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Raw Honey for Allergies, Recovery, Weight Loss, & More!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

The cute little honey bear at your local grocery store? Chances are it’s fake. Fake as in a mix of corn syrup and other unsavory things. At the very least, it has been so overly processed, heated and filtered that it’s lost what makes it such a nutritional powerhouse. Worse yet, if it’s from China it has likely been contaminated with everything from chemicals to antibiotics to low cost syrups and sugars. An astounding 76% of “honey” products from grocery stores contained no trace of bee pollen whatsoever.

Raw honey is the way to go: pure, unfiltered, unpasteurized, made by bees, a gift from mother nature herself.

Raw honey has been shown to help with sleep problems, seasonal allergies (best to go with a local source), low energy, and recovery from intense exercise. Other benefits of locally sourced raw honey include:

  • 60% improvement of symptoms of hay fever, allergies, and asthma
  • Promotes healthy weight management when used to replace sugar
  • A high quality source of vitamins, minerals, pollen, and even protein
  • Restores glycogen stores – making it the perfect pre- and post-exercise energy booster
  • Contains antioxidants that help boost the immune system and have even been found to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases
  • 22 amino acids
  • 27 minerals including iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus
  • 5,000 enzymes
  • Source of B-Vitamins
  • Low glycemic index, i.e. it doesn’t cause the sugar spike/elevated insulin levels like white sugar

Replacing sugar or high fructose corn syrup with raw honey has been found to help with weight loss efforts. Studies have found that consuming raw honey can actually activate hormones that suppress appetite.

Need another reason to stock your pantry with this superfood? It. Tastes. Delicious!!

 

FarmFreshDirect2U.com – Your source for farm fresh, grass-fed, oragnic FOOD as nature intended

Proudly serving Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Windermere, College Park, St. Cloud, Winter Garden, Oviedo, East Orlando, Downtown Orlando, and the greater Central Florida area

Nutrition for Health: A Client’s Story

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

This week I would like to share the story of one of my patients/clients. She came to me for acupuncture about 6 years ago, struggling with a number of issues. In addition to treating her with acupuncture and neurofeedback, I counseled her on nutrition. She began by engaging in some temporary trial and error with many of my suggestions; as time went on, she began to realize clear and significant differences in her symptoms and how she was feeling. Today she follows the nutritional approach that I introduced her to, sharing with others her incredible journey to the best health of her life.

-Steve

If you’re having digestive issues, mood issues, brain fog, pain, cravings, etc. consider your diet. Increase intake of REAL foods – mostly grass-fed meats and organic vegetables – and *decrease* your intake of processed, artificial, “food” – especially sugar, fake sugars, wheat, food coloring, words you cannot identify, etc. Also consider adding probiotic-rich foods to help repair the damage and promote gut health – which in turn promotes overall digestive health, good mood, focus, satiety (as opposed to cravings), and more.

I personally find that the drinkable kefir helps me a lot. I’ve taken to adding a few ounces to my post-workout protein shake, as well as after dinner as a way to seal the gut and curb evening cravings. I have found that when I am “craving” something it is usually a clear sign that something is off – and 9 times out of 10, drinking kefir or kombucha tea satisfies and re-balances my system, satisfying the sense of urgency to give in to cravings.

For years I struggled with my health, including intense joint pain, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder. I went through every medication available; I even underwent in-patient treatment. When I came to Steve for acupuncture, I was distraught, nearly hopeless. He began treating me with acupuncture and neurofeedback, as well as counseling me on nutrition. At the time I was eating egg whites and rice cakes much of the time, then having uncontrollable food binges where I consumed just insane amounts of wheat and sugar. My weight fluctuated drastically week to week, and my mood was… Inconsolable. I was depressed, anxious to the point of feeling trapped inside my own body. There were days that I couldn’t get out of bed, where I couldn’t even speak.

Steve encouraged me to add healthy fats into my diet. I started with a slice of avocado every afternoon. I gradually added egg yolks back in.

