The Wellness Blog

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.





Topics: Product Information

Low Glycemic Sweeteners: All the Sweetness, None of the Guilt

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Aug 13, 2016 @ 01:39 PM


Few of us have the willpower to resist a freshly-baked dessert...

Homemade chocolate chip cookies… brownies… cinnamon apple pie… The very smell of these nostalgic sweet comfort foods is practically intoxicating. Their gooey goodness can be nearly impossible to pass up.

Unfortunately, most of us go through life indulging, only to suffer from post-dessert guilt, sugar-induced sluggishness and a variety of unhealthy consequences. Or we muster our willpower and deprive ourselves for the sake of our health and waistline.

But there is good news for dessert lovers who care about their health…

You Can Have Your Cake and Be Well Too

In my last article, I highlighted four low-glycemic and grain-free flours you can use to re-create healthy versions of all your favorite baked goods. Today, I’ll share my favorite all-natural, low-glycemic sweeteners so you can put dessert back on your family’s table… guilt free!

Unlike chemical-laden, artificial sweeteners (like sucralose, aspartame and others), these natural sweeteners provide a powerful punch of sweetness, without toxic side effects.

But before we get to that, let’s dig into…

The Truth about Maple Syrup, Honey, Figs & Dates

Sure they’re sweet. And technically speaking, they’re considered “Paleo.”

Unfortunately, most so-called Paleo desserts and snack foods made with these ingredients contain more sugar in one serving than our Paleo ancestors ate in an average month!

Research shows that as sugar consumption goes up, your longevity goes down and your risk for chronic disease, obesity and physical aging rises.

The Whitehall Study, which spanned 33 years and evaluated 451,787 people, found that all-cause, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality were significantly higher among individuals with elevated blood sugar levels. It also showed that sugar intake and mortality were dose-dependent. In other words, the more you eat, the higher your risk.

And it makes little difference whether that sugar comes in the form of a soft drink, a honey-sweetened dessert, or a food bar filled with dates.

In fact, the sugar found in honey, syrup and fruit – called fructose – is particularly damaging when consumed in excess. Fructose has been found to:

  • Cause digestive distress in those with dietary fructose intolerance (DFI) – roughly 33% of the population
  • Raise ghrelin levels – a hormone that boosts appetite
  • Contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Increases uric acid levels – raising blood pressure and insulin production
  • Increase triglyceride and oxidized LDL levels – key factors in heart disease and metabolic syndrome
  • Damage neurons, contributing to memory loss and cognitive decline
  • Promote glycation – the binding of sugar to protein and a key factor in every chronic disease.

Now, here’s the rundown on…

Nature’s Sweetest Substitutes that Won’t Sour Your Health

Erythritol: Considered the “almost sugar” by health experts and pastry chefs alike. Erythritol is a “sugar alcohol” with a glycemic index of zero and zero calories. It has no effect on blood sugar and is safe for diabetics. It also occurs naturally in fruits such as grapes, melons and peaches. And it’s found in fermented products like wine and beer. In other words, it is a natural compound that your body already recognizes.

Erythritol can be used cup for cup in recipes just like sugar, and provides about 70% of the sweetness. In addition to its qualities as a sweetener, erythritol has been shown to provide antioxidant protection to blood vessels. You can help erythritol dissolve in recipes by grinding it in a blender or Magic Bullet. The powdered version also doubles as “powdered sugar”.

Stevia: This super-sweet herb, native to Paraguay, is up to 300X sweeter than sugar. Stevia is best used to boost the sweetness of a sugar alcohol, like erythritol, rather than the sole sweetener in a recipe. Pure stevia extract should be used sparingly – ¼ to ¾ tsp is the common range for most recipes.

Xylitol: Another sugar alcohol, xylitol has the same sweetness as sugar but with 40% fewer calories and a glycemic index of 11. Xylitol tends to have a “cooling” or “minty” effect, which can be reduced by combining it with erythritol. Xylitol has a number of health benefits, ranging from reducing cavities and the prevention of Candida to boosting bone health.

Luo Han Guo: Consider this the Asian cousin of stevia. A member of the pumpkin family, the extract of this gourd is also about 300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s rich in antioxidants too. Luo Han Guo (or just lo han) has been used medicinally in China for centuries. Like stevia, it should be used quite sparingly and is best when blended with erythritol.

Coconut Palm Sugar: Made from the evaporated sap of the coconut flower, this sweetener tastes very similar to brown sugar. However, unlike sugar’s score of 65 on the glycemic index, coconut sugar ranks 35. A word of caution, however: while lower on the glycemic index, palm sugar still has 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar per tablespoon. I do not recommend it as a sole sweetener for this reason. Rather, it is best used sparingly to add a rounded, rich, brown-sugar taste to baked goods primarily sweetened with the zero-calorie options listed above.

By learning to combine these low-glycemic and all-natural sweeteners, you can achieve a taste and texture that is almost identical to sugar, but without the health-harming consequences!

If you’re looking for a quick (and healthy) shortcut, Wellness Bakeries has created a range of grain-free, gluten-free and low-glycemic dessert, bread and breakfast mixes. All you have to do is blend-and-bake to enjoy your favorite comfort foods – without concern for your health.

