Tag Archives: grass-fed

  1. Why to Choose Grass-Fed Meat vs Grain-Fed

    Much like some of the other basic nutrition topics we’ve been covering recently, I know for many of you, this information on Why to Choose Grass-fed Meat, it may be old news. Feel free to skip on by and wait for the next post, but if this information is new to you or you want a refresher or to learn more, I got you. As you have heard me say, time and time again, every day, every single day, I encounter people outside my little sheltered food/nutrition bubble, who haven’t yet received this information and knowledge that many of us take for granted, being deeply rooted in our daily food choices for some time. Rather than assuming that everyone already knows this stuff, I would rather create simple posts that are easily accessible to them/you to share, inform and empower you with the knowledge to make better decisions for you and your health. 

    Why to Choose Grass-Fed Meat vs Grain-Fed

    Nutrition

    Not all meat is created equal. But, I am sure most of you know that at this point. As you also know from recents posts here on Tasty Yummies, fat can absolutely be an incredibly nutrient rich part of your diet, but this same macronutrient when of the wrong variety, can also cause numerous diseases, inflammation, digestive issues and more. The diet of the animals we eat, can greatly change the fat in it’s tissues (and consequently the meat that we eat), among other nutritional differences. According to a study 1http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/research/Review%20Grassfed%20Beef%202010.pdf conducted by California State University’s College of Agriculture, grass-fed beef nutrition includes significantly more omega-3 fatty acids (2 to 4 times more yhan grain-fed)  and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in grain-fed meat is much worse than grass-fed and it’s not because the omega-6 content of beef fat skyrockets with grain feeding; it is however because the omega-3 content is basically nonexistent in the grain-fed animals. Due to the modern, standard American diet (SAD), many people are highly omega-3 deficient and therefore the ratio to bad omega-6 fats is severely imbalanced due to it’s prevalence in a SAD, which can lead to a chronic exacerbated inflammatory response, a general state of systemic inflammation, and the development of the various diseases with an inflammatory root.

    Conjugated Linoleic Acid of CLA is a strong polyunsaturated fatty acid that must be obtained from our diets. CLA has been shown to discourage weight gain and build muscle, as well as support metabolic and cellular health by helping to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria and boost immune health. It has even been shown to lower the risk of cancer. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017 High-quality grass-fed beef and butter from healthy, grass-fed cows or other animals are the top sources of CLA.

    Grass-fed beef, is also one of the best protein foods around, is also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer and heart disease-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. It is also higher in B vitamins, vitamin K and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Grass-finished beef has higher proportions of cholesterol neutral stearic fatty acids and less cholesterol-elevating short chain fatty acids, such as myristic and palmitic acid. Grass-fed meat truly shines in the micronutrient profile for one major reason: Grass-fed cows get more nutritious food.

    Why Grass-fed Meat is Healthier

    Ideally these animals are grass-fed for their whole life. Only exclusively grass-fed cows live out their entire lives on grassland. The rest may start their lives on open pasture and are then eventually moved to a feedlot. Often meat being sold as “grass-fed” is an animal that was fed grass for a short time, early in it’s life, but finished with grain, to increase weight gain, to fatten them up and reduce costs and increase profitablity. Just 80 days of grain feeding was enough to destroy the omega-3 content of the beef. CLA content plummeted in the same amount of time. The longer the animals were fed grains, the lower the quality of the meat. This is one of the many reasons that 100% grass-fed or grass-fed and grass-finished should be sought out.

    Read more about the cost of grass-fed meat and how the labeling of grass-fed animals can be downright deceitful.  While the FDA no longer governs this label claim, you should still look for it and additionally look for seals such as American Grassfed or PCO Certified 100% GrassFed for assurance that the claim was verified and means the animals were 100% grass fed and raised on pasture. You can also look for The Certified Grassfed by AGW seal. 3http://greenerchoices.org/2016/12/30/grassfed-general-claim/ Even more reasons to get to know your farmer or rancher and ask the important questions directly to the person that actually knows. As Michael Pollan says “shake the hand that feeds you“!

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    References   [ + ]

    1.http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/research/Review%20Grassfed%20Beef%202010.pdf
    2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017
    3.http://greenerchoices.org/2016/12/30/grassfed-general-claim/
  2. Lamb Ragù {Paleo and Gluten-free}

    Lamb Ragù {Paleo and Gluten-free}

    Lamb Ragù {Paleo and Gluten-free}

    The comforts of food and it’s universal ability to connect us, has constantly come up as of recent, reminding me that this is one of the core reasons that I have found such a true and passionate love for cooking, food and more importantly serving the people I love.

