Farm Fresh Foods throughout Florida

Flavorful, Tender & Delicious: Grass-fed Beef Brisket

September 15th, 2015
Delicious, Slow-Cooked Grass-fed Beef Brisket
  • 1 large grass-fed beef brisket
  • ¼ to ½ cup white vinegar or tomato juice (tenderizes the meat)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • Worcestershire sauce (opt for a natural recipe with no added sugars)
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Other spices to taste

Optional: Carrots, potatoes, and an apple

  1. Place in large roasting pan
  2. Pierce brisket across the grain ever 1/2 inch or so to tenderize
  3. Pour Worcestershire sauce and raw honey over the brisket
  4. Season to taste with pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices – don’t use salt, it will make the brisket tough
  5. Cover pan and put in fridge for 12-24 hours
  6. In the morning, place brisket in the oven, keep covered, and cook at 300 degrees and cook for 8-10 hours (40 minutes per pound of meat)
  7. Baste every hour or so (not required)
  8. Optional: Halfway through, add potatoes, carrots and 1 apple (for the juices/flavor)
  9. When fully cooked, remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain in thin slices and enjoy!

Kick Sugar for Good – Tips & Tricks for a Healthy Life

August 15th, 2015

Our last article explored the dangers of sugar. This week we are sharing some tips and tricks to help you cut sugar out of your diet and get healthy. By minimizing sugar, wheat and processed foods and not depriving yourself of healthy, grass-fed, and whole food sources, you should find that your weight naturally stabilizes. You may even find your overall health improve, including mood, focus/concentration, digestive health, inflammation, and even pain.

Tips to Cut Sugar:

Craving chocolate? Have some magnesium!

Nourish your gut flora with probiotics – grass-fed/pastured and fermented, unpasteurized food sources are best, including grass-fed kefir, pastured cheese, and sauerkraut, though high-quality probiotic supplements can help as well; improved gut health has also been associated with better mood and even increased feelings of willpower. If you can’t absorb and process the nutrients you are eating, than your body and brain can’t function properly. Gut health is strongly linked to neurotransmitter functioning, as well as absorption and processing of vital nutrients.

Increase healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed meats, pastured cheese, grass-fed butter  – they are nutrient rich and satiating – and contrary to popular belief, health fats don’t make you fat – but sugar and processed “foods” do!

Increase your grass-fed meats and pastured dairy products – they are much lower in saturated fat and significantly higher in vital nutrients including magnesium, omega 3’s, B vitamins, and conjugated linoleic acid which has been found to reduce cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and body fat.

Go cold turkey – because eating sugar, wheat and processed foods makes you crave more sugar, wheat, and processed foods. It also makes you hungrier.

Have a protein-rich breakfast.

Choose healthy carbohydrates and pair them with healthy fats and proteins. Enjoy a sweet potato with grass-fed butter and a delicious grass-fed steak.

Be prepared – pack healthy snacks, prep meals for work, plan out your menu for the week.

Eat when you’re hungry, and don’t get obsessive about calorie counting – instead, focus on eating foods that are real, whole, and natural. Get back in touch with your body’s natural hunger cues – and listen to them! Eating healthy fats and protein with healthy carbohydrates will naturally be more satiating – the worst thing you can do is starve yourself of nutrients, especially when trying to clean up your diet.

Rest and destress – try yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, acupuncture, massage, etc. to stave off stress-induced binges. Make sure you are getting adequate rest, as not sleeping enough can throw off leptin and ghrehlin levels which are responsible for appetite/satiation.

Don’t punish, guilt or shame yourself for making mistakes, just take a step towards getting back on track, and another step, and another. Before you know it you will be making progress towards a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

If you feel a craving and want to give in, wait it out. Sit with the feeling for 5 minutes, no judgment, just feel it. Just because a feeling arises doesn’t mean that you have to act on it, this too shall pass.

The Devastating Truth about Sugar

August 1st, 2015

Sugar has been linked to a host of health issues and side effects, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Poor Concentration
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood Swings
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Digestive Disturbances
  • Crying Spells
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Inflammation

Overconsumption of sugar also diverts and/or depletes your body of vital nutrients, including mood-enhancing B vitamins, chromium which is responsible for stabilizing blood sugar, and magnesium, which many people are deficient in and causes a host of health issues ranging from chronic pain and poor sleep to depression, low energy, and muscle cramps.

What’s more, eating bread, pasta, and other processed carbohydrates has the same effect on the body; two slices of wheat bread raise your blood sugar as much as a candy bar.

Sugar feeds disease, impairs brain functions, and is devastating to your health. Sugar impacts your health in countless ways, including:

Gut Health – Fructose feeds the pathogens in your gut, which enables them to overtake your good gut bacteria.

Mental Health – Sugar suppresses activity of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key growth hormone in your brain. Critically low levels of BDNF have been associated with depression, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders

Appetite/Satiation – Sugar and grains contribute to insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and impairments in signaling, which can interfere with appetite suppression and satiation cues as well as mental health

Brain Function – artificial sweeteners and artificial food ingredients, particularly aspartame or amino sweet, have been found to cause depressions, panic attacks, anxiety, and other negative side effects to brain function and mood. Artificial coloring has been linked with attention problems, poor impulse control, and mood issues as well.

