inflammation in the gut, including the following:

•    Gluten
•    Dairy
•    Corn
•    Soy
•    Eggs
•    Sugar
•    Grains
•    Legumes
•    Vegetable, corn and seed oils
•    Alcohol and caffeine

Many pharmaceutical drugs can also promote leaky gut. If you are taking medications that may worsen leaky gut, talk with your doctor about alternatives that may be easier on your digestive system.

Healing Leaky Gut Step 2: Replace

Once you’ve removed foods that can trigger leaky gut, it’s important to replace those foods with options that help to nourish your gut. A diet that is rich in healthy fats is the cornerstone for healing the gut. And saturated fat is the most beneficial.

So, fill your plate with grass-fed beef, wild fish (especially salmon, sardines and mackerel) and nutrient-dense bone marrow. Cook with animal fats like tallow and lard. Bone broth is also especially helpful thanks to its high glycine and proline content. These amino acid compounds help rebuild the cellular structure of the gut lining and also reduce inflammation.2,3

Fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha are also very beneficial.  And take notice of how you feel when you consume uncooked vegetables. Many people with a compromised gut or weak digestion do better with vegetables well-cooked until the gut is healed.

Healing Leaky Gut Step 3: Repair

Certain foods and supplements can further help to repair and seal the gut, including:

1.  Fiber: The probiotics that are critical to gut health can’t live without fiber. Indigestible fibers (called prebiotics) are the food that helps a diverse and healthy microbiome thrive in your gut.
2.  Digestive Enzymes: These compounds help break down proteins, complex sugars and starches, which can reduce intestinal inflammation and remedy nutrient deficiencies.
3.  Turmeric: This yellow spice, commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, can help contract the proteins in your bowel lining (thus reducing gut permeability). Turmeric is also a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory spice.4
4.  Quercetin: Helps seal the gut lining and stabilizes the cells that release histamine into the body (thereby having an anti-inflammatory effect).5
5.  L-Glutamine: An essential amino acid with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Also well known for its ability to tighten and repair a leaky gut.6

Healing Leaky Gut Step 4: Rebalance

Rebalancing your microbiome with probiotics is your final step. And it is one you must stick to diligently even after symptoms subside. The most important source of probiotics are fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and more.

Supplements can also be quite beneficial. When choosing a probiotic supplement, the following features are important for optimal benefit:

1.  Survivability – Look for strains known for being able to make it to the gut and colonize, including bacillus coagulans, saccharomyces boulardii, bacillus subtilis, and bifidobacterium.
2.  Shelf Stability – Your supplement should be able to withstand storage at room-temperature without losing potency.
3.  Strain Diversity – Be sure your probiotic supplement contains at least five or more strains of different bacteria… or take more than one supplement with different strains to increase diversity.
4.  High CFU Count – Your probiotic should have a count of at least five billion colony forming units (CFU). This greatly improves chances of colonization.

Maintaining the health of your gut in today’s world requires a return to our basic dietary roots. Enjoying an ancestral diet, rich in healthy fats and gut-healing nutrients… welcoming “good bugs” into your life with lacto-fermented foods and farm-fresh veggies (bonus points if there is a bit of dirt still clinging on!)… and approaching your health with natural means (rather than chemicals or pharmaceuticals), can make a big impact on the integrity of your gut and your overall, long-term health.


Ed Note: Kelley Herring is the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free and low-carb baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and more. If you’re following a paleo diet (or working to restore your digestive health) it’s important to avoid grains. Wellness Bakeries can help you enjoy your favorite comfort foods and sweet treats… without souring your health!  Check out their products on the US Wellness Meats store here.


  1. Dr. Axe: 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease.
  2. Wheeler MD, Ikejema K, Mol Life Sci. Enomoto N, et al. Glycine: a new anti-inflammatory immunonutrient. Cell Mol Life Sci.1999; 56:843-856.
  3. Zhong Z, Wheeler MD, Li X, Froh M, Schemmer P, Yin M, Bunzendaul H, Bradford B, Lemasters JJ., L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.
  4. Siddhartha S. Ghosh, Jinghua Bie, Jing Wang, Shobha Ghosh.  Oral Supplementation with Non-Absorbable Antibiotics or Curcumin Attenuates Western Diet-Induced Atherosclerosis and Glucose Intolerance in LDLR−/− Mice – Role of Intestinal Permeability and Macrophage Activation. Published: September 24, 2014
  5. University of Maryland. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. Queretin.
  6. Bertrand J1, Ghouzali I1, Guérin C1, Bôle-Feysot C1, Gouteux M1, Déchelotte P2, Ducrotté P3, Coëffier M4.Glutamine Restores Tight Junction Protein Claudin-1 Expression in Colonic Mucosa of Patients With Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome.JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2015 May 13.

