Easy Paleo Recipes - Gluten Free Recipes

Last updated Aug. 2, 2018, 4:13 a.m.

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The EverlyWell Reviews… Did it actually work?

I’d been struggling with excessive weight gain since Lindsey became pregnant.  At first, we all laughed that it was my baby weight, (which is totally normal for husbands to gain “sympathy weight”) but, I continued to gain weight after Branson was born.

As someone who recovered from a serious eating disorder, the pre-recovery me would have NEVER allowed myself to “get to this point”. I would have starved myself or purged.  I haven’t and that means I’ve healed A LOT.

It means I can love and appreciate myself for more than my physical appearance.

It also means I can look into the reasons of my weight gain, discover the root cause, and support my body, rather than masking the underlying conditions just to look aesthetically sexy AF (LOL).

Have you ever tried doing everything right…and things still continued to get worse?  That’s exactly how I felt.

I felt trapped.  I felt completely out of control. And the craziest thing is I was still eating clean!

My friend Drew at Fit2Fat2Fit told me how he’s used EverlyWell and it’s helped him get his body balanced and feeling his best.  Knowing exactly what system was imbalanced, gave him the opportunity and clear plan to heal. So I had to give it a shot.  I’d already had all the traditional doctor tests, and they were unhelpful.  I choose to do the testosterone and food sensitivity tests.

I wouldn't have know what to focus on without @everlywell, they gave me the power to control my…
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My Results…

My testosterone was low!! Not terribly low, but I learned that at age 25, our testosterone decreases every year…yikes!

Typical side effects of reduced testosterone levels include:

  • Loss of muscle, fatigue
  • Increased body fat
  • Mood changes
  • Decreased bone mass
  • Hair loss
  • Low semen volume
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction

Most people don’t have all symptoms; most people experiencing this exhibit just one or two. And early detection, as always, makes a HUGE difference.

Thankfully, my food sensitivity test came back with what I had known previously.  Meaning what I’m eating has been right, and I can still clean it up with more whole foods that support increasing testosterone.

Here are a few of the ways I’m boosting my testosterone levels:

  • Strength and metabolic training
  • Eating whole, real foods while balancing fat, protein and carbs
  • Getting quality sleep
  • Minimizing stress,
  • Spending time in the sun for some all-natural vitamin D
  • Consuming ashwanganda and ginger

I’m also making sure to avoid foods that contain soy (it’s a cheap filler and in A LOT of the foods we eat every day, so be sure to read your labels!) and exposure to products with estrogen like chemicals (BPA, parabens).

Why I Chose EverlyWell  

EverlyWell places the lab testing process into your hands. With their convenient at-home sample collection process and your results delivered to you on their secure platform in just days – it has never been easier to take control of your health.

EverlyWell tests are HSA and FSA eligible, which means you can pay for them with your pre-tax dollars, so even more savings! They accept direct HSA/FSA payments and all major credit card.

  • Convenient: No need to take time out of your busy schedule to drag yourself to that dingy lab. Collect your sample from home and on your own time.
  • Accurate: They work with leading specialty labs in the United States who are all CLIA certified.
  • Detailed Explanations and Actionable Insights: Easy-to-read results make it easy to understand what factors could be affecting your health. Results include detailed information and links to additional information so you can make the best choices for a healthy life.

And, if you still have questions—before or after you get your test results—you can call their toll-free number or do an online chat.

EverlyWell has several major categories of testing options:

  • General wellness
  • Men’s Health
  • Women’s Health
  • Energy & Weight
  • Sexual Health
  • Genomic

After reviewing their testing options, I felt like I needed all of them! I was really impressed with how many options they have to help people, and how well the tests work in combination with each other.

After reading about the unique tests I determined I’d start with the testosterone and food sensitivity.  Low testosterone and food sensitivities have very similar side effects, which I’d been experiencing, so I decided to take both.

EverlyWell’s simple tests take out all the guesswork and give you immediate results.  I would not have known exactly what to focus on—let alone why I was gaining weight—without EverlyWell’s test results.

