Friday, May 29, 2009

Enough Greens?

If you know anything about diet, then you know that getting your greens is a vital part of optimal health. But how much is enough? Well one thing I would not do is trust the food pyramid or the FDA. This is because it is impossible to over due your vegetable intake, I mean you can get close but your body digests raw and lightly cooked greens really fast. This means you will use it as energy faster than you would with any other food out there. Crazy huh?

If you are eating a good amount of greens then you are likely feeling some great effects from this part of your diet. Energy, better sleep, and a naturally detoxifying effect that can only be summed up as green stole. By a "good amount" I mean greens with every meal and maybe even a green supplement like perfect food powder of capsules. These are things that I use to help fill in the gap of green.

If you are not getting enough greens in your diet your body will be generally sluggish do to the increased digest time of other foods. These other foods may be rich in other great vitamins as well as proteins but they need to be balanced with a fair amount of greens. Besides that I think it is possible to over due protein and definitely carbs in the form or pastas and bread. Keep it balanced with a large amount of greens and eat your way thin through a constant detox process.

Add to this by eliminating bad oils like vegetable oil, soy oil, refined white flour and sugar, as well as dairy then add water and you are on your way to the optimal health. Not to mention you will be feeling pretty great because you are eating for life, not living to eat. Reinvent your tastes by refining what your body craves by ingesting things that your body needs!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recipe for Organic Coconut Macaroons


1 (14 ounce) package Organic Unsweetened Coconut
2/3 cup organic honey
3 tablespoons organic spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour baking sheets; set aside. Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Stir in egg whites until well blended.
2. Drop coconut mixture into 36 mounds, 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets, using about 1 tablespoonful of the coconut mixture for each mound.
3. Bake 20 min. or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vitamin Water Is NOT Healthy!

I really get tired of seeing these so called health foods displayed on TV or on marketing ads in gyms or health clubs. They are all lies!
Flip over your bottle and read the labels, you will find things like crystalline fructose, erythritol, just to name a few. These products contain aresenic also found in cigarettes, heavy metals that can cause your body to store nutrients otherwise digested. There are to many reasons to not drink this elixir, and the reasons to drink are all fluff. If you truly have a health food product you shouldn't have to spend mega millions to promote it, it will promote itself.

Coke owns the vitamin water company and is in the middle of a law suit for calling the beverage a health food. Which I think is due them, maybe now we can get other companies to make their products better or remove them all together.

Vitamin water is not much different than drinking soda, gatorade or other sports drinks, they are full of sugars in many different forms. Not to mention all of the chemicals for preservation, then there are the added colors and flavors.

Nothing will replace water for helping your body stay hydrated and to naturally break down foods and chemicals in the body. And if you are looking for electrolytes try coconut water, it has 15 times the electrolyte content than any sports drink on the market.

Now go read your labels!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cool Website

I was surfing around doing some research mush like I do every other day I am not in the gym. I came across a cool site called

They are trying to help people eat well every where, you just go there and type in where you want to go or where you live and they hook you up with references, its a great idea!

Go check it out! NAd have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Remember we are having 2 beyond boot camp classes tomorrow let me know if you are interested.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Safe Baby Food?

Some baby foods contain as much sugar and saturated fats as chocolate cookies or cheeseburgers.

A survey of more than 100 foods for babies and toddlers found examples that were 29 percent sugar, and others that contained trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease.

The Children's Food Campaign, part of food and farming campaign group Sustain, examined the nutritional content of 107 baby and toddler foods. Only half the products were low in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

So, what about organic baby food -- is it your safest choice?

Maybe not...

Katharine Wroth of Grist was curious about her organic baby food options, so she took a look at several types of baby food.

She found that, among other results, Earth’s Best had an extensive selection, but also had high sodium levels. Gerber Organic was easy to find, but came in plastic containers. Organic Baby was from a good company, but was sometimes hard to find.

