As a woman who has never made more than $12,000 / year, it’s not very easy for me to get my hands on grass fed beef. In recent months that limitation has been further complicated by the fact that I’ve been living in Detroit, Michigan, and just about no one here eats grass fed animals, not even people who shop at Whole Foods.
There is one farmer’s market downtown every Sunday, and I believe they have one or two grass fed stands.
In any case, this means it was an enormous (enormous!) delight, benefit, and pleasure, to be contacted by the incredibly gracious Tx Organics in early March and asked to participate in a grass fed taste test.
Hell yes, I said.
So a dry-ice packed box arrived for me overnight, shipped from California (!). Two sirloins and two packs of ground beef. Talk about service. (!)
The true intention of the taste test (which is being conducted by some other paleo advocates) is to test grass fed beef from the Pacific Northwest – directly from the Tx Organics farm – against grass fed beef from around other parts of the country. Since I told Tx I hadn’t been able to get my hands on a grass fed animal in quite some time, they were eight million kinds of gracious and sent the animals along anyway, saying I could just compare the grass to the grain fed.
Since I am a n00b, and all.
I knew paleo fx was coming, so I hurried up and cooked the selections ASAP. First up was the ground beef taste test. In the morning I made conventional ground beef, and in the evening I made the good stuff.
No fancy sauces. Just the beef, salt, pepper, and my frying pan.
The good stuff:
What’s the taste difference?
More than I can possibly say!
In the Tx Organics ground beef, I noticed right away a certain buttery flavor. I don’t know how to describe it better than that. It’s rich and tastes to me what I think a cow should taste like… literally. It tastes like a cow looks.
This is compared to my typical grain fed stuff, which is a little coppery in that bloody kind of way–and I like that, don’t get me wrong–but which lacks pretty much any kind of other natural flavoring. There’s no complexity, and none of that cow-ness that I just don’t have the words for. Sweet, buttery, cow-ness.
The textures were quite different, too. The Tx Organics was soft and sort of melted in my mouth, and the grain fed is rough and dry. The grain was in the grey color spectrum, whereas the grassfed had a richer red-orange-brown color to it. Note that my cooking methods were the same for both and both selections of ground beef were between 85 and 92 percent lean, I’d guess.
So that was it for the ground beef. But the sirloins?
I rested a grain fed and a grass fed cut of meat with some simple salt and pepper.
I threw them in the pan. I got from them the exact same taste differences as I did with the ground beef: something coppery and delightful about my grain fed cow–it is still a cow, after all–but something complex and rich and buttery in the grass fed.
Moreover, the color of the Organics steak was vibrantly red and alive, the fat a buttery yellow color rather than pasty white (which means the steak is higher in vitamin A), the steak was thick and dense, the fat made an incredibly rich and sweet au jus, and the steak eight million kinds of softer than the floppy, dull looking grain fed.
Was all the difference I interpreted a placebo? Did I convince myself the grass fed was better because I wanted it to be?
Well, it’s possible. I guess next time I’ll have to do it with blindfolds. But I don’t think so.
Why might I have been subject to a placebo effect?
Because the other difference between grain and grass fed beef is enormous. It’s for your (and others’!) health.
Here are the benefits of grass fed over grain fed cows:
-So far as we can tell, all beef contains the same amount of omega 6 fat, more or less, but grass fed cows contain more omega 3. Depending on the breed of cow, grass-fed beef contains between 2 and 5 times more omega-3s than grain-fed beef. Says this study, the average ratio of n-6:n-3 in grass fed beef is 1.53:1. In grain fed beef, this ratio jumps all up to 7.65:1. So, that’s a pretty hefty difference. On the other hand, this really isn’t an awesome source of omega 3s regardless, so don’t solely rely on it for healthy omega balance.
-Grass fed beef contains more stearic acid (the healthiest kind of saturated fat that is more or less proved to not raise blood cholesterol levels) than grain fed beef.