EverlyWell’s Testing Options

One of the things I love about EverlyWell is that they have an MD and nutritional therapist in every state to answer any questions you have.  I love that I can do these tests in the privacy and convenience of my home.  These tests are cheaper than going into an MD in person, and EverlyWelleven works with FSA/HSA insurance!

EverlyWell offers 31 tests in total, including some of the most common panels as well as custom test kits developed in-house.

Some of their most popular tests include:

EverlyWell Exclusive Test kits:

Click here for the full list

After reviewing their testing options, I felt like I needed all of them, lol. I was really impressed with how many options they have to help people. My symptoms are typical side effects associated with both low testosterone and food sensitivities so I decided to start with them both.

Review of everylywell at home blood kits

Food Sensitivity Test vs of Food Allergy Test?

There are big and important differences when choosing to do a food allergy test or a food sensitivity test.  The main difference with an allergy is your immune system causes the allergic reaction. While some food allergies can be life-threatening, sending you into anaphylactic shock. Most adults are aware if they have an allergy as the side effects are severe, immediate, and obvious.

Whereas food sensitivities aren’t life-threatening, and often times go unnoticed. Unintentionally being ignored while creating further problems in the body. Signs of food sensitivities include headaches, bloating, gas, acne, skin irritations, joint pain, low energy, stomach ache, runny nose, and cough to mention a few.

Food sensitivities are reactions triggered by the digestive system because your body doesn’t contain the enzymes to properly digest this specific type of food. If you repeatedly consume these foods and ignore the inflammation, all your systems and organs in the body suffer.  Long terms results are cancer, heart disease, thyroid challenges, metabolic conditions, and infertility to mention a few…

Food sensitivities are much more common than food allergies. A certain food triggers an intolerance in your digestive tract and your body can’t properly break it down. There are many reasons why you might be sensitive to certain things. You might be sensitive to food additives or preservatives like sulfites, MSG or artificial colors. You might not have the right enzymes to digest the food. You might be sensitive to caffeine or sugars found in some vegetables like onions or broccoli.

EverlyWell’s food sensitivity test checks for 96 most common food sensitivities. The results are ranked from low, mild, moderate, and high reactivity.  Some people successfully try elimination diets to figure out what the body is responding negatively to.  These elimination diets are extremely restrictive and can take months if not years to complete.  EverlyWells simple tests take out all the guesswork and give you immediate results.  I would not have known exactly what to focus on—let alone why I was gaining weight—without EverlyWell’s test results.

It Changed My Life

I’ve had all the bloodwork done by doctors time and time again… Every time they tell me I’m 100% healthy… Meanwhile experiencing many horrible symptoms they prescribe drugs for… At my worst, I was prescribed 13 different medications…  I am now on no medications.  Treating the root cause of challenges in my body has allowed it to heal.

My friend Drew gave me the gift of knowledge when he suggested EverlyWell. And now I’m giving you the same gift.

EverlyWell is offering 15% discount for any or all tests and shipping is free!! They have an MD and nutritionist on staff to answer any questions you may have about your results.

Just enter CAVEMAN at checkout to get your discount. And remember…they also work with FSA/HSA insurance!

If you’ve been waiting for a sign or something to help you, this is it!

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Order your kit online and enter CAVEMAN at check out to save 15% AND get free shipping
  • When you receive your home test system, register your kit on EverlyWell’s website
  • Complete simple blood spot collection or saliva collection
  • Mail the kit back to our certified lab
  • Review your test results on EverlyWell’s secure patient platform within a week

Don’t forget—you can save 15% just by entering CAVEMAN at EverlyWell!

Want to watch the video when I did these tests Live?  Click HERE.

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Salmon BLT Cobb Salad

How to make any salad worth eating.

I’m going to be completely honest right from the beginning… I don’t like seafood. Which obviously makes no sense since the star of this dish is a beautiful cut of Alaskan Salmon! But I assure you, my wife and daughter were more than happy to eat these salmon steaks!