Plum Organics had BPA-free packaging, but a high price and limited flavor options. Happy Baby had the same advantages and the same problems. Little Lettice comes from a company that uses local ingredients and doesn’t ship outside the region, but that means it is only available in Massachusetts.

In the final analysis, the frozen baby foods tasted better than the jarred ones, but they would be prohibitively expensive if they were all you bought. However, they also noted that there is one option that is affordable, tasty, and healthy: making your own.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free Range? Grass-Fed? Pastured? What Are These?

Pastured Poultry:

Thousands of small farms in the US and worldwide produce what is called "pastured poultry". To these farmers, pastured poultry means chickens and other poultry raised right on top of living grasses. This is accomplished by keeping the birds in low, wide, bottomless cages called "chicken tractors" that are moved to a new spot of fresh pasture once or more often each day.

This enables the birds to eat all the varied, living grasses, other plants, insects, etc., that they can find. Since chickens also need grain, they cannot be totally grass-fed, according to several experts. In the chicken tractors are grain feeders, and watering devices. Chickens will eat up to 30% of their calories in grass (and that's a LOT of grass), if allowed access to unlimited supplies. Pasturing the poultry assures that they have these supplies of living grass at all times.

A few purists want to reserve the term "grass-fed" for animals raised exclusively, 100%, on grass and nothing else. Now, ruminants, such as cows and sheep, can be raised totally on grass, but by all accounts, poultry cannot. (Nevertheless, certain of these purists claim they are raising their private poultry stock on 100% grass.) This confusion of terms has given rise to a false rumor among city meat handlers and restauranteurs that there is no such thing as "grass-fed poultry" because chickens cannot eat grass!!

A few purists say that "pastured poultry" cannot be raised in cages, that pastured poultry means poultry that is free to roam over pasture without physical restrictions. These folks include the addition of grain-based feeds for their "pastured" birds.

But in general usage around the world, "pastured poultry" means chickens raised in chicken tractors that are moved over fresh grass very often, with grain feeders available.


The term grass-fed poultry is a larger group, of which the pastured birds are a sub-set. Grass-fed poultry, among those who are discussing the topic, means birds that are allowed to forage on as much living grasses as they desire, whether in chicken tractors, small coops surrounded by pasture, or the exclusive French "Red Label" birds raised on glamorous par-courses. As long as they get all the grass they want, they qualify to be called "grass-fed." (Experts, please comment below ~ thank you!)

The public, especially in cities but also in the country to a large extent, have no idea how badly the term "free-range" is abused. It is virtually meaningless as a marketing term. One thing must be understood about chickens: they will not walk very far out of their line of sight; they feed on what they see close to them. They won't go around a see-through fence for water. But commercial poultry farmers, I'm told by many sources, have put little doors at the ends of their huge chicken barns, doors that open onto a bare dirt lot, and by doing so, are able to call their product "free-range," whether the chickens ever go outside or not.
Free Range:

"Free range," as used commercially today, simply indicates chickens that are not in cages and do not have a physical barrier between them and the outside of their building. They do not get any living grass. In fact, one prominent health-food-store poultry producer who has slid the advertising words "forage on native grasses" into their advertising, admits to me on the phone that those birds have four square feet of dirt space per bird (2 feet inside, and 2 feet outside), no open range or living grass of any kind. The company cannot find anyone on their premises who can explain to me what "forage on native grasses" means to them. As of this writing, I have not found one company, health-food-store, restaurant or website that sells grass-fed poultry at anything like a fair price (one company will ship, but it comes to $18 per chicken, minimum four birds).

The sad part is, pastured poultry farmers have to allow their birds to be marketed under the term "free range," because the public heads for that term like iron to a magnet. No other marketing term works as well to sell supposedly healthful birds. The fact is, out in the country, and in smaller cities, with some careful searching, people can undoubtedly find some grass-fed poultry among the birds called "free-range." Almost always, it will be found at local farmers' markets, where the small farmer is allowed to sell a certain minimum number of birds a year.