Topics: Product Information, Misc Info, US Wellness Meats

What Is Leaky Gut… (And is it the Cause of Your Nagging Symptoms)?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 12:49 AM


You’ve almost certainly heard of “leaky gut” and the health issues it can cause. But you might not truly understand this dangerous condition. Today, I’ll show you what leaky gut is and how it is caused so you can begin to take steps to heal your gut... and improve your overall health.

How Does Your Gut Become Leaky?

In a healthy body, the digestive tract serves as a barrier between our gut and our bloodstream.

But the lining of your gut can easily become compromised. This porous barrier allows undigested food, yeast, pathogens and other foreign matter to enter the bloodstream. In turn, this can cause chronic inflammation, allergic reactions and a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Because the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome are so varied, many sufferers go undiagnosed. Doctors and patients focus on the symptoms… while ignoring the underlying cause. In general, the symptoms of leaky gut fall under two categories: body and brain.

Body Symptoms of a Leaky Gut

1.    Nutrient Deficiencies – When the gut is chronically inflamed, food and nutrients are not properly broken down and absorbed. This can lead to deficiencies.
2.    Food Allergies – Undigested food particles that leak into the bloodstream are seen as foreign invaders. Sensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy, egg and other foods are common.
3.    Seasonal Allergies – A hyper-vigilant immune system is primed to respond to any threat, causing seasonal allergies to develop or worsen.
4.    Immune System Exhaustion – Your immune system is not designed to participate in a never-ending war. As an overtaxed immune system grows weaker, you become more susceptible to colds, flu and other infections.
5.    Chronic Fatigue – A common sign of a damaged gut. Feel wiped out, no matter how much rest you get? Leaky gut may be at the root.
6.    Joint & Muscle pain – Occasional joint and muscle pain can be a sign of exertion. Chronic pain is usually the result of inflammation caused by an overactive immune system.
7.    Rashes – Gut health and skin health are closely connected. The development of chronic skin rashes could be a sign of a leaky gut.
8.    Gas – Uncomfortable or offensive gas can be a sign of leaky gut.
9.    Bloating – A bulging tummy isn’t always a sign that you’ve overindulged. It could be a sign of inflammation, trapped gas and compromised digestion.
10.    Diarrhea – If your intestines are not able to digest and absorb food properly, it could “run right through you” and send you rushing to the bathroom.
11.    Constipation – When digestion slows and your intestines become sluggish, you may find yourself uncomfortably constipated.

Brain Symptoms of a Leaky Gut

Your digestive tract contains the second highest number of nerves in your body. Your gut is constantly communicating with your brain. And if you have leaky gut, these messages can cause unusual neurological symptoms.

In the words of neuroscientist, John F. Cryan, PhD: “There is no question that the gut microbiome regulates fundamental brain processes important for the development of neurological diseases.

Let’s take a look at the common neurological symptoms linked with leaky gut:

1.    Anxiety & Depression – Studies show that increased inflammation is associated with anxiety and other mood disorders.1
2.    Brain Fog – A common complaint among those with autoimmune disease and chronic pain. Digestive inflammation impairs gut-brain communication, which can lead to a numb feeling of unreality, poor focus, impaired learning and memory.
3.    Muscle Twitches – Leaky gut can cause deficiencies of magnesium and potassium, which can lead to muscle twitches, cramps and spasms.
4.    Schizophrenia – A study published in Schizophrenia Research, showed that inflammation in the circulatory and nervous systems can be linked to mental illness.2

In addition to these neurological conditions, leaky gut syndrome has also been linked to Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, autism and neuropathy.