Being the chef in the family, I decided to sneak in something for myself. Can you guess what it was? It was bacon…

No! You can’t take my bacon away.. bacon is good for me!
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By some magic I was able to cook the salmon at the same time as the bacon! Yeah, it made no sense to me either, but it worked! That means you don’t have to worry about timing everything correctly to have it all ready at the same time! All you need to do is pop that pan into the oven and hit bake.

What about those leaves though?

I took advantage of the time it took to cook the salmon and bacon, and I began preparing the rest of the salad. Speaking of… do you know what the definition of a salad is?

It is:

A mixture of small pieces of food (as meat, fish, pasta, fruit, or vegetables) usually combined with a dressing.

With that definition there are so many things that could be called salad! Even a mix of potatoes, pork, and broccoli tossed in a ranch or BBQ would be a salad. I’m liking this definition more and more!

If your food is bite sized and you add dressing it’s considered a salad… #somanypossibilities
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Keeping that logic, I cut all the ingredients for the salad into bite sized pieces and tossed them together in a bowl. But as we know, it needs to have a dressing in order to qualify as salad. Queue the Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette!

Dreamy and creamy… it’s dressing time!

Have you ever heard of a dump dressing before? It’s a common technique used with ranch dressings, but basically you “dump” everything in to a mason jar and shake it all about. Similar to the hokey pokey, except this time it’s ingredients in a jar and… okay, it’s nothing like the hokey pokey. But you still get to shake it all about!

Luckily for you this dressing is made with a mayonnaise base. So you get to simply take your homemade mayonnaise, add the spices and lemon juice, and shake away. You can thank me later!

I take my dressings shaken, not stirred.
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How much simpler does it get than that?! With just one jar, one pan, and one bowl, you have your dressing, salmon, bacon, and salad! So not only are you getting this amazing meal, but you have limited dishes too!

I think the main takeaway here is that you should make this salad immediately! Ha!

But on a more serious note, just because I don’t love salmon (or seafood in general), it doesn’t mean I can’t make it for those who do! Especially when those people are my family!

I’ll leave you to go cook now! Enjoy!


Salmon BLT Cobb Salad


For the Salmon BLT Cobb Salad

  • 2 (6 oz) Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Steaks w/ skin
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 strips Butcher Box Bacon
  • 6 Cups Organic Spring Salad Mix
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 2 Boiled Eggs, sliced
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Dill & Parsley for garnish

For the Creamy Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 Cup Paleo Mayo
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • Freshly cracked Black Pepper


For the Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F) and line a large baking sheet w/ parchment paper.
  2. Rinse salmon steaks under cool water and pat dry. Place on baking sheet, skin side down, and season each w/ 1 tsp of olive oil and a small sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  3. Place bacon alongside the salmon on the baking sheet and cook for 12­-14 minutes or until the salmon is flaky and the bacon is crisp.
  4. Remove from oven and baste salmon w/ hot bacon fat, drain bacon on paper towels then chop.
  5. In two medium bowls, combine spring mix, tomatoes, avocado, egg, and chopped bacon. Top each salad w/ a salmon steak, drizzle with creamy lemon vinaigrette, and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

For the Dressing

  1. Add all ingredients to a small mason jar, tightly screw on the lid, and shake vigorously until all ingredients are well combined. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
  2. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for 1 week.

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Is Caffeine Bad for you? It was slowly killing me…

I’m sure you’ve all seen a post or two by now, but I switched to decaf… Yes, the man who once sold his own brand of coffee doesn’t even drink caffeine anymore! It seems a little crazy, but trust me, my love for coffee is still the same.

I gave up caffeine, but I still LOVE coffee
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How is that even possible? Well let me start back at the beginning for you…

The choice to quit caffeine

I was addicted. Yes, it’s that simple… I was addicted to coffee. Part of the addiction was obviously the caffeine and the effects that it had on me. More than anything though, I was addicted to the ritual.

There was this feeling of comfort that came with every cup I bought, brewed, or sipped. And after acknowledging this, I realized that my ritual went all the way back to my deployment in Somalia.

Coffee is NOT bad for you, but why you're drinking it might be…
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It started because coffee reminds me of my father, who drank coffee more than anyone else I’ve ever met. Not a day went by where he didn’t have it. So in stressful situations, I used coffee as a comfort, remembering my father. It became my crutch. Soon enough, anytime I wanted to escape something, I would divert to coffee.

