Grass-fed and finished beef and bison are truly a superfood that we should not skip out on in our daily lives. It is one of the most nutrient dense protein sources available and beyond amino acids contains a plethora of highly bioavailable heme iron, b vitamins (especially b12), zinc and selenium. It is is also full of healthy fatty acids like CLA and omega 3!
Cows and other ruminants have the special ability to extract nutrients out of the insoluble fibers in plants and grasses that we humans cannot. Therefor we need them in order to “Predigest” the plants so that we can benefit from the nutrition too, which we can do by eating high quality red meat 🥩
Most cows spend a brief amount of their youth on pasture where they eat a bit of grass, but are shipped off to be “finished” aka fattened up in feedlots where they are fed with PUFA rich grains such as corn and soy which they biologically cannot digest. This leads to a rancid acid build up in their digestive tracts creating the characteristic “gross cow dung” smell. To combat this inner infection, cows are then fed antibiotics and other hormones to get them as big as possible with minimal cost and feed.
As a result, their tissues are full of these unhealthy PUFAS and medications, which not only harm the animal but will also wreck havoc in the bodies of those who consume it. It is known that PUFAS can disrupt blood sugar, metabolism and hijack mitochondria, in addition to messing with digestion and detox. Do you really want to eat this kind of meat?
Additionally, this study points out that cattle are protein up-cycles, meaning that they make protein more available for human consumption. Grass-fed cows are much more efficient at this:
If you’re interested to learn more about PUFAS and how to avoid them, read this!
Like with everything, you want to eat as wide of a variety of cuts as possible to benefit from all the nutrients 😋
For example, if you only eat filet mignon and other lean cuts of steak, you are missing out on many fat soluable vitamins such D, A and K2 and cholesterol which are more concentrated in offal like liver and fattier cuts like ribeyes. Sirloins also contain more zinc compared to a filet.
In fact, our ancestors actually went right for the marrow and fattier tissues and left the lean meat for last.
Cooking with tallow also ensures that you get a healthy load of animal based fat, which is a brain and mitochondrial super fuel. Your body needs the cholesterol found in animal fats to build a healthy brain (20% of your cholesterol stored are in the brain) and to manufacture healthy hormones and neurotransmitters! The brain also needs cholesterol to build myelin sheaths and synapses (these protect and connect neurons) 🧠
You can make your own by rendering beef fat (which you can purchase very cheaply from regenerative farms such as US Wellness Meats) or you can purchase your own jar from companies like Epic or Fatworks. Just make sure it’s 100% grass fed and finished since the fat is where animals store their toxins!
If you don’t have a problem with dairy, you can also incorporate raw and grass-fed butter, ghee, cream and cheese into your diet. All are full of healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins, especially vitamin K2, which Weston A Price refers to as “Activator X”- basically a magic molecule needed to optimal body function 🤓
We like cultured ghee from Pure Indian Foods and grass-fed butter from Lewis Road Creamery. Both are bright yellow indicating that the cows ate nutritious grass!
If you’re interested in a raw cheese, I recommend US Wellness Meats. Keep in mind that raw cheese is only recommended for those who are not milk protein intolerant and should not be consumed by those who have thyroid problems since casein is a gluten cross reactant!
Bone in cuts such as short ribs, tomahawks and roasts are also a fabulous way to get collagen rich peptides that are essential for healthy joints, hair, tendons and cartilage. When you cook with the bone in, minerals leach out into the meat as well!
Ground beef is a great and less expensive alternative since it usually uses trimmings from all kinds of cuts ensuring that you get all the nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids in addition to healthy bio-available amino acids! Meat is a complete protein!
Another way to eat less tender cuts is to utilize stew meat which usually comes from the shoulders and legs. These cuts are tougher because the muscles are doing a lot of hard work and are very dense. Our favorite stew recipe is this fat fueled Gulasch 😋
You can also use the bones to make a collagen rich bone broth to use as a base for soups. Bone broths supply is with collagen, gelatin and other peptides!
If you really can’t stomach bone in cuts or broths, I recommend you supplement with a good collagen and gelatin supplement to make sure you get the right balance of amino acids. Both Bulletproof and Marigolds have good products either in bar or powder/latte form! Collagen is really a must for healthy tissues, joints, nails and skin!