-CLA – conjugated linoleic acid – is an incredibly healthy fat that is 2-3 times more concentrated in grass fed than grain fed cows. CLA might be protective against heart disease and cancer and is a potent anti-oxidant that can boost brain function and weight loss. Grass fed beef is arguably the best source of CLA.
-Grass fed beef has a lot of antioxidants, including vitamin A and E, and also glutathione, which is critical for your body’s detox abilities.
-Zinc, iron, phosphorous, and other electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, are all more naturally concentrated in grass fed beef.
So there you have it. Better tasting. Better for you. Better for the animals. Better for the planet (more on which in another post).
And an enormous thank you to Tx Bar Organics for making this possible — both in my own kitchen as well as out in the world at large. It hasn’t been easy getting the grass-fed movement up and running — these heroic ranchers are fighting a steeply uphill battle — so I have nothing but world’s of gratitude and respect for them and am going to start digging deep into my pockets to vote for health with my dollar.
Head over to Tx to check out their shipping programs — you can get a big discount if you order in bulk! Amazing!
Click here for the farm, and to see some beautiful photos and videos of cows and cuts in pasture, like the few featured below!
Thank you Tx Organics!!!
Tonight (April 17), at 8pm EST, I am finally participating in Camille Macres’s webinar program, in which she brings women on to calls to listen in on and participate in discussions regarding health and beauty.
Sounds AWESOME TO ME! Right?
And it’s all about Sexy by Nature and my thoughts on how to do it all, right, for good, etc, etc.
(Click here to register for the exclusive call & hang out @ the webinar for free! And also be automatically entered to win a free copy of Sexy by Nature! Whoopah!)
So Camille is the author of the cookbook, “Paleogasm: 150 Grain, Dairy & Sugar-free Recipes That Will Leave You Totally Satisfied & Begging for More”, and the founder of the women’s holistic health program, The School of Inner Beauty, which I JUST SO TOTALLY ADORE since she is absolutely 100 percent right about things (since she mostly agrees with me, obviously!)
Camille has a unique understanding of what it REALLY takes women to win their battle with food and their body, once and for all. Here’s a little message and and an invitation from her:
“After years of working through my own body and food issues, working with many kinds of people on their own health, and seeing all of the distorted messages and ‘solutions’ offered by the diet and weight loss industry, I have noticed some things:
You want a body that feels good, that you can be proud of when you look in the mirror, and that supports your life, whether that means having the energy and vitality to be with your kids, do you your work, or simply enjoy life’s simple pleasures. You want freedom from worrying about getting a debilitating or life-threatening illness, even if it runs in your family or people you know are getting sick and having their lives cut painfully short. You want to feel good in your body and about your body.
But if you’re being honest with yourself, you probably don’t and you may feel totally hopeless and resigned that things could be any different because despite your best efforts with different diets and programs, not a whole lot has changed, at least not a change that sticks without tons of struggle.
Before you shake your head with the thought: ‘This isn’t possible’, let me tell you my story. In its words, you will see why I can confidently stand before you today and tell you that having a body you love, one that serves you and your life, is not only possible, but that you totally deserve it! I have always loved food. Even as a toddler, I would sneak into the fridge and snag sticks of butter to gnaw on. My mom actually started bungee cording the refrigerator to keep me out. Life at home as a kid wasn’t so fun or easy, and I found comfort, love and solace in food, nay bread. Carbs. Loads of glutenous carbs. Cooking with my mom and later for friends was one thing that always brought me so much joy. Unfortunately, this all came with a tremendous toll on my body. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was intolerant to the foods I loved most: bread and cheese. They made me tired, sluggish, depressed and fat. And even after I knew of their ill effects, it still took me many years to get them out of my diet. And even when I did manage to do so, I always wanted them, and even when I did manage to be strong enough to go without, it honestly felt like something was missing in my life without the pleasure of these foods. And even when I was on the straight and narrow, I still didn’t have the body or health I wanted, and didn’t feel totally free, knowing a temptation was going to be around the next corner.
