Back in the day I remember hearing “take a look at yourself in the mirror”.  Today one could probably just say, “take a look at yourself in your selfie”.  Whatever your choice (mirror or selfie), why don’t you take a look at yourself?  What do you see?  Hello – your microbiome!

Healthy microbiome = Health.

Human or animal, all rely on the micro organisms we carry around for our survival. Healthy microbiome = Health.

We are looking at a huge walking micro organism ecosystem.  The same goes for the dog next door or the cow in our pasture.  How you look and feel has a great deal to do with the state of your “microbiome”.

Our goal should be to keep the good “bugs” we carry around happy.  With a healthy supply of good microbes surrounding us, it is hard for bad bugs to make us sick.  The foods we consume will have a huge impact on the bugs living inside of our stomachs.  With most of our immune system linked directly to our gut, our mental and physical health is directly linked to the company we encourage to live within us.

A recent webinar put on by the folks at the Society for Risk Analysis pointed out that our unique microbiome will decide how our body reacts to:

  • drugs
  • food additives
  • minerals (such as heavy metals)

That is why there are so many “side effects” listed in drug commercials, our microbiomes react differently.  The Food and Drug Administrations prior testing on drugs and food additives for “safety” have not accounted for the biology living within us.

So what’s safe to eat?

Refer back to our “Traditional Food” post.  Keep it simple and eat foods that our Grandparents would actually recognize as food.  When you learn more you will probably want to encourage those good bugs in your microbiome.

Microbiome Care

With most of our mental and physical health directly linked to the microbes in our gut, take care of them with traditional foods.

Eating locally raised foods is a great place to start, including grassfed beef.  Eating right can be an important part of your overall life/health plan.  For a holistic approach to life consider the 7 spokes in Zig Ziglars Wheel of Life:

  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Family
  • Financial
  • Personal
  • Career

Here’s to a happy healthy YOU (microbiome).

All disease begins in the gut. – Hippocrates

In an earlier post we introduced the benefits of bone broth as part of a healthy diet.  Here we focus on bone broth as it relates to gut health.  “Tens of millions of Americans suffer from digestive disorders.”  This statement from Nourishing Broth book, hits home, really close to our home.  It was Doug’s struggles with acid reflux that started us down the path of learning about grassfed beef and real food as the true source of healing.

gut health

The health of our gut affects our entire being.

Back in 1937, Dr. Francis Pottenger and others may not have known the exact science behind the healing power of bone broth, but these were a list of gut related conditions they knew broth would relieve:

  • nervous digestion, slow digestion
  • diarrhea, gas formation
  • heartburn, vomiting
  • children allergies

We brought up Dr. Pottenger in a prior post.  (If I just could have understood in elementary school how his cat research related to my health, oh how much pain could have been avoided!)

So what has happened over the years that millions of folks deal with gut issues daily?  For one thing, broth went out of style.  With the advent of antacids and other pills to pop, broth was just “old school”.  Broths disappearance and the appearance of the modern standard American diet (SAD) and our guts were primed for trouble.

Current science points out a number of digestive power components in broth.  First of all it is rich in glycosaminoglycans, used by the body to form healing mucus.  The mucus in our intestinal tract protect us from foreign substances entering our body including food, microbes, heavy metals and toxins.  When our mucus secretion becomes depleted, the result is a “leaky gut”.

Have you heard the term “microbiome”?

Early on in our cattle operation we learned that cows cannot digest grass!  A cow is entirely reliant on trillions of bacteria (microbiome) within their gut to digest grass.  The bacteria break down the grass and release nutrition to the cow for life.  We have a number of visual techniques to quickly diagnosis the status of a cows microbiome on a daily basis.  Guess what, we are entirely dependent on trillions of microbes everyday to stay alive also.  When our microbiome is happy we, are happy.