Tired of working? Go get coffee. Stressed out? Ignore it, go get coffee.

I would regularly avoid situations that required an effort from me by going to get coffee! After acknowledging this though, I was able to make the necessary changes.

My decision to switch to decaf coffee

I didn’t jump straight from caffeinated coffee to decaffeinated, I actually quit caffeine cold turkey!

Instead of weaning myself off and slowly switching over to decaf, I went about four weeks with no coffee at all. Even though the caffeine may have been addictive, what I really needed was to deal with the things I kept avoiding, and understand why I was avoiding them. Coffee could no longer be the escapism and avoidance I had let it become.

Once I felt that I had truly dealt with the avoidance, I was able to accept that I still loved coffee. Now though, there was no ritual attached to it and I was able to enjoy it for the taste! That’s when I went decaf!

At this point, I knew what I had allowed coffee to become, and that I wouldn’t let it become my escape again! Going decaf, I knew that I would need to enjoy the coffee for nothing more than what it is… coffee. No more ritual, no more crutch, and no more escapism.

Benefits to Quitting Caffeine

Without ever realizing it, this “system” I created to keep myself from feeling stressed, angry, overwhelmed, or bored, was the same “system” that was hurting me.

It took quitting for me to realize the effect that caffeine was having on my body. Since quitting I have had better nights sleep, more energy, and better mitochondrial response than I did before! I first thought I would have less energy, and for a little while I did. But after the side effects wore off, I was left with more natural energy than I ever imagined possible! And because of that I have a more natural sleeping pattern and typically sleep through the whole evening!

Challenge of the day: Go 48 hours without caffeine…
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Caffeine is a substance, and I was dependent. So quitting caffeine has also allowed coffee to become a choice, rather than a need. Which subsequently led to me having more sustained levels within my mood!

Before quitting, I would go through swings in my mood, typically when I was in need of more coffee. Removing the caffeine has allowed my mood to be stabilized!

More than anything though, it saved me a ton of time! Have you ever timed how long it takes from the point you leave your house for a coffee to the point that you return? I’m sure it’s much longer than you expected! For me it was around 30-40 minutes every trip!

Now that it’s no longer a need, I have the power to choose whether I have enough time to go grab a decaf coffee, or not!

Tips to Quit Caffeine

The big question though… how did quitting cold turkey work out for me?

Well, I knew that what I really needed to work on the most was the ritualistic behavior behind it all. So quitting without weaning myself off was the move to make. I don’t necessarily recommend it for everyone though! And let me be clear.. I am not a doctor, so anything I say is personal experience/opinion. You should always consult a professional when making big shifts in your life!

There is only one way to quit something… Make it your TOP priority!
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Personally, I didn’t have that many side effects. It was mostly irritability as my body adjusted to no longer having the energy from caffeine. Along with the irritability, I experienced mild headaches, a lack of energy, and a slight lack of motivation.

These side effects were all present while I was “going through the storm”, and they only lasted about three weeks. The hardest part was the first three days as my body adjusted to the major shift in habit! Luckily though, I never experienced any jitters or shakes.

In order to combat the headaches without taking any medication, I would chug 12-16oz of water every time I got one. I also took cold showers every morning to wake myself up and throughout the day whenever I felt too sluggish. I made it through, quitting cold turkey, with the cold and hydration!

Like I said though, I don’t recommend that method for everyone. If you are looking to quit, another method would be to wean yourself off caffeine over a period of time. For instance, you could start by doing 1/2 caffeinated and 1/2 decaf, or whatever ratio you’d like, until you are used to that (usually about a week or two). Then you just decrease the levels of caffeine as time goes on until you too are caffeine-free!

No matter which method you choose, if you want to quit caffeine, you need to do just one thing… you need to make quitting a priority!