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

A leaky gut can be caused by many common foods and toxins including:

1.    An Inflammatory Diet: Gluten, grains, legumes, sugar, trans fat, lactose, MSG and food dyes can all contribute to leaky gut.
2.    Environmental Toxins: Exposure to toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury or cadmium can cause irritation in the intestinal lining and promote leaky gut.
3.    Genetically Modified Foods: GMO foods are believed to cause the formation of pesticides in the gut, risking your health with every bite.
4.    BPA: This common chemical has been shown to damage intestines, allowing toxins and pathogens to more easily enter the body.3
5.    Medications: NSAID pain relievers, antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills and acid-reducing drugs can greatly increase risk of leaky gut.
6.    Parasites, Yeast & Harmful Bacteria: Candida yeast overgrowth, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and intestinal parasites all increase the risk for intestinal permeability.
7.    Stress: Often overlooked, stress is another contributing factor to the development of leaky gut. A study published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology showed that usually harmless microbes actually turned pathogenic in response to stress hormones.4

Leaky gut is a great imposter. Its symptoms often have nothing to do with your digestive system. And it is not always associated with abdominal discomfort. But this common condition can be extremely serious. I hope this article helps you understand the severity of this condition and the potential causes to avoid.

In my next article, I will reveal the foods you should remove from your diet, ones you can use to replace them and how to naturally repair, heal and seal a leaky gut.


 Ed Note: Kelley Herring is the founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free and low-carb baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and more. If you’re following a paleo diet (or working to restore your digestive health) it’s important to avoid grains. Wellness Bakeries can help you enjoy your favorite comfort foods and sweet treats… without souring your health!  Check out their products on the US Wellness Meats store here.


  1. Foster, J., McVey Neufeld, K. Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends in Neurosciences. May 2013. Vol 36, No. 5
  2. Severance, E. Autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal disorders and the microbiome in schizophrenia: more than a gut feeling. Schizophrenia Research. Sept 2016. Volume 176, Issue 1, P 23-25
  3. Braniste, V., Jouault, A., Gaultier, E., et al. Impact of oral bisphenol A at reference doses on intestinal barrier function and sex differences after perinatal exposure in rats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 5; 107(1): 448–453.
  4. Konturek PC1, Brzozowski T, Konturek SJ.Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;62(6):591-9.

Topics: Product Information, Misc Info, US Wellness Meats

Four Amazing Ways to Season Steak

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 09:04 PM

This post was written by Jennafer Ashley of PaleoHacks.  PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.

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When it comes to cooking steak, the options are endless. There are so many different cuts of steak and seasoning can get even trickier. We have narrowed it down to four different cuts of steak, seasoned in four different ways to suit various cuisines. Best of all, these recipes are simple and easy, even for the newbie cook. Remember when following these recipes that cuts of meat can vary greatly in size, so be sure to check your meat as it’s cooking and adjust according to your preferences. We took four different cuts of grass-fed steaks, (London Broil, Sirloin, Hanger, and Skirt) seasoned with exotic spices and marinades for a trip around the globe in your own kitchen.

Italian-Style London Broil

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This is usually referred to as a method of cooking rather than an actual cut. However, many butchers use the term to describe a large lean cut of beef. London Broil is lean and needs to be either marinated before cooking or cooked for many hours in a slow cooker to achieve fall-apart tenderness. We will be going with the latter. Slow simmered cuts of beef are a mainstay in authentic Italian cooking and you will often see large platters of shredded chunks of beef in tomato sauce served alongside Italian entrees like pasta. The flavor is very rustic and makes the whole house smell like you’ve spent the day cooking. Dish up this recipe over zucchini noodles for a complete meal.

Prep time-  15 minutes
Cook time- 6 hours
Yield- 6 servings

2-3 lb London broil
2 T olive oil
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 tbsp garlic minced
1 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup red wine

How to Make It
1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat until olive oil is shimmering. Rub steak with oregano, basil, sea salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Place steak on pan and brown each side 3-4 minutes.

3. Place steak with drippings in slow cooker. Add garlic, tomato sauce and red wine. Cook on medium heat 4-6 hours, until fork tender.

4. Shred beef and serve over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a Paleo pasta dish.

Asian-Style Sirloin

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Sirloin is terrific for cutting into chunks and marinating, which is exactly what this Asian-style recipe includes. Sesame oil and pineapple juice come together with coconut aminos, garlic, and cilantro to tenderize the steak and seal in the flavor of the marinade. Once marinated, the cubes of steak get tossed in a hot pan until lightly charred all around. This recipe is perfect served over cauliflower rice with fresh vegetables for a Paleo dinner.

Prep time- 10 minutes + 2 hours to marinate
Cook time-  10 minutes
Yield- 2 servings

1 lb. sirloin steak
2 T coconut aminos
1 T sesame oil
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 t garlic, minced
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t black pepper
1 T olive oil (for cooking)

How to Make It
1. Cut steak into 1-2 inch cubes. In a small bowl combine ingredients for marinade. Add steak to marinade and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

2. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pieces of steak and cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve with vegetables over cauliflower rice.

