Category Archives: Fat

Hemp Heart Porridge and More Good Fats to Try 21 Days from SAD to Well Fed

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21 Days from SAD to Well Fed Day #3

Day #1 here         Day #2 here

Have you tried hemp lately? It’s not just for making macrame plant hangers or eco-friendly clothing. It’s not something you smoke in the back of your psychedelic VW van either.

Hemp has a long and interesting history in world civilizations. According to this historian hemp has been in cultivation for 8,000 years. Its usefulness encompasses a wide range from paper, rope, clothing fiber and sail canvas; to food for humans and animals; to medicines for childbirth, dysentery and rheumatism.

Grown around the world from east to west this plant’s history is intertwined with man. Beginning in China around 2800 BC and making its way to North America by the 1600s where Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew it on their farms, hemp is one of the oldest known cultivated plants. The sails of the Mayflower and the original Levis jeans were made from hemp cloth.

Hemp Hearts

Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts as they are often called, are full of healthy fats just like many other seeds and nuts. High in omega-3 fats and GLA (a special fat your body uses to make hormones), hemp seed can be useful in fighting inflammation and nourishing the immune system.

(Fun fact if you raise chickens – feeding hemp hearts to your chickens will increase the omega-3 in their egg yolks!)

Also amazing about hemp – it is one of the very few plant foods containing complete protein, meaning all of the necessary essential amino acids needed for a healthy diet. That plus a healthy dose of fiber and many key vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients make hemp seeds something worth trying!

Low Carb Hemp Heart Breakfast Porridge

This hemp heart porridge recipe is filled with healthy fat and plenty of fiber as well as inflammation-fighting spices.  It’s also vegan, gluten-free, low carb, and dairy-free.

Start with a base of full fat coconut milk and hemp seeds, then add in more superfood seeds like chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and flax. Give it an anti-inflammatory kick with cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom and black pepper. Stir in some stevia for a little sweetness and simmer for a few minutes to make a hearty hot breakfast.

(A note about flax: Always buy whole flax seed and then grind it just before using. Flax oil is very unstable and will begin to go rancid within just a few hours of grinding the seed. I use a little spice grinder like this.)

A few more add-ins that aren’t vegan, but are worth trying include grassfed gelatin or collagen powder, and a drizzle of raw heavy cream just before serving. I also like to add MCT oil for a brain boost.

Hemp Heart Porridge
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast low carb
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Healthy fats have the starring role in this hearty breakfast bowl. If you don't have all the seeds listed, just use what you have. The base of hemp and chia make a great foundation for any combination of nuts and seeds you like.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seed
  • 2 Tablespoons shelled sunflower seed or shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon flax seed, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • stevia powder or drops to taste
  • 1 teaspoon MCT oil
  • 1 Tablespoon grassfed gelatin or collagen powder (optional)
  • toasted pecans or walnuts for topping (optional)
  • heavy cream for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan.
  2. Add in the hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin or other seeds.
  3. Add the cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, pepper, vanilla and pinch of salt.
  4. Sprinkle on the gelatin or collagen if using.
  5. Heat on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges.
  6. Stir in the stevia and continue simmering for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. When the mixture reaches a thickness you like, remove from heat and stir in the ground flax seed and the MCT oil.
  8. Pour into a serving bowl and top with any optional toppings such as toasted nuts or heavy cream.

 

How will you enjoy your hot hemp porridge?

 

DIY Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing and Why Fat is Important 21 Days from SAD to Well Fed

 

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21 Days from SAD to Well Fed Day #2

Fat isn’t to be feared – it’s your friend!

There are so many tasty ways to include healthy fats in your day. Store bought and many restaurant salad dressings are NOT one of them. In fact most commercial dressings are full of rancid soybean oil and canola oil. Definitely not healthy. Making salad dressing yourself is quick and easy. Read these fun facts about healthy fats, and then keep scrolling for a delicious Caesar-style salad dressing you can make tonight! And keep scrolling for links to more recipes!

Get the skinny on why we start with fats first in this Day #1 article.