The term "pastured poultry" makes people think of pasteurization; it's hard to say, confusing, and unsexy. It won't sell a flea. "Grass-fed" is just now catching on, but again, the public is still uninformed of its benefits, in fact of the necessity of switching to this method of feeding poultry. It is an unknown term, requires education, is better than "pastured," but it still isn't as sale-worthy as "free range." "Free range" conjures up a picture of chickens running around a healthy, bustling farmhouse, eating grass and other things to their hearts' content. It is the term of choice.
IMHO, we need to get solid governmental regulation to define the characteristics of the term "free range" just as we did with "organic."

It should include the fact that the animal has close and immediate access to as much living pasture or range grass as it desires, each day for as long as it desires to forage. In addition, the animal is kept on a real range, that is, a tract of land, covered with natural pastureland or grassland vegetation, being of a size and to the extent that the number of animals kept on that land will not deplete the forage vegetation on that land.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Makers Diet

I am nearly there! The diet is almost through, it has been a renewing process but I am ready for some raw milk. The diet has helped me a great deal by dropping 15 pounds now and getting better results with my work outs. My sleep has been amazing and I have really shinny hair. One other thing is the fact that bowel movements are far less time consuming and cleaner, I know this is something that you maybe don't want to know but your stole will tell you how healthy you are. So go well and go often!

I say the diet is almost over because I consume food at the Makers Diet phase 3 level or a regular basis. So my time is coming to close after my last fast day on sunday. Fasting has been a process that I have not be all that excited about but it was not bad at all and actually got a lot better as time went on. It started out being pretty rough but I am doing well with the fast now.

I hope through my experiment that you want to join me in practicing the makers diet. You will be happy you did and if you do then you will notice some considerable changes. Oh yeah! Its free!! Many diet programs out there are very expensive and teach you nothing but this diet is a new way of life. The diet has been very informative and I have learned a ton about food and even more about my body. It seems as though I learn something new every time I try the diet, its really quite interesting. If you have any questions click on contact and I will help you any way I can. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Super Healthy Milk

By Jo Robinson

Most cartons of milk in the supermarket show a picture of cows contentedly grazing on grass. Unfortunately, 85 to 95 percent of the cows in the United States are now being raised in confinement, not on pasture. The only grass they eat comes in the form of hay, and the ground that they stand on is a blend of dirt and manure.

The reason for confining our cows in feedlots and feeding them grain rather than grass is that they produce more milk—especially when injected with bi-weekly hormones. Today's grainfed cows produce three times as much milk as the old family cow of days gone by.

With the current emphasis on quantity, the quality of our milk has suffered. One of the biggest losses has been in its CLA content. CLA or "conjugated linoleic acid" is a type of fat that may prove to be one of our most potent cancer fighters. Milk from a pastured cow can have five times as much CLA as a grainfed animal. To date, most of the proof of the health benefits of CLA has come from test tube or animal studies. But a few recent human studies have produced encouraging results. For example, French researchers compared CLA levels in the breast tissues of 360 women. The women with the most CLA in their tissue (and thus the most CLA in their diets) had a 74 percent lower risk of breast cancer than the women with the least CLA.(Bougnoux et al, Inform, 10:S43, 1999.) If an American woman were to switch from grainfed to grassfed dairy products, she would have levels of CLA similar to those with the lowest risk of cancer. Got CLA milk?

Milk from pastured cows also contains an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids or EFAs. There are two families of EFAs—omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that if your diet contains roughly equal amounts of these two fats, you will have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and various other mental disorders.[1]

Take a few moments to study the chart below showing EFA levels in milk from cows fed varying amounts of grass and grain.[2] The green bars represent omega-3 fatty acids in the milk, and the yellow bars represent omega-6 fatty acids. As you can see, when a cow is raised on pasture (represented by the two bars on the far left), her milk has an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Take away one third of the grass and replace it with grain or other supplements (represented by the two bars in the middle) and the omega-3 fatty acid content of the milk goes down while the omega-6 fatty acid content goes up, upsetting an essential balance. Replace two-thirds of the pasture with a grain-based diet (illustrated by the two bars on the far right) and the milk will have a very top-heavy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, a ratio that has been linked with an increased risk of a wide vatiety of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, depression, and cancer. Much of the milk you buy in the supermarket has an even more lopsided ratio than the final set of measuerments because they get no pasture whatsoever.