Blackened Brazilian Hanger Steak 

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The chimichurri hanger steak gives a nod to Brazilian steakhouses, cooked over high heat for a rich blackened flavor. After resting, the hanger steak is sliced into thin strips and served with a cilantro-lime based chimichurri sauce to add some herbal zing. Serve this with cauliflower tabouli and you have an exotic feast.

Prep time- 15 minutes
Cook time-  15 minutes
Yield- 2-4 servings

For Steak:
1-2 lb hanger steak
1 T cumin
1 t oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T olive oil, for cooking

For Chimichurri Sauce:
3 T olive oil
2 T lime juice
2 T cilantro, minced
1 t garlic, minced
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t sea salt

How to Make It
1. Combine seasonings for steak in a small bowl. Rub seasonings onto all sides of the steak. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until oil is shimmering.

2. Add steak and cook for 6-7 minutes. Less time is required for thinner cuts of steak. Flip and cook an additional 6-7 minutes.

3. While steak cooks, combine ingredients for chimichurri sauce. Set aside.

4. Allow steak to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice steak thinly against the grain. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Oven-Barbecued Skirt Steak

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The final steak recipe takes us to the good ole’ barbecue flavors of the south. Instead of grilling or smoking this cut, the skirt steak is rubbed with a generous amount of coconut sugar, cumin, smoked paprika and other seasonings, then tightly wrapped in aluminum foil and baked in the oven to tenderize the meat as it steams in its own juices. When the meat is just about finished, it is basted in barbecue sauce and popped under the broiler to create a sweet crisp layer on top of the steak. This recipe is delicious chopped and served on a Portobello mushroom.

Prep time- 10 minutes
Cook time- 40 minutes
Yield- 2 servings

8 oz skirt steak
2 T coconut sugar
1 T ground cumin
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t black pepper
4 T Paleo barbecue sauce for basting

How to Make It
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Combine dry seasonings in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Sprinkle seasoning mixture over skirt steak and rub to coat.

2. Wrap steak in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet in oven on center rack for 30 minutes. Carefully open aluminum foil and baste steak with barbecue sauce. Turn oven to broil on high. Return steak to oven for 7-10 minutes. Allow steak to rest 5 minutes.

3. Slice steak against the grain and serve with barbecue sauce.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Recipes, Paleo, Product Information, US Wellness Meats

Why You Need a Spiralizer

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Nov 04, 2016 @ 11:36 AM


In the past few years, vegetable “noodles” have taken the food world by storm. Even those who don’t follow a grain-free diet have probably encountered a veggie or two that has been shape-shifted by a spiral slicer. In fact, there is a good chance you have already incorporated the word “zoodle” into your vocabulary. For the uninitiated, that’s short for zucchini noodles.

From simple slaws, to Korean noodle bowls, and Italian favorites like zoodles with grass-fed meatballs or Bolognese, vegetable noodles are sliding their way onto our plates and bowls, creating a culinary canvas full of opportunities.

Turning produce into pasta boosts your consumption of vegetables and increases the nutrient density of your meals. It is also a light and satisfying replacement for carb-heavy, grain-based pastas.

Let’s face it: there is a lot to love about pasta. It is cheap and filling. And it has a unique ability to taste good with almost anything. But traditional bowls of linguine, spaghetti and penne take a toll on your health. Clocking in around 40 grams of carbs per serving and comprised of inflammatory grains and gluten, traditional pasta is off the menu for the carb-conscious and ancestral nutrition crowds.

How Bean Pasta, Pseudograin Noodles and Spaghetti Squash Stack Up

Alternatives like bean-based pasta and quinoa noodles may seem like a handy backup or healthier alternative, but these choices aren’t ideal either.

Beans and pseudograins (like quinoa) contain phytic acid – a compound that can reduce the absorption of vital minerals. Other compounds in these foods, including lectins and saponins, can harm the integrity of gastrointestinal tract, contributing to leaky gut. This is a root cause of inflammation, autoimmune issues, allergies, food intolerances and more.

Other pasta alternatives are made with rice flour, potato starch and other high-glycemic ingredients which promote blood sugar imbalances and hormonal disruption.

And what about Mother Nature’s instant bowl of noodles – spaghetti squash?  Rich in nutrients and low in carbohydrates, spaghetti squash is a healthy alternative. But from a culinary standpoint, it lacks the mouthfeel and texture of a true noodle.

