Meat Hierarchy

Sometimes when I post about things, I forget that I need to lay a foundation for those that are new/newer to real food, so today, let’s talk about meat.

🔴Conventional meat: is the cheapest meat available because it is produced on a large scale (think CAFO – confined animal feeding operation), usually with hormones, antibiotics, grain-fed, and honestly, in inhumane conditions.

🟠 Hormone and antibiotic free is better in that they don’t use hormones or antibiotics. But animals are still in CAFOs, still eating a grain-based diet, still unable to move about, still inhumane.

🟡Organic means that there is no GMOs, no hormones, no antibiotics, and that the feed is organic, although still grain based. Animals are typically still confined and usually kept indoors.

🟢 Grass-fed (beef) and pasture-raised (pork and chicken) means the animals were raised on pastures the way they were intended to live. In the case of cows, they graze on grass only (if labeled grass-finished or 100% grass fed). In the case of pork and chicken, it means that they forage on pasture.

🔘Grass-fed and pasture-raised is the best quality meat for your health and the health of the planet. It’s also the most sustainable. It’s also the most humane. Animals are eating their biologically appropriate diet, are outdoors, and have access to fresh air and sunlight! This is what I opt for. With that being said, I recommend that my clients buy what they can afford, and work their way towards the top of the inverted pyramid.

🟤 Note that I left NATURAL off this list, that’s because it means 💩💩💩. It is not a regulated term and it literally is only a marketing tool.

Unless you live near a farm, it can be hard to find grass-fed and pasture-raised meats at grocery stores. My three favorite meat delivery options:

July 2014 Book of the Month – AntiCancer

July’s Clean Eating book of the the month: Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PHD. In the wake of my Breast Cancer diagnosis in 2014, I read as many books on cancer as I could get my hands on. I’m sure I’m not alone here. Anticancer was by far my favorite.  In this *five strawberry* book, Servan-SchreibScreen Shot 2016-06-24 at 5.28.40 PMer tells readers what they can do to help keep cancer at bay, keep it from coming back, or to surpass a not-so-optimistic prognosis.

Dr. Servan-Schreiber helps to bridge the gap between what the oncologists are telling patients and what they aren’t telling patients – like what cancer patients can do to help themselves. This is what people diagnosed with a disease want desperately to hear – give them some control and power when they feel like they have no control and no power over this situation. He is an MD and a PHD and a two-time brain cancer survivor– so this isn’t quackery here!

In Anticancer, Dr. Servan-Schreiber details his cancer story (or stories, I should say), studies about patients, and several main recommendations. Those recommendations are: 1) eat a diet that includes lots of plants, high-quality meats, low in sugar, low in refined carbs, and low in poor-quality fats, 2) supporting a healthy state of mind through meditation, 3) avoiding the fear hamster wheel by attending support groups, and lastly 4) getting enough exercise.
Servan-Schreiber tells readers that “[c]ancer lies dormant in all of us. Like all living organisms, our bodies are making defective cells all the time. That’s how tumors are born. But our bodies are also equipped with a number of mechanisms that detect and keep such cells in check.” This quote instills a bit a fear in me, knowing that cancer can be happening to all of us, all the time, BUT it also inspires hope because it empowers each of us to know that we have the power to make changes in our bodies and our futures.

A great read for anyone working to avoid cancer in their lifetime, anyone with cancer, cancer survivors, or caregivers. Anticancer gives readers the feeling of some control and power in battling this disease. Highly recommended for everyone!

In Season, in June

Well, this post is later than I had planned, but better late than never! Summer is in full swing here in Northern California and it has been quite warm. School is out, the days are long, sunny, and beautiful, and the bounty of produce options leaves me like that heart googly eyed emoji.

Now we have herbs like basil in season. And…….. Blueberries!!!!! I literally can’t get enough of them. Next up is corn. I know most people LOVE corn, and I while I do like it, I almost never eat or buy it. If I do, it absolutely must be organic. Once we went paleo, it was one of those things that I just didn’t feel the urge to splurge. I am also very excited that it is now raspberry  and

nectarine season. And that summer squash will be coming to a zoodler near you! Here is the Spiralizer that I use to turn my zucchini into “noodles”:  Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer, Strongest-Heaviest, Best Veggie Pasta Spaghetti Maker for Low Carb/Paleo/Gluten-Free Meals.

Happy June! Enjoy the bounty from the farmer’s market!! Or join a CSA!

Hugs & Health <3,


The 52 New Foods Challenge – Kumquats

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Kumquats

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making a kumquat jam or in a warm salad with green beans. Mmmmm! After my January 21 Day Sugar Detox, I bought some kumquats again and man were they tart! I think the jam may be the way to go!!