Milk from pastured cows offers additional health benefits. (I'm beginning to sound like a TV infomercial: "But wait! There's more!") Besides giving you five times more CLA and an ideal balance of EFAs, grassfed milk is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E. This vitamin bonus comes, in part, from the fact that fresh pasture has more of these nutrients than grain or hay. (When grass is dried and turned into hay, it loses a significant amount of its vitamin content.) These extra helpings of vitamins are then transferred to the cow's milk.

There's another factor involved as well. A grazing cow produces less milk than a cow fed a grain-based diet. This turns out to be a bane for the farmer but a blessing for the consumer. The less milk a cow produces, the more vitamins in her milk.[3] This is because a cow has a set amount of vitamins to transfer to her milk, and if she's bred, fed, and injected to be a Super Producer, her milk has fewer vitamins per glass. It's a watered down version of the real thing.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part of all. Dairy products from grassfed cows taste delicious, and they have a bright yellow color that is visible proof of their bonus supply of carotenes. Serve cheese or butter from a grass-based dairy, and everyone will notice the difference. Also, your cookies and cakes will have that rich buttery color that hasn't been seen since Grandma's day. (You do bake, don't you?)

So where can you find milk from pastured cows? All of the dairies listed on keep their cows outdoors on grass whenever possible. Some farmers supplement the cows with small amounts of grain. If so, their listing will detail the type and amount. To find a local producer, go to our list of grass-fed suppliers (link) and click on your state. We also have a special section devoted to farmers who feed their cows 100 percent forage-based diets.

Can you find grass-fed milk in the supermarkets? Unfortunately, an organic label is no guarantee that the cows are raised outdoors on grass. If the label does not mention pasture-feeding, you can assume that the cows were raised in confinement and fed a high-grain diet supplemented with hay. Two large organic brands make a point of contracting with grass-based dairy farmers—Organic Valley, a national brand, and Natural by Nature, which is sold in select stores around. (Go to their website to find a local distributor.

Jo Robinson is a New York Times bestselling writer. She is the author or coauthor of 11 nationally published books including Pasture Perfect, which is a comprehensive overview of the benefits of choosing products from pasture-raised animals, and The Omega Diet (with Dr. Artemis Simopoulos) that describes an omega-3 enriched Mediterranean diet that may be the healthiest eating program of all. To order her books or learn more about grassfed products, visit

[1] For more information about essential fatty acid balance, read The Omega Diet, a book I co-authored with internationally acclaimed fatty acid expert, Dr. Artemis Simopoulos. The Omega Diet has 24 pages of pertinent scientific references.

[2] The data comes from: Dhiman, T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). "Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets." J Dairy Sci 82(10): 2146-56.

[3] Jensen, S. K., A. K. Johannsen, et al. (1999). "Quantitative secretion and maximal secretion capacity of retinol, beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol into cows' milk." J Dairy Res 66(4): 511-22.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Effects Of Detoxing

I wanted to follow up the blog from Monday and say that there are some effects from detoxing that you should be aware of. Anytime you are doing a cleanse or a detox diet you should know that your body will push out toxins that are built up from years of storage. This happens because your body does not recognize certain things to be an immediate nutrition source or not a nutrition source at all. Things like:
-Pollutants from water and air
-Heavy metals
-Prescription or over the counter drugs
-Toxins absorbed through the skin from moisturizers and soaps

That's just to list a few, but no matter what, most of these toxins will be pushed out during a cleanse. Please not that if you have years of toxins built up then you will need to detox or cleanse in more ways than one and probably periodically for the rest of your life. That is why its a good idea to maintain the 3rd phase of the Makers Diet. It will keep you eating cleaner more easily digestible foods.