Enter the zoodle…

Zoodles and Veggie-Based Noodles

When you’re craving long strands of twirl-able fettuccini or spaghetti, there’s little that will scratch that itch. But if you add a zucchini to the base of your Spiralizer, you can create cups of fresh “pasta” that fill you up while creating an experience that rivals the real deal.

While the Spiralizer is best known for creating zucchini noodles, almost any cylindrical vegetable or fruit can be turned (literally) into a rich new shape.

What’s more, veggies that are typically chopped can be transformed to create a new twist on an old recipe. New textures please the palate and can elevate a ho-hum dish into a feast for the eyes, as well.

Boost a meal with equally sliced (and cry-free!) caramelized onions. Turn an apple or beet into a quick dessert or snack. Shoestring butternut squash “fries,” squash latkes, Ramen soup, vegetable slaw… they’re all just a few cranks away from your organic produce basket to your table.

Add Some Fun and Flair to Your Cooking (And Save Time, To Boot!)

While you could chop or grate many of these recipes into fruition, the Spiralizer does it for you in a fraction of the time. On top of speeding up the process, the Spiralizer standardizes the pieces, so your dishes will always be equally cooked. 

You’ll be shocked by how much volume is hiding in your vegetables. Chopping one zucchini might equate to about a cup of pinwheels. Spiralizing the same zucchini can yield three cups of noodles!

And the Spiralizer doesn’t just help to incorporate more vegetables into your meals… but different vegetables, as well. The hard stem at the base of fresh broccoli? Turn it into a slaw for lunch. Odd and intimidating veggies, like kohlrabi and parsnips? Shape-shift them into silky al-dente noodles, perfect for topping with your favorite sauce and meat.

Not only will your meals be more varied and interesting, using the Spiralizer adds a bit of fun to your food prep. And this easy-to-use tool is perfect for kiddie kitchen helpers.

Once you sneak this ergonomic tool into your cupboard, you’ll start seeing opportunities in vegetables you never would have imagined before.

Quick Ideas for Veggie Noodle Meals

Here are a few delicious ideas to get you started.

•    Steamed Zucchini Fettuccini with Grass-Fed Paleo Meatballs & Marinara Sauce
•    Raw Cucumber Noodles with Curry Sauce, Cashews and Roast Chicken
•    Roasted Sweet Potato Spaghetti with Buffalo Bolognese
•    Roasted Rutabaga Fettuccini with Pan-Seared Sea Scallops and Basil Pesto
•    Chayote Ribbons with Wild Shrimp and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis
•    Roasted Butternut Squash Fettuccini with Short Rib Ragu
•    Cucumber Pappardelle with Coconut-Tahini Sauce and Pan-Seared Halibut
•    Butternut Squash Fettuccini with Kale, Italian Sausage & Tomato-Basil Sauce
•    Runny Egg + Bacon Breakfast Bowl Over Roasted Sweet Potato Noodles
•    Faux Pho with Daikon Noodles and Pastured Chicken Broth

Do you make veggie noodles? If so, what is your favorite recipe?    


 Ed Note: Kelley Herring is the founder of Healing Gourmet and Wellness Bakeries. The latter provides natural, grain- and gluten-free dessert, pizza, bread and breakfast mixes that are as easy to make as they delicious to eat. Just blend and bake to enjoy all your favorite comfort foods – guilt free! To learn more, visit the Wellness Bakeries Catalog here on US Wellness Meats!


  1. Saponins as cytotoxic agents: a review. Phytochem Rev. Sep 2010; 9(3): 425–474.
  2. Johnson IT, Gee JM, Price K, Curl C, Fenwick GR. Influence of saponins on gut permeability and active nutrient transport in vitro. J Nutr. 1986 Nov;116(11):2270-7.
  3. Zevallos, VF, et al. Variable activation of immune response by quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) prolamins in celiac disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (April 2012)
  4. Living with Phytic Acid. Weston A. Price Foundation Reddy NR and others. Food Phytates, CRC Press, 2001.

Topics: Product Information, Good Fats

The Autoimmune Diet (And How it Can Help You Regain Your Health!)

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 @ 06:05 AM


If you’re living with an autoimmune condition, you may be surprised that one of the most powerful healing tools might be your diet.

In fact, the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet is designed specifically for people living with immune dysfunction and chronic pain.