Lastly, you can enjoy the nutrient dense organ meats in products such as head cheese (tongue), liverwurst (heart, kidney and liver) and braunschweiger (liver), all which are available at US Wellness Meats which is one of my favorite sources of grass-fed beef. There are even ground beef blends that contain about 20% offal. You can barely taste the difference and it’s a great way to get all the nourishment 💪🏻
My favorite products from US Wellness Meats include their organ meat sausages, their filet mignon (also the bone in variety), flank and coulette steaks, as well as their ground beef (75/25) and ground beef patties (75/25)!
Other suppliers I regularly purchase from is Northstar Bison 🦬 and White Oak Pastures!
Northstar bison has fantastic bison brats for those who don’t do well with pork (like me), and super yummy bison steaks and ground bison/burgers! I recently made a super yummy tomahawk and a batch of baby back ribs 😍
You can save 10$ on your first order with my referral link
You can also visit your local farmers market where there are usually local farmers who sell their pastured and grass fed meats! Check out http://www.eatwild.com for a directory to find someone near you!
If you online shop at the grocery store, look for 100% grass fed and finished and ideally also pasture raised. Stores like Whole Foods usually have an animal welfare ranking system and for beef I usually try to get everything over step 4.
One brand that I’ve seen at Whole Foods and some other stores is called Force of Nature which sells regeneratively raised animal products of very high quality!
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to rotate the different cuts but also to eat both beef and bison/Buffalo since each species boasts a different nutritional profile!
So I challenge you, honor the beef and the bison and fill up your plate with a wide variety of cuts, even if you’re unfamiliar with them. Every part of the animal can nourish you in its own special way and will fuel your body to peak performance🙌🏻
Salads are a quick and easy way to get your daily dose of fiber, micronutrients, and of course healthy fat and protein!
On warmer days, a fat fueled salad is our go to lunch! The base and dressing is easily prepped ahead of time and can be embellished with pantry and fridge staples of your choice!
We typically have a few different types of greens at home like lettuce, spring mix, arugula and baby spinach and I typically just grab a bit of everything (the more greens the better 🤪)
We are very lucky to have access to a local hydroponic farmer who delivers us the cleanest and freshest greens imaginable. We also have a “herb bar” in our refrigerator so I always grab a handful for herbs like basil, parsley or chives to into my salad 🌱
Start by putting the dressing on the bottom of the salad bowl and add the ingredients:
This is how we make our basic salad dressing (I will post about salad dressings later on). You can make a big batch ahead of time and store it in the fridge or you can make a single portion in the bottom of the salad bowl 🥗
For the basic vinaigrette dressing you need:
1) high quality extra virgin olive oil (if it’s rancid toss it!!), you can also substitute a little bit of MCT oil like Brain Octane from Bulletproof for an extra mitochondrial boost or sesame/truffle oil for taste 😍
2) coconut vinegar (this is a powerful prebiotic) or lemon/lime juice. You need something acidic to counteract the oil 🍋
3) salt and pepper (you can experiment with truffle salt) 🧂
4) your favorite mustard to taste (I like Dijon) 😉
The ratio of oil to vinegar is 3:1 and can be scaled to however amount of dressing you’d like to make 👩🏻🍳
I would also recommend adding in some chopped tomatoes as the juices help create a bit of an umami flavor 😋
You can also add spices like granulated garlic or onion 🧅🧄
Here is our basic salad recipe for success 👩🏻🍳:
1) green base (pick the greens of your choice) 🥬
2) super power herbs and microgreens (we love basil and parsley) 🌱
3) colorful veggies (tomato, green onion, bell pepper, sliced carrots, radish, endive, red cabbage, artichoke hearts, etc) 🥕🍅🫑🥦
As promised for everyone who is dairy free/ milk protein free and cannot enjoy raw cheese like my dad, here is our version of a fat fueled pizza 😍🍕
Right now, we are celebrating our German roots and have recreated a pizza topping combo that is very common at German pizza parlors: tuna and onion.
We decided to spice it up a bit and also add some olives (for the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids 😉) and fresh greens that we got from a local hydroponic farm 🥬
We decided that we cannot go without a little bit of a cheesy vibe so we added some dollops of Kite Hill Foods almond milk cream cheese. This is one of the only cheese substitutes we use since the ingredient list is very short and it doesn’t contain whacky fillers.