Some things to look out for are:
-Built up mucus pushed out through your nose or maybe a cough
-Acne, shouldn't last long and your skin will be healthier by the end of the 40 days
-Extra tired, especially the night after a full fast
-Quicker or slower moving stole depending on your current movements, and they will very
-Excessive sweating, mainly on fast days if you are working out
-You will have a lot more energy
-Your muscles will recover faster

There are many of other reasons and they will vary from person to person. One thing is for sure, you will feel the effects and likely see them too. Whether in weight loss or muscle definition I have found this to be the answer for most body types out there including my own.

Happy cleansing!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Makers Diet

Well I am here at the end of the second week of phase 1 and will be starting phase 2 on Wed. Which has me very excited, for the simple fact that I can have sweet potatoes and bananas.

So far I have lost 12 pounds! This is amazing considering I haven't changed my frequency of eating at all. I have been doing a fast day which is pretty difficult to do by yourself, grab a partner to do this with you as it will make it easier. I have come to love goat cheeses and really like goat milk. But the most success I have is the fact that not only do I recover from workouts faster but my skin looks great and my muscles are becoming more defined.

An example of a one day would be this:
3 grass fed/ free range eggs
2 pieces of Applegate farms turkey bacon
Spinach and avocado salad with grilled chicken
Berries (raspberries, strawberries and blue berries)
Berries in goats milk yogurt
Turkey burgers on the grill in a lettuce wrap with avocado tomato and mustard
and berries

In the morning I have a berry smoothy with eggs goatein and goats milk kefir. I also add in some perfect meal and primal defense.

This is just an example of what you can do on the fist phase of the makers diet I hope you find this informative and are looking to experience this lifestyle for yourself.
You will never be the same again!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Probiotics may help women regain their figures after pregnancy

By Stephen Daniells, 07-May-2009

Related topics: Probiotics, Research, Probiotics and prebiotics, Maternal & infant health, Weight management

Probiotic supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy may help women lose weight after the infant’s birth, say new findings presented today at the European Congress on Obesity.
Finnish researchers report that supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were associated with less central obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more or a waist circumference over 80 centimetres.

“The results of our study, the first to demonstrate the impact of probiotics-supplemented dietary counselling on adiposity, were encouraging,” said researcher Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku in Finland. “The women who got the probiotics fared best. One year after childbirth, they had the lowest levels of central obesity as well as the lowest body fat percentage.”

“Central obesity, where overall obesity is combined with a particularly fat belly, is considered especially unhealthy,” added Laitinen. “We found it in 25 per cent of the women who had received the probiotics along with dietary counselling, compared with 43 per cent in the women who received diet advice alone.”

According the FAO/WHO, probiotics are defined as "live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host".

The researchers used Lactobacillus LGG (provided by Valio) and Bifidobacterium lactis (provided by Chr Hansen). Neither company provided funds for the study, with financial support coming from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Academy of Finland and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, a Finnish medical research charity.

Study details

Laitinen told attendees that 256 women were randomly divided into three groups during the first trimester of pregnancy. Two of the groups received dietary counselling consistent with current recommendations. One of those groups also received the daily probiotic capsules, while the other group received dummy capsules. The third group received placebo capsules and no dietary counselling. Supplementation continued until the women stopped exclusive breastfeeding, up to 6 months.

At the end of the study, central obesity was recorded in 18 per cent fewer women in the probiotic group than in women who received placebo plus dietary counselling, and 15 per cent fewer women in the control group.

Average body fat percentage was 28 per cent in the probiotic group, compared to 29 and 30 per cent in the diet advice only group and the control group, respectively.

Laitinen told that future research will follow the women and their babies to see whether giving probiotics during pregnancy has any influence on health outcomes in the children.

“Based on previous experiments, we hypothesise that the maternal diet may influence both glucose metabolism and weight in the children,” she said.

Gut health and body weight

A breakthrough paper published in Nature in December 2006 reported that microbial populations in the gut are different between obese and lean people, and that when the obese people lost weight their microflora reverted back to that observed in a lean person, suggesting that obesity may have a microbial component.

