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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!

Pastured Eggs Vs. Free-Range Eggs Vs. Factory Farmed Eggs

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Eggs – one of the most economical, nutrient-rich foods to nourish your family – provided they are pastured. Pastured eggs are rich in vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E, and both cholesterol and saturated fat – which are GOOD for you, despite 50-60 year old “science” was decades of research have been refuting. (That’s right, the cholesterol and saturated fat in pastured eggs are GOOD for you – so skip the egg white and enjoy!!)

Now, here’s the thing. When you go to the grocery store, you are faced with countless options. Regular, factory farmed eggs, vegetarian eggs, flaxseed/omega eggs, free range eggs. Therein lies the problems:

  • Not one of these is PASTURE RAISED.
  • Chickens are NOT vegetarians.
  • Most of these are fed GMO soy, corn, grain, etc.
  • Free range is NOT the same as Pasture Raised.
  • Chickens need to be outside to get vitamin D from the sun.

Factory chickens are crowded in cages, with little to no room to move or even turn around. They are fed GMO feed, pumped with antibiotics to contain the frequent outbreaks of salmonella, and live a miserable existence, providing sub-par eggs with only a fraction of the nutrients their pasture raised counterparts have.

Free range eggs means the chickens are giving access to the outdoors – this time tends to be minimal, if at all. They too are overcrowded into large, windowless sheds, handled by factory workers in clean room suits because of their high susceptibility to disease – because of their living conditions, and since they are not given antibiotics. That is what free range, big organic chicken farms really look like.

Truly pastured eggs are from local farmers who keep their chickens outdoors, allowing them to eat their natural diet of bugs and worms (that’s how they get their PROTEIN), while roaming around in the sunshine soaking up vitamins and nutrients. Compared to factory farmed eggs, truly pastured eggs have been found to be significantly richer in vitamins and nutrients, including:

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 to 13 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • · 3 times more vitamin E
  • 5 times more vitamin D
  • · 7 times more beta carotene
  • · 50% more folic acid
  • · 70% more vitamin B12
  • · 10% less fat
  • · 34% less cholesterol

Concerned about costs? Consider this: you would have to eat 5 factory farmed eggs to get the same amount of vitamin D from 1 pastured egg. 1 pastured egg provides you with infinitely more nutrients. What’s more, besides being more flavorful and delicious, many people have found that pastured eggs are more filling, meaning it only takes 1-2 pastured eggs to fill them up as opposed to 2-4+ factory eggs – likely because of the nutrient content. In the long run you may actually save money!!

Each farm we source our food from was handpicked from Steve Moreau, the creator of FarmFreshDirect2U.com. What’s more, he regularly visits the farms himself – ensuring peace of mind for each of us that our food is being properly, safely, and humanely sourced. He hosts a yearly gathering where you the customer can go visit the farm, and see the chickens, pigs, and other animals roaming freely about the rich, green landscape – free from the antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs, overcrowding, GMO grain and corn feed, and other issues rampant in the factory farming industry.

Farmfreshdirect2u.com is about  a return to tradition – sustainable and traditional farming, ancestral and traditional nutrition, and the relationships of olden days where our grandparents knew exactly where their food was coming from – and the local farmers providing it.

The Devastating Truth about Sugar

Saturday, 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.

– – –

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.

Raw Milk, Processed Milk, pH Levels, and Your Health

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The body must maintain a pH level between 7.35 and 7.45. When the body’s pH level goes below 6.8 or above 7.8, this causes sickness, cell death, and disease runs rampant.

It’s important to be clear that not all raw milk is the same. Raw milk that comes from healthy cows (that are fed organic grass, raised in humane conditions) and the milk that is properly obtained from the cow is the best raw milk to drink.

Milk in its all natural state, what we call ‘raw milk,’ is an alkaline food. Once it goes through the pasteurization and homogenization processes it becomes an acidic food. And this is one place where the problem lies.

Alkaline or Acidic: Which is Your Body?

The more processed and refined foods we eat, the more acidic our bodies become. Unfortunately, these “foods” comprise much of the American diet today.

In order to compensate for this, our body begins leaching alkaline from other places in our body, including our bones. Over time, this leads to osteoporosis, i.e. weak, brittle, porous bones.

The more acidic our pH levels, the more the body has to leach alkaline substances from our bones. This high level of acid is known as acidosis, which is linked to many chronic diseases like osteoporosis.

Furthermore, cancer and tumor cells thrive in an acidic pH.

Extensive research has been done refuting the FDA and CDC claims that raw milk is dangerous. One major study done by medical research Dr. Ted Beals, MD found that you are actually 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than from raw milk. Out of the 48 million food borne illnesses reported to the CDC every year, only about 42 (0.0005%) have been attributed to unprocessed milk.