He encouraged me to limit sugar, and even consider giving up wheat.

I tried it for 6 weeks. My weight began to stabilize. My mood and focus improved.

The holidays came, and I began eating all of the baked goods and holiday treats that we’ve come to associate with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah.

For the next year I cycled up and down, until my weight climbed from the mid-140s to 178 lbs. Despite all of my efforts, I couldn’t get it back down below 165. I felt sick, sluggish, tired, moody, irritable. I was obsessively counting calories, living in the shame of an eating disorder.

I went back to the advice Steve had given me. I took a break from the dieting, from measuring and counting and obsessing. I began eating healthy, whole foods. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner. The fog began to lift. The weight began to melt off. My overall health and state of being began to improve. And it has just gotten better from there.

Steve armed me with the tools necessary to get my health on track. He completely changed my approach to health, he has changed the questions I am asking. Now when I feel a symptom, I ask myself, what is my body trying to tell me? What am I missing, or consuming in excess? What am I doing differently? Have I taken any new medication that could be impacting my gut health? My health is what it is today because (1) I am asking the right questions and (2) I know the right answers.

If I eat unhealthy, i.e. bad oils, sugar, wheat, processed foods, I feel incredibly strong symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, cravings/urges to binge, and an overall brain fog. I even find that I have difficulty with my coordination, dropping things, being clumsy. I suffer from bone pain as well.

If I eat healthy, i.e. healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, full fat raw dairy, grass-fed meats, organic vegetables, and probiotic-rich foods like kefir and kombucha tea, with only a small amount of sugar or processed foods, I feel… Healthy. Energetic. Focused. Vibrant. Strong. Satiated. All of my issues resolve.

I would urge you to consider every symptom of your body – mental or physical – as a sign that something is missing or in excess from a nutritional standpoint, then work to bring things back into balance. This has resolved every symptom that has arisen for me, from intense bone and joint pain to feelings of depression, anxiety, OCD, lack of focus, brain fog, fatigue. The things is, the majority of our health concerns, physical and mental, are tied to nutrition. We can resolve many of our symptoms and complaints by cleaning up our diet. Steve is a major proponent of the traditional/ancestral diet, of eating real food, organic, grass-fed, free from chemicals, GMOs, pesticides. His food service Farm Fresh Direct 2U offers just that – he brings the best of the best from farms around the state right here to Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Saint Cloud, Windermere, Oviedo, all around Central Florida. He brings us the opportunity to improve our health from the ground up.

I have never been healthier than I am now. My entire quality of life has changed. I am forever in gratitude to Steve. With every delicious bite of grass-fed brisket and every creamy sip of drinkable kefir I say thank you.

-Jade Alexandra

Health & Nutrition: The Importance of Starting Young

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Children listen more than we even realize. They listen, learn, and model their behavior after the adults in their lives. This is doubly true for eating habits. Their childhood provides the building blocks for a lifetime of nutrition. The child who grows up eating grass-fed meats and dairy, organic vegetables, fermented foods, the child who eats real food, is going to grow up vastly different than the child who grows up eating processed food, GMO food, pesticide and antibiotic-ridden food. Besides the obvious nutritional benefits, a child who grows up eating grass-fed and organic will learn the importance of making healthy choices. They will also know where their food is coming from.

Most children nowadays can’t identify a cauliflower. Processed snacks are the norm, low-fat being one of the few standards of “health” that people abide by – which inevitably leads to more health problems and weight gain thanks to the increased sugar and chemicals. Never mind that the body actually needs fat to function properly, and that by choosing fats from healthy sources, i.e. grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, grass-fed butter and ghee, coconut oil, and the like. The last half century had it wrong, and the faulty research is finally being overturned. How do we keep this going? How do we push back against the obesity epidemic, diabetes epidemic, rising cancer rates, mood disorders, autoimmune disorders? By educating our children and arming them for a different kind of future, a return to the ancestral diet, to vibrant health and wellness, to locally owned, produced, harvested and farmed foods and goods.