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10 Pharmacy-Free Cold & Flu Treatments

So you’re sick. It happens to all of us from time to time. Most of us get a cold or two each year. Maybe we get laid up in bed for a couple days, or maybe we have a cold that lingers like a friend who’s overstaying their welcome on your couch. Whatever the case, we know that having a cold and flu basically sucks. We have low to no energy, miss out on work, the gym, and everything in our day to day that usually leaves us filled with energy, fulfillment, and the drive we need to pursue our goals. That can be discouraging, and it’s hard to get back on track.

We want to get over our sickness as fast as possible and limit the symptoms. So where do most of us turn? The drug aisle and the pharmacy, usually. But hang on a second, because that’s not always the healthiest, most cost-effective, or efficient way to knock out whatever you’re battling. There are some great all-natural remedies that’ve been around for decades, and some general best-practices for handling the sick bug, and they don’t involve going to the pharmacy at all.

These are all tried-and-true methods for easing discomfort and speeding recovery, and most of them can be created with ingredients that are already in your home.


1. Liquids, liquids, liquids.

Colds and flus wage a war inside your body that can leave you with headaches, aches, pains, and dehydration. According to this recent New York Times article, liquids and upright sitting position are the most important counterattacks when you’ve come down with the illness, recommending a cup or so of liquid per hour. That’s why liquids in general, even plain water, are first on this list—they are so important when you’re sick. Don’t skimp!

It’s also recommended that you avoid alcohol and caffeine . . . which I know can be difficult for you coffee-fiends out there. If you do need your daily dose of caffeine, try to drink a small cup or see if you can get by with a cup of green tea, which has less caffeine than coffee. The next two numbers on this list are some of my favorite beverage-based remedies.

Hot Toddy

2. Cayenne Toddy

If you’re looking for something that will boost your immune system, raise your body temperature, clear your sinuses, and soothe your throat, look no further than this cayenne toddy recipe. All you do is plop the following ingredients together in a mug, add boiling water, and stir to mix:

– ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 tbsp organic, raw honey (local, if you can get it)
– ¼ tsp cayenne powder (start here, and increase the amount of cayenne if you can handle it!)
– lemon wedge, squeezed

That’s it! Just smelling this toddy will help to unblock your sinuses, and the heat of the drink combined with the spice will help maintain a higher body temperature so that your immune system is supported. Cayenne is rich in detoxifying properties so if you start sweating it’s a good thing! The honey will soothe your throat, and apple cider vinegar is effective in creating a more alkaline environment in your body, which will help your body kill the ick faster. These ingredients combined create a powerhouse cocktail that will help your body purify itself even faster.

3. Hug in a Mug

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about this one, and that’s because it’s so awesome! And if you can’t handle the spice of the cayenne toddy this is a great alternative. Plus, the stomach-soothing power of ginger is really effective if you’re dealing with any nausea at all.


Hug in a Mug Tea

Author George Bryant (Civilized Caveman)

Yield 1


  • 2 cups water
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic lemon, cut in half and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey


  1. In a small pot over medium heat, combine your water, ginger, lemon and honey
  2. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and then strain into a jar
  3. Enjoy

4. Flu Bomb

Cinnamon is an amazing spice for when you’re under the weather—it’s an antioxidant, it’s anti-inflammatory, and it’s anti-bacterial. Add honey to the mix because it’s excellent for soothing throats and suppressing coughs, and you’ve got two amazing ingredients that compliment each other. Mix them together for an effective flu/cold bomb! Just stir a teaspoon of honey with a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and eat it. Bomb’s away!


Flu Bomb

Author George Bryant (Civilized Caveman)

Yield 1



  1. Combine the cinnamon with your raw honey and consume twice a day until symptoms subside.


5. Rinse Your Nose

When you have a bad cold or flu, one of the most irritating symptoms can be blocked nasal passageways. You sound like you have cotton balls in there, and you become an open-mouth breather. And then all of that congestion only makes your headache worse. One way to soothe these symptoms is to use a Neti Pot. They look like a genie’s lamp, and you can find them in most drugstores now, though they’ve traditionally been used by Indian yogis. All you do is blend a saline solution in the pot and then pour it into your nose. It flows out the other side, carrying out bacteria, allergens, and other nasty stuff with it. Sounds kind of gross, but a Neti Pot is a great way to breathe cleaner during a cold or flu. And if you have seasonal allergies, a Neti Pot can help with those as well by rinsing the pollen out of your nasal passageways.


