So you should know that I used to poo poo eating animals. Then I had a bunch of weird stuff happen to me that basically made me a hot mess- Blech!
After some digging (and testing) I finally got why my body truly needs meat and Exactly what kind I need to buy. One company that’s made this super easy for me is Butcher Box.
Here’s a guest post I wrote for them, so we can all make the best choice for our bodies AND brains!
Do you ever stand at the meat counter and opt for the cheaper option?
Come on.. admit it. Okay, so maybe you stick to the primo stuff no matter the cost.
If so, great job! You’ve got most people beat.
I used to be in the bargain meat shopper group. I’d look at that ground beef in the case and see it next to it’s organic brother but costing about $3 less a pound. It looks the same… I mean how different can it really be?
I save $3 and get my protein in. What’s the big deal?
That’s what I thought for years, until I realized the cheaper option was totally dragging me down, literally
If you’re looking for a strong reason to eat meat and pay the price for the best stuff-
I’ve got it here for you.
( I know you’re busy and have enough to worry about, so I’ll keep this simple. No dogmatic opinions or overwhelming science here. Just good info and resources for you!)
Ten years ago, I was a hot mess. I was on a mostly plant based diet, occasional eggs and fish. But really I lived off pounds of kale, spinach, yams, nuts, seeds and avocado. Pretty healthy right? As a Health Coach and Nutrition Specialist I knew how to get in my daily quota of protein from these incomplete sources.
But things just weren’t working out.
I started hitting plateaus in my workouts, got canker sores in my mouth, often had diarrhea and was perpetually cold. Then there was my mood. I was down! I had this constant feeling of doubt and overwhelm.
It was that last bit that drove me to finally make some serious changes to my diet.
Animal Proteins dose out some awesome B vitamins that we humans need to stay emotionally stable, chill out and well, stay sane. Specifically Pantothenic Acid, Niacin and Vitamin B12
Turns out my body was crazy low in Vitamin D & B vitamins, specifically B5, B6 & B12.
If your brain just turned off, stay with me here. These B vitamins happen to keep you from freaking out, literally.
So get this! Vitamin B5. Pantothenic Acid is known as the Anti Stress vitamin. It reduces depression and anxiety. It also is hugely important in the production on neurotransmitters and hormones.
B6, Niacin and Vit D also play a huge role in keeping us balanced mentally and emotionally. Turns out I was crazy low in all these vitamins. I had been eating amazing healthy foods, but my body and mind were a wreck!
Guess what foods are chock full of Vitamin D and B vitamins? Meat! Specifically Beef, fish, pork & chicken
The thing that drove me to the meat counter was my mental and emotional health. Depression and mental illness runs rampant in my family. It is that threat that keeps me doing healthy stuff every day.
As a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist I needed to get my gut in check, have more energy and get stronger. But it was the hard facts of my mental and emotional decline that got me sprinting to the meat counter.
I started incorporating more meat in my diet and a lot of things cleared up. I got more energy, diarrhea stopped and I pushed through plateaus in my strength training. I felt my anxiety decreasing, but I knew I should FEEL better.
So I did some digging on what I could improve. Turned out my cheap meats were totally holding me back.
It’s all about the grass. That beautiful green stuff that animals run around and chomp on.
This may not be news to you. But bear with me while I quickly breakdown why humans get crazy benefits from animals that eat grass.
Grass is full of sun (Vit D) and amazing nutrients from the soil it grows in.
When animals graze on healthy grass they are able to break it down with their unique digestive tracts, their rumen. This is why they are called Ruminants.
We humans cannot break down and absorb the nutrients from grass. We don’t have a four chambered stomach.
So to get that amazing grass inside of us – we need an animal to break it down for us and absorb it into their bodies. That grass makes them build better organs, muscles… parts that we humans can stay strong and healthy with (on all levels)
The cheap meats I was buying weren’t getting any of that.
They were eating a lot of grains, soy and other stuff we don’t wanna talk about – blech! They were also not getting out in the good sun and roaming around. Their own muscles and organs were poor quality due to lack of good living conditions.
You know how you feel after you eat stuff your body doesn’t deal with well? – gassy, bloated, tired.. moody? Well animals aren’t supposed to eat grains and soy. It messes them up and makes them sick.
So – basically my budget meats were much lower in the very nutrients I desperately needed.
That’s when I started buying only the best meats. And I am not joking when I say that after 2 weeks of better eggs, poultry, fish, beef and lamb I felt like a new woman.
I could organize my day much easier, I got more work done in less time, I was wanting to go out more and be more social and definitely slept better.
There’s the brain boost I was looking for! It was hiding in the grass fed animals:)
It’s so simple!
- Grass is good, but humans can’t digest grass
- Animals like to eat grass and are super talented at digesting it
- Animals that roam freely in the sun and eat grass bring amazing health benefits to humans that eat them.
- So Animals + Grass = Happier Animals AND High Performing Humans
What’s really cool is that there are some super awesome companies and farms that make it crazy easy for you to find these great meats.
I’m a huge fan of Butcher Box. Check them out ButcherBox.com
Here’s some labels to look for when buying or ORDERING meats anywhere.
Free- Range: Label indicates the flock was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and or covered with netting like material.
Cage- Free: This label indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during production cycle
Natural – Meat, poultry and egg products labeled as natural must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs
Grass-Fed: Grass fed animals receive a majority of their nutrients from grass throughout their life. Organic animals pasture diet may be supplemented with grain. Always look for Grass Fed AND Grass Finished. (that means they ate grass their entire life)
Organic – This label indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Organic farming avoids the use of artificial inputs such as synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Also banned are the use of animal byproducts, antibiotics and sewage sludge.
I truly hope this info helps you stay healthy, strong and HAPPY