Here are 4 different ways fat plays a positive part in your health:

  • Cells need fat – since our body temperature remains relatively constant, being warm-blooded creatures, our cell membranes need a balance of different fats to find that “Goldilocks” spot where they are fluid, yet structurally stable.  To do this about 50% of the fatty acids in our cell membranes need to be saturated fats, and the rest monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (Confused as to which fats are which? See Day One of SAD to Well Fed.)
  • Fat gives energy – the best energy source is one that lasts all day long without crashing you in a mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump.  Saturated fats, especially those from animal milks, animal meat, coconuts and palm oils, are the best source for this long lasting energy.
  • Strong bones – the most important nutrients in bone health are found primarily in foods that also contain saturated fats.  Vitamins A, D and K2 are the bone health trifecta keeping the calcium OUT of the soft tissue and INTO the bones and teeth. Best sources include organ meats, egg yolks, animal fats like grassfed butter, and also fermented foods and cod liver oil.
  • Hormones and mood – fats are a favorite with Dr. Julia Ross and her books on overcoming mood disorders, food cravings and weight issues. Healthy fats help neurotransmitters and the endocrine system.

This salad dressing recipe includes good fats from healthy mayonnaise (avocado oil, egg yolks), virgin olive oil, and cheese!

Caesar Style Creamy Salad Dressing

1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise without canola or soy oil (try this one or make your own)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice and zest of one lemon

one clove of garlic, pressed

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until creamy. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: salad dressing
 
lots of healthy fats in an easy to make creamy caesar salad dressing
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup good quality (no soy or canola) mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • one clove of garlic, pressed
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until creamy.
  2. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

For more easy salad dressing recipes check out these on Well Fed Family:

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Basic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing

Tzatziki Sauce

What is your favorite salad dressing?

 

Out with the Bad (oils) and In with the New (good fats) 21 Days from SAD to Well Fed

Some links may include affiliates. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family.

SAD = Standard American Diet

Characterized by a dependence on commodity crops like GMO corn, soy, and canola; fast food; highly processed food; and filled with additives, chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and synthetic ingredients.

In other words not very likely to provide a base for a healthy life.

Take 21 days and make a difference in your health. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to taste bad either!  If you like to journal this would be a great thing to journal about! What motivates you to make changes to your diet? Your own health? Spouse? Children?

I hope to make this as easy to understand as possible. If you want to go more in depth on any item I will provide links to find more information. If you have children elementary age or older this would be a great project for them as well!

Let’s get Well Fed!

DAY ONE: Out with the Bad Oils and in with the Good Fats

Why start with fats and oils? Because this is where you can make the most impact in your overall health both quickly and in the long term. Structurally our brains are 67% fat. Saturated fat provides structure to brain cells and body cells alike. Healthy fats and oils provide sustainable energy, important vitamins, and stable moods.

The kinds of fats and oils found in the SAD way of eating create fatigue, deplete vitamins and increase inflammation and oxidative stress which can promote anxiety and even anger.

Learn more by reading Know Your Fats on the Weston A Price Foundation website, or for an in-depth book on ancestral health try Nora Gedgaudas’ Primal Body Primal Mind.

What oils and fats need to go?

  • Any industrially produced seed oil. This includes canola, soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, and safflower oils. Seed and nut oils are delicate oils that can turn rancid very quickly when exposed to heat.  If your canola, corn, soy or other seed oil is clear and you found it just sitting on a grocery store shelf then it is already rancid. Rancid oils are a major source of inflammation in the SAD way of eating. Additionally canola, soy, corn and cotton are the most widely Genetically Engineered (GMO) crops on the planet. For lots more information about genetic engineering risks visit the Non-GMO Project.
  • Any margarine or butter substitute. Even the ones that promise to lower your cholesterol or magically eliminate some other kind of disease.  These products are made mostly from the previously mentioned industrial seed oils. Often they are also hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated in some way.
  • Any vegetable shortening, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated animal shortening. These are also called trans fats. These start out as liquid polyunsaturated fats, but through industrial processing they become solid even at room temperature. Your body has trouble recognizing what to do with them, and they lead to cell dysfunction and even cell death! Read more about them here. Or take a deep dive with Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness. 

What Oils and Fats Should I Use?

There are 3 categories of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.  Healthy diets should include some from each of these categories.

Overall you need to look for animal fats from animals living outdoors on pasture eating species-correct diets. This means grass for the ruminants (cows, sheep), and access to omnivore appropriate food for the others (pigs, chickens and other poultry). They all need sunshine!

You need to look for vegetable fats and oils from cold-pressed and organic sources that are not treated with solvents or bleaches.