A client of mine shared with me a story of her son, how he had been having arguments with people over health. He argued with his teacher over the merits of low fat “foods” which he knew were ridden were sugar and chemicals. He argued with another adult citing conventional grains, particularly wheat, as unhealthy. He was reported as having turned down sports drinks because of food coloring. He voiced a preference for pastured eggs. His favorite drink is the drinkable yogurt that he gets at his Mom’s FarmFreshDirect2U.com pick-ups every other week.

Your children are listening. You are impacting their choices and habits – even when they are not with you. They are sharing information – this is especially meaningful, for our children are our future. If we are not teaching them the importance of grass-fed and organic foods, of health and nutrition, of traditional sustainable food sources, of supporting local farmers and business owners, what will that mean for our future? More processed foods and GMOs, more obesity and cancers and diabetes epidemics. Ingrain healthy habits and arm them with knowledge for a better future – their own, and our culture at large.

Food for thought as you enjoy this week’s farm order with your family.

Holiday Eating: Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues & Weight Gain

Monday, September 19th, 2016

As summer gives way to fall, the holiday season begins gleaming from just around the corner. Shelves are filled with holiday lights and trees, gifts and goodies. The holidays mean so much in so many different ways, family, togetherness, tradition, gratitude and giving – and let’s be honest – over-indulgence. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, days are filled with holiday gift baskets and gift exchanges while nights ring with the toasting of cheers, coupled with decadent holiday treats.

Many people find that they end up suffering from post-holiday blues (and weight gain!), a sort of emotional drop after the celebratory craze of Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and the like. What most people don’t consider is why they end up feeling this way. In fact, the post-holiday letdown seems to be offhandedly attributed to perceived social or cultural elements. What most fail to consider is that it is in fact the huge spike in indulgent eating and drinking from the end of November to the beginning of January.

High sugar, wheat, and alcohol, food coloring from red and green everything, and even more sugar – this is the true culprit for the post-holiday blues – and of course, weight gain.

Here are some tips to help you avoid, minimize, or at least bounce back from the holidays:

  • DO make moderation your friend. DON’T make November to January a free for all.
  • DO choose a few key days or events to allow yourself to indulge, i.e. actual holidays and holiday parties. Keep your in between eating extra healthy and SATIATING with grass-fed butter, meats, and eggs, organic greens, and fermented foods.
  • DO keep your gut health in check. Sugar, wheat, alcohol and processed foods wreak havoc on the gut, which in turn wreaks havoc on neurotransmitter functioning, which leads to cravings, brain fog, moodiness, irritability, and digestive complaints. Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, grass-fed kefir, fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. Grass-fed bone broth is also highly beneficial to gut health and the digestive tract.
  • DO skip low-fat, high sugar, processed foods as much as possible – and opt for high quality fats such as grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats and coconut oil. Not only will they keep you satiated but they will help manage potential blood sugar spikes from all the sugar and alcohol. Enjoy a bullet coffee or some grass-fed butter on butternut squash before heading out to your next holiday event. By going in with a high quality fat in your stomach you won’t be as tempted to high tail it to the dessert table – especially if your gut health is in check.
  • DO consume extra probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids after indulging. They will help repair some of the damage done and can help get you back on track so that one bad meal doesn’t turn into weeks of over-indulgence.
  • DO ask people to bring non-dessert items and/or non-traditional foods to holiday gatherings. Pinterest has so many cute, festive ideas using healthy foods. Enjoy a nice warm seasonal butternut squash soup or sweet potatoes with grass-fed butter. Make a holiday scene out of organic fruits and vegetables. Make a pumpkin yogurt dip using raw honey and grass-fed yogurt.

What tips or tricks do you use to get through the holidays without excess weight gain or post-holiday blues? Send us your suggestions!

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

Saturday, 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.