Exhausting, huh? This year, after about 20 years of struggle, I finally solved the mystery. I can honestly and gratefully say that I now experience true freedom with food, love my body, and have returned to my ideal weight without struggle and I have no fear about the weight returning. I don’t count calories, I don’t obsess about what I eat. I love food and it doesn’t rule my life. I love my body, and I can now see its perfection, even in its imperfection (I used to think I had to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to be pretty enough).
If you would like to have the relationship with food and your body like I just described above, I have something really exciting to share with you! Next Thursday night, April 17th, from 5-6:30pm PST, I will be joined by Stefani Ruper, the author of “Sexy by Nature: The Whole Foods Solution to Radiant Health, Lifelong Sex Appeal and Soaring Confidence.”
We will be giving you some of the essential pieces you will need if you want to experience true freedom with food and your body. Stefani will be giving away 2 copies of her book to a couple lucky ladies who join us live, and I will be offering a sampling of the work we do in The School of Inner Beauty. Our promise is that by the end of the call, you will be given everything you need to radically transform your health, your relationship with your beautiful body, and quite literally, your experience of being a woman.
Reserve your spot for and tune in to the 8pm EST webinar HERE.
Should be fun! Don’t forget I’m giving away some copies of Sexy by Nature, and this also gives you a chance to sign up for things like The School of Inner Beauty, which is one of my favorite health resources around.Read More
If the paleo world were in charge of things like time and space, then each new year would begin on April 11. It would be like the fiscal year, but for diets. Because every time I go to paleo fx I measure the last year of my life in the paleo world, and I feel the sphere’s life collapse and re-ignite like an inter-galactic pulsar star.
So another year has come and gone and boy, oh boy was it a hell of a party. I’ve never had a better conference! There were so many amazing things about paleo fx 2014 I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps I’ll give you a rundown.
Arrival: Tuesday April 8.
I got to Pfx on Tuesday! My best best best best best friend lives in Austin. He picked me up from the airport. I lost my phone and went into a state of calm if innerly rabid panic as I realized I had lost one my tool not only for navigating the city but also for communicating with all the people I love. Over the course of the night, I make six separate calls and leave several messages and emails for southwest lost and found.
Wednesday, April 9.
I still get no answer from southwest and am resigning myself to a weekend of lackluster logistics. I tell my mother about the phone problem, and, because the universe likes her about 100 x more than it likes me, someone picks up on her first ring, has my phone, and it’s immediately fedexed on it’s way to me. My amazing publisher Erich Krauss at Victory Belt Inc helps me ship it overnight. Thanks, Erich! Also big thumbs up to me for arriving a day early so not too much is lost. I spend the rest of Wednesday with my friend Evan and walking about town.
I also spend a significant amount of time looking at my laptop, trying to resist looking up salsa dancing venues. I had told myself before going that I would focus my energy on networking and forbid myself from dancing.
I lasted all of about two hours. Found the “wednesday” salsa on Google (because in every city of reasonable size you can find salsa somewhere in the city on any given night), and took a bus downtown.
It was epic.
I also fell in what I like to call “bachata love” with this man named Kurt – with bachata love being this completely overwhelming clicking in dance style and level. Kurt and I totally kicked ass and he became my salsa hero for the rest of the week as he became my salsa chauffeur and guide. Very nice.
I finish Wednesday having done not one thing paleo. A nice break before things get nuts.
Thursday April 10.
My phone arrives from fedex at 10am! Hooray! I get it just in time to communicate with Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry – with whom I had already made plans for this – to go to 24 Diner, an epic local organic Austin hub. Bill and Haley Mason Staley were in attendance. Juli Bauer. Josh Weissman. Russ Crandall. Alex Boake. Sean Coonce. I was so happy. These people mean so much to me.