Food Facts:

  • IMG_0171Good source of vitamin C
  • Good source of fiber
  • The oval shaped variety, Nagami, is more tart, and the round variety, Marumi is more sweet
  • Eat citrus fruits shorty after buying or store them in your fridge, but do not store in a plastic bag – it retains the moisture and promotes mold growth
  • The white parts (albedo) of citrus fruits is the most nutritious – since kumquats are eaten whole- you consume a lot of the albedo.
  • Contains antioxidants called flavonoids
  • Organic citrus fruits have not been degreened

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Grapefruit

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Grapefruit

Grapefruits are not a new food for most of us, but Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for broiled grapefruit with a touch of honey which sounds pretty yummy. I’ve been wanting to try grilled or baked grapefruit because I think the caramelization of the sugars might make it more appealing to me. 

Food Facts:IMG_0170

  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, B5 (pantothenic acid), folic acid, thiamine, copper, selenium,  potassium, and magnesium
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains antioxidants called anthocyanins, liminoids, lycopene, and carotenoids
  • The only citrus indigenous to the “new world” or the Americas (first found in Barbados)
  • They are known for helping to lower blood cholesterol, help normalize hematocrit levels (important if you are anemic), and helping to protect against cancer, macular degeneration,  and cardiovascular disease.
  • Can also help the body get rid of excess estrogen, helping to prevent breast cancer
  • Like oranges and mandarins, they are often picked when green, shipped, and then artificially ripened with ethylene gas which causes them to ripen. This causes them to look ripe but they aren’t truly ripe  and have fewer bionutrients than tree ripened fruit.
  • Grapefruits harvested after December are more likely to be tree ripened (their season is late winter/ early spring)
  • Organic Grapefruits (mandarins and oranges too) have not been degreened
  • To select the best grapefruits: look for large, smooth-skinned fruits that are heavy for their size
  • Until about one hundred years ago, all grape fruits had white flesh! The pink flesh was a natural mutation making it sweeter.
  • Some Medications and grapefruit should not be used together – meds used for blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, and those that reduce the rejection of an organ after transplant. Check with your doctor.

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard. 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Mandarins

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Satsuma Mandarin Oranges

After doing The 21-Day Sugar Detox, this was one of my first fruits. I really enjoy eating a couple Mandarins for a snack. Like some of the other foods in the book, mandarins are not a new food for most of us, but Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for mandarin orange and fennel salad which sounds pretty yummy.

Food Facts


  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, thiamine, calcium, folate, potassium, and magnesium
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains antioxidant carotenoids: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well flavonoids: tangeretin and nobiletin
  • They are known for helping to control blood glucose, lowering blood cholesterol, and helping to protect against cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Like oranges, mandarins become sweeter and less acidic as they mature.
  • They are often picked when green, shipped, and then artificially ripened with ethylene gas which causes them to ripen. This causes them to look orange but they are more acidic, less sweet, and have fewer bionutrients than tree ripened fruit.
  • Organic Mandarins (and oranges) have not been degreened. 
  • Many of the nutrients in Mandarins are concentrated in the inner peel and the white pulp.

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Edamame

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Edamame

This was this past week’s new food. While I’m not a big fan of soy products, organic and non-gmo edamame is okay by me if you can tolerate it well. Also fermented soy products (miso and tempeh) are okay as well, but all others, including tofu, soymilk, etc. are on my avoid list.

Food Facts: IMG_0161

  • Good source of folate, manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, copper, selenium, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamin K.
  • Complete source of plant protein (contains all of the essential amino acids).
  • Contains isoflavones – antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
  • A good source of fiber and protein.
  • Most soy products sold in America are loaded with pesticides and have been genetically modified. Always choose organic and Non-GMO
  • It scores 48/1000 on the ANDI scale (a rating of nutrients per calorie)

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard

Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Ever since going paleo a few years ago, we’ve been trying to expand our repertoire of recipes. A colleague suggested lettuce wraps and boom this recipe was born. It’s been tweaked over the years, but here it is in its latest form.


Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps are quick, easy, and a crowd pleaser, need I say more? Feel free to tweak the veggies to add bok choy, mushrooms, or water chestnuts. This recipe will be in your repertoire for sure!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people


  • Cuisinart Food Processor (optional)


  • 2 lbs pasture-raised ground turkey
  • 5 med carrots tops trimmed
  • 4 celery stalks tops and ends trimmed
  • 1 med. onion outer skin peeled and quartered
  • 10-12 romaine lettuce leaves rinsed and dried
  • 2 tbsp cooking fat ghee, duck fat, butter, etc.
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp coconut vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup green onions, diced optional garnish


  • Melt the cooking fat in a skillet over medium heat and add the ground turkey. Brown the meat.
  • While the turkey is browning in the pan, grate the onion, celery, and carrots in a food processor, using the grater blade.
  • Once turkey is nearly all browned, add the coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Mix to combine. 
  • Add the grated vegetables and bring to a low simmer until veggies are cooked.
  • Place ground turkey mixture on the romaine lettuce leaves. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
Keyword asian style lettuce wraps, lettuce wraps

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Quercetin plays a large role in healing the gut.

Carrots are good sources of vitamins A, C, B6 & K, biotin, potassium, thiamine (B1), and fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants and good source of starchy carbohydrates.

Turkey is rich in glutamine, which is an important amino acid for healing the small intestines of those with leaky gut. It is also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, protein, niacin, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Ginger has long been used for gastrointestinal problems, making this an ideal food for those with leaky gut and other GI troubles. It relaxes and soothes the intestines and promotes the elimination of gas. It is also anti-inflammatory. Always choose fresh over dried, as it has higher levels of ginger’s active protease.

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

I have enjoyed chia seed pudding since I first discovered it in 2012-ish. When I was attending Bauman College (in-person, before I switched to virtual during Cancer treatment) we were required to do a food demonstration. Basically we had to make a snack and be prepared to present to the class. I made this recipe for my snack demo in April of 2014 :).

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

This is the perfect recipe when strawberries are abundant and it makes a lightly sweet treat.
Prep Time 20 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people


  • Cuisinart Food Processor


  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2-4 tbsp chia seeds 2 makes a thinner consistency; 4 makes a thicker consistency
  • 10-15 organic strawberries rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp raw local honey


  • Place coconut milk, chia seeds, and strawberries in food processor and pulse until it becomes a smooth consistency.
  • Add the vanilla and honey. Pulse until just incorporated.
  • Place into small jars and store in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight. Chia seeds become gelatinous and will thicken the pudding as it sits. It can also be eaten right away.


  • There are many other options for chia seed pudding. Try experimenting with other seasonal fruits like peaches, raspberries, pears, blueberries, and even pumpkin. Also consider adding nuts, other seeds, and spices. The possibilities are endless!
Keyword chia seed pudding, pudding, strawberries, strawberry chia seed pudding

Coconut Milk comes from the coconut and is found in tropical regions in Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Islands. Coconuts contain healthful medium chain fatty acids such as lauric acid and capric acid, which are antiviral and antibacterial. These medium chain fatty acids are easily absorbed by the body and help to increase the metabolism. They also protect against heart disease and promote weight loss. In addition to fatty acids, coconuts also contain healthy carbohydrates and some protein. Coconuts are a good source of manganese, molybdenum, copper, zinc, and selenium. When choosing a coconut milk, avoid the low fat options because the beneficial medium chain fatty acids have been removed.

Chia seeds are those same seeds that are used in the popular Chia pets. They come from the plant Salvia Hispanica that grows in the deserts of Mexico. They help to reduce food cravings, reduce blood pressure, control blood sugar, and they are easier to digest than flax. Chia seeds should be soaked in water before using, creating a chia gel, which helps to hydrate the body. Chia seeds are rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of antioxidants, potassium, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, and they have some protein too!

Strawberries are the most popular berries in the world and are native to many parts of the world. Strawberries are rich sources of vitamins C, K, B6, and B1, silicon, fiber, flavonoids, manganese, pantothenic acid, iodine, folic acid, and biotin. Their flavonoid content helps to protect against inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. When storing berries, do not wash them until you plan on eating them because berries start to breakdown when they are moist. Strawberries are consistently on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, so it is very important to buy organic strawberries.

Honey is one of the four items that bees produce. Honey is rich in riboflavin, iron, manganese, and vitamin B6. It is also rich in antioxidants and it is an antiseptic. Local honeys are also said to help with seasonal allergies.

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Watermelon

This week’s food is WATERMELON! I LOVE watermelon – this is quite exciting! Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making watermelon ice pops, watermelon smoothies, or [GET THIS] watermelon gazpacho – that sounds very exciting!! I love unique foods and unique food pairings and combinations. Some of my other favorite watermelon recipes include watermelon caprese salad, watermelon feta appetizers, and pickled watermelon rinds! What unique recipes have you tried with watermelon?

Food Facts

  • Watermelon is rich in lycopene – 40 percent more lycopene per ounce than ripe tomatoes and small watermelons have more lycopene than large watermelon
  • It also contains other antioxidants including beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and phenols
  • To choose the ripest melon: look for a melon that is beginning to lose the gloss and the “ground spot” should be yellow, not green or white
  • Antioxidant values  continue increasing after the fruit has been picked – as long as they’ve stayed out of the fridge
  • It is in the Cucurbitaceae family and is closely related to squash, cantaloupe, and pumpkin
  • They are a good source of vitamins A, C, B5, and B6, biotin, thiamine, magnesium, potassium, and copper
  • High in fiber
  • Hydrating due to its high water content and is a diuretic
  • Lycopene has been shown to be protective against colon cancer and people with the highest levels of lycopene in their blood had a lower risk of stroke

From The 52 New Food Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, and Super Foods by Tonia Reinhard

Health & Hugs <3,