Check out our line of products carried by US Wellness Meats… 


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: Product Information

Diabetes Super Treatment Hiding in Plain Sight

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 05:09 PM
The Natural Diabetes Treatment Masquerading as a Common Everyday Spice

Within your kitchen you have access to a common spice powerful enough to prevent diabetes. In fact, a recent study showed this same spice can be up to 100,000 times  more potent than metformin, the leading treatment.  

If you don’t happen to have this common spice in your house, it's easy to find. And if you don’t know how to use it, you’ll want to keep reading for some tasty, yet simple ideas…

This super-spice has been called the “King of Spices.” It has appeared in over 5,600 peer-reviewed studies. A quick public search on the National Library of Medicine database shows it has over 600 health benefits.

It may sound unbelievable that one spice has such medicinal power, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m talking about that golden beauty – turmeric!

Also known as Indian saffron due to its vibrant color, turmeric is quickly becoming known as a natural way to prevent and treat diabetes.

A 2014 study conducted at The Center for Cancer Prevention Research at Rutgers confirms the strong influence of turmeric on cardiovascular complications in the diabetic population.

“A 6-month curcumin intervention in type-2 diabetic population lowered the atherogenic risks. In addition, the extract helped to improve relevant metabolic profiles in this high-risk population.”

But it’s not just those who already have diabetes who benefit from using turmeric. It’s for anyone concerned about blood sugar - including the 40 percent of Americans with pre-diabetes. In fact, early research is showing that turmeric can help prevent the disease… with an astounding 100% success rate.

This is tasty news for those searching for a natural diabetes treatment.

Turmeric: The Golden Healer

It is the polyphenol compound known as curcumin that gives turmeric its mighty power, not to mention its exquisite color. Within the rhizomes of the turmeric (Curcuma longa) plant is where we find the magic.

It’s well known that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. But the benefits go much deeper than that. Curcumin influences more than 150 biological pathways within the body, and it does this in many different ways.

A recent review in Current Pharmacology Reports highlights its power:

“[Curcumin] is a well-known anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-lipidemic agent and has recently been shown to modulate several diseases via epigenetic regulation. Many recent studies have demonstrated the role of epigenetic inactivation of pivotal genes that regulate human pathologies, such as neurocognitive disorders, inflammation, obesity, and cancers.”

Turmeric: Natural Diabetes Prevention… and Treatment

If you have Type-2 diabetes then you are likely aware that it is the health complications that kill. These include heart and liver disease. The latest curcumin research offers exciting hope for these complications.

Cutting-edge research performed at the Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok found that curcumin has the capacity to repair and regenerate damaged liver tissue in diabetic rats.  The liver tissues appeared to display both normal and healthy characteristics.

Numerous studies have been done on curcumin’s efficacy in liver function and this groundbreaking research promises great hope for those with diabetes-related liver disease.

There’s also great news for diabetics with heart disease.

The authors of a study published in a leading pharmacology journal, measured the effectiveness of curcumin on six heart-disease parameters:

•    Arterial stiffness
•    Markers of inflammation (increased adiponectin or decreased leptin)
•    Insulin resistance
•    Triglyceride levels
•    Uric acid levels
•    Abdominal obesity

Curcumin improved every single one of these measures.

Turmeric really does deserve the title, “The King of Spices.”

Pre-diabetic? The Answer is in Your Spice Rack!

Pre-diabetes often comes with no warning signs.

But the daily addition of turmeric may go a long way to preventing Type-2 Diabetes, regardless if you are pre-diabetic or not.

A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association tested turmeric on subjects with pre-diabetes. What they found during the nine-month research was remarkable. Turmeric had a 100% success rate in preventing type-2 diabetes, compared to a control group who received a placebo.

That’s just one more compelling reason to include turmeric as part of your daily diet.

Turmeric: Fighting Hundreds of Diseases in Hundreds of Culinary Ways!

Most of us love a good curry, but you don’t need to be a master chef to use turmeric. It is incredibly versatile and you can simply add it to most foods, just as you would salt and pepper!

Many people also enjoy raw turmeric root daily, juiced or blended. Start slowly with a one-inch piece and adjust to suit your taste.

Five Delicious Ways to Include Turmeric in Your Diet

1.    Enjoy a pastured organic chicken curry with fresh organic vegetables. Better still, if you have a mortar and pestle, you can make your own signature curry paste with a liberal helping of fresh or dried turmeric.
2.    Try a twist on a Turkish classic by creating a turmeric Tahini to serve with Grass-Fed Lamb Shish Kebabs.
3.    For a beautiful golden centerpiece to meals have a go at dressing a whole cauliflower with coconut oil, turmeric, salt and pepper and then roasting slowly in the oven.
4.    Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your morning scramble of farm-fresh eggs.
5.    Make a simple and delicious turmeric-infused sauce using Paleo mayonnaise, turmeric, fresh pressed garlic, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Serve alongside your favorite grass-fed beef dishes– from a rare teres major… to a slow cooked chuck roast.

