Omnivores, relax with real food!  This was the take home message we found in last evenings PBS documentary “IN DEFENSE OF FOOD”, featuring well known food journalist Michael Pollan.

We thought the documentary was well done and echo the main point of the film, when it comes to eating, just relax and eat food, that is – real food.  The stuff you find in the middle of the grocery store is what Pollan calls “edible food like substances”.  Focus on the “edges” during your grocery store visits to find real food.  Refer to our blog post on this topic from January 2014 “How to shop for a healthy diet”.

Other points from “IN DEFENSE OF FOOD“:

  • Eat Traditional Foods, these are time tested (2013 blog post)
  • Watch your portion size
    • If you don’t know your current daily food intake levels, I encourage you to find out.  I was surprised to learn what my daily calorie intake was compared to what was suggested for my height and weight (June 2015 blog post).
  • East mostly plants (Eat the rainbow blog post)
    • That does NOT mean eliminate meat
    • The documentary points out the health benefits of meat from pasture grazed animals
    • You have heard, you are what you eat!
      • “We are what what we eat eats too.”  Michael Pollan.
        • In other words, we can’t eat the nutritional diversity of a prairie… but we can eat something that is capable of eating and the nutrition of a prairie!
        • A bite of our pasture raised and grazed beef allows us to eat the prairie.
dotted gayfeather

We can’t eat the prairie and we certainly do not want this destroyed to raise something like corn!

I basically started on the above described Omnivores path several years ago.  I took it to the next level by incorporating the portion size advise (including fasting) this past year (described in June 2015).  Six months later I am happy to report my weight and health has been maintained.

As you look forward to the new year are you considering another “Diet Resolution”?  If you find yourself stuck somewhere trying to get on what our friend Danna calls the “Health-Nut Highway”, we urge you to watch this documentary.

Remember, “We are all on a diet. Be on a healthy one.” Dr. Mercola




We promote eating healthy fats (pasture grazed animal fats) to improve ones health.  A few examples: Oct. 2013Apr. 2014 CLAApr. 2014 Omega3s May 2014 Dec. 2014.

So would I take my our own advice when complaining about tight clothing from this past holiday carb season and deciding to loose a few pounds?

Before trying my turn at not fearing fat, I needed a system to track what was going on, how much fat was I consuming?  Here at DS Family Farm we track different things in the pastures to monitor progress, but how would I watch my eating habits?

A coworker introduced me to myfitnesspal, a free cloud based fitness system to track diet, exercise and watch progress.  To be honest, before starting this project I had no idea how many calories would be healthy or what my daily calorie intake was!

To begin, the recommended calorie intake for me ~2200 calories per day.  What was my current intake?  First four days of tracking:


At the start of my experiment, daily calorie intake was about 300 calories high, enlightening!  Note the steady intake of first four days tracked.  No reason to burn any stored body fat, a healthy dose of calories coming in daily.  The wellness program I enrolled in to help me lose some weight was already warning me about FAT intake.  The “FAT is bad” mantra was clear in my training.  Ignoring the pleas to cut my FAT intake, I focused on overall calorie intake, take a look at the first 3 weeks (daily charts):first3wks

First three-week average was 2170 calories per day, not much variation and no weight loss.  Steady day-to-day calorie intake is an excellent way to maintain your weight.  The body has no reason to burn stored fat.  My system anticipated a steady daily intake.  Ignoring calls to cut FAT intake, it was time to shock my system.  Have you ever tried a fast?  Rather than reduce my intake to ZERO calories for a day, I liked the idea of just getting down to around 600 calories for a day or two (Dr. Mercola Intermittent Fast 5:2 Diet).  Here is my attempt over the next 3 weeks to hit a day around 600 calories (daily chart): next3weeks

Two days per week around 600 calories, sounds too difficult and I am not ready to go there yet.  My 6:1 Diet, 1 day per week around 600 calories isn’t too bad.  Compare the two graphs above.  End of first 3 weeks, no weight loss.  End of next 3 weeks = 5 pound weight loss!  My body was no longer able to expect that steady intake.  Continue shocking the system, next 3 weeks (weeks 6 to 9 daily chart):


Weight loss for weeks six to nine = 5 pounds lost again (same as weeks 3 to 6 shown above).  It appears varying my daily intake works to activate my body to burn stored fat.  RESULTS in 20 lbs lost over 4 months.4mo

Did I attempt to lower my FAT intake?  No.  To my surprise, my weekly average percent Fat intake was steady around 25% (Fat Grams/Total Grams).  I would like to try to increase percent healthy fat intake in the future.  Here are weekly average charts for the first four months  (charts shown above were daily):4mocal


Recommendations to limit FAT gram intake to around 40 grams per day were ignored.  I did make an effort to eat only Omega 3 type fats and when possible, from pasture grazed animals.  Fearing carbs, omega 6 fat (vegetable oils), processed foods along with a shock to the system now and then seems to work.  Now can this diet be maintained?