The mucus in our digestive system provides a safe home for our microbes.  The mucus protects the bacteria from our bodies normal process that tries to expel them.  The presence of the bacteria stimulates production of mucus, a wonderful cycle, that is if our bodies are healthy.  The happy beneficial microbes help us absorb and transport nutrients across the gut barrier within our body.  Unfortunately a compromised “leaky gut” allows foreign microbes and toxins to keep us in a state of inflammation or disease.

As science learns more about our microbiome, pharmaceutical companies will surely look to develop pills to help manage and promote healthy gut microbes.  WHY WAIT?  Broth is a tried, true traditional food added to all gut healing diets to help address:

  • allergies, candida, parasites
  • bloating, gas, acid reflux
  • constipation, diarrhea, IBS
  • and all other leaky gut issues…

Looking for more information?

  1. Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  2. Why Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  3. Book – “Nourishing Broth” (information used in this post)

Want to try making your own broth?

  1. Certified Grassfed Beef BONES at DS Family Farm, drop us an email!
  2. Dr. Axe Beef Bone Broth Recipe (try it in your crock pot)

About a year ago national news carried the story of a Bone Broth drive through opening in New York City (move over espresso).  Yes bone broth, you have probably heard it is good for you?  Here at DS Family Farm, the most requests for additional product information is for BONES!

Warm and drink beef bone broth.

Warm and drink beef bone broth.

So here are some basics on bone broth with an emphasis toward beef bones.

There are three kinds of bones:

  1. Meaty, for flavor = oxtail, short ribs and shank/soup bones
  2. Collagen, for body, think gelatin = knuckle bones
  3. Marrow bones, for “essence” a delicacy

Flavor, actually all bones will impart some flavor and all broth recipes will call on other ingredients for more flavor (vegetables, spices, herbs).

So lets talk about collagen or the gelatin, think Jell-O, like consistency of broth.  Note here that broth from your local store will most likely be in liquid form, lacking the gelatin results of home-made bone broth.

Collagen, it is needed every where in our body and actually makes up about 30% of our body’s protein.  These proteins contain thousands of amino acids.  Collagen production in our body slows with age.  Think of sagging skin, stiff joints and increasingly prone to injuries as we age.

Marrow, think fat and brain food from this bone source.  Actually there isn’t a lot of data on marrow.  This soft white tissue (marrow) is actually one of the largest organs in our bodies and we don’t know much about it!

What about minerals in the broth?

Actually broth does not contain high levels of minerals.  When you drink bone broth, the minerals you consume will be in the correct ratio, making it easy for our body to absorb.  Broth is “real food” unlike a pill you take from a jar labeled “multi-mineral”.  Bone strength comes from the collagen and not from the minerals we consume.  Our friend Danna recently shared this interesting blog post from a person who did their own research on bone broth mineral content.

Protein

Compared to minerals, broth has higher levels of protein but is an “incomplete protein” (we cannot live on broth alone).  So always plan to compliment bone broth with other high-quality animal proteins such as eggs, milk, fish, poultry or meat.  Bone broth will lower the amount of protein needed from these other sources.  In turn, this will relieve stress from your digestive system.

The big 3 Amino Acids found in broth:

The following amino acids are not actually considered “essential”, but supplementing your diet with the amino acids found in bone broth will aid in your search for better health:

  • Proline
    • Looking for healthy pain-free joints, healthy cartilage, this amino acid does the work.
  • Glycine
    • For healthy blood, digestion and detoxification!
    • Prevents acid reflux, supports wound healing and used by our bodies to remove toxins.
    • A building block for glutathione = cancer curbing, age slowing, an antioxidant.
  • Glutamine
    • For cell regeneration such as the lining of cells in the small intestine (Gut-Healing).
    • Enhance injury recovery from wounds, stress or surgery.
    • Cuts cravings for sugar/carbs.
    • Prevents muscle wasting, stimulates muscle-building and repair.
    • Helps with depression, anxiety and mood swings.

So how much broth should you drink?  One cup per day should be fine for health maintenance and disease prevention.  If dealing with a medical condition try a cup in the AM, at Noon and again in the PM.

warm bone broth

Homemade bone broth from DS Family Farm beef bones will be a thick gelatin. To drink, warm the broth first or add some broth to your hot coffee or tea.