  • Saturated healthy fats include butter and ghee from grassfed cows. Beef tallow, lamb tallow, pork lard, duck fat and goose fat from animals living outdoors on healthy pasture. Coconut oil from sustainably grown coconuts. Palm oil can be a part of a healthy diet as well, however there are a lot of ecological problems with palm oil so I am not recommending it for that reason. MCT oils is another saturated fat making headlines recently.
  • Monounsaturated healthy fats include cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Avocado oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are other options. Once again these need to be cold pressed or expeller pressed and preferably organic. Peanuts, especially, need to be organic due to a common toxin found in conventionally farmed peanuts. Incidentally pastured pork lard is also a very good source of monounsaturated fat. Good lard is roughly 50/50 saturated and monounsaturated.
  • Polyunsaturated healthy fats are the trickiest to find. These oils need to be expeller pressed without heat, because heat will damage the delicate oils and cause them to go rancid quickly. Also exposure to light and oxygen will turn them rancid, so these oils need to be stored tightly closed and kept in the refrigerator. Flaxseed oil, walnut oil, non-gmo canola, and grapeseed oil. All the fish oils are also in this category. Fish oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, and foods like caviar are all quite delicate and need to be treated carefully to remain healthy and viable.

So open up your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator and start tossing the bad SAD oils and replacing them with healthy fats!

Visit Well Fed Family on Facebook to see the conversation around healthy lard.  Like our page and keep in touch! Let us know what you find when you start cleaning out your SAD fats and replacing them with healthy ones!

Low Carb [Keto] Protein Bars [Fat Bomb]

low carb keto protein bars fat bombsome links may be monetized, thank you for supporting Well Fed Family

Keto. Ketones. Keto diet. Ketogenic lifestyle.

These are some of the most searched terms on the Internet today.

Ketones are produced in smaller amounts naturally by everybody. People who are adapted to fat as their primary fuel instead of carbohydrates will naturally produce and use them in higher amounts.

The goal of the ketogenic lifestyle is to adapt the body to utilize FAT as its primary fuel source instead of SUGAR.  Fat can be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy

Ketones help you burn fat for energy, powerfully reduce inflammation and show promise in preventing and eradicating diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

It was early 2016 when I first made the switch into a low-carb/high-fat way of eating. It was a long time coming; a decision I made only after doing a lot of research and reading. The one book that inspired me to finally take the plunge was Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore.

I really wish I had had access to a conference or online summit at the time to guide me through my transition into keto. Since those early days I have discovered work from other experts like David Perlmutter, Thomas Seyfried, Brian Mowll, and David Jockers, and the research these doctors have done in the value of a ketogenic diet.

The Keto Edge Summit  is exactly the kind of all-inclusive package I wish I had when I was starting out.  I’m glad it is now available to help other people who want to try keto. And many of the doctors doing cutting edge research in keto are featured in the summit!

One thing I needed was a source for recipes that were keto-friendly.  I was glad to find at the end of Keto Clarity a small recipes to get you started.

I really liked the recipe called “Camille’s Keto Energy Bars“. I liked the convenience of having a portable snack or quick breakfast. One to keep me satisfied with plenty of healthy fats.  Most energy bars you can buy are way too high in carbs to work for people in ketosis. So this homemade version filled that need.

The original recipe was made with a lot of almond butter, raw nuts and cacao nibs. But I still don’t do well with too many nuts, and although chocolate tastes great it really messes with my sleep no matter when I eat it. 🙁

So I came up with my own version of this grab-and-go bar that includes some extra protein from collagen, and swaps the nut butters and nuts for ingredients that are more digestible and make me feel so much better!

Crispy nuts are something I discovered years ago when I joined the Weston A Price Foundation. The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook has several recipes for making high enzyme, digestible and delicious crispy nuts of all kinds. You can also find a recipe here. I like to keep a big jar of crispy nuts in my pantry for quick snacks.

I like the addition of high protein hemp hearts and omega-3 rich chia seeds for a nutritional boost.

If you aren’t familiar with the term “fat bomb” – it is used a lot in the Keto world to describe a small snack that is made primarily from healthy fats like coconut oil or butter. They are used to curb cravings and help tide you over between meals.