Of course I want to note that it’s always healthier to abstain from processed foods but this one is an okay treat 🙃
For one flatbread (which will feed one hungry Mom 🤪) you need:
1) one Unbun naked pizza crust (cappellos brand works too but this one crisps up better) 🍕
2) a vegetable oil free marinara sauce (we like Raos Homemade) 🍅
3) a pouch it can of tuna (about 3.5 ounces), we use a company called Safe Catch which tests each batch for heavy metals which is important 🐟
4) a handful of kalamata olives 🫒
5) Kite Hill Foods plain almond based cream cheese to your liking (they also have an almond milk based ricotta which would work too)🧀
6) salt, pepper and dried oregano 🧂
4) a handful of arugula and grape tomatoes 🍅🥬
To make, begin by preheating your oven to 500° while you prepare your flatbread.
Spread your marinara sauce onto the pizza crust and season with dried oregano, salt and pepper.
Next, thinly slice the onions. We have a fabulous veggie slicer from Oxo which comes in very handy for this. Just make sure to use the plastic cutting guard to avoid unwanted accidents. Spread the sliced onions onto the sauce.
Top the pizza with the remaining ingredients: tuna, olives and dollops of cream cheese and turn own the oven to 400°!
Bake until the cheese browns and the crust becomes slightly crispy! This usually takes 15 minutes.
After the flatbread is ready, top with fresh greens and tomato slices and enjoy 😉
A coconut cream curry is such a yummy and nourishing dish full of anti-inflammatory spices and herbs, colorful veggies and healthy fats 😋
Today I am sharing our recipe for a quick shrimp curry that is ideal for busy weekday nights. It takes 20 minutes to make but can also be made ahead of time and heated up 🙌🏻
You can add any protein you’d like including crab, salmon, chicken, shrimp, white fish, pork tenderloin or simply eat it over riced cauliflower as a side (meatballs could be a yummy protein too) 🐔🐟🦀🐷
We decided to use precooked mini shrimp from Vital Choice (they are so convenient, tasty and remind me of the North Sea crabs I ate as a child when vacationing at the sea) 🦐
To make our “curry in a hurry” for 2 you need:
1) one can of organic heavy coconut cream 🥥
2) chopped onions and garlic 🧅🧄
3) colorful veggies of your choice (bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, etc) 🫑🥕🍅
4) Seasoning- salt, pepper, curry powder (we love Morton and Basset) 🧂🌶
5) herbs like cilantro or basil 🌱
6) protein of your choice (6 ounces per person)- shrimp in our case 🦐
To make start by heating up the coconut cream in a pan, when that’s liquid add in onions, garlic and the other vegetables along with salt, pepper and curry powder.
Let that simmer for a bit, then add the precooked shrimp and chopped herbs! If you think the curry needs more creaminess you can add more coconut cream 😋
If you’re using a different protein source, I would cook the protein separately and then add it in. Since the shrimp were precooked we could skip that step 😉
Since curry is traditionally served with rice, which we cannot eat since it’s a grain, we made cauliflower rice to go along with it, in addition to grilled vegetables, carrot fries, and curried cauliflower 😋🥕🫑
Did you know that consuming animal products can actually help reverse climate change ?
That is only if we as humans decide to properly raise livestock. This determines the impact of animals like cows. In other words, it’s not the cow, it’s the how.
Regenerative agriculture refers to a land management practice that focuses on reversing climate change by rebuilding organic matter in soil and restoring degraded pasture and soil biodiversity.
This type of farming creates mini ecosystems since farmers rotate different crops and animal species that work in tandem with another to create a healthy land.
It also prioritizes animal welfare since they are eating their natural diet of forage, bugs, etc which in turn creates healthier animals, which at the end of the day are healthier for us to consume as well (they have the species appropriate fatty acid and protein profiles)!
When ruminants like bison and cattle graze, they help restore the all the important top-soil that we are loosing every year!
In fact, 95% of the top soil we use today to grow crops was created by large bison and Buffalo herds!
Unfortunately, modern farming which includes the heavy use of pesticides and continual plowing/mono culture agriculture has depleted the topsoil and has lead to a diminished mineral and vitamin density which results in inferior crops.
