Article: Differences Between Grass-Fed, Grass Finished, & Grain-Fed

The article below provides a good overview of what you are faced with as consumers in a grocery store when selecting your meats.  As in most cases when the government is involved, the rules of engagement can be suspect to say the least.  Meat grading is no different.

I have been spreading my meat purchases out between both Whole Foods and Butcher Box.  I like the fact that Whole Foods has the 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating, which I can at least see what I am getting for each level.  My feelings toward this is that if other grocery outlets don’t go through any trouble in today’s day to highlight the positives to their animal welfare, then there’s probably not much to report on, which is cause for concern in my opinion.

I started back up with Butcher Box several months ago, but before that I was buying my grass-fed ground beef from Whole Foods.  I had asked the question in the store if it was both grass-fed and grass-finished.  The answer I received was that it was.  I sent a note to Whole Foods Corporate to ask the same question.  This is not meant to knock them, but more to point out that you really need to know the source of what you are buying to know if you are getting the best possible nutrients in the food you are eating.  Below is the response I received from Whole Foods, which is exactly in line with their stated program in-store:

Thank you for reaching out with your question. Our standards for fresh beef require that all cattle be raised on a pasture or range for at least 2/3 of their lives. Cattle may then be grain finished on a feedlot, grain finished on pasture, or 100% grass fed. Our grass-fed standards require that animals have “continuous access to pasture during the growing season, and cannot be fed grain or grain by-products.” This is a standard that is distinct from the 5 Step® Animal Welfare rating.  

Going back to my previous comment about other grocery outlets not calling anything out, this product is going to be better than the vast majority of what you will buy.  It’s pretty safe to assume that most of Whole Foods’ grass-fed beef will be 2/3 pasture raised with the final 1/3 being grain-fed under better animal welfare treatment than the standard CAFO (concentrated animal feedlot operation) meat you could buy.

My feelings toward all proteins for your diet is to focus on quality over quantity.  This is another reason I have justified paying a premium to have Butcher Box meats delivered to my home every month.  I know their ground beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, because this is what is stated on the package.  You are far better off cutting your portion from 8oz. to 5oz. if it means sacrificing quantity for quality!!

Enjoy the article below…

By the Dr. Perlmutter Team

As previously discussed, there are significant nutritional differences between the meat produced by cows that eat grass and those that subsist on grain. Beef from cows that eat only grass contains higher concentrations of essential nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid. It also has lower levels of hormones, antibiotics and other toxic remnants from the industrial production process, which can have significant ramifications on our health, ranging from the microbiome to cellular health. Additionally, grass-fed cows live out their lives more closely aligned with how nature intended—freely roaming pasture land and consuming grasses available to them in their immediate environment—which makes the process more humane and environmentally-friendly.

However, like many of the buzzwords surrounding healthy living, there’s a lot of confusion and outright deception that surrounds the “grass-fed” descriptor. While certain trade organizations do their best to impose uniform standards, the use of the term “grass-fed” is, unfortunately, not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture. This sadly leaves the label open to abuse by unscrupulous producers looking to harvest the benefit of the term without putting in the effort to truly raise grass-fed cattle. The process of getting the “grass-fed” label approved on packaging for a given farm’s beef is incredibly lax, and actually doesn’t even include a farm inspection! Essentially, the government takes farms at their word when determining whether or not their product should be labeled grass-fed.

What Does Grain-Fed Mean?
At the root of this issue is the fact that all cows begin their lives in the same way: for the first seven months, they subsist on a combination of their mother’s milk and the grass and plants available to them in their immediate environment. Between seven and nine months, however, industrially-raised cattle are moved to enormous feedlots, where they are kept in confined stalls and hastily fattened with soy- or corn-based feed. These cows are what we commonly call grain-fed and produce meat that is inferior to grass-fed beef in quality, nutritional value, and taste.

What Does Grass-Fed Mean?
As the advantages of grass-fed beef have become more and more apparent, farmers across the country have started to label their products grass-fed. Unfortunately, this label means very little because there is very little regulation surrounding its use. Producers can technically label meat produced by cows that transition to a grain-based diet at seven to nine months “grass-fed” because they started out their lives subsisting on grass. They can also supplement a grain-heavy diet with small amounts of dried grasses and call the cows “grass-fed,” even if the vast majority of their nutrients come from grains.

So how can you ensure the meat you are buying is truly grass-fed and has all the benefits we’ve outlined in our previous articles? Look for the “grass-finished” label!