The AIP diet is extremely nutrient-dense and devoid of foods that activate the immune system, irritate the gut, and cause gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of microorganisms in your intestines).

And, no matter the chronic illness you're living with...

The AIP Diet Could Help Give You Your Life Back!

According to the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune disorders affect over 23 million people in the United States. Despite these staggering numbers, many people with chronic pain and autoimmune symptoms are told by well-educated medical professionals that the problem is “all in their head”.

Autoimmune disease is the result of the immune system losing the ability to differentiate between a foreign invader (virus, parasite, bacteria) and your body’s own healthy tissues (thyroid, intestine). It is a very real and prevalent condition and one of the top 10 causes of fatality in women under 65.

As your immune system attacks your own tissues, damage to healthy cells, nerves and organs builds up. Over time, the telltale symptoms of extreme fatigue, weakness, muscle and joint pain, chronic sinus problems, chronic digestive problems, rashes and mood swings begin to emerge.

What Is the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP)?

The autoimmune protocol diet is designed to help heal your gut mucosa and to remove substances that may stimulate the immune system. These are replaced with nutrient-dense foods that calm the immune system and help to heal damaged tissues and organs.

AIP is a gentle but powerful way to spark your own body's miraculous ability to heal. And it can benefit a myriad of conditions.

In fact, there are more than 80 officially documented autoimmune diseases. The most common autoimmune diseases include:

•    Grave's disease
•    Hashimoto's thyroiditis
•    Lupus
•    Type 1 diabetes
•    Multiple sclerosis
•    Rheumatoid arthritis
•    Celiac disease
•    Psoriasis
•    Sjögren's syndrome
•    Vasculitis
•    Polymyalgia rheumatica
•    Ankylosing spondylitis
•    Alopecia areata
•    Temporal arteritis

And while many of these might seem unrelated, what they have in common is that the body attacks itself!

Now let’s move onto…

What to Avoid on the AIP Diet

The Standard American Diet (SAD) contains so many pro-inflammatory foods, your immune system gets primed and ready to attack every time you sit down to a meal.

While the list of foods to avoid on the AIP diet may look restrictive, avoiding them could be the most powerful step you can take to put chronic illness into remission.

Now, let's break it down to understand why these foods are a no-no on the AIP diet:

•   Gluten – This is a pro-inflammatory protein that should be immediately and permanently removed from the diet of anyone living with an autoimmune disease.
•   Grains – Individuals with autoimmune disease are often sensitive to grains (irrespective of gluten) as the compounds in these foods can also cause an inflammatory response. Grains can also be difficult to digest.
•   Legumes – Legumes such as peas, beans, and peanuts are avoided because they contain anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and lectins that interfere with digestion, promote leaky gut and lead to inflammation.
•   Dairy – A common allergen and cross-reacts with gluten. Pasteurization increases allergic potential and promotes leaky gut. Raw, grass-fed dairy products may be tolerated after the initial phase.
•   Sugar and Alcohol – Both are pro-inflammatory, disrupt the gut and offer no nutritional value.
•   Eggs – The protein and enzymes in eggs are capable of working their way through your gut lining (especially if it is already damaged) and entering your bloodstream, potentially triggering an autoimmune response.
•   Nightshades – Nightshade vegetables such as white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers (including paprika) must be avoided because they contain trace amounts of nicotine and an alkaloid toxin called solanine.
•   Nuts and Seeds – Because people with autoimmune disease are likely to have a leaky gut, sensitivities to nuts and seeds are common. Under this category, coffee and cocoa should also be eliminated, along with nut and seed-based oils.
•   Fruit and Seed-Based Spices – Including mustard seed, cumin, celery seed, nutmeg, allspice, caraway, cardamom, coriander, curry powder, fennel seed, fenugreek, and peppercorns. All of these can be problematic and should be eliminated entirely in the first phase.
•   Artificial Anything – Food additives like carrageenan, guar gum, benzoic acid, MSG, aspartame, sulfates/sulfites, nitrates/nitrites, BHT, BHA, and food dyes must all be avoided on the AIP diet as they can promote leaky gut, inflammation, and even neurological dysfunction.
•   Drugs – NSAID pain relievers can worsen leaky gut syndrome. If taking, talk with your doctor about possible alternatives.
•   High Intensity Sweeteners – Including luo han guo and stevia can stimulate the immune system due to hormone-like structure and should be avoided.