The majority of the damage when it comes to agricultural GHG emissions is due to plowing up fields for crop production, not belching cattle, and most of the opportunity for improvement in this area comes from no-till cropping practices.
Journal of Water and Soil Conservation
Right now, the majority of the farmland is being used to grow crops like corn, wheat and soy. Companies use genetically modified crops and pesticides such as Round-Up (actually an antibiotic) to grow sturdy plants with a high yield. These three commodity crops are used to make everything from alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, fake meat, vegetable oils and many processed foods found on supermarket shelves (both for humans and for pets). They are grown through mono cropping which means that the same plant is grown on the same land, which depletes the soil of nutrients and minerals.
Not only is topsoil needed to grow food and sustain our world population, but it is also critical for absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. In other words, we need it to prevent the accumulation of green house gasses in the atmosphere, which is a critical component of global warming!
What about methane producing cow manure?
Concentrated animal feces from factory farms are a much different environmental issue than scattered cattle poop, urine, and hoof across grasslands in a natural system. In well-managed systems without a lot of antibiotics or drugs given to the animals, large dung beetle populations are re-established. These dung beetles help break down manure, and recent studies found they help to mitigate methane emissions from it. (source) How do they do this? Methane thrives in low-oxygen environments. As they tunnel through manure, dung beetles provide ways for oxygen to circulate, preventing methane formation.
Book: Sacred Cow
Regenerative farming utilizes multi-paddock grazing to let the ruminants and grasslands work in synergy! The grasslands need the animal droppings as fertilizer and the microbes in the poop give the soil “life”. The animals then trapple the manure into the soil which mixes the bacteria and fungi into it. Certain fungi feed minerals back into the plant, which nourished the plants and allows them to grow longer roots. The longer the roots of the plants, the more carbon can be sequestered from the atmosphere.
As herds graze, dung, urine and old plant matter are trampled into the ground where they can decompose and enrich the soil’s network of microbial life. The cows graze the grass, the sheep and goats prefer the weeds, and the poultry peck at the roots, bugs, and grubs. Through this kind of rotation, the pastures are grazed and fertilized in three ways.
Will Harris of White Oak Pastures
The animals are rotated between paddocks, often together with other species, to give the planes a chance to recover and generate new topsoil!
Additionally, crop rotation is important so that the soil that is created by the animals isn’t depleted of its nutrients, and can continue to provide nutritious grass to feed its helpers.
Well-managed rotational grazing accomplishes all four of these concepts. Perennial pastures, once planted, will rarely be disturbed with tillage. Each pasture is planted with a diverse mix of 15 different species, including grasses, forbs (flowers), and legumes. This does not include the additional species of plants that will naturally come into the pasture over time. The pasture has living roots in the soil at all times. These hold the soil, prevent erosion, and allow rain water to filter into the ground. These roots are also constantly pumping carbon into the soil after each grazing event, helping to mitigate global warming, and increasing soil organic matter.
– Ryan Heinen from Gwenyn Hill Farm
It’s no doubt that animals in feedlots contribute to global warming, as summarized below by a study in 2013:
A 2013 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock contribute 14.5 percent of human-driven greenhouse gas emissions, of which beef cattle represent 42 percent of the emissions. As the report highlights, the main sources for these emissions come from feed production and processing (mostly driven by fertilizer applications on crops fed to animals), enteric fermentation (how the animal digests the food) and manure management (yes, what comes out the backside). However, the climate impact of each of these drivers fluctuates based on how the animals are raised. An estimated 97 percent of cattle (PDF) in the United States finish their days (the final four to six months of life) in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where the cows live in close proximity to each other, eating grains and other crops, and producing a lot of waste, which ends up in manure lagoons that release potent greenhouse gasses and pollute local waterways.
However, animal raising can also be a “carbon sink” as demonstrated by White Oak Pastures. A LCA analysis in 2017 shows that:
White Oak Pastures offsets as much as 85 percent of the farm’s total carbon emissions and at least 100 percent of the beef emissions. For every kilogram of beef produced, 3.5kg of carbon are sequestered in the farm’s plants and soil. In other words, the study suggests that — unlike a conventional beef operation — White Oak Pastures’ beef is a carbon sink.