What Does Grass-Finished Mean?
Meat that has been designated “grass-finished” is much more likely to come from cows that consumed only grass throughout their entire lives. While this term is still not tightly regulated, it is much harder for unscrupulous purveyors to develop workarounds for this label. In order to call meat “grass-finished,” the cow that it came from must have been “finished” with grass, meaning it ate only grass through to the end of its life. Given that all cows’ eat the same thing at the beginning of their lives, the critical information in determining the quality of the meat they will produce is what they ate at the end of it. Therefore, the “grass-finished” label is a much better indicator of quality because it directly answers that question.

Why Grass-Finished is a Healthful Choice
To summarize, meat sourced from grass-finished cows is far more nutritious, beneficial, and safe than meat sourced from grain-fed cattle, which has skewed nutrient profiles and contains harmful chemical by-products from the industrial cattle-rearing process. Grain-fed cows produce meat that is both dramatically higher in inflammatory omega-6 fats and deficient in healthful omega-3s. This is doubly harmful considering the ratio, or relative amount, of these compounds may be more important than their absolute levels in the blood. Furthermore, meat from grass-finished cows doesn’t contain toxic remnants of the antibiotics and hormones used to raise their grain-fed counterparts.

One study, published in the Journal Antibiotics in 2017, demonstrated just how readily remnants of the antibiotics used in industrial farming can be found in the food we eat. The study analyzed 150 samples of raw meat purchased from supermarkets in South Africa and found elevated levels of four common antibiotics—ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and sulphanilamide—in a significant portion of them. This transfer of antibiotics from the industrial farming process to our dinner plates has wide-ranging implications on global and individual health. When one considers that antibiotics are primarily used to shield livestock from diseases that are directly caused by their enclosure in industrial feedlots, it becomes readily apparent why grass-finished cattle that roam freely until the end of their lives produce higher quality beef.

Unfortunately, because the term “grass-fed” is not well-regulated, we need to be vigilant in our food choices. Shopping for grass-finished beef will help you ensure your meat is truly from cows that only consumed grass. Hopefully, this article has empowered you to be a more conscious consumer when it comes to shopping for grass-fed beef, so you can truly enjoy its benefits!

5 Hemp Oil Benefits For Health & Wellness

I was happy to see this article on Mark’s Daily Apple.  Mark has a way of laying things out in a way that is easy to follow and he doesn’t get too far off the beaten path to where most readers get lost.

I have been learning a lot about CBD/Hemp Oil products.  My research has led me to a company called CTFO.  One of the main reasons I landed on CTFO was the quality of their products.  The FDA does not regulate CBD/Hemp products today, so you have to be careful about what you are getting.  One of the most important things to look for is the absorption rate.  What good is the product you are buying if the absorption by your body is low.  CTFO has a patented 10X Pure CBD Oil product that dramatically increases the absorption rate, which will only provide your body with more of the healthy benefits outlined in the article below.

Link to Article: Mark’s Daily Apple – 5 Hemp Oil Benefits

I need to do a better job of drinking more myself!

I like my coffee in the morning, but I think I will start to put a couple of green tea bags in my water in the afternoon.

Here are just a few of the known benefits:

  • Effective for weight loss
  • Reducing risk of cancer
  • Protecting the brain from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
  • Helps a person live longer

Link To Article: Green Tea Offsets Worsening Human Diet

You Can Do It!!

The other day I met up with a good friend of mine for an early morning coffee.  He has been on a mission since the beginning of the year to shed some excess weight and to clean up his diet.  He has been doing this all on his own, which is awesome!  He has known about my interests and passion about becoming a Primal Health Coach, so he has been wanting to meet up to share some of what he has been doing in regards to his diet and see if he is on track, or if there are even more things he can be doing.

He is doing a great job with his exercise.  He is making the best of what he has available to him on a daily basis.  One thing he does often is swim.  He has access to a pool at his job and also at a local YMCA, so he has increased the amount of swimming versus chronic cardio and weights.  He is still hitting the weights, but not nearly as much as he once did in years past.  He has lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year.  He looks and feels great and he has his diet dialed in to where he feels good about what he is eating.

The quote below is from Arthur Ash and is very fitting for the example of my friend and the advice I would like to give to you.  You don’t have to go from 0 to 100 mph to make a difference.  Start with baby steps and build from there.  Changing your habits will course correct your actions over time.

80% of our body composition comes from the foods and beverages we consume.  Torturing yourself on a treadmill or elliptical machine is not your best option out of the gate.  This is considered chronic cardio and can be counterproductive to achieving your health goals.  More on this topic at a later date!