6.The Stinky Stuff

I’m talking about garlic, actually. It’s been shown to be effective for preventing and shortening the time of colds and flus by boosting the immune system. This is in thanks to a compound called allicin in garlic, which boosts white blood cell response to viruses through a series of chemical reactions. You can mince a clove and add to a mug of water and drink it for a butt-kicking tonic. You can also make a stronger solution of six pressed cloves in a glass of water and gargle with it a few times a day for three days. You’ll notice a difference, trust me!

7. Get Steamy

Another great way to clear and soothe your sinuses is by just breathing in steam! A great way to do this is to boil a cocktail of herbs in a pot (try rosemary and thyme for example). You can also use a bit of white vinegar—a quarter cup or so. Put a towel over your head to hold in the heat, lean over the pot, and breathe for 10 – 15 minutes. The steam will help kill off any bacteria that’s in your nasal passages and lungs, and will loosen congestion too.

8. Have a Bath

I should probably have mentioned that this list isn’t in any particular order. So, you know, this could very well be your first step to feeling better—listen to your body! This list is a kind of arsenal, not a step-by-step. Okay, with that out of the way . . . baths.

Detoxifying the body with a hot, natural bath is a great way to decongest, decompress, and soothe aches and pains. Plus, if you do this right before you go to bed you’ll sleep wonderfully, I promise. Just mix in about ¼ cup of sea salt, epsom salt, baking soda, and Apple Cider Vinegar. I like to throw in about ten drops of essential oils as well. Peppermint oil is a great choice here (which you can find over on Thrive Market, for example) because it will help open up your sinuses even more.

9. Zinc a Day Away

The use of Zinc lozenges can be wonderfully effective in treating colds, shortening their duration by a day, possibly more. It’s recommended to begin taking lozenges at the first sign of a cold, and then following the instructions on the bottle (you can’t pop these things like candy). Again, our friends over at Thrive Market have some awesome options.


10. Stretch it Out

This might be one of the coolest treatments for colds and flus because you already have everything you need for it! One of the worst parts of having a cold or a flu is the tension it causes in the body. You’re lying around a lot and generally not moving very much, and there’s not a lot of blood flow going on. One of the best things you can do is to do some gentle stretching to help move white bloods cells around and to stimulate circulation in your body. Plus, your muscles are probably going to be sore from sleeping so much, and it will feel good to get up and stretch them out a bit, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes. Of course, you should always listen to your body, but if you think you can get up for a quick forward bend or another pose, it’s worth it.

Here’s a great article with seven different yoga poses that specifically target colds and flus.

With all of these great all-natural remedies on hand, who needs syrupy drugs and side effects? Momma Nature has us covered, and if you implement just a few of these treatments I bet you’ll be feeling more energized, healthful, and clean after your cold or flu passes. I hope that you get back on your feet as soon as possible!

Any natural remedies that I should include on the next list? Ping me in the comments section!

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Grass-Fed Meat Wins, Grain-Fed Meat Loses

You've probably noticed that in nearly all of my recipes I write “grass-fed” next to whichever animal protein is in it. This is not just because, but rather due to lots and lots of research.

For many years I didn't think that it mattered what “style” of meat I purchased. Sure, everyone said that grass-fed was better, but was it really? It just seemed like they were trying to get me to spend more money. I chose to switch over anyway and see what the hype was all about (without doing much research either). Right away I noticed something; the color was different!

And after that first meal, I noticed that the flavor was different, the texture was different, and even the tenderness was different! Which made me even more curious. So I finally did some research, and I will never go back!

There are countless benefits to eating grass-fed meat over grain-fed, so many that it would take up way too much of your time for me to explain them all to you! So I went ahead and picked the points that stood out the most to me. Even so, there's still a LOT of information here.

In an attempt to help you better navigate through all of this information, I broke it down (by section) in this list for you. If you can, please take the time to read this in full. But if you can't read it all now, go ahead and skip to the section that best suits your needs and come back later for the rest!