Looking for more information?

  1. Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  2. Why Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  3. Book – “Nourishing Broth” (information used in this post)

Want to try making your own broth?  All you need:

  1. WE HAVE BONES at DS Family Farm, drop us an email!
  2. Dr. Axe Beef Bone Broth Recipe (try it in your crock pot)

AHHHHH, pour me some bone broth please…

We briefly touched on the Paleo topic in a few earlier blog posts but we are excited to share this Guest Post from someone local with real world Paleo experience.  We met Beth when she and her family visited the farm earlier this year to buy some of our pasture grazed beef.


By Beth Kohl

I had read about the paleo diet. I thought if you give up dairy, legumes, grains, sugar, and alcohol, what is left? Starvation?  I quickly dismissed it as anything more than a gimmick. I kept looking for the “Easy Button” for my health. I’d always been told any diet that eliminates entire food groups would lack nutrients and could not last, the “goal”, is always balance.  I had tried several diets, but I could not get away from strong cravings for sugar. I felt like a drug addict. When it came to candy and sweets, I would have a little and end up binging like crazy.

I needed to lose weight.  I had high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low energy, acne, depression, anxiety, restless legs, border line pre-diabetes, GERD, and an autoimmune disorder. My doctor was ready to put me on medications for several of these issues. I woke up 20 plus times a night and I had the sleep study to prove it.  Every morning I woke feeling like a truck hit me and I had a headache 80% of the time. A good day was no migraine. My normally good to low blood pressure had been creeping up to questionable level. I power napped every single day.  On the plus side, I exercised. I worked out for over 2 years with the guidance of a trainer; I had added a lot of muscle but had not lost weight.paleo

A few years after first hearing about Paleo, in desperation, I gave in and tried a popular diet “Whole 30”. This is an elimination diet that you stop eating dairy, legumes, grains, sugar, and alcohol. Giving up those items is the bulk of paleo rules. The first few weeks were not great, I felt tired as my body adjusted to all the changes. When I reintroduced dairy and wheat, I found (to my shock) that my body had a bad reaction. I was sick to my stomach, could not think clearly, I felt awful.  I decided to follow paleo but I had no guidance and Thanksgiving and Christmas completely derailed me.

Earlier this year, I talked with my doctor and decided to restart paleo, then return to the doctor in 12 weeks and get blood work again. Curious to see what, if anything, changed. I floundered the first 4 weeks with no diet change. With 8 weeks left, I added a dietician who specializes in paleo, to give me guidance.  Amy, really helped me to figure out what works and does not work for me. She has given me accountability, encouragement, and resources.

There are misconceptions and a few controversies regarding what paleo is, is not, and should be.   I only know how I eat and that it is considered paleo. My breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks consist of a variety of vegetables and fruits, quality protein, and quality fat.

I say “quality” before each food group because I’ve found that what happens to my food before I eat it is very important.  “You are what you eat” resonates with every paleo I’ve met, talked to, and every book I’ve read.  Whenever possible, I look for vegetables that are organically grown and non-GMO. I buy grass-fed beef, pasture raised chicken, lambs, and pigs, because they produce better quality meats, fats, and eggs. Fats include animal fats from pasture raised animals, ghee (clarified, grass-fed, butter), extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, tree nuts, and avocados. I get to have a variety of meats, fats, fruits and veggies, but always REAL, minimally processed food.

It is not as hard as it sounds. Now, a few months in, I can prepare a meal ultra-fast or something if I am having guests over. The best part is, no one knows that they are eating paleo, because it is just real food.  I can also go out and enjoy a meal in a restaurant. I have planned times where I eat items outside of the plan, but always avoid wheat and store-bought dairy, because they bother me, although I know many who use raw dairy with no problems.  I do not prepare separate meals for my family, and I have an extremely picky son. This is a way that I believe I can live for the rest of my life.

