Farm Fresh Foods throughout Florida

Archive for the ‘local food’ Category

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.

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.

The Grass-fed Movement: A Return to Traditional Farming

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

The past few decades have seen a growing number of local farmers returning to the old ways. Ranchers and local farmers are opting to keep their animals home on the range, allowing them to forage on pasture instead of being sent to feedlots where they are fattened up on GMO grain and soy, fed antibiotics (which is adding to our own antibiotic resistance), and forced to live under the worst of conditions. Besides being cruel and inhumane, factory farming leads to incredible environmental degradation, and yields food that is subpar in nutrient quality.

By allowing animals to roam on pasture consuming their native diet, we are not only freeing them from the cruelty of factory farming, but we are supporting local famers and businesses as well.

Furthermore, grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy products are much healthier. Compared with feedlot meat, grass-fed meat has less cholesterol, saturated fat, and total fat, and more vitamins and nutrients. Grass-fed foods have been found to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B, C, D, E and K, beta-carotene, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and more.

When you choose grass-fed you are choosing health, animal welfare, and local business. You are supporting the small-scale farmer, the environment, and your family’s health and nutrition. Visit farmfreshdirect2u.com for a selection of grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy as well as organic produce, kombucha tea, healthy snacks, and other locally sourced foods.

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.