    This winter in particular I have noticed my cravings and my desires for food have changed quite drastically from previous seasons. I know, in part, some of that comes from the distinct and more winter-like season we have actually been experiencing here in Southern California, complete with rain storms and lots of cool, grey days. But it also occurred to me very suddenly as I was writing this, that in a time when there is so much uncertainty and unrest, so much aggression and fear, we are finding the need and desire for comfort and love wherever we can find it.

    I was watching Michael Pollan’s Netflix series, Cooked, the other night, and while I can’t recall which episode in particular, of the four, that I heard this in, he so brilliantly and matter-of-factly said at some point “It’s no longer a given that people will cook.” I had never really thought about that, given the way that I grew up and the lifestyle choices I have made for myself. But, for centuries cooking was a given, it was absolutely obligatory to our survival. We had to cook in order to eat and we need to eat in order to live! I realized as these words touched my ears that this unknowingly is probably the largest part of what I enjoy so much about cooking every day. About cooking for the people I love. It feels like a gift! As a woman that has no children, cooking for other people is my moment to feel as if I am giving the gift of life. Because food IS life. It IS love.

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  3. Cast Iron Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Ralphs, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Cast Iron Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

    Cast Iron Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

    With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about this maybe slightly silly day that started as a Hallmark holiday. I don’t totally subscribe to the notion of needing a holiday to shower the people I love with gifts to show my love. To me, sharing your love and gratitude with the people who mean the most to you, this should be every single day, all year long. Jewelry, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, these have always felt trite and unneeded on this one arbitrary day.

    Cast Iron Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

    But as this year, in it’s infancy, has already had it’s challenges where we’ve sadly witnessed far too much hate and negativity, possibly more than any other year before, this year I am feeling really fond of a day set aside to celebrate love, in all it’s vast variations. Not with gifts and tangible offerings per se, but more acts of love and kindness! Not just for our spouses, partners and family but everyone in our community, locally and globally, in any ways that we can.

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  4. Zucchini Noodle and Meatball Frittata {Paleo}

    Zucchini Noodle and Meatball Frittata

    Zucchini Noodle and Meatball Frittata

    I will never tire of zucchini. It’s 100% my spirit vegetable (is that a thing?). I am constantly dreaming up ways to incorporate zucchini noodles into unexpected places and since I always prefer to start my mornings with savory protein and healthy-fat rich breakfasts with a peekaboo of veggies, this frittata is the perfect weekend breakfast option or even better, it makes for an impressive brunch offering. But also let’s be real, if you are like me and you love the occasional breakfast for dinner, this just nails it!

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  5. The Benefits of Collagen

    The Benefits of Collagen

    By now you have probably heard from myself and other bloggers about collagen and gelatin and of course, the fanfare around bone broth, etc. Some of you may already know the many benefits of collagen, but even I didn’t know it’s full potential until earlier this year. Collagen is vital for our body and is the basic building block of skin, hair, nails, bones and joints and it plays a very important role in gut healing protocols.

    Our ancestors utilized sustainable whole animal nutrition, which provided an abundant amount of collagen.  Over the past century however, modern food processing has removed this natural and healthy protein from our diets.

    This superfood supplement has provided much healing for me over this last year as it has become part of my daily gut healing protocol, so I am excited to share with you some of the research surrounding it. Beyond finding healing for my gut, the marked benefits in my skin, hair and nails have been the wonderful icing on the cake!

    The Benefits of Collagen

    What is Collagen?

    Collagen is an important structural protein that makes up one third of the protein in the body and up to 70% of the protein that makes up skin. Collagen is the basic matrix of the connective tissues, skin, cartilage and bone where it comes together to form scaffolding to provide strength and structure.

    As a protein, collagen contains significant amounts of amino acids proline and glycine, which are harder to find in other protein sources and serve as a protector of your gut.