What to Eat on the AIP Diet

Now that you know what to avoid, let’s focus on what you can enjoy on the autoimmune protocol:

•   Pastured Meat & Wild SeafoodGrass-fed beef, bison, wild game, chicken, turkey, pastured pork, wild-caught fish and shellfish
•   Vegetables – All vegetables (except nightshades)
•   Lacto-Fermented Foods – Water and coconut kefir, fermented vegetables, kombucha, and sauerkraut
•   Fruit – All fruits (Limit high sugar/high fructose fruits. Opt instead for antioxidant-rich berries and cherries)
•   Herbs + Spices – All fresh and dried herbs, spices that are not seed-based (peppercorns and nightshade spices like dried pepper flakes should be excluded)
•   Healthy Fats – Coconut oil, avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, tallow, lard and duck fat
•   Nourishing Beverages – Water , green tea, bone broth, and coconut milk

How to Do the Autoimmune Protocol Diet

The keys to success on the autoimmune protocol diet are being committed and tracking your symptoms. A strict elimination period of at least 30 to 60 days is typically recommended.

However, once you start to feel your energy and vitality return and your pain and brain fog ebb away, you may decide to remain on the protocol until your symptoms resolve.

Remember to keep track of your symptoms! Keeping a journal indicating what you ate, how you felt when you ate it, and if you noticed any symptoms afterward is one of the best ways to establish the connection between food sensitivities and flare-ups. Reintroducing foods slowly – and one at a time – is the best way to evaluate their effects. Delayed hypersensitivity reactions can occur as much as 72 hours after consuming a food.

Once you understand which foods worsen (or calm) your symptoms, you will have gained significant control of your health!

Get Started with the Autoimmune Protocol: A Sample AIP Meal Plan

As with any new diet, getting started can be difficult. Below are two sample menus to help you begin. And be sure to check out US Wellness Meats catalog of AIP-Friendly Foods that will make the transition a breeze!


•    Breakfast: Coconut milk, frozen berries, grass-fed gelatin, and avocado makes for a nutritious, easy-to-digest smoothie.
•    Lunch: Plantain chips, avocado slices, Vital Choice Wild Red Salmon with diced onions and a drizzle of olive oil.
•    Snack: AIP-friendly turkey jerky and a cup of bone broth (be sure to check labels or make your own)
•    Dinner: Roasted herb-rubbed chicken breast, baked sweet potato with coconut oil and baby spinach.


•    Breakfast: AIP-friendly sugar free beef bacon or pork bacon served with sliced avocado and lacto-fermented sauerkraut (like Bubbie’s)
•    Lunch: Cooked wild shrimp served on a bed of organic kale drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and lemon.
•    Snack: Original Pork Rinds and a cup of bone broth (be sure to check labels or make your own)
•    Dinner: Grilled grass-fed French ribeye steak (my personal favorite), mashed cauliflower and Primal Kitchen AIP-friendly herbs, and sautéed collard greens.

In addition to following a healing AIP diet, be sure to optimize your levels of vitamin D, get plenty of fresh air and movement, and engage in stress-reducing, joy-enhancing activities to nourish your body… and your soul!


 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!



1.    Understanding Autoimmune Diseases. NIH.
2.    The Whys Behind the Autoimmune Protocol Nuts and Seeds. The Paleo Mom.
3.    What is the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. Phoenix Helix.
4.    Teaser Excerpt From the Paleo Approach: The Trouble With Stevia. The Paleo Mom.

Topics: Product Information, Good Fats

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

Digestive Trouble? An Overgrowth of THIS May Be the Cause

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Aug 27, 2016 @ 09:53 PM


In recent years, science has learned a great deal about the human microbiome – the ecosystem of microbes living inside each one of us. When these organisms are in healthy balance, they help digest your food and provide nutrients to your body. They boost your immunity. And they can even alter your mood and emotions.

The average person has 10,000 different microbial species living within us. In fact, the number of bacterial cells in your body (about 100 trillion) outnumbers your own cells by 10 to 1!

By this measure, you are more microbial than you are human!

Of course, most of these ‘bugs’ live in your gut. The highest concentrations are found within the large intestine and the colon. But there is a part of your digestive system that, by comparison, is relatively sterile.

In a healthy person, the small intestine should contain low levels (perhaps 100 thousand) of bacterial organisms.

But this is not always the case…

In some people, bacterial species proliferate in the small intestine. This condition is known as “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth” or SIBO. And it can cause serious health problems.