Low Carb [Keto] Protein Bars [Fat Bombs]

1 cup coconut oil, very soft

1 cup coconut butter, softened

1/2 cup grassfed whey vanilla protein powder

1 10g packet Vital Proteins collagen powder

1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup crispy pecans or walnuts (see note above for how to do this)

1/2 cup crispy or raw pumpkin seeds (make crispy pumpkin seeds just like crispy nuts)

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, coconut butter, collagen powder and protein powder until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is thick like frosting. Of course the nuts and dried fruit will make it lumpy, but be sure to get it very well mixed.

Line a 8 1/2″ x 11″ pan with waxed paper. Make sure it gets all the way into the corners and up the sides. This can get really messy otherwise!

Pour the coconut mixture into the prepared pan, spreading the mixture evenly. You may need to tap the pan on the counter to settle the mixture into an even thickness. Place the pan into the freezer keeping it level. Freeze for at least an hour.

Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the entire wax paper slab out and place onto a large cutting board. Score the top of the slab into 16 equal bars, then carefully cut each individual bar from the slab.

Store the finished bars in a sealed container in the freezer. You can keep these in the refrigerator if you want them to be a little softer, but don’t leave them out on the counter or you will have pudding instead of a bar.

The macros for one bar (using blueberries) is approximately 21g fat, 4.5g protein, 2.3g net carbs.

low carb keto protein bars fat bomb 2

Low Carb [Keto] Protein Bars [Fat Bomb]
Author: 
Recipe type: keto
 
healthy fats and proteins in a convenient bar
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut oil, very soft
  • 1 cup coconut butter, softened
  • ½ cup grassfed whey vanilla protein powder
  • 1 10g packet Vital Proteins collagen powder
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup crispy pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup crispy or raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, coconut butter, protein powder and collagen powder.
  2. Mix on low speed until smooth and well combined.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is very well combined.
  4. Line a 8½" x 11" pan with waxed paper pushing it into the corners and letting it go all the way up the sides.
  5. Pour the bar mixture into the prepared pan smoothing it out and tapping the pan as needed to make a smooth, even layer.
  6. Place the pan into the freezer keeping it level.
  7. Freeze at least one hour.
  8. Remove from freezer and place the entire slab with the waxed paper onto a cutting board.
  9. Score the top of the slab into 16 equal rectangles.
  10. Carefully cut through the slab into individual bars.
  11. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer or refrigerator.

You can purchase the entire Keto Edge Summit for your own reference library. The summit includes more recipes and lots more tips for going keto.

Have you tried keto or low carb? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

Compound Butter {Butter Gets Dressed Up}

 This blog is part of my contributions at Traditional Cooking School

Compound-Butter-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINSAs a young married couple without kids, we moved to a new city eight hours from home. There, we met Mr. and Mrs. Samuels at church.

We loved getting invitations to eat dinner at their house. Sam, retired from the Navy, had filled their home with beautiful things from around the world. Helen was a pearls-go-with-everything, warm and friendly lady who knew how to make her guests feel welcome.

But what I remember most about the first evening we spent with them was the butter. Read more…

Mythbusting Ideas About Fat and Cholesterol and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

cholesterol collage titles

I’ve started reading Grain Brain by neurologist David Perlmutter. The focus of the book is brain health. Have you ever heard that there’s a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease? This book shows you that connection as well as many other lifestyle causes of neurological disease and dementia.

Grain Brain also lays out just what lifestyle choices people are making that can lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease. These include living with chronic high blood sugar levels (those in the “high normal” range) even without diabetes, eating too many carbohydrates (especially refined ones), trying to eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet, and having an undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten. Dr. Perlmutter says up to 40% of all people can’t properly process gluten.

Even if you have a family history of brain disease and Alzheimer’s or dementia you can turn the train around. But he says you have to bust a few myths first. The biggest myths you have to wrap your head around? 1- a low-fat/high-carb diet is good and 2- cholesterol is bad. According to the results of the Framingham Heart Study report from 2005 “people who had the highest cholesterol levels scored higher on cognitive tests than those with lower levels. Evidently there is a protective factor when it comes to cholesterol and the brain.” What most people don’t realize is that cholesterol is a building block for cell membranes and a critical brain nutrient necessary to fuel your neurons.

For more great information on cholesterol you can also read Jimmy Moore’s recent book, Cholesterol Clarity. I reviewed that book here.