It was also shown that the consumption of a White Oak Pastures beef patty offsets the production of a vegan fake meat patty.
Another study looked at the entire lifecycle of 100% grass-fed beef at a farm in Georgia, showing that the net total emissions were -3.5 Kg Co2-eq per Kg of fresh meat. This is significant because not only is it better than conventional beef, pork and chicken, but it’s better than the claims of Beyond Burgers and soybean production.
Like White Oak Pastures, there are many National and local farms that are practicing regenerative agriculture. Examples include Primal Pastures, Northstar Bison and US Wellness Meats. There are also many other local farmers you can support. The best resource to find regenerative meat in your area is http://www.eatwild.com
One brand also found at the supermarket is called Force of Nature. They sell regeneratively farmed heirloom chicken, bison, beef, pork as well as wild caught venison and boar! I really love their ground blends, which also contain some offal so it’s a Great way to eat nose to tail!
Lastly, cattle aren’t only used to feed us but can also play an important part in other industries. Inedible parts are used to make clothing, rubber and even certain medications. Honoring the whole animal is important!
During this cooler time of the year, we were yearning for something crunchy but not too cold, so we decided to try out a charred radicchio (full of those healthy bitter compounds!) with a garlic herb vinaigrette 🧄🥬
Since we were throwing on the grill anyway, we decided to make it a party and roast some curry cauliflower, zucchini and bell pepper and some Brats 😋
We made both Pork Bratwurst from US Wellness Meats and Bison Brats from Northstar Bison! I am such a bison fan 🦬🐷
Ancestral fats refer to fats that the human species has consumed for many centuries and that can be extracted with minimal processing. They can be divided into two categories: animal and fruit fats.
Animal fat includes fats like lard, poultry fat, and tallow as well as ghee and butter.
When buying animal fats, always make sure to buy pastured/grass fed and finished products since animals store toxins in their fat and we want to make sure we are consuming the highest possible quality.
We like Fatworks tallow and lard (they come in a glass container and are not bleached which is important)! Once opened they should be stored in the refrigerator. Regenerative ranches like White Oak Pastures, Northstar Bison and US Wellness Meats also sell their own homemade tallow, duck fat, lard, etc which are also great sources!
You can use my referral link to save 10$ on your first order at Northstar Bison
When buying butter and ghee, make sure it’s from grass fed cows and ideally that it’s cultured. Butter and ghee should both be a golden color!!
The butter we use is from Lewis Road Creamery and we exclusively use Pure Indian Foods for their cultured ghee product. The culturing ensures that there are no milk proteins in the ghee.
Fruit fats include coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil.
Like with animal fats, quality matters! Always opt for extra virgin products in dark bottles, and buy small bottles so that the oil isn’t open for too long (this avoids oxidation)! If an oil smells rancid, discard it immediately!
Also make sure that what you are buying is the pure fruit oil and not a mixture. Sometimes companies will mix more expensive fruit oils with cheap seed oils!
We are a fan of Chosen Foods avocado oil, the same company also makes delicious avocado and coconut oil based mayonnaise (so good with burgers or carrot fries) 🙌🏻
Primal Kitchen also has a line of great avocado oil based dressings and dips and a line of frozen meals with clean oils and meats which are a great option when you’re in a hurry (Pesto Chicken is the best)!
Although they are processed, MCT oil from coconuts can be a great supplement for some brain fuel and mitochondrial health. My favorite is the Brain Octane oil from Bulletproof which contains only the C8 MCT (caprylic acid) which is also very anti-viral! I drizzle MCTs over grilled veggies or use it in my salads. Never heat them up however, because they are not very temperature stable!
When it comes to extra virgin olive oil, look for a dark green oil that ideally burns a bit in the throat. This indicates that it’d high in polyphenols and antioxidants. We get ours from our adopted tree at an Italian farm that freshly harvests the oil and ships it to our house in a canister. The oil tastes extremely buttery like a good olive oil should and works well in salad and after cooking (be careful with heating)!
Coconut oil typically comes in glass jars and should be solid at room temperature due to its high saturated fat content. It is the most heat stable out of the fruit fat bunch. I love to use it to grill ahi-tuna or veggies 👩🏻🍳
Humankind has thrived on these types of fats for centuries and not until the introduction of before mentioned seed oils did we begin to have trouble with a rise in chronic disease 🦠
Seed oils such as corn/canola/soy/sunflower/rapeseed/safflower/cottonseed oil are highly processed since it’s hard to squeeze oil out of dry seeds… (which damages the delicate polyunsaturated fatty acids) and have not been consumed in large amounts until the beginning of the 20th century. In other words, our human biology has not had the time to adapt to these fats and struggles to use them for fuel.
You can learn more about the dangers of oxidized PUFAS here.
Fats: solid at room temperature because their triglycerides contain more stiff, saturated fatty acids. Examples include lard, ghee, and tallow.
Oil: liquid at room temperature due to the higher content of flexible mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids
Fatty Acid: a group of 4-26 carbon molecules bound together with a special carbonyl group at the end. The carbons are bound together by single (saturated), 1 double (monounsaturated) bond or multiple double bonds (polyunsaturated). Body cells are made up of all 3 types! Polyunsaturated fatty acids are the most delicate and one should be very aware of how high they are heated/ the degree of processing.
A note about smoke point:
The amount of heat you can use with the oil/fat depends on the different types of fatty acids present. The more saturated fatty acids, the higher the fat can be heated since it’s more stabil and less likely to oxidize (the last thing you want is an oxidized fat)!!
If you’re heating up fat and see that it’s smoking, discard it immediately!
When choosing the type of fat to cook with, we like to cook like with like (in lard, beef in tallow, etc) and veggies in ghee or coconut/avocado oil.
Fat/Triglyceride: a group of 3 or more fatty acids with a glycerol backbone. They circulate in your blood either as fuel or to be stored for later use. These are burned by the body for fuel if you’re fat adapted. Fatty acids cannot cross the blood brain barrier so they are converted to ketones if you’re fat adapted!
Let’s be real, whose mouth doesn’t water when a juicy chicken is browning in the oven and the smells waft throughout the house 😋😍
Unfortunately, many cooks also associate a whole roast chicken with a lot of stress and time when in reality it doesn’t have to be.
Eating a whole chicken is always nutritionally superior than just the breasts since roasting with the bone, tendons and skins allows the meat to be full of collagen, minerals, and other powerful peptides 🙌🏻
I have made this recipe with both a whole chicken and a spatchcock whole chicken (backbone removed so it’s flatter and cooks even quicker)
In both cases the preparation and cooking method is the same, the timing is just slightly different 👩🏻🍳
To make this people pleasing crispy chicken you need:
1) a whole chicken (3.5 lbs) or a whole spatchcock chicken (2.5 lbs), pasture raised and ideally fed a low PUFA non GMO feed 🐔 (US Wellness Meats is a great source)
2) curry powder 🌿
3) flaked sea salt 🧂
4) black pepper
5) grass-fed butter for serving 🧈
I use a toaster oven to make the chicken, since the oven is smaller it enables me to cook the chicken very quickly and the skin crisps up nicely 🥺
Start by preheating the toaster oven to 400°F on the roast setting.
Season the bird inside the cavity and outside with salt, pepper and curry powder (this is our go to but you can also use garlic and onion or other seasoning)
For the whole chicken, place it onto the roasting pan and roast it for about 55 minutes. Make sure the breast is on the top. Then remove it and check if it’s cooked. Then let it rest a few minutes before carving.
For the spatchcock chicken, roast it in the toaster oven for about 40 minutes and let it rest before carving!
Both ways result in a super juicy chicken with a crispy skin that is sure to be a people pleaser! The spatchcock method is a bit easier to carve so keep that in mind if you’re new to cooking bone in!
Begin by preheating the oven to 450°F and heat up the cooking fat in an oven safe dish.
Next, sear the meat on each side until it’s a nice brown color, then season it with salt and pepper and pop it into the preheated oven
Cook the meat for 20-30 minutes depending on how well you’d like it done. I prefer mine rather rosey so I cut off a piece after 20 minutes and put my parents back in. The meat does continue to cook after you remove it so beware and I would tend to take it out sooner than later 👩🏻🍳
Lastly, thinly sliced it against the grain and serve with the meat juices and grass fed butter 😍