When you have SIBO, the bacterial overgrowth interferes with your normal digestion process and absorption of nutrients. As food passes through your small intestine, the SIBO actually consumes nutrients before your own body has a chance to benefit from them!

This can cause a range of unpleasant digestive symptoms including bloating, gas and abdominal pain. But these are not the only ones…

Health Complications Associated With SIBO

One of the biggest health concerns associated with SIBO is malnutrition and a cascade of nutrient deficiencies. After all, when this condition exists, the bacteria in your gut steal nutrition from you every time you eat!

SIBO is a common cause of iron deficiency, which could lead to anemia. It can also cause B12 deficiency, which may lead to the symptoms of mental illness. It is also associated with vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, which can weaken your bones and immune system.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can also lead to a vitamin E deficiency, which can cause chronic liver disease and a decline in neurological health. Vitamin K deficiency, which can also be caused by SIBO, could lead to poor clotting.

Common Symptoms of SIBO

If you experience digestive discomfort, gas and bloating along with other seemingly unrelated health problems, you may be experiencing symptoms of SIBO. These can include:

•    Acne
•    Asthma
•    Depression
•    Diarrhea
•    Eczema
•    Chronic fatigue
•    Joint pain
•    Nausea
•    Rashes and rosacea
•    Weight loss

But how do we develop this dangerous overgrowth in the first place?

Common Causes of SIBO

One of the common causes of SIBO is prolonged or excessive intermittent use of antibiotics (which is ironic, considering that antibiotics are often the first line of treatment used by conventional medicine).

Conventional antibiotics destroy all gut flora, not just the infectious kind. Over time, this can damage the nerves in your gut. It can also leave a temporary ‘vacuum,’ which allows pathogenic microbes to take over.

Other medications that can contribute to the development of SIBO include proton pump inhibitors and immunosuppressant medications.

The SIBO Link to IBS

Have you been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Approximately 15 percent of Americans are living with this condition and research has shown a very strong connection between SIBO and IBS.

According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 157 out of 202 patients with IBS (that's 78 percent!) tested positive for SIBO. Furthermore, eradication of the overgrowth in the small intestine eliminated irritable bowel syndrome in 48 percent of subjects.1

Unfortunately, because the symptoms of IBS are often confused with other gastrointestinal disorders, it can be frustrating to get a proper diagnosis.

The most common conventional treatment for SIBO is a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics. While this approach can be effective in the short term, research shows that there is often a recurrence of SIBO symptoms within three to nine months. Patients have also reported an increase in gastrointestinal symptoms.2

Due to the unreliable effects of conventional antibiotics, most natural health experts recommend a combination of herbal antibiotics and dietary changes to eradicate SIBO and heal your gut.

Herbal antibiotics have often been shown to have equivalent effects as their conventional counterparts – without the negative side effects and risk of antibiotic resistance.3

Some herbal antibiotics that have been used for SIBO treatment include:

•    Olive leaf extract
•    Neem
•    Oil of oregano
•    Raw, organic garlic
•    Berberine
•    Wormwood
•    Field horsetail

According to research on SIBO, published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, “The most important thing is always treatment of the basic underlying disease. Nutritional support is mandatory in SIBO associated with malnutrition, weight loss and nutrient deficiency.”4

Dietary Protocols for SIBO

There are three diets commonly used in the treatment of SIBO.

1.    Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was originally created by Dr. Sidney V. Haas in 1923 for the treatment of celiac disease. The SCD is designed to “reboot” your digestive system and heal your gut. It advises the removal of grains, starchy vegetables, lactose, beans, and most sweeteners.

2.    Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS Diet)

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet was derived from the SCD, and it focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and may be damaging to intestinal flora. These foods are then replaced with nutrient-dense foods (especially bone broth, organ meats and traditional fats like tallow and lard) to allow the intestinal lining to heal and rebuild itself.

3.    Low FODMAP Diet (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols)

The Low FODMAP Diet was developed by a team of researchers at Monash University in Australia. It has shown excellent success in treating IBS, IBD, and other similar gastrointestinal conditions. The Low FODMAP Diet reduces short-chain carbohydrate foods, as they are very poorly absorbed in the small intestine.

In upcoming articles, we’ll be discussing these three diets in detail.

Even if you've been living with these symptoms for a long time, you can overcome them with a healing diet based on ancestral principles, herbal protocols and a little patience.

Have you experienced issues with SIBO? If so, what diet or protocols have you found to be helpful?



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.





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