Farm Fresh Foods throughout Florida

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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!!

 

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Raw Butter: The Healthy Fat Superfood

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Dietary fat has been villainized since the 1950s. The fact of the matter is, not all fats were created equal.  Fat from sources such as raw pastured butter, unrefined coconut oil, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, pastured eggs, and raw milk provide the body with vital macronutrients. From the endocrine system to cognition, healthy fats play a key role in functioning.

Raw butter: unheated, unprocessed, unpasteurized, un-homogenized, i.e. contains all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that nature intended. It is essentially a nutritional powerhouse, chock full of vitamins and nutrients.

Furthermore, many people who are “lactose intolerant” or “casein intolerant” are able to enjoy raw pastured dairy products such as raw milk, butter, cheese, kefir, and yogurt. This is because it is actually pasteurized dairy products that are to blame for these “intolerances.” The way they have been manipulated not only robs them of essential nutrients but also enzymes that aid the body in breaking them down and absorbing said nutrients.

Raw butter and dairy products are not only safe but overall superior food sources than their factory counterparts. In fact, raw butter and dairy from pastured cows, who are allowed to roam pasture and remain free from GMOs, chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics, are real life superfoods. Raw butter in particular is rich in a multitude of nutrients that aid in the body in a number of ways:

  • Raw butter is chock full of highly absorbable forms of Vitamin A and iodine, which are both vital nutrients for thyroid health and functioning
  • Like unrefined coconut oil, raw butter is rich in lauric, which helps with digestive problems including candida
  • Raw butter is a rich source of antioxidants which have been shown to combat cancer and protect against artery weakening
  • Raw butter is a natural source of Vitamin D, which helps promote strong bones and teeth
  • The healthy fats in raw butter help facilitate hormone disbursement in the body, i.e. promoting endocrine health
  • The healthy fats in raw butter also help improve skin complexion
  • Raw butter is a source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid which is an anti-cancer agent as well as muscle
  • Raw butter is also rich in Vitamins E and K and the mineral selenium

Tips to Stay on Track with Healthy Eating this Holiday Season

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Here are some tips to stay on track – or get back on track – with healthy eating this holiday season:

  • Fill up on protein, healthy fats and veggies before going for the sweet stuff/carbs.
  • Eat a healthy, filling meal before going to holiday parties and events.
  • Keep your gut health in check – this can help with mood, cravings, and digestion.
  • Choose organic & grass-fed meats, dairy, fruits and veggies – especially apples, potatoes and other foods that don’t have a protective skin. Besides protecting you from the dangers of antibiotics and fillers, pesticides, GMOs and chemicals, grass-fed foods have also been shown to have a higher nutrient content, including vital nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamins B, D, E, and K, magnesium, and more.
  • Substitute raw sugar in place of other sweeteners –it is chockfull of anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial benefits along with delicious taste.
  • Use pastured eggs in your baking – not only are they more flavorful and lower in saturated fat, they have more nutrients which many find makes them more filling – they are naturally rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, E, D, B12, beta carotene, and folic acid.
  • Choose grass-fed butter in your sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, cakes, cookies, pies, and more – it’s another great source of CLA, with a deliciously rich flavor – and the perfect ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Include probiotic-rich fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha tea, and kefir in your diet to promote healthy digestion and balance gut health.
  • Limit wheat, sugar and alcohol – and if you do choose to indulge, eat mindfully and follow up with probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, and healthy meats and veggies to get yourself back on track.
  • Don’t skip meals or starve yourself with crazy diets/detoxes – just resume healthy eating, especially greens, healthy fats and proteins, and fermented foods: grass-fed beef and chicken, pastured eggs, organic coconut oil, pastured butter, avocado, organic spinach, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha tea, and other healthy options.

Wheat, refined sugars and alcohol wreak havoc on your health, throwing off digestion, ph levels, appetite, even mood and cognition. They are largely to blame for the holiday blues as they can leave us feeling moody, irritable, foggy, sluggish, anxious, irritable, depressed – and craving more for several days after indulging. Mood and cognition are dependent on the nutrients and messages from our gut; a healthy gut is key to getting back to our vibrant, energetic, happy selves.

Gut Health, Part II: Probiotic-Rich Foods & Repairing Your Gut

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods are key to optimizing gut health, as is limiting processed, refined, and pesticide/chemical-ridden food. Eating fermented foods like saukerkraut, raw kefir, grass-fed yogurt, and fermented vegetables are a great way to rebalance your gut bacteria and improve your overall health.

Destroys gut flora, avoid:

  • Antibiotics – avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Follow-up your treatment course with a hefty dose of fermented foods and/or high quality probiotic supplements.
  • Chlorinated Water
  • Fluoridated Water
  • Antibacterial Soup
  • Pesticides & Agricultural Chemicals
  • Processed Foods
  • Sugar
  • Factory-farmed, i.e. conventionally raised, meats, eggs, and other animal products – they are fed low-dose antibiotics and fed genetically modified grains.

Improves gut health, consume more:

Kefir is one of the most gut-friendly foods, with balancing and restorative properties. Kefir is a rich source of probiotics, enzymes, macro and micronutrients, and countless vitamins and minerals including vitamins B and K, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and proteins, including tryptophan, an essential amino acid known for its calming and relaxing effects. Kefir has been used to treat allergies, intestinal disorders, respiratory diseases, anemia, mood disorders, ulcers, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, colitis, leaky gut syndrome, UTIs, some cancers, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Autism, depression, migraines, acne, eczema, psoriasis, candida overgrowth, osteoporosis, rheumatism, and more.

Kombucha tea is an adaptogen and supports healthy digestion, which in turn supports healthy brain functioning, mood, and cognition. Kombucha tea is a rich source of B vitamins and Vitamin C. B vitamins have been found to help stabilize mood, regulate anxiety, improve concentration, and even help fight depression. Vitamin C boosts immunity and suppresses the release of cortisol, i.e. stress-hormone that has been linked to stubborn belly fat, impaired mental clarity and functioning, depressed mood, and hypertension.

Grass-fed bone broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, gelatin and chondroitin sulfate. Besides boosting gut health and repairing digestive lining, bone broth boasts a range of other health benefits as well, including fighting inflammation, reducing joint pain, inhibiting infection, and promoting healthy bones, teeth, hair, and nails.

As always, support your local farmer and opt for grass-fed, organic sources. Besides being higher in nutrients overall, they aren’t broken down by over-processing, chemicals, pesticides, etc.

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.