Food Quality Guide: Tips + Top Brands

If you’re just looking for quick tips/shopping guides/links I recommend, click these buttons to go directly to the sections:

Why Organic? Pesticides + GMOs

Just gonna give it to you straight: Organic is not a gimmick- making this one swap can do more for your hormones, fertility and overall health than you may think!

What is Organic Exactly?

Organic products have to meet certain requirements to carry the organic label like:

  • Prohibit the use and interaction with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Ask farmers to refrain from the use of synthetic substances, pesticides, or herbicides
  • Require specific maintenance and enhancements of both soil and water quality
  • Guarantee your food isn’t grown using conventional chemicals (and that the farm hasn’t used these for at least 3 years)
  • Rotate crops and utilize composted animal manures and green manure crops to improve soil nutrient density
Is Organic Really Healthier For Me?

Nutritionally, organic produce has been shown to have higher levels of vitamins and minerals than conventional produce, which likely has to do with the soil being treated correctly and crops rotated so that the produce can grow full of nutrients.

Traditional crops don’t rotate and tend to deal with something farmers call the “dilution effect”- meaning more pounds of produce from the same soil means less nutrition per pound of produce produced.

One report showed that packs of sliced green beans only have 11% of the vitamin C claimed on the package. Another report comparing mineral levels of 27 fruits and vegetables from 1930 and 1980 found modern produce to be depleted by an average of -20%, with calcium dropping -46%, magnesium -23%, iron -27% and zinc -59%.

Prevalence of Pesticides + Herbicides

We have been farming for over 10,000 years but pesticides + herbicides have only been used since the 1940s (all foods prior to this were “organic”). 5.6 BILLION POUNDS of pesticides are applied globally each year (1 million in the US alone) to farms, forests, golf courses and lawns.

Many farmers use pesticides and herbicides to help the plants live without invasion, but those same chemicals used to kill off other bugs end up killing off the good bugs in our gut and leading to gut and hormone issues. Over time, these exposures can cause even bigger systemic body issues that we don’t always relate back directly to the foods we eat. 

Pesticides have been measured in over 95% of humans because they are extremely persistent in the environment. They are “fat-loving” chemicals meaning they get stored inside the fatty issues in our bodies.

They have also been found in over 40% of conventional baby food. This is important as babies and young children are more vulnerable than adults to pesticide exposure!

Beware of Glyphosate (RoundUp)

Here’s some good news- many different classes of pesticides have been banned over the past few decades as research began to discover all of the negative side effects. But there is one still used daily that is arguably one of the WORST for our health and is likely responsible for many of the conditions people experience today: GLYPHOSATE.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the most commonly used weed killers, including Roundup. These weed killers are used broadly in agriculture and found in varying quantities throughout our environment. The high usage of glyphosate has led to reports of significant levels of  it in our water, air, rainfall, and even human breast milk.

The WHO classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen”, and it is implicated in a wide variety of human health disorders. Research shows that glyphosate is 10x more potent than gluten in its ability to degrade tight junctions in the gut lining. Glyphosate acts like an antibiotic in the gut, destroying beneficial bacteria, and also chelates minerals like calcium and magnesium, making them unavailable for absorption and suppressing the adrenal glands ability to make hormones.

RoundUp formulas can also contain many heavy metals (arsenic, chromium, nickel and lead) in addition to glyphosate.

Side Effects of Pesticides

Reproductive + Hormone Issues: Fertility issues in both men + women, increased risk of miscarriage and pre-term births

Liver + Kidney Issues: depletes the liver’s antioxidant (glutathione) making it harder for you to detoxify in general

Birth Issues: Fetal brain damage, low birth weight

Children’s Issues: Autism, poor attention in children, decreased cognitive skills for children with prenatal exposures, early onset of puberty, reduced IQ, ADHD, neurobehavioral developmental issues

Leaky Gut: Gut inflammation, disrupted gut microbiome

Diseases: Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Chronic fatigue, Chronic kidney disease

Cancers: Testicular cancer, breast cancer, leukemia & lymphoma

Depletes Minerals: binds (chelates) to god minerals like zinc, copper, manganese, calcium + magnesium, making them unable to be absorbed

    Say No to GMOs

    GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are plants or other ingredients that have been manipulated genetically to produce their OWN pesticides or survive through pesticides being applied to them (aka RoundUp)

    They aren’t the natural form of the food and we don’t know how these interact with our own genetics/body chemistry as they have never been tested for saftey in humans.