I tried many versions of low-fat and low carb diets all have been miserable failures. Now, I am eating a diet much like my grandmother did when she was young: real, nutritious food. I am eating a nutrient rich variety and not paying attention to calories.  I am not feeling deprived either.paleo

So, after 8 weeks of eating saturated fats, beef, eggs almost daily, bacon, and other “taboo” foods, watching portions, but without counting calories, what was the outcome?  These results are documented by my doctor: 16 lbs. lost, Blood pressure is low/normal, cholesterol is 30 points lower , and triglycerides cut in half, glucose and A1C (blood sugar) completely normal. I have found relief for depression and anxiety.  I no longer have cystic acne, restless legs are nominal, and I sleep soundly and rarely wake up during sleeping hours. I wake up each morning before my alarm goes off and I feel prepared to start the day. Headaches are rare for me now. The daily cravings for sweets are gone. I have energy for the whole day without my daily naps.

I know if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  This is not without price. The tradeoff of not eating certain foods may seem huge to some, but it is worth it to me. I’m convinced that the “gimmick” has been the best thing that ever happened to my health. I am not alone. My doctor had diabetic patients try this way of eating. Less than 2 months, the diabetics following the plan had normal glucose levels, that is HUGE. Guess who else started to eat this way? My doctor and his wife.

My scale is still moving in the right direction, but I’m not nearly as concerned by my weight as I one was, because I feel good. I might be paying a bit more for food these days, but I am paying WAY less in medical and pharmacy bills. I feel better than I have in years.  I do not know if it is for everyone, but I would urge anyone who has questions to investigate it for themselves.

I’d be happy to answer questions where I can, but I’m still a novice. If you want expert advice, I’d recommend you follow the links below.  Here is a link to my dietitian’s blog.  [http://robbwolf.com/author/amy-kubal/].

[www.robbwolf.com/]  [www.meljoulwan.com/]  [www.whole30.com/]  [www.chriskresser.com]


Wow, that is a powerful testimony!   Our thanks to Beth for sharing her experience.  If you would like to connect with Beth please drop us an email.  In addition to the links listed above, we would note that the Weston A Price Foundation recently aired a podcast with Chris Kresser, author of “The Paleo Cure”.  In the podcast Chris points out that there are people groups that have adapted to raw dairy very well through the years.  I (Doug) credits raw milk as one of the foods that helped cure my chronic Acid Reflux condition.  Probably the most important things we can do to achieve health is eliminate processed foods, start shopping the “edges” of grocery stores and then begin your journey to source local food from your neighborhood farmers.  Thanks again Beth for sharing!

Photo Credits: http://morguefile.com/creative/CTrillo/1/all & http://morguefile.com/creative/maxkopi

In past posts we have promoted a “traditional diet” that includes animal fats and protein as part of a healthy diet.  There is a significant population that is vegetarian and avoids animal based food products.  So who’s right?  If you are searching for a healthy diet we urge you to do your research.

At lunch, I am usually a vegetatian. A great time to make sure I am eating the rainbow. (Photo: http://www.morguefile.com/)

At lunch, I am usually a vegetarian. A great time to make sure I am eating the rainbow. (Photo: http://www.morguefile.com/)

Other diet thoughts would be to stress our digestive system as we stress our muscles when doing a work out to promote strength.  Restrict intake of different food groups, there probably are some health benefits to giving up a food item for 40 days (Lent).  Consider a fast; let your body burn off some of those lower quality proteins in your system.  Just as with weight training muscles, give your digestive system proper time to recover from stress.

Some famous statements probably hold true to diets as well:

  • Everything in moderation
  • Variety is the spice of life

Moderation is a pretty straight forward concept but what about variety? When I think of variety I think of the late Jerry Brunetti (eco ag specialist and founder of Agri-dynamics) power point presentation “Food As Medicine”. Take a few minutes to flip through this 77 slide PDF document, loaded with photos, and appreciate what it means to “Eat The Rainbow”.