Do you avoid fat? What have you always heard about cholesterol? How hard is it going to be to change your habits? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and then check out the other posts here at Wellness Wednesday.

Wellness Wednesday starts here

Number Two Immune Boosting Food – Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family.

It’s Wellness Wednesday – I’m sharing about another great food for boosting your entire immune system, then at the end there is a link for you to share your own wellness-related blog. Don’t forget to check out the other fine folks who’ve linked up here too!

Immune Boosters

Recently I gave you the Number One immune boosting food – you can read about it here. Today I’m revealing the food in the Number Two slot. This one also plays a powerful role in rebuilding and maintaining a healthy immune system. If you were surprised by #1 then this one may also surprise you. This list is from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., is a neurologist, and creator of the GAPS diet, a successful nutritional protocol used in healing both physical and neurological disorders such as autism, auto-immune diseases and heart disease.

cold pressed oils collage

Immunity Booster #2: Cold pressed oils such as olive oil, fish oils, nut and seed oils

While fresh animal fats and cholesterol-rich foods are stellar when it comes to building strong cells and creating important stress-coping hormones, there are many other healthy fats that we should incorporate into our daily diet.

We’re all familiar with extra virgin olive oil, and many of you are also aware of the benefits of fish oils (especially cod liver oil). What you may not have heard about are which of the nut and seed oils truly are healthy, and which ones are toxic.

Just as with animal fats, the fats from plants are also mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – there is no naturally occurring fat that is only one type.Coconut, palm kernel, and cocoa butter are all rich sources of plant-based saturated fats. Olive, avocado, almond, pecan, cashew and peanut all provide generous amounts of monounsaturated fats. Cold water fish oils like cod and salmon; along with flaxseed,  non-GMO soy, canola, corn and safflower are primarily polyunsaturated.

Just as with animal fats, the sources of plant fats are extremely important. Many seed oils come from genetically modified plants and carry with them the pesticide and herbicide residues as well as other questionable factors.  Nearly all soy, corn and canola in the U.S. is GMO.

Unlike animal fats, however, there are many methods of extracting fats and oils from plants. The extraction method chosen is extremely important – in fact, even if your plant source is 100% biodynamically-beyond-organic, but you extract the oil incorrectly you will have ruined it, made it toxic.  Care must be taken when extracting plant oils. If powerful chemical solvents are used to extract the oils then you can be sure the oils will retain the toxins from these chemicals. When high heat methods are used for extraction, especially on the fragile polyunsaturated oils, these oils are damaged and turn rancid.  This is why the #2 Immune Booster must come from cold pressed oils.

Any oil that is primarily polyunsaturated should be kept chilled and stored in a dark container to protect the fragile nature of this type of oil. If you find a polyunsaturated oil in a clear container sitting out on a grocery shelf just leave it there! It is already rancid and has no place in your body. It’s not an immunity booster – it’s just a big bust!

vegetable-oil-rancid-ola-toxic-label

So to summarize: Choose your plant-based oils from organic, cold-pressed sources. Read the labels for any expiration date. Keep polyunsaturated oils refrigerated and use them up before they expire. Never heat polyunsaturated oils, keep them for salad dressings or adding to smoothies. Coconut oil and olive oil can be kept at room temperature, but it is still important to keep olive oil in dark containers as the enzymes are light sensitive. Saturated and monounsaturated plant oils can be used for cooking, but save the higher heat applications for the mostly saturated ones.

Now it’s your turn! Share with us on Wellness Wednesday – here’s all the info…


The Number One Immune Booster – Wellness Wednesday

WW titleWelcome to Wellness Wednesday! Each week I will share an article or recipe as part of the Wellness Wednesday blog hop link-up, and at the end is a place for you to share with us too! Co-hosts for this blog hop include Never Lacking Zeal, Frugal G33k, The Wise Wife and Hudman Honey Farm.  So let’s go!

Immune Boosters

More and more people are hearing about the GAPS diet. GAPS (an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is based on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s ground-breaking book Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia.

Along with priceless information about healing the digestive tract and restoring the gut microbiome she includes her Top Ten list of ways to boost your immune system.

Big Surprise!

Newcomers to the world of real, traditional food will probably be dumbfounded to read that the number one way to support a healthy immune system is with animal fat and cholesterol-rich foods. For over thirty years Americans have been brainwashed to believe fat is bad, fat makes you fat, fat clogs arteries, fat causes heart attacks. Except that it’s all been a big fat lie.