    Animal studies, however, have shown severe organ damage, spontaneous miscarriages and sterility (aka infertility) when consumed.

    • Common GMOs: Canola, corn, cotton, soy, sugar beet, squash
    • Common Animal GMOs: Eggs, gelatin, honey, meat, milk

    Buy Organic on a Budget

    I think a big thing that prohibits some from buying organic is that they think it is more expensive. And yes, you may pay $0.50- $1 more for the same item, but this will help you save hundreds or thousands on sick care later on in life. I consider eating well now an investment into my future health and thus “expense” is relative short-term vs. long-term. 

    Additionally, many organic products now are often the same price as the conventional, especially in season or frozen items. I have found shopping at places like Costco, Thrive Market, Azure Standard and Trader Joe’s has the best organic products for the budget and I actually drive 45 min (both ways) to visit these stores. Yet another sacrifice I make for my health because I’ve found it to be so, so worth it!

    Here are my top tips on how to shop organically on a budget:

    Shop Sales!

    You’d be surprised that the sales in-store at Whole Foods or online at Thrive Market and VitaCost are usually cheaper than my local grocery stores (Kroger/Meijer).

    Every weekend, I check the sales ads for all stores and stock up on things that are deeply discounted– especially things I can freeze or keep in the pantry.

    Buy in Bulk

    Bulk shopping is ALWAYS cheaper due to less packaging costs, etc. for the supplier.

    I shop at places like Costco and Azure Standard to buy things in bulk that I don’t need every week or even month (and also check their sales adds to BOTH buy in bulk AND shop the sales!).

    Buy In-Season

    This one can be tricky if you live in a cold climate, but often grocery stores source from other states and will have items that are in-season elsewhere (and thus cheaper).

    If you’ve never paid attention, watch organic, fresh berry prices in the winter vs. the summer months– this is where things can add up!

    Here are a few websites that can tell you what is in-season both locally in-season and in general in the US.

    Buy Frozen

    Especially for things that you can’t get in-season, frozen is where it’s at! Frozen produce is frozen at it’s peak freshness which maintains its nutrient profile more than canned/preserved produce. Plus with frozen you aren’t getting exposed to heavy metals and chemicals in cans and their liners (BPA, etc.).

    In the winter, I rarely buy fresh berries but we still use a ton from Costco’s frozen organic optionsFrozen organic veggies are also great to have on hand for quick dinners and can save you from eating out and spending more (and eating non-organic food).

    Buy Local/Join a CSA

    I believe this is the future of grocery shopping. We can’t rely on big chains anymore to supply our main staple foods, especially when locally they are being raised more humanely and fed more sustainably!

    Plus local farms are usually cheaper than most grocery stores. We get organic, pasture-raised eggs for $6 and the same quality at the store is over $3 more per dozen.

    Joining a CSA in the summer also guarantees you fresh, in-season produce and supports local farmers.

    See below for ideas on local sourcing

    Buy Store-Brand Items

    I find that buying the store-brand items are usually cheaper than name brands and often have identical ingredient lists.

    This is why places like Trader Joe’s is so much cheaper when it comes to organic because they don’t have to mark up name-brands. This is also very true for your local grocery stores- compare the prices between the same item from your store vs. a brand and see the price difference!

    Easy Fruit + Veggie Wash Recipe

    Even if you’re buying organic, you still need to wash your veggies and fruits prior to eating.

    It has been found that even just rinsing produce under running water reduced pesticide residue off 9/12 samples tested. But one step further- soaking produce in a vinegar and water solution can reduce pesticides by 65-85%.

    Fruit + Veggie Wash Recipe

    You really don’t need a recipe for this (I mostly just eyeball it) but based on how big your washing container/bowl/sink is for the soak, you may want more or less:

    • 1/2 to 1 cup Apple Cider Vingear or White Vinegar
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Baking Soda

    Pour into clean, filtered water (bowl, sink, etc.) and let the fruit/veg soak for at least 5 min. After soaking scrub each item and run under water to rinse off before letting dry.