At a scientific symposium organised by the Beneo Group last year, Dr. Kieran Touhy from the University of Reading noted that obese animals have significantly lower bifidobacteria levels than their lean counterparts, which suggests potential for prebiotic fibres since the growth of these bacteria is selectively promoted by inulin and fructooligosaccharides.

Dr. Nathalie Delzenne from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and Dr. Robert Welch from the University of Ulster presented results from animal and human studies, respectively, which indicated the potential of prebiotic supplementation to regulated food intake.

A study involving scientists from Nestle, the Catholic University of Louvain, and the Institute of Molecular Medicine Rangueil in Toulouse, reported last year that direct modulation of the gut microflora using could directly affect metabolism, as well as influencing the maintenance of whole body glucose equilibrium, independent of food intake or obesity (FASEB Journal, doi:10.1096/fj.07-102723).

“The advantage of studying pregnant women to investigate the potential link between probiotics and obesity is that it allows us to see the effects not only in the women, but also in their children,” said Laitinen. “Particularly during pregnancy, the impacts of obesity can be immense, with the effects seen both in the mother and the child.

“Bacteria are passed from mother to child through the birth canal, as well as through breast milk and research indicates that early nutrition may influence the risk of obesity later in life. There is growing evidence that this approach might open a new angle on the fight against obesity, either through prevention or treatment.”

Source: European Congress on Obesity
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Kirsi Laitinen et al.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yes, You Can Become Addicted to Sugar

Although the term "sugar addiction" often appears in magazines and on television, scientists had not demonstrated that such a thing as sugar dependency really exist. Researchers studied rats that were induced to binge on sugar and found that they exhibited telltale signs of withdrawal, including "the shakes" and changes in brain chemistry, when the effects of the sweets were blocked. These signs are similar to those produced by drug withdrawal.

Sugar triggers production of the brain's natural opioids. That is a key to the addiction process. The brain is getting addicted to its own opioids as it would to morphine or heroin. Drugs give a bigger effect, but it is essentially the same process.

The greatest value of the research is that it provides an animal model of sugar dependency, allowing scientists to probe more deeply the connections between food cravings and brain physiology.

In their experiments, the researchers started rats on a pattern of bingeing by withholding food for 12 hours when the rats were sleeping and through breakfast time, then giving them nutritionally balanced food plus sugar water. The animals gradually increased their daily sugar intake until it doubled, consuming most of it in the first hour it was available.

When the researchers suddenly removed the sugar portion of the rats' diet, the animals exhibited teeth chattering, a common sign of withdrawal. For some animals, the researchers removed the sugar and also administered a dose of a drug that blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. In addition to teeth chattering, those animals showed anxiety and a reversal in the usual balance of neurochemicals in the brain's motivation system.

Animals that binged on normal food with no sugar and received the opioid blocker did not show these withdrawal signs. Animals that were given a steady diet of food and sugar water without binging also did not show signs of withdrawal.

Obesity Research June 2002;10(6):478-88

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Brand Name Bandwagon

By Jo Robinson

By the year 2005, industry experts predict that half of all the fresh meat products in the supermarket will carry a brand name. No more anonymous, shrink-wrapped beef, lamb, and pork. The reason for the branding is simple: merely adding a name to a package of steaks can increase sales by thirty percent.

Why do brand names carry such clout? Part of the answer is "word association." The right brand name can trick customers into believing that meat that comes straight from the feedlot is the most wholesome, nutritious product they can buy. Here's how it works. Imagine that you're the owner of a large herd of Angus cattle in Iowa, and you're wondering if jumping onto the branded meat bandwagon will boost your sales. To find out, you hire a team of marketing consultants. The consultants inform you that adding a brand name can be very effective as long as you follow their advice.