As you begin to absorb the information from Dr. Natasha’s book it begins to make sense how Americans have been in a downward health spiral for the last several decades. We’ve been mistakenly advised to eliminate the very foods that can keep us healthy. Because of this we have put a very heavy burden on our bodies: a burden to create new cells, regulate their growth, create hormones, create barriers to toxins that want to get in, fuel an immune system that needs to patrol for infections and disease – all of this without the proper tools, without the proper building materials. It’s like telling a brick layer to build a wall without using any bricks. You could build a wall with just mortar, but it will not be structurally sound and certainly won’t last as long as a wall built with mortar AND bricks.

#1. Fresh animal fats (from meats and dairy) and cholesterol-rich foods (particularly raw egg yolk)

Animal fats include tallow (beef or lamb fat), lard (pork fat), chicken or goose fat (sometimes called schmaltz), and duck fat; butter, cream and cheese from cows, goats and other dairy animals. Wild caught cold water fish such as salmon and cod also possess healthy fats such as cod liver oil, fish oil and roe.

Animal fats are not made up only of those wrongly demonized saturated fats, but, like all naturally occurring fats, each is a mixture of different percentages of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Goose, duck & chicken fat, and lard have generous amounts of monounsaturated fats like those found in olives and avocados.

The health food world has discovered the many useful properties of coconut oil, a saturated fat, and yet they are unwilling to embrace beef or lamb tallow, lard or duck fat because they include saturated fat. Healthfully sourced animal fat is something to be desired in a healthy diet.

Healthy animals make healthy fat.

cows on pasture
Animals living outdoors in ways appropriate for their species, eating the food God created for them to eat, will yield beautiful, clean, healthy fat rich in vitamins and fat soluble activators.

Unhealthy sources of fat include fat from any animal living in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) fed a steady diet of GMO grains, antibiotics and other inappropriate substances.

Healthy saturated fats provide structural integrity to our cells. Our immune system cells are not exception – all cells need saturated fats. Cholesterol, found in all animal fats, is the key component in several important body functions which include helping our skin manufacture vitamin D from sunshine exposure, and being used by the adrenals to make important hormones, including sex hormones and anti-inflammatory hormones. When we don’t eat cholesterol-rich foods our body must use up precious energy to manufacture it out of the carbohydrates in our diet, and then turn around and use the cholesterol to manufacture everything else. When our adrenal glands are already fatigued due to illness or stress this unnecessary step wears them out even more making us more prone to infections of all kinds.

Animal fats provide complete, fully formed and easily absorbable versions of the key fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. Pasture raised eggs, whole clean raw milk and cream, butter, cheese, grassfed beef liver and chicken liver, wild caught cold water fish and fish eggs are all great choices for immune-boosting fat soluble vitamins.

Even though labels may say carrots contain vitamin A, the truth is plant sources of these vitamins are not fully formed and require our bodies to use up energy, enzymes and and other reserves to complete the transformation into usable forms. Again, when our bodies are stressed this conversion is difficult and may not even happen at all. This is especially true for people with digestive disorders. This means no matter how many carrots you eat you just aren’t getting vitamin A – you need to eat foods with fully formed vitamin A to get what you need!

eggs1This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

Now it’s your turn. Share your number one wellness tip with us on the Wellness Wednesday link up!

 


Precious Memories

*Enjoy another blog from Amy as she shares memories from our childhood dinners.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh green beans cooking, especially in the summer when they are in season.  Aromas can dig deep into the mind revealing long buried memories making them just as fresh as if they were yesterday. And that is what happened as the savory scent of green beans cooking with onions and bacon filled the house tonight as Well Fed Family prepared dinner on the official Day 1 of Cousins Camp.  It’s a comforting, homey aroma that takes me back to the days when I was a little girl and my grandmother snapped beans on her back porch in West Virginia, and then cooked them for a family feast that night.

pork chop dinner cousins camp

family dinner

 

Grammy’s house had a back porch that wrapped around two sides and the back corner of the house with a portion enclosed for a laundry room and storage area.  The enclosed area was just off the kitchen, and always smelled like fresh produce.  I remember playing on her outside back porch with Lee and smelling the fresh, raw beans as our Grammy snapped and strung them.  Later the wonderful smell of the beans cooking permeated the downstairs.  We would come in for the family meal, then return to the yard where Lee and I ran around catching fireflies.  I remember how the grass felt as I ran barefoot through her yard, running back to the porch to show everyone the firefly I had just caught.  And now our children are growing up with their own special memories tied to the wonderful smell of fresh green beans simmering on the stove in summer.

