Tag Archives: grass-fed meat

Sustainable Eating for Sustainable Health

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Sustainable: able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

On the topic of sustainable eating, what comes to mind?

Perhaps your immediate thought is of impact the foods you choose to eat have on the planet? Or possibly, what comes to mind is the type of eating regime that will be personally sustainable for you? Especially given your activity level, health and fitness goals, and overall lifestyle including travel and day to day schedules.

Maybe both? But, can the same eating plan that supports the health of our planet also be the plan which supports our own health?

This can feel difficult to balance when the what, where, when, and how much to eat at any given meal is often something to figure out on the fly. After all, actually taking the time to map out a thoughtfully planned schedule for the week, including what to buy, where to buy it, when to actually get to the farmer’s market or grocery store to shop and then actually carve out time in the kitchen to cook isn’t something that piques the interest of many.

In a recent New York Times article entitled A Guide to Sustainable Eating (1), asked this very question; whether we have considered the effects of what we eat on the planet, and if we have made changes that will protect not only the Earth but also our health and the well-being of generations to come?

A mere five years ago, less than half of the suppers served at home were actually cooked at home (2) and on any given day in the United States, an estimated 36.6% (approximately 84.8 million adults) were consuming fast food regularly. (3)

What’s the price we’re paying for convenience, both on our guts as well as on the planet?

The article cites a recent study published in the Lancet (4) in which we are asked whether we can feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries. We are then reminded of the statistics we’ve heard before:

  • “cattle consume up to eight pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat and release tons of greenhouse gases in the process while their saturated fat and calories contribute heavily to our high rates of chronic diseases.”
  • “Intensive meat production is on an unstoppable trajectory comprising the single greatest contributor to climate change. Humanity’s dominant diets are not good for us, and they are not good for the planet”

The article follows these points with the recommendation that “the Lancet report does not insist that everyone become a vegetarian or vegan, but does set as a goal that people in wealthy countries limit consumption of red meat — beef and lamb in particular — to one 3-ounce serving a week, or one 6-ounce serving every two weeks.”

Agreed.

Most of us are eating too much low-quality red-meat protein. Demanding more than what we would naturally be able to access does undoubtedly lead to overproduction with unnatural means (grain), depletion of soil due to excessive overuse and an end product of a piece of meat which is no longer even a healthy option for us humans to consume anyway.

The next piece of advice the article offers is that “we can be somewhat more generous with pork, poultry and fish, which are better for your health and less damaging to the earth.” The reason being that “the grain-to-meat ratio for poultry and hogs is only about 2.5 to 1, and the fat in fish is mostly unsaturated and high in omega-3 fatty acids.”

But wait.

Why are we feeding grain to pork, poultry and fish?

Decreasing the amount of an unnaturally raised cows we consume (in other words, one which is not 100 percent grass fed and finished, but actually fed grain) and slightly lowering the amount of unnatural pig, chicken or fish, yet still continuing to eat and therefore support the industry which is responsible for the inception of this issue in the first place is not the answer.

Doing so is still supporting their ways and means.

How about the impact of relying too heavily on grains, both on the planet and on our guts?

When comparing a plant-based, nutrient dense, seasonal diet which contains small portions of mindfully sourced proteins to a diet which is solely based on “eating less animal protein overall,” how can the latter even be considered as a viable option?

Fortunately, things are looking up and today, 82 percent of the meals Americans eat are prepared at home; a much higher percentage than just a few years ago. (5) If we’re preparing food at home more, hopefully that also means we’re actually getting out more often to shop locally and naturally.

Whether we’re using a planned-in-advance list, based on interesting recipes or recommendations that suit the particular health issues you’re trying to address, or by perusing the farmer’s markets to purchase what looks good and is inherently fresh and local, the end result is the same: this is sustainable.

Once we recognize how crucially what we eat directly affects our health and then opt to create a common sense plan of what to eat, we will also no longer be able to turn a blind eye to the effects of eating even infrequent fast food meals lacking in nutrient density.

In my work with clients, sustainability from day one of a new eating regime, both from the environmental standpoint as well as the client’s ability to easily maintain it for the long haul is the top priority. And since every customized plan I create is based completely on local, organic, seasonal, fresh food prepared simply; sustainability is embodied automatically.