    The Benefits of Collagen

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  6. Greek Lamb Meatballs

    Greek Lamb Meatballs

    For me, scent is a huge memory trigger. The aroma of something can waft my way and instantly I am transported back to another time. I always think of the old cartoons where the steamy aroma of a fresh baked pie, suddenly morphs into a hand, quite literally coaxing and lifting up the characters and carrying them right to the goodies. Think Mickey Mouse being tempted by the vapor hand from the scent of a Minnie’s freshly baked cake, right to her kitchen window. This is likely seconds before she slams the window down and says “ah ah ah”. For me rather than being taken to someone’s window, I find myself reliving memories, remembering people I love and those times gone by. It’s one of my most favorite things about cooking, especially since moving away from my family.

    Greek Lamb Meatballs

    Being Greek, growing up I was constantly surrounded by all the delicious, home cooked meals. There are still smells to this day that remind me of my family and most specifically my late, Great Yia Yia and my Yia Yia. The smell of potatoes roasting with garlic, cinnamon and honey will always make me think of baklava syrup simmering away on the stove top, cinnamon in a savory tomato sauce will trigger my nose to think of moussaka or pastitsio and a big pot of homemade chicken stock will always make me want avgolemono soup. Of course, chocolate melting will also get me, since my Great Yia Yia had a full-blown candy making set up in the basement, from her days of owning the ice cream and soda shop. They made some delicious chocolates!

    Greek Lamb Meatballs

    Lamb was another food served quite often, whether, roasted, grilled or used in dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Though not a food I make quite often, whenever I do prepare it, I think of all my family back home in NY, so I have certainly found myself making it more since we’ve moved out to California. It makes me miss our summer picnics with the huge Greek family, out at the lake, a big leg of lamb slowly grilling over an open fire, all day. Or my Yia Yia’s homemade Greek lamb meatballs, which my parent’s seemed to perfect quite well and made often when we were growing up.

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  7. Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

    Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

    Despite the 80 degree whether we have had this past week, with the onset of November and the clock’s changing back, I start to crave comfort food something crazy this time of year. Soups, stews, crock pot meals, all of it! This homemade Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) is something I find myself craving very often, this time of year. Even with several authentic vietnamese restaurants in the area, I find my homemade pho has been perfected to where it is the best I can find! (Horn tooted)

    Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

    I make a mean Beef pho, which tends to be a bit more traditional, but I also really love making it with chicken, especially when we get one of the beautiful whole pasture-raised chickens from our farmer. Besides being hot and comforting, like any bowl of chicken noodle soup should be, the incredible warming spices in traditional pho not only warms the body, but I truly believe they have some sort of magical powers to warm the soul. To me, this is as close as you’ll ever be to getting a hug from your food.

    Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

    Though it seems like there are many steps to homemade pho, it really is quite easy and once you’ve done the prep work, you can let the soup simmer all day and by the time dinner rolls around, it is done, ready and waiting for you to enjoy it!

    Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

    The best thing about a traditional dish like pho are the subtle nuances to the recipe, that bring the most incredible unique flavors. Charring the onions and ginger is just one of them. A simple and quick step that provides a depth of flavor so vital to this dish! Plus, it leaves the kitchen has the most beautifully pungent aroma, too!

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  8. Sweet Potato and Poblano Hash – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    Sweet Potato and Poblano Hash – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    And the craziness of life continues. We are still quite busy with work, though it seems to be getting a bit easier each day as we check things off of our list. We were lucky enough to be able to enjoy our holiday weekend, though I had a little bump in the road along my way. Saturday morning in the middle of my 8:30 am 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class, I suddenly had a strange pain in my upper back, near my right shoulder blade. It came on sharp and so suddenly, but nothing ever seemed to happen to cause it. I sat back into child’s pose and gave it a second, took a deep cleansing breath, then I stood up and attempted to meet up with the class in Utthita Trikonasana, extended triangle pose. That really hurt. Weird. So back to child’s pose I went. It wasn’t my shoulder, I had full mobility, but it was something in that area, and it really hurt when I twisted my torso. I took restorative poses for the remainder of the class and thankfully my teacher that day was Elyssa, my super amazing chiropractor!! She immediately knew what it was. A rib subluxation, in other words, my rib popped out of place. If this hadn’t happened to me before, on 2 or 3 other occasions, I may have been concerned upon hearing that. Thankfully I knew that I just needed it to be popped back in and I would be on my merry way. Elyssa, fit me in, gave me an adjustment, gave that rib a good jarring “umph!” and I felt some immediate relief, though I was still very sore. I spent the remainder of the weekend, icing and trying to take it easy. Elyssa told me that unfortunately this is the result of hyper-mobility or being extra flexible. Sometimes our bodies can do something easily, that they maybe shouldn’t. So yay!