  1. Grass-Fed Meat and What Makes it Different
  2. Why Grain Fed Meat Sucks
  3. The Unethical Treatment of the Cows
  4. High Doses of Antibiotics
  5. The Reason Your Meat has Hormones in it
  6. How Grass-Fed Differs from Grain-Fed
  7. Top Tips to Cooking With Grass-Fed Meat
  8. Where Can I Buy Grass-Fed Meat?
  9. Top Five Favorite Grass-Fed Dishes

I didn't believe everyone at first, but man… grain-fed meat really sucks!
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Grass-Fed Meat

Grass-fed meat comes from cows who have been fed an entirely grass-based diet compared to the commercially funded and conventional grain fed method. A grain-fed diet is typically made from a base of corn and soy.

As we have learned over the years, both of these products (corn and soy) are ones that we want to steer clear from at all costs… especially soy! We don’t think twice about it when our food eats it, but we should!

Did you know that grain-feed is filled with things like gummy worms and marshmallows?
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You might be thinking, “I have eaten conventional meat products my entire life, how bad could they be?”.

Starting around the mid to late 1940’s, cows began being raised in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs for short. CAFOs are designed to optimize the production of our meat in an attempt to keep up with the increased consumption rates, but the methods they use to do this are less than desired.

What makes grain-fed meat so bad? Here are some of the most shocking methods

  • Using the grain-feed instead of grass-feeding the cows
  • Kept in tight/close quarters that are both unsanitary and inhumane
  • Given high doses of antibiotics in an attempt to defeat diseases
  • Given hormones to speed their growth in an unnatural manner

Let’s dive a little further into each of these…

Grain-Fed vs. Grass-Fed

The benefits of using a grain fed diet for the cows is decreased cost and increased production. Keep in mind that this benefits the CAFOs only; not the people consuming the product or the cows!

By using a grain fed diet, they get to feed the cows with genetically modified products. As if that wasn’t bad enough though, they often use fillers as well! These fillers have been discovered to include things as insane as gummy worms and marshmallows. Literally taking any measure necessary to decrease the cost of the feed, while still fattening the cows. Which is the second benefit to a CAFO for using a grain-based diet.

By getting a cow fatter, they will reach the mandatory minimum weight needed to be sent off for slaughter sooner. This allows the companies running the CAFOs to produce more meat at a quicker rate.

Tight and Unsanitary Living Quarters

As if fattening the cows wasn’t enough, they also herd them into the tightest quarters possible. Which goes to show how profit is more important than proper treatment.

By fitting as many cows into as small a space as they can, they are able to make more money and send them off to the slaughterhouse quicker.

From an ethics standpoint this is obviously wrong, but how does it affect your physical health?

High Doses of Antibiotics

Since the cows in CAFOs are kept in such tight and unsanitary quarters, they often get very sick.

In order to “save” the rest of the cows from getting sick, the sick ones are pumped with antibiotics in a lame attempt to combat the diseases that the CAFOs themselves created. By having a reactive approach, the disease will still spread, requiring the use of antibiotics for even more cows.

This means that the same cows that were pumped full of antibiotics to kill off a disease created by unsanitary living conditions are being butchered and sold in the same packaging.

Hormone Injections

While the cows are getting fatter from the grain fed diets, they are not necessarily growing faster. In order to combat this, the CAFOs pump cows with hormone injections to speed up their growth.

These hormones end up becoming part of the cow’s molecular structure and when all is said and done, we are eating their meat.

This stresses me out!

Just as you wouldn’t want to eat a corn or soy-based diet, imagine you lived in the same conditions as these cows. You would want out pretty quickly! But you can’t get out. So what happens? You get stressed! Well surprise, surprise… the same happens with cows!

When animals (humans included) are stressed, they have an increase in a stress hormone which is known as cortisol. This increased cortisol becomes part of the meat that we are consuming. And cortisol consumption has been linked to many avoidable health issues!

How does grass-fed differ?