 

We had a full day today that began with worship, followed by wave jumping in the boat and swimming off the dock.  As dinner cooked, the house was filled with the aroma of simmering green beans and the noise of bustling cousins horsing around.  When the meal was prepared and on the table, we sang the Doxology together before digging in.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

pork chop plate cousins camp

pork chops, green salad, sweet and white oven fries, and slow cooked green beans

Tonight’s menu included grilled pork chops and those fresh green beans from Randle Farms, homemade oven fries, and a fresh salad (the lettuce was from Malco’s, a Tennessee farm produce stand) with homemade vinaigrette (using fresh herbs from the backyard).  The chops were tender and savory, full of flavor.  As my 8 year old daughter hungrily ate all the crispy fat from the edge of her chop, we remembered the Mother Goose rhyme about Jack Sprat:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat

His wife could eat no lean;

And so betwixt the two of them

They licked the platter clean.

 We talked about how modern illustrations of that rhyme show Jack Sprat as skinny and his wife as plump, when the reality should be the opposite because we know that it’s too much lean protein that adds weight, not fat.  Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  Interestingly, the name “Jack Sprat” may have been used to describe people of smaller stature several hundred years ago; not far off base since robust health is tied to the important fat-soluble vitamins that aren’t well metabolized when you eat only lean.

storm cousins camp

storm rolling in over Lake Martin 

Just as dinner was winding down, the weather radio alerted us to a severe thunderstorm headed our way.  Everyone jumped up to check their weather apps, grab the swimsuits drying on the deck, and make sure everything on the dock was tied down tight.  Then we stood on the porch and watched the sky turn from the beginnings of a beautiful sunset to dark, angry clouds pulsating with lightning.  Once the wind picked up and the lightning intensified, we came inside for dessert: homemade ice cream, Nourishing Traditions-style.  While we ate we planned out our activities for the week and had fun taking silly panorama pictures with our phones.  The evening wound down with a game of Clue (the very one that Lee and I played when we were girls) while Lee and I worked on Well Fed Family stuff.

clue cousins camp

Professor Plum in the conservatory with the rope?

 

Fresh green beans with sliced onion, salt and pepper, and a dollop of bacon grease – set for a slow, lengthy simmer.  There’s a lot tied in to a pot of beans. It’s real food for a real family that creates real memories for all generations.

 

For we are the aroma of Christ to God

among those who are being saved

 and among those who are perishing.

2 Corinthians 2:15

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Sacred Fat

This blog post is a product of a lot of studying and thinking for a long period of time. Amy and I have talked extensively about it, she’s texted, emailed and phoned me back with random thoughts, Bible verses and other ideas as they’ve occurred. I’d like to write something more detailed eventually, but I think it’s important to write something now.

caravaggio sacrifice of Isaac

Caravaggio Sacrifice of Isaac

Ok, it started with the word Sacrifice.  Defined as the act of offering to God something precious; or the item itself that is being offered; it is also the surrender of something for the sake of something else – something given up or lost.  So something is only a sacrifice when it is meaningful, when there is hardship involved, and when we do it for a greater purpose.  It is important to get that definition of sacrifice in your head, let it sink in.  It’s not really a sacrifice unless what is being given up is something precious.

It is this misunderstanding of sacrifice that I did not fully comprehend and therefore I was able to have this disconnected view of scripture vs. what I personally was doing and what I believed.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s I remember the legendary Time Magazine cover with the eggs-and-bacon frowning face, I memorized the food pyramid with the “fats and oils sparingly” near the top. I bought things because they were fat-free, I tried to drink skim milk (and decided that no milk was better than skim milk – gag!).

Not fully getting the depth of what a sacrifice actually is made it so hard for me when I would read from Exodus or Leviticus about all of the sacrifices required from the Israelites.  Like this one from Exodus 29 “take from this ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh…it is the ram for the ordination…burn it up…it must not be eaten, it is sacred.”  Or this one from Leviticus 3 “from the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys.”