Combine your daily dose of turmeric with a healthy balanced ancestral diet and regular exercise for an easy and tasty way to prevent and treat diabetes… naturally.

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

  Kim T, Davis J, Zhang AJ, He X, Mathews ST. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community. 2009 Oct 16;388(2):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.018. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

  Boyanapalli SS, Tony Kong AN. "Curcumin, the King of Spices": Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Prevention of Cancer, Neurological, and Inflammatory Diseases. Current Pharmacology Reports. 2015 Apr;1(2):129-139. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

  Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Phonrat B, Tungtrongchitr R, Jirawatnotai S. Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2014 Feb;25(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.013. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

  Khimmaktong W, Petpiboolthai H, Panyarachun B, Anupunpisit V. Study of curcumin on microvasculature characteristic in diabetic rat's liver as revealed by vascular corrosion cast/scanning electron microscope (SEM) technique. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 May ;95 Suppl 5:S133-41. PMID: 22934459

  Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R, Phisalaphong C, Jirawatnotai S. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov ;35(11):2121-7. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22773702

Cruickshank K, Riste L, Anderson SG, Wright JS, Dunn G, Gosling RG. Aortic pulse-wave velocity and its relationship to mortality in diabetes and glucose intolerance: an integrated index of vascular function? Circulation 106 (16): 2085–90. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000033824.02722.F7. PMID 12379578.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Product Information, Heart Health, Grass-fed Lamb, Free-Range Poultry

Flat Iron Steak with Migas Flavoring

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 10:04 AM

Migas refers to pieces of beef seasoned with paprika and garlic, and quickly cooked in hot fat. This is a traditional Spanish treat, which has been enjoyed for a very long time. U.S. Wellness Meats flat iron steak is perfect for this dish.

The flat iron is a tender cut of meat near the chuck area. It usually comes with a thick wad of sinew right in the middle, but U.S. Wellness Meats trims out this wad of sinew from their flat iron steaks, which come ready to cook.

This dish is delicious and easy. It is best to marinate the meat overnight, so the rich flavors will permeate the meat.

4 USW Flat Iron 50 Max resized 600

Serves 4

1 package U.S. Wellness Meats beef flat iron steak


4 tablespoons unfiltered organic extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine, preferably sherry

2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

2 teaspoons organic granulated garlic powder

1 teaspoon organic oregano, crumbled between your fingers

1 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper


1 teaspoon coarse unrefined sea salt, crushed

2 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish

  1. The day before you plan to make the steaks, prepare the marinade by combining all ingredients, and mixing them well. Place the meat in a glass bowl, and cover all surfaces with the marinade. Cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you plan to cook it, so it can come to cool room temperature.
  3. Remove the meat from the marinade and place on a plate. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with the salt.
  4. Place the butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan that is large enough to hold the steaks. Heat the pan at medium heat until the butter is melted and the fat is hot and bubbly.
  5. Carefully add the steaks to the hot fat. Cook for 4 minutes on each side for rare; or 5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Serve and enjoy the rich, traditional flavors.

describe the imageStanley Fishman is a cookbook author and blogger who is an expert on cooking grassfed meat. Stanley uses traditional flavor combinations and cooking methods to make the cooking of grassfed meat easy, delicious, and tender. Stanley has written two cookbooks that make it easy to cook grassfed meat —Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo. Stanley blogs about real food and the cooking of grassfed meat at his blog

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Recipes, Product Information

Write A Review & You Could Win!

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 01:18 PM

Hi folks!

We're celebrating our 15-year anniversary this month! 

We wouldn't be where we are today without each and every one of you. We appreciate your continued support and patronage. We look forward to many more years of doing what's good for our animals, good for our planet and good for you. 

What better way to kick off the anniversary festivities than with a giveaway? So here are the details...

In case you missed it, our new and improved website has the option to leave product reviews. Just click the product(s) you wish to review and select 'add your review' and you're done. Easy peasy, right?

Submit a review of any of our online selections between Thursday, September 17 - Tuesday, September 22 to be entered to win a $100 gift certificate!

Upon leaving a review you will automatically be entered into our drawing. Only one entry per person, but you're welcome to leave multiple reviews. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, September 25. 

Good luck & happy reviewing! 







Topics: Product Information, Misc Info, Contests

Write a review & you could WIN! 

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

Hi, folks!

We're celebrating our 15-year anniversary this month! 

We wouldn't be where we are today without each and every one of you. We appreciate your continued support and patronage. We look forward to many more years of doing what's good for our animals, good for our planet and good for you. 

What better way to kick off the anniversary festivities than with a giveaway? So here are the details...

In case you missed it, our new and improved website has the option to leave product reviews. Just click the product(s) you wish to review and select 'add your review' and you're done. Easy peasy, right?

Submit a review of any of our online selections between Thursday, September 17 - Tuesday, September 22 to be entered to win a $100 gift certificate!

Upon leaving a review you will automatically be entered into our drawing. Only one entry per person, but you're welcome to leave multiple reviews. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, September 25. 

Good luck & happy reviewing! 







Topics: Product Information, Contests