    Why Quality Meat + Dairy Matters

    Animal products are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet, but due to toxins in our environment and the way in which they are raised/grown, we have to now be careful about the type and quality we are buying to ensure that they aren’t adding to our toxic burden.

    On one hand, something like salmon or grass-fed beef is known to be full of “healthy Omega 3 fats” and high in protein, but on the other hand based on its sourcing + upbringing, you could also be getting a hefty dose of pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals like flame retardants (PBDEs), PCBs + dioxins and heavy metals like mercury.

    Knowing how to find the right kinds of animal products will help you to reap the health benefits while at the same time avoid the toxins that can hurt you. Here are some of the ways toxins get in our meat/dairy:

    How Do Toxins Get Into Our Animal Products?

    Toxins from things like industry emissions, mining, volcanoes and/or forest fires and end up in the soil, get dumped into rivers, travel via air pollution and eventually end up in our air, land and water supply. AKA- the land the animals eat off of, the air they breath and the water they drink!

    Many of these toxins are fat-loving (lipophilic) which means they get stored in the fatty tissues of animals. Because certain meats and fatty fishes and butter/cheese/whole milks have a higher fat content, these can be the greatest sources of these toxins in our diet (when coming from animals not raised properly).

    Also, we as humans are at the taop of that food chain and can have some of the highest levels of toxins because of what is called biomagnficiation- small fish get contaminated, big fish eat small fish, we eat the animals.

    Technically, breastfeeding babies have the highest levels of toxin exposure as their bodies are smaller, they eat more on average daily than an adult, and their detoxification organs aren’t at full working capacity yet.

    Added Hormones + Antibiotics...to Meat?

    Artificial hormones are being used to grow the animal faster and produce higher quantities of milk; the downside being these hormones can cause cancer in both the animal and the person eating them- specifically breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.

    Many countries have now banned added hormones, but unfortunately the US still allows it in all animals except poultry or pork. Note: If you see chicken labels “no added hormones” this is a marketing gimmick- they aren’t allowed to add hormones anyways!

    Due to the inflammation + infection caused by these hormones, antibiotics are next being used to combat the problem they are creating. Get this- In the early 2010s, 80% of ALL the antibiotics sold were for livestock and poultry; only 20% went to humans. This is a growing problem due to antibiotic resistance- the more antibiotics we take in, the more our body adapts and the next use of them isn’t as potent.

    Thankfully, some regulations are now starting to come out surrounding antibiotic use in animals and Europe even has a ban on them starting in 2022.

    These Toxins Stay for YEARS!

    In the 1970s in Michigan, a chemical company accidentally gave a type of flame retardant to livestock via their feed. They didn’t realize it until after over 8 million people had already consumed the meat and dairy products from these animals.

    Now, over 40 years later these chemicals are STILL showing up in the body’s of Michigan residents and have been specifically linked to thyroid issues, menstrual cycle changes and higher risk of miscarriage in those who were exposed in-utero….aka they didn’t eat it themselves, their MOMs did!!

    All of this from one single chemical getting into animal feed over 40 years ago to now being passed in-utero and/or through breastmilk.

    What Issues Do They Cause in the Body?

    Cancers: Brain, digestive system, liver, skin and lymphatic system

    Reproductive Issues: Reduced fertility + lower sperm counts; endometriosis

    Blood sugar Issues: insulin resistance + Type 2 Diabetes

    Neurological Symptoms: Tremors, memory loss, headaches, immune system damage, cognitive + motor dysfunction, vision problems, tingling in extremities

    Psychological Symptoms: Irritability, excitability, outbursts, fearfulness/anxiety, restlessness, depression + insomnia

    Autoimmunity: Arthritis, Lupus, Thyroid diseases (the more PCBs, the less thyroid hormones)

    Prenatal Exposures linked to: Birth defects, developmental issues, mental retardation, seizures, vision and hearing loss, language disorders, memory loss

    Top Toxins to Avoid in Meat/Fish/Dairy

    PCBs

    Polychlorinated Biphenyls, a group name for over 200 industrial chemicals that are used in plastics, rubbers and electrical items that easily leach from landfills into our water supply.

