Category Archives: health food

Can Beef Be Healthy? – The Health Benefits of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

Photo Courtesy PlanetGreen

*Please click the links provided in the post to read studies on conjugated linoleic acid

What if you could eat your beef, yet remain healthy? What if you could eat eggs, chicken, turkey, etc., but still maintin a low body weight? Conjugated linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid found in these products may provide these healthy benefits, and more, according to numerous studies on the fatty acid composition and its relation to human health.

There are many studies linking meat consumption with cancer, diabetes and a host of other health problems that stem from an unhealthy lifestyle and bad dietary habits. However, many of these studies are indicating factory farm animals, who have been fed GMO (genetically modified) grains, promoting higher levels of omega-6 fats in their blood (inflammatory fats—high livels have been shown to contribute to cancer cell growth). These animals are also pumped full of antibiotics to keep them from getting sick due to their stressful environment, and growth hormones to increase the rate of growth in the animal. I don’t know about you, but all these things don’t really sound health promoting.

This might be the reason why many studies link cancer with meat eaters. But what if there was a way to avoid all meat containing these unhealthy additives and fats, meat that was organically raised, free range and ate the diet their bodies were designed to eat? Would they be healthier, and would our health reflect theirs? Most possibly, especially when you look into the research done with grass fed beef and animals and CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid.

What is CLA?

CLA is an essential fatty acid. This means our body cannot manufacture CLA on its own, and we need to obtain it from our diet. The foods high in CLA include eggs, beef (specifically grass fed beef), chicken and turkey. Finding CLA in vegetable sources is nearly impossible, unless you want to consume corn oil (eek!), which is especially high in omega-6 fats.

CLA has been shown in recent studies to fight obesity, reduce the risk for cancer, help you lose weight, improve immune function as well as fight diabetes. An amazing list that you don’t immediately jump to when you think about eating meat.

There are many naysayers about consuming beef, especially because of the deplorable conditions factory farm animals are kept throughout their short lives. In my opinion, this form of farming has to go, and replaced with a slowly growing movement of free range, organic farming, which lets the animals roam freely on a diet that will promote their health (rather than being fed grain—an unhealthy food that promotes inflammation, and one that they would never eat in nature).

Animals who are free range typically live longer than animals who are on factory farms, and tend be healthier without the use of antibiotics. Organic, free range cows are especially high in CLA, afat which has been shown to fight cancer and belly fat. In fact,you don’t necessarily have to consume grass fed beef too often to receive its health benefits. Free range, cage free organic eggs also provide a high amount of CLA (but not as much as grass fed beef).

The Health Benefits of CLA

This is Part 1 of a two part series on CLA. The benefits of conjugated linoleic acid will cover an entire post (in fact, probably even two posts!), so I will retain the benefits of this healthy fat until tomorrow. However, here are a few bullet points (which will be followed with the studies that validate the claims in the following post) that show the health benefits of the essential fatty acid, CLA:

  • Reduces the Risk for Cancer
  • Fights Diabetes
  • Fights Abdominal Obesity
  • Reduces High Triglyceride Accumulation

Until next time, this is The Healthy Advocate.

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The Farmer’s Market

Don’t be fooled by the Eggland’s Best egg carton. The local farmer reuses these cartons for their eggs. I actually had a bit more produce than this. All organic, local and all at only $5.

I have just discovered a local, organic farmer’s market near me that I just had to write about it. It runs every Saturday morning, and carries a large, fresh tasty organic produce. Right now, summer vegetables now dominate the market–zucchini and yellow squash, blackberries, cucumber, okra, kale, green beans, tomatoes (huge!) and more.

Only ONE woman runs the market–she is the gardener, marketer, financier and cook. Yes, she actually cooks things and sells them at the market, as well. She even makes green drinks, full of kale, pineapple and other greens. One woman I met at the market swears by them, and says they are absolutely delicious. They sure do sound alkalizing!
The reason why I believe farmer’s markets are important is because it gets people in touch back to our roots of food. Before we had supermarkets that shipped avocados all the way from Brazil, or lettuce from Mexico, we ate locally grown, “organic” food. This food contained more nutrients due to the less storage time and virtually no shipping, allowing one to eat “fresh from the farm”.
We still have access to this type of food, but we have to look for it. The farmer’s market I found is held in my local health food store. Isn’t that cool? Find a local health food store and ask whether or not they know of any farmer’s in the area that are selling their produce. You want to go preferably organic, but local is the name of the game.
The prices of local organic produce is often times much less than what you will find at your typical supermarket, as well. Lucy, the gardener who sells her produce at my health food store, sells large organic zucchini’s for 4/$1. That is SO much less than any conventional store I have been in. A large bag of organic kale? $2. It’s incredible at the deals you can find.
In fact, when I went, I took just a $5 bill, expecting to only buy some squash, and maybe anything else my Abe could get for me. Not only did I get some pretty good looking zucchini and yellow squash, but I received a large bag of Kale. I had $1 left over and I asked Lucy in a sort of joking way, “Is there anything I can get for $1?” She looked around, headed toward the tomatoes ($1.89 per pound), weight one, and put it into my bag. Then she grabbed two handfuls of cherry tomatoes and placed them in as well. So sweet of her!
This experience has really inspired me to start my own garden ASAP. I did a little gardening before, but didn’t really invest too much into (and likewise didn’t receive much out of it, either). I’m ordering seeds as I type, and am looking at ways to build a good organic soil. Does anyone know a method of doing this? I want to use the dirt in the backyard, but do I need to add compost, peat, moss, manure, etc? I live in zone 9, I believe, if that helps.
So, if you are looking for a farmers market near you, please go to Local Harvest. This website will let you type in your zip code and will pull up local market’s near you. I haven’t yet sought out local, free range meat yet, but you can find those listings over at Eat Wild.
Happy foraging everyone!
This is The Healthy Advocate.

The Farmer's Market

Don’t be fooled by the Eggland’s Best egg carton. The local farmer reuses these cartons for their eggs. I actually had a bit more produce than this. All organic, local and all at only $5.

I have just discovered a local, organic farmer’s market near me that I just had to write about it. It runs every Saturday morning, and carries a large, fresh tasty organic produce. Right now, summer vegetables now dominate the market–zucchini and yellow squash, blackberries, cucumber, okra, kale, green beans, tomatoes (huge!) and more.

Only ONE woman runs the market–she is the gardener, marketer, financier and cook. Yes, she actually cooks things and sells them at the market, as well. She even makes green drinks, full of kale, pineapple and other greens. One woman I met at the market swears by them, and says they are absolutely delicious. They sure do sound alkalizing!
The reason why I believe farmer’s markets are important is because it gets people in touch back to our roots of food. Before we had supermarkets that shipped avocados all the way from Brazil, or lettuce from Mexico, we ate locally grown, “organic” food. This food contained more nutrients due to the less storage time and virtually no shipping, allowing one to eat “fresh from the farm”.
We still have access to this type of food, but we have to look for it. The farmer’s market I found is held in my local health food store. Isn’t that cool? Find a local health food store and ask whether or not they know of any farmer’s in the area that are selling their produce. You want to go preferably organic, but local is the name of the game.
The prices of local organic produce is often times much less than what you will find at your typical supermarket, as well. Lucy, the gardener who sells her produce at my health food store, sells large organic zucchini’s for 4/$1. That is SO much less than any conventional store I have been in. A large bag of organic kale? $2. It’s incredible at the deals you can find.
In fact, when I went, I took just a $5 bill, expecting to only buy some squash, and maybe anything else my Abe could get for me. Not only did I get some pretty good looking zucchini and yellow squash, but I received a large bag of Kale. I had $1 left over and I asked Lucy in a sort of joking way, “Is there anything I can get for $1?” She looked around, headed toward the tomatoes ($1.89 per pound), weight one, and put it into my bag. Then she grabbed two handfuls of cherry tomatoes and placed them in as well. So sweet of her!
This experience has really inspired me to start my own garden ASAP. I did a little gardening before, but didn’t really invest too much into (and likewise didn’t receive much out of it, either). I’m ordering seeds as I type, and am looking at ways to build a good organic soil. Does anyone know a method of doing this? I want to use the dirt in the backyard, but do I need to add compost, peat, moss, manure, etc? I live in zone 9, I believe, if that helps.
So, if you are looking for a farmers market near you, please go to Local Harvest. This website will let you type in your zip code and will pull up local market’s near you. I haven’t yet sought out local, free range meat yet, but you can find those listings over at Eat Wild.
Happy foraging everyone!
This is The Healthy Advocate.

What Healthy Recipes Do YOU Want to See?

Many people enjoy their sinful pleasures–chocolate cake, ice cream, hamburgers, pizza, etc., etc. But what if there was a way to make them entirely gluten (and even grain) free, sugar free, healthy and incredibly tasty?

I think there is. I’m from a notion (a “notion”–not an ocean) that says, “Everything has an answer, and everything will work out.” I’ve seen some amazing healthy culinary pursuits in my time (in fact, I’ve experienced the majority of them!), so I am prepared for suggestions on your favorite food, and how to make it completely, or mostly, healthy.
“Health food” is a term that I really dislike; not because I dislike healthy food–quite the contrary! It’s just that the healthy food that I make and prepare for myself doesn’t really taste like health food–it takes like a sweet indulgence.
I was inspired by Lauren from Healthy Indulgences to delve into different culinary aspects that sounded quite strange to me while I was beginning on my gluten free, grain free, sugar free path. Cake made with beans, rice made with shredded cauliflower and rich, healthy, natural saturated fats used in the majority of recipes. Not only did I change the way I ate, I changed my health (both mind and body) incredibly, and I want to help you, too!
Send me your suggestions on what type of food you enjoy (and be honest!) and how I can make it healthy just for you. I WILL test as many recipes as I can before I give you the best one. One rule that I have for my cooking (or uncooking–RAW food), is that it must taste good. So I’ve got you there.
This is The Healthy Advocate.