I would strongly suggest you start with your diet first and foremost.  Evaluate what you are currently eating throughout the day.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it doesn’t hurt to use a calorie counting app like Chronometer to see exactly what your macros are.  I think many of you will be surprised at just how many carbs you consume throughout the day.  50-150g of carbs is an optimal target for losing weight when combined with consistent movement; walking, hiking, playing, etc.

What’s one thing you can do today, such that by doing it, will make a difference in your health in the future?

I welcome any questions you might have.  Just post them in the comment box below.

Good luck!!

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Broken Brain

I have been listening to Dr. Mark Hyman’s podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, for about a year now.  I have enjoyed the wide variety of guests he brings on the show.  It has expanded my scope of reference.  I also follow him on Twitter and Instagram, which is how I came across Broken Brain.

Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.  Dr. Hyman is a proponent of functional medicine, a controversial form of alternative medicine.  He is the board president of clinical affairs of the Institute for Functional Medicine.

Dr. Hyman has created a docu-series called Broken Brain.  The link below will take you to the free sign up page.  I watched the first episode last night and it piqued my interest enough to where I wanted to share it with you here.

The evidence, statistics, and experts presented in the first episode was overwhelming!  Don’t think this is just about severe brain issues for the minority of people.  On the contrary, this is about every day feelings you may be having like depression, anxiety, brain fog, memory loss, etc.  The path to better health, which will be laid out in the series, is aligned with the health coaching education I have been receiving.  It is not rocket science.  It’s about getting back to whole foods, proper movement, quality sleep, and a healthy gut.

Enjoy!!

Link to Broken Brain Docu-Series

CBD And How It Works In Our Bodies

The human body has what is called an endocannabinoid system inside our brains and nervous systems. According to Wikipedia, “The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes including fertility, pregnancy during pre- and post-natal development, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis.”

That’s quite a mouthful of technical and medical jargon, isn’t it? Here’s what it means in plain English: your body and central nervous system are actually designed to work with cannabinoids. Because of that, hemp is a true wonder of nature. No, we probably don’t need the THC found in marijuana (although it may have some health benefits), but we do need the benefits of the many cannabinoids found in hemp, especially CBD!

While CTFO refrains from making any medical claims for CBD oil, there is a large body of medical and scientific research extolling the many benefits of this natural product. Some people are reporting relief and help for a wide variety of health issues. We say, it’s good for you! Try it and see if it helps with a problem you’re having. If it does, great. Tell your family and friends about it. We choose to let our CBD oil speak for itself. Our oils are of the highest purity and are independently tested for potency by an outside laboratory. We are even bold enough to post those lab results right on our website!

CTFO offers full spectrum oil (CBD plus all the other cannabinoids found in hemp, but with less than 0.2% THC (which means it is effectively THC free!). The full spectrum oil is taken orally under the tongue and comes in 300, 500, 750 and 1500 mg CBD strengths. We also have CBD isolate oil (completely free of all other cannabinoids other than CBD) in strengths of 500 and 1500 mg. These may be preferred by those who are required to take a drug test for employment. Please note that some drug tests do look for more than just THC, so CTFO cannot guarantee you will pass a drug test if using these products, including the Isolate products.

CBD oil is the hottest thing to hit the nutritional market in decades. According to Cannabis research firm Brightfield Group, the CBD market will be a $5.7 billion market by next year, and a $22 billion market by 2022. So not only is CBD good for your health… it’s good for your WEALTH!!

To learn more about CTFO and the more than 70 CBD based products they have to offer, CLICK HERE to go to the website.

* This blog post was taken from the CTFO business resource center

The Healthy Guide To Oils

One of the first things you learn on the Primal lifestyle journey is obviously what should eat and what you should steer clear of.  One of the obvious staples in everyone’s pantry for cooking are oils.  Of all the changes I personally have made, fortunately for me, this was one I was pretty good on, but still have learned a lot along the way.

I will keep this short and sweet.  Step away from your computer, or put down your cell, and go to your kitchen and throw out any vegetable, corn, soy, or canola oils you might have!!  I mention these because they are the more common oils you might have on hand.  You will read on the article why I am advising you to do this.

As I mentioned previously, I was pretty good in the oil category.  The one thing I have changed is how often I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil when I roast in the oven.  EVOO has a smoke point of around 405 degrees farenheit.  I typically will roast at 400-425.  When a cooking oil is heated to its smoke point, it breaks down and may produce potentially carcinogenic toxins.  Avocado Oil has a smoke point upwards of 540 degrees farenheit, so this has become my go to when I am sauteing and even coating vegetables and proteins going into the oven.