    I get so frustrated when I have an injury, not because of the pain or the injury itself, but more because that means I have to take time off from my daily yoga practice. It has become such a part of my daily routine and I feel like it is what makes me, ME! When I am forced to take a few days off, it is so much harder for me mentally, than any physical pain I could endure. I guess in some ways it is good for me though, it gives me time to take a step away and reflect on my practice, on everything it means to me and what I can do to continue evolving it.

    I plan to be back to my usual practice by this weekend, hopefully. I am feeling better each day. I think I just may have to make some modifications and take it easy for a while, so as not to risk another unexpected rib popping!

    What do you dislike the most about being injured? Do you like the forced time away from your daily workouts or do you dread it?

    My new tattoo

    While I am on this forced time away from yoga, I did get to squeeze in some time for a new tattoo!! I guess if I am already gonna be out of commission with yoga for a few days, why not, right? Josh Schlageter, at Hand of Doom Tattoo, drew up this lovely lady for me and he tattooed her on my left thigh yesterday. I am so excited about it. It is huge and the colors are absolutely beautiful. This iPhone photo doesn’t do it any justice, so I will have to post another once it is fully healed. I keep thinking I am done getting tattooed, that I have enough. Then I end up with more. Oops!

    Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls - Grain-free and Dairy-free

    So, besides popping ribs and tattooing thighs, I have actually been able to find a bit more time in the kitchen. Over the weekend, I got to play a little, I made these delicious almond-flour cinnamon rolls (recipe courtesy of The Urban Poser), I was honestly amazed at how incredible they turned out! I subbed coconut sugar for the honey in the filling and I skipped out on the raisins and nuts in the filling. I am telling you – if you love warm cinnamon rolls, these hit the spot! They are almost a bit biscuit-like. It is incredible that they are totally grain-free!  Recipes like this, honestly get me dancing around the kitchen. Totally brilliant.

    I also made a delicious Easter dinner for us on Sunday night since my parent’s are away on vacation. I roasted one of our delicious pasture-raised smoked hams from Sojourner Farms in Olean, NY, and I served it with some oven-baked sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus. It was a perfect and simple dinner. But, of course, we had a ton of ham leftover and I bought way too many sweet potatoes, so I had to figure out something to do with all the leftovers. That is where this delicious breakfast for dinner hash came in.

    Sweet Potato and Poblano Hash – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    It was simple to put together and it is easily customizable to what you have on hand. If you are vegan, simply don’t add any meat or eggs. If you are a cheese addict, sprinkle a bit of sharp cheddar, jack or whatever your favorite cheese is, over top. You could also add cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, corn, black beans, etc. I feel like there are no rules with hashes! So have fun with it. This hash would obviously work as a main breakfast dish or a brunch side dish, but really it is great for dinner or even lunch. It takes such little time to prepare and you could even eat it right out of the pan to keep it really simple. Since I had just picked up some local farm fresh eggs this morning, I decided to top the hash with one egg for each of us, since they cook so easily and perfectly on top of the sizzling hash. If you don’t like or want eggs, you can leave them off and the hash will still be incredible.

    Sweet Potato and Poblano Hash – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    Sweet Potato and Poblano Hash – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    [print_this]Sweet Potato and Poblano Hash – Gluten-free + Dairy-free, Vegan Option
     Serves 2 as a main course, more as a side dish

    • 1 large organic sweet potato (mine weighed just over 1 pound), cubed (I leave the skin on because I like it, feel free to peel away)
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1-2 poblano peppers, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • a pinch or two crushed red pepper, to taste
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 cup leftover local pasture-raised smoked ham, cubed (optional)
    • 2 farm fresh local brown eggs (optional)
    • 1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
    • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

    Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, add the sweet potato, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Try not to stir around too much, just enough to keep them from sticking. You want them to get a nice brown outside to them.

    Remove the lid and add in the garlic, peppers and ham. Toss everything around to combine and try to leave in a single layer so the potatoes can begin to brown a bit. Allow to cook for another 5 to 8 minutes. Tossing once the underside begins to brown. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Toss in half of the cilantro and the scallions.

    If you are adding eggs, crack two eggs on top of the hash. Cover the pan and allow to cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the whites are set. Serve immediately topped with the remaining fresh cilantro and green onions.

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