First, they say, your brand name should include the name of a specific farm or person. If you call your meat "Marvin's Beef," for example, customers are going to assume there's a Marvin somewhere who cares about his reputation, and, therefore, his meat. Without having to make any overt claims, you've created the illusion of quality. (Of course, the fact that the name "Marvin" was selected by your consultants remains your little secret.)

You will boost sales even more, you are told, if you add "Iowa" to your label. Most people have a positive association with their own state. For example, when I was living in Oregon, I made the point of buying "Oregon fresh chicken," assuming that the local chickens were raised more wholesomely than those in Arkansas. Then I toured a confinement poultry operation near Corvallis, Oregon and learned the grim truth.

Another way to enhance your brand name, you are advised, is to add a bucolic term or two. Most consumers are so estranged from the land that they yearn for anything that suggests country living. How about "Farmer Marvin's Iowa Beef?" you ask. They tell you this is an excellent choice of words because "Farmer Marvin" evokes the past as well as the countryside. ("Old McMarvin had a farm.") You give your graphic artists the go-ahead to design a logo with a red barn and haystack to reinforce the nostalgia.

Great. With just four carefully chosen words, you've managed to imbue your feedlot meat with integrity, local pride, wholesome country living, and the nostalgic past. But just when you're ready to trademark your name, you start reading newspaper and magazine articles that sing the praises of something called "grass-fed beef." You begin to worry that this quaint concept—keeping animals home on the range—might challenge the superiority of grain-fed beef.

Not to worry, says your marketing team. You can capitalize on the allure simply by adding words like "meadows," "prairie" or "pasture" to your label. These words conjure up lush fields of grass without saying that your animals actually graze on the stuff. The name search is over. You are now the proud owner of "Farmer Marvin's Meadow-Fresh Iowa Beef." Image is all.


As you might imagine, this "greening" of feedlot beef is making life more difficult for grassfarmers who raise their cattle on pasture from birth to market. The very qualities these ranchers embody—name accountability; local production; and a more natural, wholesome, and environmentally friendly product—are being co-opted by large, conventional beef producers. What's more, the big guys have far more money to spend on image development and marketing. How are you going to tell if cattle from the"Sweet Pastures Beef Company" eat one lick of grass?

My advice is to call the meat producer's customer service number and say that you want to come for a visit. Say that you want to see with your own eyes: 1) where the animals are raised, 2) what they are fed, and 3) how they are being treated. Settle for nothing less. The producers of Farmer Marvin's Meadow-Fresh Iowa Beef will not allow you to tour their dusty, odiferous feedlot. Marketing money can create the illusion, but not the reality.

Jo Robinson is a New York Times bestselling writer. She is the author or coauthor of 11 nationally published books including Pasture Perfect, which is a comprehensive overview of the benefits of choosing products from pasture-raised animals, and The Omega Diet (with Dr. Artemis Simopoulos) that describes an omega-3 enriched Mediterranean diet that may be the healthiest eating program of all. To order her books or learn more about grassfed products, visit

Monday, May 4, 2009

Makers Diet

I am conducting some what of an experiment with my body, as you may well know I have intentionally put on weight in the past 6 months. I was previously under weight at 145 pounds, at 6' that is considerably under weight so I decided to try and gain weight and muscle as healthy as I could. This meant eating every six hours and working out more frequently, which I did and made it to my desired weight of 201.5 pounds in a little less than 6 months. That may seem like a lot, and to most it is, but my intension was not to stay here. I reached this weight quickly for a couple of reasons, one was the rigorous weight training I was doing and two being I was also training for a half marathon (13.1 miles). So there was a lot of carbs involved but not the carbs you expect.

I ate very well using sprouted breads and cereal not to mention pasta as well as a ton of veggies both fresh and in the form of Perfect Food by Garden Of Life. Most of the weight went to my legs and lower torso expanding my jean size form 32 to 34. This happened because I was using these muscles the most, with running. My weight training regiment was good but not what it could be do to the restrictions of the marathon training schedule. There were some gains in the upper body but not a lot, this is where the experiment comes in.