Grass-fed, free-range cows are given the ability to roam and eat a natural diet. Essentially, they are allowed to live the way cows were meant to live. The result of this is properly raised cows that are stress-free.

I used to buy the expensive cuts so the meat tasted better. With grass-fed, even the “cheap” cuts…
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With that, there is no need for hormones as they are being raised in a natural state, growing at their normal rates of progression. And, being in a free range environment, their quarters are not as confined, which allows for the reduced possibility of diseases. Thus resulting in less use of antibiotics. Instead, antibiotics are only used when needed, rather than as a preventative measure.

An additional aspect that makes grass-fed meat better than grain fed meat is the leanness of the meat. By having less fat (from a proper diet) the resulting meat is leaner!

Another benefit is that grass-fed meat also contains around 5x as many Omega-3 fatty acids as grain fed meat does and twice as much CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)! These compounds are often associated with a reduction in body fat!

You will also find more vitamin A & E in grass-fed meat than you will in grain-fed meat.

Top tips for cooking with Grass-Fed Meat

Due to the leanness of the meat, the cooking time and procedures are changed slightly.

With grass-fed meat you will find that it cooks quicker and there is less shrinkage from fat loss since it is a leaner cut! This results in a thicker and juicier burger EVERY TIME!

I like my burgers thick and juicy.
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Because of the quicker cooking time, people often overcook their grass-fed meat which results in a chewier texture than conventional grain-fed meats.

To combat this, all you need to do is cut back on the cooking time! And in some instances, you could greatly benefit from seasoning or marinading your meat too! When doing so, you’ll get a juicier and tender piece of meat every time!

Where can I buy grass-fed meat?

Some areas have local farms and butchers where they can obtain grass-fed meats! Although more often than not this is not the case.

I don’t have to worry about the effects that grain-fed meat has on my health, or where to buy grass-fed meats locally, thanks to my friends at Thrive Market.

In April, Thrive Market introduced an all-new grass-fed and free-range meat program! Which was made as an addition to their already existing online marketplace of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and healthy food options available nation-wide.

When testing their services out, they sent me a box of their new meats to try which included options like; chicken breast, ground beef, and salmon! But when they sent it to me, I was out of town! My family couldn’t resist waiting, so they opened it!

I pretended to open it again for your sake and made an unboxing video!

In this video, you’ll see all of the meat I received, and hear some more information on their amazing new program!

They truly have so many options already available in their marketplace, and this addition is a real game changer!

Not to mention, their products are already 25-50% cheaper on average than typical retail prices as they are solely an online marketplace! And they send it all right to your doorstep in a matter of days!

That discount didn’t seem like enough though, so I got you an extra 25% off your first order and a 30-day free trial when you use my link. Just a simple thank you from me to all of you!

My Favorite Dishes Made with Grass-Fed Meat

Now, as you probably know, I have a protein source in 99% of the things that I cook. So I figured it would be beneficial to you if I chose my 3 favorite dishes made with grass-fed and free-range meats!

  1. Stir Fry Beef Salad
    With stir-fry, you are cooking the beef quickly within the saute. This is perfect for grass-fed meat in order to have a lean, quickly cooked, and tender addition!
  2. Balsamic Grilled Chicken
    This recipe is so full of flavor, it would be a shame to use conventional-commercially processed chicken with it!
  3. The Perfect Paleo Burger
    With grass-fed beef, the number one use is as ground beef. Due to the leanness of the meat, burgers and other things made from grass-fed beef end up thicker and juicier than any grain-fed beef would!
  4. Crockpot Rump Roast
    This rump roast has stood the test of time for a reason! Seven years later and it is still one of the number one viewed recipes on my site. Don't miss out!
  5. Crockpot Pulled Pork
    Nothing beats a tasty and simple pulled pork in my eyes! This one is seasoned with caveman rub and then left to cook in the crockpot! Super simple, yet wildly tasty!

I hope that this information helps you when making an informed decision as to whether or not you make the switch to grass-fed! Or that it reinforces your existing opinion on the topic!!!

The post Grass-Fed Meat Wins, Grain-Fed Meat Loses appeared first on Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.

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