The three staple oils I keep on hand at all times are:

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed
  • Organic 100% Avocado Oil, Cold Pressed, Naturally Refined
  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Cold Pressed, Unrefined

One other game changer with regards to eliminating the bad oils from your diet is to take notice of the dressings in the grocery store.  Start to read the labels and see what kind of oils they use.  Don’t be fooled by labels that call out made with “EVOO” or “Avocado Oil”.  Other than brands like Chosen Foods and Primal Kitchens, you will be challenged to find 100% Avocado Oil based salad dressings.  My obvious choice is Primal Kitchens, seeing that this is the company I am getting my health coaching certification through, but another family favorite is the Chosen Foods Lemon Garlic Dressing & Marinade.  Funny story about this salad dressing.  My father cannot stand garlic.  If I ever use it, he always makes a comment.  During Christmas dinner, I used this dressing for everyone’s salad.  He asked me what dressing this was.  I responded with “Yes Dad, it has garlic in it.”  I thought for sure he was going to complain, but he actually complimented it.  Go figure!!  Explore your grocery store shelves the next time you shop and you’ll see what I am talking about.

If you don’t find Primal Kitchen dressings in your grocery store, CLICK HERE and you will be directed to the Primal Kitchens website where you will see all of the great dressings, marinades and condiments.  Enter the promo code “JOE” to receive 10% off your order.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Link to article “The Definitive Guide to Oils” at Mark’s Daily Apple

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made from animal bones and connective tissue — typically cattle, chicken, or fish — that have been boiled into a broth and slow simmered for 10 to more than 20 hours with herbs, vegetables, and spices. So why is this seemingly simple liquid something you’d want to drink every day?

WHAT SOUNDS LIKE MEAT WATER IS PURE, LIQUID GOLD

Even our hunter-gatherer ancestors realized that drinking bone broth was like striking nutritional gold, as its earliest version dates back over 2,500 years . Throwing away anything edible was out of the question back then, so animal hooves, knuckles, bones, and other connective tissues never went to waste. Bone broth has a rich history of being used in traditional Chinese medicine as a digestive tonic, blood builder , and kidney strengthener due to the high collagen content, bioavailable minerals, anti-inflammatory amino acids, and healing compounds that can only be found in bones and connective tissue.

What Makes Bone Broth So Healthy?

Bone Broth is sought out by people around the world to deal with a wide variety of health issues and goals.

Bones and connective tissue are storehouses for essential amino acids and minerals — which are lacking in many diets today. Bone Broth is also an invaluable source of protein, collagen and gelatin.  Collagen is also found in your bones, joints, tendons, muscles, and teeth.

It’s not feasible to eat whole bones or tissue, but you can still enjoy these health benefits by sipping bone broth. Collagen is extracted when you simmer bones for a long period of time. Typically, the longer bone broth simmers, the more collagen you’ll extract.

HOW BONE BROTH IS MADE

Making bone broth is a simple process, but one that requires plenty of time and patience. Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and tissue for at least 10 hours with vegetables, herbs, and spices such as thyme, garlic, and bay leaves. High-quality bone broth starts with high-quality ingredients, using bones from organic grass-fed animals and organic vegetables. While any bone or ligament can be used, knuckles, chicken feet, and femur bones tend to contain the most collagen.

You can purchase bones from your local butcher or at a farmers market, or by simply saving bones whenever you eat bone-in chicken, steak, or pork cuts.

Is Bone Broth the Same as Regular Broth or Stock?

NO!

There are two main differences between bone broth and regular broth or stock: simmering time and the part of the animal it’s made from (bones or flesh).

Regular broth and stock are simmered for a shorter period of time than bone broth, approximately 2–6 hours. The expedited cooking process reduces the amount of beneficial gelatin extracted from the bones, reducing its capacity to boost the immune system, heal digestive issues, and reduce the symptoms of leaky gut.

Broth (not bone broth) typically has meat left on the bones, whereas stock will have little to no connective tissue left on the bones (as with marrow bones).

The Story Behind Kettle & Fire Bone Broth

Before Kettle and Fire was born, one of our co-founders, Nick, tore his ACL playing soccer (ouch). His brother Justin heard about the benefits of bone broth for injury recovery. As his schedule didn’t leave much time to make bone broth from scratch, he set out to buy a store-bought, high-quality, grass-fed bone broth, since both of their busy schedules didn’t leave much time to make the broth themselves.

No matter how hard Justin looked, the ideal bone broth didn’t exist. He searched for one that was 100 percent organic, fresh — never frozen — grass-fed, and slow simmered (as well as one that could be shipped without wasteful, clunky packaging). So, Nick and Justin decided to create a high-quality bone broth on their terms, which is the recipe we’re proud to offer you today.

Kettle & Fire Bone Broth is:

  • Made only using organic ingredients and grass-fed, organic bones
  • Hormone- and antibiotic-free
  • Slow simmered for a minimum of 10 hours, and up to 24 hours
  • The only shelf-stable bone broth with absolutely no additives or preservatives, and a shelf life of two years
  • Shipped in responsible packaging and 100 percent recyclable material
  • Packaged in tetra packs to take up less room in your pantry
  • Approved for Whole30, keto, and paleo diets

HOW TO GET MORE BONE BROTH IN YOUR DIET

The beautiful thing about bone broth is that there’s really no limit to how you can add it to your diet. Aside from soups, stews, and plain ol’ sipping, bone broth blends surprisingly well into almost any recipe — even smoothies! Here are our top ways to get it:

Sip It

Our bone broth tastes delicious enough to sip on its own, but you can spiceit up to suit your taste buds. We created our favorite flavor combinations in this free downloadable “Bone Broth Sipping Guide” (bone broth matcha lattes, anyone?)

Cooking With It

Our beef bone broth has a mild flavor, which allows it to blend easily with almost anything, from smoothies to healthy gummy bears. Our chickenbone broth and mushroom chicken bone broth boost the savory flavor of soups, stews, and risotto recipes.

Shop Kettle & Fire Bone Broth

Targeting Inflammation with CBD

It is certainly clear that our most pervasive chronic conditions share a common feature in terms of their underlying cause. Whether we are talking about coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, or even Alzheimer’s disease, what current medical literature reveals is the powerful role that inflammation plays in these and other common conditions.

Ultimately, the main issue with higher levels of inflammation that manifests as damage to tissue is the fact that when inflammation has been turned on, it increases the production of damaging free radicals, a situation we call oxidative stress. When oxidative stress is running rampant, damage occurs to our proteins, and fat, and even our DNA.

Over the years there has been extensive research looking at how increasing the availability of antioxidants might help to protect our bodies against these damaging free radicals. But recognizing that the upstream instigator of this problem, to a significant degree, is inflammation, allows us to redirect our targeting in order to protect our body’s tissues.

I have written extensively about how reducing dietary sugar and carbohydrates, while at the same time increasing dietary consumption of good fats along with dietary fiber, goes a long way towards reducing inflammation. Emerging research now demonstrates that cannabidiol (CBD) has significant potential in terms of limiting inflammation and downstream effects in terms of free radicals as well.

In research published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, scientists at the University of Mississippi medical center described not only the complexities and challenges posed by trying to specifically target oxidative stress in a variety of disease states, but also the potential benefits of using CBD to accomplish this goal.

Unlike THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for the “high,” CBD is a non-psychotropic derivative of the plant. It was first isolated 1940 and ultimately chemically characterized in 1963. Recently, research has demonstrated that CBD has wide ranging activity in terms of reducing inflammation and the damaging effects of free radicals. Specifically, CBD modulates the function of the immune system. Research would indicate that overall, the effects of this modulation seem to be quite positive.

CBD, for example, has been demonstrated to be specifically effective in dealing with various types of pain. This activity is also thought to represent a manifestation of CBD working as an anti-inflammatory much as over the counter anti-inflammatory medications are used for typical aches and pains.

Further, many of the health-related issues associated with obesity are a consequence of increased inflammation. CBD is being explored extensively in relation to obesity in hopes of reducing some of these important health consequences.

In the conclusion of the research publication, the authors stated:

Inflammation and oxidative stress are intimately involved in the genesis of many human diseases. Unraveling that relationship therapeutically has proven challenging, in part because inflammation and oxidative stress “feed off” each other. However, CBD would seem to be a promising starting point for further drug development given its anti-oxidant (although relatively modest) and anti-inflammatory actions on immune cells…

The research in terms of medical application of CBD is expanding dramatically, and with good reason. As a natural, plant derived anti-inflammatory, CBD joins other familiar players in this arena like turmeric which is derived from curcumin, as well as ginger and many others.

Moving forward, you can be certain that CBD research will continue to expand, and likely validate it’s efficacy across a wide spectrum of health issues. As always, I’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest science here.

Shop CBD Products Here

Link to article: https://www.drperlmutter.com/targeting-inflammation-with-cbd/