    These chemicals stay in our bodies for 20-30 years even after no new exposure and are fat-loving (aka end up in high fat products and in our own body fat).

    Mercury

    Gets into the water supply through landfills and industrial/manufacturing waste and can travel very easily through the air- which is why it has been found even in the Arctic ocean, despite there being no industry up in the Arctic.

    Mercury is really good at biomagnification- so whales, sharks, and tuna, can have levels of it in that is 100,000x higher than the mercury  in the water in which they swim, some even up to 1 MILLION times higher.

    Dioxins

    Dioxins arent actually created for use but are created/released into the environment as a by-product of industrial activities like incineration and fuel combustion.

    Can travel through air and end up on water or land and thus concentrate in our food supply.

    Flame Retardants

    Found in higher quantities in meat than in other animal products. 

    These are found like wildfire in our enviornment and can cause a lot of hormone + thyroid disturbances, especially in children.

    Sourcing Quality MEAT

     If you haven’t realized by now, conventional meat is simply a bad choice based on the way they choose to raise, feed, and treat the animals. Unfortunately we will be exposed to these eating out or at events, but the key is to make sure the meat that comes into your home is safe and raised as clean as possible.

    Why Isn't Organic Meat Good Enough?

    For years before I knew what I know now, I thought organic meat was a good choice- I was wrong. Organic certification requires that all feed (including the pasture they graze on) is 100% certified organic and not sprayed with pesticides and that the animal is treated with synthetic medicines and/or hormones. 

    The issue here is that organic beef, specifically, isn’t supposed to be fed grain in the first place. So it is great if the land that they graze off of is organic, but we also need to be sure the meat is grass-feed and they were grazing animals.

    Typical “organic beef” means the cow consumes a blended diet of grain, corn and may graze on organic grass– but we don’t know their living situation- which could still be a packed feed lot.

    Certifications/Labels to Look For:

    If buying from bigger companies/stores, look for labels like: 

    • American Grassfed Association
    • Animal Welfare Approved
    • Certified Humane
    • Global Animal Partnership
    • Food Alliance Certified
    • USDA Organic

    If buying from a local farmer:

    The odds are they don’t pay to get these certifications, but talk to them and you’ll often find they are even more strict about their choices than most certifications would require them to be!

    Sourcing Quality POULTRY + EGGS

    Chicken are a little different from meats as they aren’t classified as grass-fed, as they are actually omnivores and eat bugs, animals and grasses/grains.

    Conventionally raised chickens are also raised in tight quarters, are dosed with antibiotics and usually fed non-organic GMO soy and corn feed. This impacts both the meat and those chicken’s eggs.

    Note: If you see chicken products labeled “no added hormones” this is a marketing gimmick– they aren’t allowed to add hormones anyways!

    Sourcing Quality SEAFOOD

    Small fish in the water eat these toxins and they end up staying in the fish and accumulate, mostly in their fat tissue. Medium fish eat the small fish and absorb those toxins along with the ones they already contained in their own bodies. Big fish then eat the medium fish which get all the toxins from the small and now medium fish, too- this is called “biomagnification”- meaning toxic load increases as we go up the food chain.

    And who eats all sizes of fish? WE DO!

    Avoid Farmed Fish/Seafood

    The majority of what you’ll get in restaurants or in grocery stores is almost all farmed (over 70% of salmon on the market is farmed).

    Farmed fish are raised in high density which means they end up getting a lot of disease and things like parasites. To keep disease at bay, farms use both antibiotics and pesticides- both by adding it to the fish food and to the water supply.

    Farmed fish are also heavily contaminated with chemical toxins like PCBs and dioxins which contribute to a whole host of issues- cancers, reproductive issues, children’s health issues and are incredibly persistent in our environment. 

    An EWG study in 2003 found that FARMED salmon had 16x the levels of PCBs + Dioxins compared to WILD salmon and 4x as much as beef. 

    Wild Options Aren't Exactly Clean Either

    Unfortunately, even wild fish can have some issues- mainly mercury contamination and medications + drugs like Aleve, Tylenol, Valium, Zoloft + OxyContin and Triclosan from personal care products in the environment.

    This explains why even wild seafood probably shouldn’t be a daily staple in our diets– rather something we choose maybe 1-2x per week.

     

    Sourcing Quality DAIRY

    Despite what you may have heard, dairy has been around for over 100,000 years and records show that it existed in the Sahara Desert long before it was ever a desert. For many years, the world’s growth and population depended on milk for nutritional sustenance.

    Despite this, many people are having trouble digesting dairy and/or are being diagnosed with lactose intolerance, but don’t really understand what that means.

    Lactose is the major sugar found in milk and lactase is the enzyme that breaks it down. We are all born with lactase in order to digest our mother’s milk, but many lose it as they age due to issues with the gut lining’s production of lactase. 

    So what changed? Similar to gluten + glyphosate…is it that we all have suddenly become intolerant to dairy or that we don’t do well on the milk that we have available in the store today?

    The Problem with Pasteurization

    Store-bought dairy goes through something called pasteurization, a heating process that claims to make the milk “safe” but in the process, the heat kills off all the vitamins, enzymes, immune properties, antioxidants, and most importantly LACTASE- the enzyme we need to help our body break down milk properly.

    Pasteurization came about when cows started to be raised in crowded quarters and fed grain-based diets. Disease became rapant so the milk products were often tainted. And so in 1907, one man capitalized on this growing trend and traveled city to city proclaiming his pasteurization machine was saving lives…these claims were totally fiction but the townspeople didn’t know that and this trend caught on, so much so that in 1948 states began passing mandatory pasteurization laws, banning raw milk sales. 

    These laws are why today in many states you have to do a “heard share” vs. just buying milk from a local farmer.

    Raw vs. Pasteurized Milk

    Comparing raw vs. pasteurized milk, there are unfortunately a LOT of differences. Overall the heating/processing ruins the proteins in the milk (aka less protein content) and makes it really irritating to the gut lining, often leading to constipation or diarrhea. Growing up, there was the “Got Milk?” commercials that claimed milk was SO good for your bones (due to calcium content), but ironically pasteurization makes the calcium much less bioavailable to be absorbed. 

    From a  mineral perspective there is a 6-fold decrease in minerals after pasteurization. This table shows the difference between pasteurized vs. raw- all of the vitamins/minerals/enzymes/antioxidants are 100% in raw milk, but in comparison much is reduced or completely destroyed after pasteurization. In essence, raw milk is LIVING milk whereas conventional is DEAD

    I do want to give a disclaimer– it still may not be for everyone and many times I encourage clients to go dairy-free for the first few months of working together to remove all possible aggregators to the gut (similar to gluten). After healing, they can then look at re-introducing QUALITY dairy products. I personally still try to avoid dairy outside my home, at restaurants/parties, etc. because I know the quality just isn’t there and I’ll likely feel worse afterwards.

    Sourcing Raw Milk

    Finding it can be another story. Again, many states have ruled it “illegal” to buy milk, so the first step is to figure out what your state regulations are. Use the resources table further down to find websites that can help you locate raw milk in your state.

    Here in Michigan, I participate in a herd share where I pay weekly for them to “maintain the cow” and I pick up a gallon weekly. I LOVE the experience- my daughter comes with me and likes seeing the cows that provide her milk and I love supporting small farmers. It’s so much better than grabbing a gallon at the grocery store and having no idea how the cows are fed, raised, etc. A note on feeding- your dairy should come from grass-fed/pasture-raised cows…not corn or soy or grain-fed that live inside a barn and aren’t free to graze. Pasture-raised animals have more vitamins/minerals and less disease, which will translate to even better milk for your family!

    So, your best option is finding raw milk near you. Some places even ship it too!

    If you can’t find raw milk near you, the next best is organic, grass-fed, low-temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk.  Aside from that, I would refrain from any other store-bought milk, even if it is labeled “organic.” It may be fed organic grains, but is probably not pasture-raised AND is still pasteurized.

    Sourcing Yogurt

    The good news is with other dairy products there can be a little bit more wiggle room, based on fermentation principles. Yogurt is a heated milk product (at first) so it technically doesn’t need to be made from raw milk to be beneficial. The fermentation of yogurt rejuvenates the damaged proteins and makes minerals more available. If you do have a raw milk source, you can make yogurt at home quite easily using an Instant Pot or Oven.

    If you’re not making your own, the best to look for are those that are made from organic whole milk from grass-fed/pasture-raised cows and live active cultures (and not many additional ingredients other than those two items.

    Some “cleaner” brands can still trick you with flavored yogurts- despite the label, strawberry or vanilla yogurt rarely contains fruit and is mostly added sugar to give it the flavor. Instead, buy plain yogurt and add your own vanilla and fruit.

     

    Sourcing Butter

    Butter has unfortunately been demonized for years, but it is actually my preferred fat for cooking and daily use. It has the highest concentration of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that our gut needs to do its job properly. When it comes to butter, the recommendations are pretty similar. Some conventional dairy farmers feed cows Skittles and candy because it’s a cheap way to increase milk production; this in turn makes the cows sick so they require antibiotics and other growth hormones to speed up milk production. 

     Because of this, you definitely want to be sourcing butter from grass-fed, organic cow’s milk, local butter from raw milk is even better or you can make your own with a blender or mixer. You can visually see the difference in conventional vs. grass-fed butter- typically grass-fed is a lot more rich yellow in color, whereas store-bought butter is often a pale yellow or even off-white color.

    You may have heard of Ghee, which is clarified butter that has the casein and lactose removed from butter, so ghee is a better choice for people who are sensitive to dairy. It also is more stable to be used at higher temperatures, which makes it more versatile in cooking. 

    Sourcing Cheese + Other Dairy

    A TON of cheeses are made with fillers so any cheese you buy should have less than three or four ingredients- namely raw milk, cultures, salt and/or rennet. 

    The key is to look at the INGREDIENT list to see what type of milk was used. Many European cheeses are made with raw milk, especially aged parmesans. Again- double-check the ingredients…just because it says organic cheese doesn’t mean it wasn’t processed/pasteurized.

    Additionally, the older the cheese the longer the fermentation and thus the more your gut will likely tolerate it. Your best bet is to visit local cheese shops, Amish markets or even the cheese counter at your grocery store. Check the labels or talk to someone there- they can point you in the direction of raw milk cheese. 

    One other tip- avoid pre-shredded cheese. To stop it from clumping, anti-caking agents and mold suppressors will be added. You may see ingredients like cellulose powder (can be made from wood or cotton pulp) and natamycin (which is a mold inhibitor).

    Any dairy product I missed (ice cream, other cheeses, etc.) should follow similar guidelines- preferably from raw milk, made at home by you (less fillers/stabilizers) but if you can’t, then make sure it is from organic, grass-fed cows and preferably low-heat pasteurized and non-homogenized.

    What If I’m Dairy-Free?

    This is a common “diet” these days and navigating the land of dairy-free products can be quite tricky.

    Because they are not natural, often companies add a lot of artificial flavors, gums, and fake vitamins/minerals to try and replace what traditional milk provides. 

    They also rarely are organic, but the issue is that nuts can be a highly pesticide-sprayed crop- so organic is necessary when it comes to dairy-free products.

    Sourcing: Look Local First

    The best place to first look is locally- often you have farmers near you that will offer not only meat, but produce + dairy. I personally prefer to support local for many reasons, but often it saves you money in shipping + packaging costs compared to online retailers.

    Yes, local shopping may take you more time, travel, coordination, etc. but in the end I believe this is the future of grocery shopping. We can’t rely on big chains anymore to supply our main staple foods, especially when locally they are being raised more humanely and fed more sustainably! 

    Search in your state for local farms, CSAs, raw dairy, farmer’s markets + more!

    Use Barn2Door’s local farm finder for farms in your area!

    Great farm directory of over 1,400 farms in US and Canada.

    Find your local chapter- mine has a large running excel document with all local farms listed and usually have Facebook groups to ask questions/find items.

    Helps you to find regenerative farms that use proper farming for the soil + you.

    Great website to help you source local, raw milk + dairy products in your area.

    Another website to help you source local, raw milk + dairy products in your area.

    Helps you find a farmer’s market near you.

    Ask other naturally-minded people in your area where they source their food from!

    Sourcing: Online Options

    If you are unable to find local sources or would rather save time and buy online, below are several great options to order from. I’m sure there are even more now popping up all around, so just be sure to follow the above guidelines when vetting a company that isn’t listed here.

    Use link for $20 off

    Where I get a majority of meats online that I can’t find locally.

    Use link for $15 off

    Where I get wild meat- bison, venison and organ meats blends (easy to eat organs without ACTUALLY eating organs!).

    Use “FRESH15” for 15% off

    Where I get my grass-fed bones for bone broth.

    Use link for $20 off

    Another great online option for a wide variety of items each delivery.

    Use link for $25 off

    Another great online option for a wide variety of items each delivery.

    Another great online option for a wide variety of items each delivery,

    Online source for wild-caught seafood.

    Another great online option for a wide variety of items each delivery,

    Another great online option for a wide variety of items each delivery,

    Protein + Collagen Options

    I 1000% think we should FIRST prioritize getting our protein from clean, whole animal sources, but I do think for many of us some forms of protein supplementation is necessary in order to hit our protein goals.

    Now, don’t get me wrong you could totally get your 100-150g of protein daily through eating a lot of great animal products, but the hard part about this is proteins aren’t usually convenient to grab and go in a busy lifestyle. It can take planning, thawing and cooking to make sure you have some on hand especially in busy weeks. 

    Though these items can be pricey, you have to decide what you want to spend- time or money– when it comes to protein prep each day. I find that this helps decrease my stress if I know I have products readily available that can be quickly grabbed on my way out the door or stirred into my daily coffee, etc.

    MWFITWELL for 15% off

    My go-to for clean protein, collagen grass-fed organs, pre-workouts, colostrum and other nutritional supports.

    MWFITWELL10 for 10% off

    Where I get glyphosate-free collagen, gelatin, and bone broth powder.

    Where I get Bone Broth Protein, grass-fed beef sticks, mineral drink mixes + superfood protein bars!

    Use Link for $10 Off

    My go-to for flavored collagen powders + clean gelatin (that doesn’t use artificial sweeteners or stevia).

    Another grass-fed beef isolate option with several flavors. I believe you can also get on Amazon!

    Link gets you 20% off

    My daughter legit eats one of these every single day. Clean ingredients for a kid’s snack bar.

    What Is Blood Sugar Balance?

    Blood sugar balance is predominantly driven by how the body uses and stores glucose, which is impacted by the COMPOSITION of your food choices on your plate.

    ➡️ Eat a piece of fruit (like a banana) alone and wonder why you feel hungry soon after and maybe experience a boost of energy and then a crash? 

    ➡️ Eat something really high in protein and fats and notice you’re full for hours?

    Balancing your plate with the right amount of protein, fat AND carbohydrate helps your body keep blood sugar swings at bay.

    Tracking Your Blood Sugar Levels

    Tracking your blood sugar levels is an incredible tool for any anyone start outside of lab testing to learn more about how your body responds to the food you eat.

    This guide covers two ways to track your blood sugar, ranges to shoot for and how to interpret:

    Options for Blood Sugar Tracking

    Cheaper way to begin blood sugar tracking- downside is multiple pokes throughout the day and having to analyze the data yourself.

    MWFITWELL25 for $25 off

    CGM option that you wear in your arm that automatically tracks + analyzes your blood sugar throughout the day.

     Another CGM option to look into that automatically assesses and analyzes your blood sugar throughout the day.

    Sourcing Healthy Fats + Oils

    Do you use high quality oils when cooking? But do you also know what oils are in your dressings, mayo, chips, crackers, kids snacks, microwave popcorn, even nut butters?

    Recent research is actually suggesting that vegetable oils are more so to blame than sugar for our decline in health over the past several decades. This could very well be true because vegetable oils are in EVERYTHING….especially the “health” products you likely have in your kitchen today.