Let’s not get overly hyped up on scheduling a grass-fed steak to be eaten only once per month in favor of increasing the times we have a serving of a bean-based veggie burger. Put most simply, if you rely on eating foods, the bulk of which are naturally grown in the area in which you live and balance out the rest with fish that swim in your local waters and animals that run across or fly over the land you live on, you too are embodying the most sustainable manner of eating possible.

It is that simple.

References

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/08/well/eat/a-guide-to-sustainable-eating.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/05/the-slow-death-of-the-home-cooked-meal/
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/03/health/fast-food-consumption-cdc-study/index.html
  4. https://eatforum.org/eat-lancet-commission/
  5. https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/news/2018/9/americans-are-cooking-more-meals-at-home–eating-out-less

 

Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marinade | The Paleo Diet
With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s time to start planning your menu.  What better way to prepare a Paleo-approved feast than to cook your meats over an open flame, just like our Paleolithic ancestors may have done?

While a simple, grass-fed rib eye works perfectly, it’s fun, tasty and healthy to add some zest by way of marinades, too.

Commercially available preparations that are suitable to a Paleo, clean-living approach are few and far between.  Most are laden with corn syrup, stabilizer gums and artificial sweeteners, coloring and flavorings. Another common offender found in bottled marinades is soy.  High in antinutrient content, soy is often added because it contains glutamic acid, which acts a chemical tenderizing agent.  A definite must-skip!

Making marinades at home is the way to go.  Cost effective, quick and easy to execute, it can be as simple as throwing a few of your favorite ingredients into your food processor and whizzing up a delightful flavor profile.

Here are a few Paleo grilling marinade ideas that will cater to everyone, whether you prefer fish, savory meat or a hint of sweetness with your protein.

No need to choose just one for your holiday barbecue; since they’re so fast to prepare, you can serve all three!

FISH

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The key to marinating fish is that less is more; plan on a maximum of half an hour for most fillets and possibly up to an hour for hearty steaks like salmon.  Even though we avoid acid such as vinegar when following a Paleo diet, even citric acid found in lemon, limes and oranges could actually cook the fish before it even hits the grill!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • Juice from ½ freshly squeezed Meyer lemon
  • 1 1⁄2 
tablespoons honey
  • 1” fresh ginger root
  • 3⁄4 
teaspoon paprika*
  • 1⁄2-1 
teaspoon fresh ground black pepper*
  • 1 
pinch crushed red chili flakes*
  • 6 
garlic cloves
  • 4 
scallions, finely chopped

Instructions

1. Combine all but scallions in food processor

2. Whiz to combine until uniform consistency is reached

3. Allow cool to room temperature then spread onto flesh side of skin-on wild fish

4. Place in bowl and allow to rest for 30 minutes prior to cooking in grill basket

5. Scatter scallions on top and enjoy!

SAVORY MEAT

Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marinade | The Paleo Diet

While olive oil is clearly one of the healthiest fats we can consume, cooking it at a high temp such as on the barbecue can cause it to oxidize, creating free radicals.  Rather than risking it, swap it out for a Paleo grilling friendly fat like duck fat, which can sustain higher temps!

Ingredients

  • Juice from two freshly squeezed limes
  • 3 Tablespoons duck fat
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper*
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Hungarian paprika*
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 teaspoon thyme

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and combine until a uniform consistency is reached.

2. Spread throughout over grass fed meat of your choosing, cover, and allow to marinate 12 – 24 hours.

3. Be sure to bring to room temperature by removing from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking time; cooking proteins that are too cold will result in uneven cooking.

A LITTLE BIT OF SWEETNESS

Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marindates | The Paleo Diet
Looking for a little bit of sweet with your savory?   No need to smother on the ketchup or dollop on the jelly. This marinade does the trick all on its own, thanks to a little bit of orange!

Ingredients

  • 1 navel orange, juiced, plus one teaspoon zest
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
  • Juice from one freshly squeezed lime
  • 1 jalapeno fresh, seeds removed*
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and combine until a uniform consistency is reached.

2. Spread throughout over grass fed meat of your choosing, cover, and allow to marinate 12 – 24 hours. Also works well with pasture raised pork.

3. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

*Pepper and pepper products should be avoided by anyone following a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

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