Blood Sugar fluctuations affect neurotransmitters, especially in people who consume low amounts of protein. Studies have shown that children consuming sugary snacks after a carbohydrate-rich meal became hyperactive, restless, and moody. However, their reactions were much less severe when sugary snacks were given after a high-protein meal.

Mood & Energy - Research has repeatedly linked sugar consumption with mood swings, depression, and low energy. It has been found that dopamine and serotonin levels are released as part of the “sugar rush” you get when consuming high amounts of sugar, causing you to feel happier, and even calm – at first. However, this is followed by a crash in mood as the receptor sites slow down production to regulate endorphin levels. This sugar crash is typically felt as fatigue/lethargy and depressed mood. In fact, it has been found that people who drink 4 or more cans of soda or fruit punch a day are 30-40% more likely to suffer from depression than people who did not consume sugary drinks. Furthermore, diets high in processed foods were 58% more likely to suffer from depression, while people who consume more “whole foods,” i.e. fish, fruits, vegetables, etc. had a 26% lower risk of depression.

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The verdict? If you suffer from mood swings, low energy, cravings, or other sugar-related side effects, cut out the likely culprits: sugar, wheat and processed foods. Eat more whole foods, and whenever possible opt for nutrient-rich, hormone free, GMO free, pesticide free, chemical free, i.e. grass-fed, pastured, and organic.

What’s for Dinner: Grass-fed Lamb

July 15th, 2015

Looking to mix things up while providing your body a nutrient boost? Consider a tasty meal of grass-fed lamb chops.

Similar to grass-fed chicken and grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb is higher in nutrients and lower in fat than their factory farmed, grain-fed counterparts. Other benefits include:

  • Grass-fed lamb is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 8 essential amino acids
  • Grass-fed lamb is an excellent source of niacin, zinc, iron, selenium, and B vitamins
  • Grass-fed lamb is one of the richest food sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – which has been linked to improvements in immune function, blood sugar regulation, bone mass, and inflammatory function as well as reduced body fat, enhanced lean muscle building, and even cancer prevention.
  • Grass-fed lamb is an excellent source of omega-3 fats and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA – the basic building block for omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Grass-fed lamb is a staple in Mediterranean diets, which have been linked with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease
  • Roughly 40% of the fat in grass-fed lamb comes from oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat which has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease

Note: When cooking your grass-fed lamb, treat it like a very expensive cut of beef and don’t overcook it. To enjoy a moist and tender meal, the lamb should be pink on the inside when served. Shoulder cuts are good for stew, shank/breast is best braised, lamb chops or rack of lamb are best when roasted or quick broiled, and ground lamb is best when sautéed.

Grass-fed Cheese

July 2nd, 2015

Convenient, delicious, and chockfull of calcium and healthy fats, grass-fed dairy cheese is the perfect snack. What makes grass-fed dairy cheese better than conventional store-bought cheese? Why the price different between the two – and is it worth it? Yes, and here’s why:

Grass-fed cheese is free from GMO’s, synthetic pesticides and herbicides.

Grass-fed cows lives a more humane life, raised according to USDA organic standards.

Grass-fed cows have a lower incidence of contagious illnesses. They are farmed without antibiotics and rBGH, and their living conditions allow for a much safer yield. Factory farmed cows are highly susceptible to Salmonella, e. coli, and all of the chemicals they are exposed to, i.e. rBGH, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, antibiotics, plus their sub-standard living conditions increase the risk of cancer and other illnesses.

Grass-fed cheese is free from growth hormones (rBGH) – rBGH produces a chemical that has been linked with incidence of breast cancer. It also causes painful mastitis and other problems in cows – which are then treated with antibiotics.

Grass-fed cheese is free from antibiotics. Conventional factory raised cows live in crowded, filthy living conditions which necessitate the use of antibiotics to manage the rampant illness. These issues don’t apply to grass-fed cows, who live an infinitely more humane life in clean living conditions.

Grain-fed cows are more susceptible to E. Coli outbreaks, as their digestive systems were not developed to digest grains, but grass. As grain was introduced to their diet, their stomach pH became more acidic and their gut bacteria became imbalance, allowing acid-resistant bacteria to grow. This imbalance makes them more susceptible to E. coli food poisoning, which can then be passed to humans when they drink the tainted milk.

Grass-fed dairy is more nutrient rich, with a bigger diversity of nutrients as well as higher concentrations including vitamins A, D, and B-12, as well as phytonutrients, antioxidants, calcium, protein, and other vitamins and minerals.

Grass-fed dairy is higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a highly beneficial fatty acid that has been linked to cancer prevention, lower risk of heart attack, decreased body fat, and increased lean muscle building.

Grass-fed dairy is higher in omega 3 fatty acids, and has an ideal omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart and brain, and proper balance between omega 3 and omega 6 is essential. Most Americans have too much omega 6 and/or not enough omega 3, which is related to countless health problems.

Grass-fed dairy cheese tastes better. It’s real food, pure and simple, the way our grandparents enjoyed it. My personal favorite is the Cut Raw Colby from Wainwright Dairy in Live Oak, FL