I mean really, why is there such detail? And why specifically those parts? I remember reading those passages years ago and thinking God wanted all the gross stuff and he left all the normal bits for the Israelites, He’s such a benevolent Lord letting them keep the steaks and the chops while he took the fat and the liver.  But if that were true, it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice now would it?

butter and sliceIt took me a long time to get it, and it wasn’t until I read about Dr. Price’s villagers in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and about how many of those cultures had sacred foods, that these thoughts began to take shape.  I read about the Swiss villagers in the Loetschental Valley who filled a bowl with the deep orange-yellow butter made from the cream of the cows eating the fresh, green grass of spring. They would place a candle wick in this bowl of vitamin-rich butter, light the wick and place it in a sanctuary specially built just to honor God for giving them this precious food that gave life and health to their village. Native American Indians in northern British Columbia would hunt moose, and after killing one the very first thing they would do would be to open it up, and in the back of the moose just above the kidney would be two balls surrounded by fat. They would remove these and cut them up into as many pieces as there were people in their family and each person, child and adult, would eat his piece. These two fatty bits were the adrenal glands of the moose which we now know are the richest source of vitamin C in all animal or plant tissues.  Natives living on islands near the Great Barrier Reef would purposefully attract sharks and then dive in after them armed with pointed sticks, to slip coconut fiber ropes over the sharks’ heads and pull them to shore because sharks livers were a vital part of the foods they needed to stay healthy.

Learning about all of these people all around the world who put forth so much effort just to have certain foods I began to understand something. All of these highly-valued foods were similar to the very items called for in the sacrifices of the Israelites that I was having such a hard time understanding.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells of a breed of sheep raised during Bible times in the Middle East bred to have a particularly luscious and fatty tail. This tail and its rich fat were forbidden to be eaten if the animal was part of a sacrifice offered to God. Also forbidden to be eaten was the fat from around the stomach, entrails and kidneys – all of the richest parts from which we would use nowadays to make high quality tallow. Unger’s goes on to explain that the fat was the richest part of the animal and stood for healthfulness and vigor.

In my past readings of scriptures about sacrificial laws I was approaching it with a modern worldview brainwashed by the government agencies dictating diet advice that condemned fat as bad, said organ meats were dangerous, and told us to eat lean meats instead.  I should have trusted God instead of buying those lies. Isaiah 55 says “Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare….For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Because of Dr. Price’s writings, and because of the work of Sally Fallon Morell in Nourishing Traditions, I understand that organ meats are superfoods full of vitamins crucial to health; I know that the fats from grazing free-range animals are rich in vitamins that work as activators for the minerals and other nutrients we eat. I’ve learned these fat-soluble activators are essential to maintaining fertility, growth and health in all humans. And now I understand that God was truly asking for a sacrifice, something that would have been a real hardship to nomadic people whose very life depended on the animals they herded. God commanded them to give to Him the most valuable parts of the very best animals they owned.  The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is filled with expressions using fat to represent something wonderful – “the fat of the earth”, “the fat of the wheat, of the oil, and the wine,” even “the fat of the mighty”.

burnt-offeringNot only were the Israelites called to sacrifice these choicest of parts, but then they would burn the fat on the altar with fire.  Just imagine the aromas that would release – the Bible calls it a “sweet savor unto the Lord”, but anyone who has smelled grilling hamburgers, steaks, or even better, pit barbecue, can attest to the mouthwatering scents that fill the air around those events.  The sacrifices of precious fat and organ meats given over to God on the fire of the altar were the way man could show his complete surrender to God, to show his heart was pure and ready to be obedient. And when a different animal was slaughtered destined to become food rather than sacrificed, the fat, organ meats and choicest bits would be even more appreciated knowing that they were good enough to be given to the Lord.

There’s so much more to say, more directions to go with these thoughts – how did we end up on the road to thinking fat was bad? Why did we think we could improve on fat by making trans fats, fake fats and industrial fats? When we are poor stewards of God’s creatures feeding them foods they were not created to eat, making them live in ways they were not meant to live why are we shocked to learn their fat (and meat) no longer provides what we need?  But I need to stop now. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts, to find out if this has sparked an “aha!” moment for you, too, like it did for me. Please leave a comment by clicking on the “leave a reply” link next to this article!

I’m linking this up with the Easter Sunday Social.

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

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