I did all of this with the intension of finishing the marathon with really no intension of running very much more do to the trauma on my knees and shins. Your body is not designed to run on hard surfaces over a long period of time, this is killer on your body and will cause a lot of injuries. Knee replacement are very common with runners and athletes its really quite ridiculous, people plan on it and it should never be the case. I will save this for another blog at another time.
My plan was to finish the race and start the Makers Diet to see what I can do about getting cut, mass and detoxing my body all while finding my "perfect weight."

Your "perfect weight' is a weight based on your frame and height, and not so much a scale decided by a board of M.D.'s somewhere. I am on this quest if you will, right now I have started the "diet" and this is the end of the first week. I am a believer in the diet because I believe in the Word Of God, this diet uses the very principles of the levitical law. I have been living the 3 phase for about 5 years now without ever really committing to the full diet. This is how I gained the weight by eating more than one daily portion of whatever I wanted and doing it with the strictness of the 3rd phase.

Now I am taking my body on the journey of the Makers Diet for health and cleansing and watching it transform in the process.I have already lost about 7 pounds and moving towards 10 by the end of the week. Although weight loss is good I am not really looking to get much lower than the high 180's. Its getting rid of the aches and pains, renewing my digestive system, and my skin as well as working on muscle tone these are my goals and I will keep you posted on my progress. Look for another post on this next monday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cheap Meat: An Accident Waiting To Happen

Jo Robinson is the originator and primary researcher of, a science-based website that details the benefits of raising animals on pasture. She is also the author of Pasture Perfect, the Far-Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products from Grass-fed Animals.

The latest fiasco in the U.S. livestock industry is that thousands of hogs and chickens have been raised on feed contaminated with melamine, the same chemical that has sickened thousands of cats and dogs. According to the U.S.D.A., some meat from those hogs and chickens has already entered our food supply.

How did this happen? The story begins in China. Melamine is an inexpensive by-product of the coal industry. In a deceptive practice, some Chinese producers have been adding melamine to rice, wheat, and soy meal to make the products appear to contain more protein. (Melamine is not a protein and has no food value, but it is rich in nitrogen and mimics protein on standardized laboratory tests.) Melamine costs less than true sources of protein, so the manufacturer makes more money.

The story continues in the United States. In order to lower the cost of pet food production, U.S. companies have been importing cheap protein meal from China. The pet food manufacturers had no way of knowing that some of these products were spiked with melamine. The exact number of dead and sickened pets is unknown.

But how did melamine get fed to our pigs and chickens? A common cost-cutting practice in the livestock industry is to supplement animal feed with floor sweepings and other leftovers from pet food manufacturing plants. In recent months, however, some of the sweepings happened to be laced with melamine. In this serpentine fashion, a cost-cutting adulterant that was added to protein meal in China found its way into U.S. pet food, then U.S. livestock feed, and then the food on our dinner tables.

The F.D.A. and the U.S.D.A. do not foresee any health consequences from eating melamine-spiced pork and poultry. This may prove to be true. The family pets that died ate the melamine itself; we are eating chickens and pigs that ate the melamine, diluting its concentration.

We may have dodged the bullet this time, but as long as we continue to raise our livestock on a least-cost basis, our health is at risk. For example, many cost-cutting practices lower the nutritional value of our meat. Research shows that the nearly universal practice of fattening cattle on straw and grain instead of fresh pasture gives us beef that is higher in total fat and lower in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. The practice causes no immediate harm, but our health may suffer over the long term.

Some cost-cutting strategies are deadly. In the 1980s and 90s, feedlot managers tried to save money by feeding cattle scraps back to cattle. The tragic result was mad cow disease. Eating meat contaminated with trace amounts of melamine may cause little or no harm. Eating just one serving of beef from a mad cow can kill you.

Adding more governmental oversight is a stop-gap solution. We need a sea change in the way we raise our livestock. We need to raise the animals on their native diets or on quality ingredients that match their original diets as closely as possible. When we feed wholesome feed to our animals, we can serve wholesome food to our families. We are what our animals eat.