Reasons why over 10 million Americans regularly drink raw milk:

  • Increased bone density
  • Weight loss
  • Improvements in lean muscle
  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Decreased allergies
  • Neurological support
  • Decreased lactose intolerance

Raw versus Processed Milk: Why Raw Milk is a Superfood

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Raw versus Processed Milk: Why Raw Milk is a Superfood

Grocery store milk is pasteurized and homogenized

Raw Milk is raw, unpasteurized, non-homogenized

Note: When referring to “raw milk,” we mean raw milk from healthy cows, i.e. grass-fed on organic grass, raised in humane conditions, and properly milked, is the best raw milk.

Which would you prefer, pasteurized, homogenized milk from factory raised cows, or unprocessed milk from pastured cows who are free to graze on their natural diet, soak up the sunlight, and live in humane conditions while naturally producing a true superfood?

Raw Milk Processed Milk

Alkaline                                                                     Acidic

Fat Soluble Vitamin A                           35% reduction in Vitamin A

Fat Soluble Vitamin D                           25%-77% reduction in Vitmain C

Fat Soluble Vitamin K2                         25%-77% reduction in Vitmain C

Short Chain Fatty Acids                        14% reduction in Vitamin E

CLA                                                         66% reduction in Iron

Omega-3’s                                               70% reduction in Zinc

Calcium                                                  38% reduction in B-complex vitamins

Magnesium                                            21% reduction in Calcium

Potassium                                             100% Destruction of Enzymes

Immunoglobulins                                Damage to Immunoglobulins

Whey Protein                                        Damage to Whey Proteins

Probiotics

Benefits of Raw Milk

Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2

Heart healthy, cancer killing, fat-soluble vitamins that support the brain and nervous system, bone density, hormonal balance, focus, development, and brain function.

Short Chain Fatty Acids, CLA and Omega-3’s

Raw milk is high in CLA and Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that aids the body in the regulation of inflammation, slow metabolism and stress resistance. Emerging research suggests that butyrate may be a viable treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and IBS.

One of the highest sources of the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium

These minerals are crucial for cellular function, metabolism, circulation, hydration, building bone density, detoxification and muscle health. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in these vital nutrients.

Rich in Probiotics: kefir, cheese, yogurt

Raw milk is a source of probiotics, but when you ferment it, the good bacteria increases exponentially. Cultured dairy products are the richest source of probiotics available. They line your gut, support nutrient absorption, and protect you against bad bacteria like E. coli. They are best in their natural state from raw milk products like kefir, yogurt, and cheese.  Gut health has been linked with countless health issues, including both physical and mental. By infusing the gut with high quality probiotics, countless people have found relief and improvements from a range of health problems, including:

  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Skin infections
  • Depression & Mood
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Colon cancer
  • Colic (in Breastfed babies whose Mothers took probiotics)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Tooth Decay & Gingivitis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary track infections
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Respiratory Infections

Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins

Whey protein is a must for anyone looking to burn fat and build lean muscle. It is loaded with immunity boosting enzymes and proteins including:

  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobulin

Processed Milk: the pasteurization process kills nutrients

  • 35% reduction in Vitamin A
  • 25%-77% reduction in Vitmain C
  • 14% reduction in Vitamin E
  • 66% reduction in Iron
  • 70% reduction in Zinc
  • 38% reduction in B-complex vitamins
  • 21% reduction in Calcium
  • 100% Destruction of Enzymes
  • Damage to Immunoglobulins
  • Damage to Whey Proteins

What’s more, much of the remaining vitamins in processed milk are so degraded from their original state that they are not available for the body to process and utilize.

Are you lactose intolerant? Perhaps only to processed milk. The enzyme lactase is greatly reduced in processed dairy. Lactase is the enzyme necessary to break down and absorb certain nutrients. The destruction of this essential enzyme in the processing of pasteurized, homogenized milk is an explanation as to why so many people are lactose intolerant – to store-bought milk, that is. As raw milk is abundant in the enzyme lactase, previously intolerant people find that they are able to enjoy raw milk without any of the digestive issues or side effects they suffer when drinking processed milk. In fact, a study done by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that 80% of the 700 families they reviewed stopped having symptoms of lactose intolerance when they switched to raw milk.

The bottom line, raw milk is good for:

The Farmer – Farmer to consumer direct supports the local economy and small businessman

The Cow – Natural diet, able to graze and life a long life in their natural environment; they don’t get sick from being overcrowded in cages and factories, so there is no need for growth hormones or antibiotics

The Environment – Pastured cows do not create the toxic manure that industrial factory farms create

The Consumer – You get a product that is superior in health and nutrition from a farmer who takes pride in providing you with a safe, quality, and nutritious product

References:

http://hartkeisonline.com/2011/03/17/woman-achieves-increased-bone-density-with-raw-dairy/

http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html#history.

http://draxe.com/raw-milk-benefits/

http://www.realfoodkosher.com/three-facts-you-should-know-about-raw-milk/