Concerning exercise, my activity level has been fairly constant.  Very little sitting around watching TV.  Walking and daily pasture moves keep me active!

I am always interested in learning about any touted healthy eating options. Most have probably heard of the “Paleo Diet” (Paleo).  Recently a co-worker filled me in on his personal research and experience with this diet. There appears to be different versions of the Paleo depending on the website/book and author.

ground beef

How do you like your ground beef?
Paleo says “where’s the protein?”
WAPF says “where’s the fat?

Two main points my friend makes about the Paleo:

  1. Lean meat for protein (sourced from pasture raised animals)
  2. Cod Liver Oil provides many health benefits.

Of course I agree with the health benefits of consuming protein from healthy animals raised on a grass & forage only diet. In past posts I have discussed the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) that also promotes meat from pasture raised animals.  Where WAPF prizes the “fat” from grassed based animals, Paleo appears to prize the “lean meat”.

Where WAPF and Paleo come together is with the use of cod liver oil.  WAPF considers cod liver oil a superfood.  A recognized source of high quality cod liver oil is right here in Nebraska. actually blends butter from their pastured cows with fermented cod liver oil to create what they call a “nutrient rich sacred food”.

If you follow either the WAPF or Paleo crowd, we here at DS Family Farm are on your side, raising animals that will give the meat (protein or fat) that you are looking for.

If I have misrepresented the Paleo Diet, please comment below.

Photo credit:

Last July we posted a few photos of the first steers we will have available later this year as grassfed – grassfinished beef.  The steers have lost some of that summer time sickness and put on their winter coats.  Finishing these animals are a work in progress.  We are not feeding these steers any different from what is available to our cow/calf herd.

Will these steers finish and provide a quality eating experience later this year?  Time will tell.  For now we continue on our journey to producing an all pastured beef (no corn or corn stalk grazing allowed).

Born and raised right here.  This steer has lived his entire life with his mother near his side.

Born and raised right here. This steer has lived his entire life with his mother near his side.

Fresh stockpiled forage available every day, no standing in manured feedlots.

Fresh stockpiled forage available every day, no standing in manured feedlots.

Green hay helps keep the rumen (stomach) microbes functioning.

Green hay helps keep the rumen (stomach) microbes functioning.

18 month old steer grazing stockpiled forage January 2015.

18 month old steer grazing stockpiled forage January 2015. In background, neighbors cows graze corn stalks.

This 2015 grassfed beef progress report 1 will be followed up with additional updates until these steers are harvested.  Feel free to post a comment or email any questions you may have.

The Holiday Season has made the clothing a little tight entering the New Year. It’s those holiday treats (empty carbohydrates) that get me! Today my weight swings (up and down) are not what they use to be when my diet was largely based on processed foods.

New Year = holiday treat pay back time.  Photo by:

New Year = holiday treat pay back time.

Trying to “diet” while still consuming highly processed foods (empty carbs) and avoiding animal fat was a weight loss & gain rollercoaster. A change in eating habits to less processed foods and no fear of animal fats resulted in lower overall carbohydrate intake. Simply replacing carbohydrate calories with fat and protein from pasture raised animals has stabilized my weight.  A full breakfast with eggs, bacon/sausage will keep the body satisfied, without those empty carb cravings, right up to lunch time.

I tend to agree with the diet information from the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF):

  1. The information is well researched and cited.
  2. Research continues.
  3. Based on real world experience and tradition.
  4. It makes sense.
  5. Applying a few principals from the recommendations has worked for myself and others I know.

If you are considering a New Year “diet”, do your research and consider pasture raised (grass-fed) animal products.  Look for locally raised eggs, milk, cheese and meats.  WAPF recommendations also include plant based fats such as coconut oil and the use of fermentation and sprouting of other vegetable products.  The key is to enjoy all kinds of foods that taste good and are good for you.  Join some of us that have departed from the low fat high carbohydrate diet to a diet that is more balanced.  Please share your thoughts.

As a side note, yes I am a member of WAPF. You may also want to consider the Price-Pottenger Foundation which also promotes and further researches the teachings of Dr. Price.  Photo by: