Cows Grazing

It's been a busy month since my last post and completion of the AutoImmune Protocol diet. Without going into our family drama, I will simply press on.

The first few reintroductions (post-AI Protocol) came naturally and without incident. As I was asked this many times by friends and family, the first food I ate (post-protocol) was tomatoes. A few days later I ate potatoes. I felt good and moved on. Since then, I have learned that beans and lentils make me very uncomfortably bloated and gluten-free grains seem to give me a headache + brain fog. And the experiment continues...

I was reminded during the AI Protocol that food quality is really important. Especially when you feel your choices are limited, they really need to count (best nutrition for your buck). A few key components here are locally grown, probably organic, and as unadultered as possible. We are regulars at the Farmer's Market (FM), so I feel that we've got high quality produce covered. Also, we are able to buy amazing fresh seafood at the FM. Where we lacked, though, was in the grass-fed and organic meat department. I buy organic chicken, ground beef, and frozen steaks at Trader Joe's and a few other specialty items at SPROUTS...but I'd like to get closer to the source.

So after a little research, our family recently joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for beef through J&J Grassfed Beef. It's a once a month pick-up of frozen, grass-fed beef. You pick a base "pack" and then select additional cuts if you choose. Although I'm not crazy about ground beef, it's versatile and part of eating "nose to tail" if you want some of the other delectable cuts. The first order, I bought the smallest base pack and then a couple additions. The 2 pound top sirloin was stellar. I also made stock with knuckle bones, tomato sauce with garlic basil sausage, and hamburgers on giant oven-roasted portabella mushrooms. This time I bought a larger pack that came with: flat iron steaks, ground beef, eye of round (roast), sirloin tip steaks, and another jumbo top sirloin steak. I wanted to be challenged by a "grab bag" of cuts. My goal is to use it by our next pick-up.

I can almost hear it now...should you be eating that much beef? Beef will be on the menu six times in the next month. I feel ok about that because it is organic and grass-fed. It is leaner, lacks the toxins in traditionally raised cattle (antibiotics and hormones), and has a better fatty acid profile due to it's pasture-based diet. And, honestly, as a person who has had 6 iron infusions in the last few years, one of my top nutrition priorities is to keep that iron level where it needs to be...beef is a great way to accomplish that goal.