A man in the restaurant recognizes Juli (of course!) and pays for her meal as a way of saying thanks for her recipes. Pretty cool stuff.
We go to Whole Foods, register @ paleo fx for early bird speakers registration, I get to meet my kickass publicist Susan, with whom I have only ever talked on the phone before, get RICE MILK gelato (seriously!!) at an incredible ice cream place called Dolce Neve, and retire for the evening to the house Stacy, Matt, and Danielle have rented. Also, I get heart palpitations and a ton of energy from eating so much chocolate — arguably the best paleo treat I have ever had — in Brittany Angell’s fudge rounds.
I had been telling myself I wouldn’t go salsa, but with all this energy I’ve just gotta. I borrow Evan’s car at 11pm and drive north to the club, and again have a phenomenal time. Hit the hay around 3 or 4am, which is typical for me.
Friday April 11.
Paleo means that I wake up when I want to, so I sleep until around 11, take a bus to the conference, and roll in around 1pm.
I am also wearing leather pants and a sheer top, which stir up way more interest than I had anticipated (just kdding – I’ve over the years gotten used to the paleo world being a bit astounded by some of the things I wear). I meet Luke Robinson of Wolfpack fitness for the first time, we joyously hug and he says “you sure look like a sex object for someone who’s all about feminism.”
Well, kind of. The whole point is to dress like my spirit, and my spirit felt like sassy leather pants.
Mark Sisson spots me in the hallway and comes up to me and gives me a hug and tells me that my book is awesome. A woman comes up to us and, cross my heart hope to die, says to Mark “I have a question about women and intermittent fasting.” Mark and I look at each other and burst out laughing. I gently guide the woman to the book booth and hand her a copy of Sexy by Nature.
Go to the paleo fx speakers dinner at the Springdale Farm in Austin. It is a beautiful evening. Dan Pardi and I incite a wicked photo bomb –
— I get in some epic dancing with Jolly in front of the acoustic two-man band, drink some killer Kombucha, and get a lift to a local dance studio for a night of bachata and kizomba.
(Bachata is the slow, sexy version of salsa, and kizomba is the slow, sexy version of bachata.)
(I know, right!?)
Make it home around 3am, have some coconut butter and apples to re-fuel, and sleep ’til 10.
Saturday April 12.
This is an awesome day.
I meet so many women who are digging the whole “self-love” thing. I hang out mostly at the Victory Belt (my publisher) table. I hug about a million people. I subsist off of Cappello cookie dough and Exo Cricket Protein Bars and Tanka Bars and Primal Pacs.
I do my book signing, which is totally bomb, even if I haven’t quite figured out how to sign standing up yet, and refuse to sit down.
I also feel pretty charming this whole time. My ego is leaping out, cackling gleefully.
After the conference I head over to Picnik Austin with Stacy, Russ, Alex, Matt, and Sarah Ballantyne, my new paleo favorite and bestie (we both have advanced degrees in the sciences and are super super super nerds who also happen to be rabidly ambitious). We get incredible Sushi at Uchi. The best Pork Belly I’ve ever had. I meet some cool people hanging out at Abel James’s table and get to catch up with him (we went to college together).
I get a ride downtown and dance salsa until 2:30. I meet another man with whom I fall in bachata love. Mmmm bachata love.
Sunday April 13.
The last day is as good as all the others. I sign books. In fact, I sell out! I am the only Victory Belt author to sell out. Pretty cool, eh?!
I do a women’s health panel with Dr. Lo, Dr Ruthie Harper, Diane Sanfilippo, and Dr Deborah Gordon. Dr. Deborah tells women to love themselves. She tells us to eat a lot of food. She tells us to masturbate. She immediately becomes my favorite menopause and women’s health MD and I can’t wait to take her on a date at AHS or Pfx 2014.2.
(BECAUSE THERE IS A PALEO FX 2014.2. IT WILL BE IN DENVER. IN OCTOBER.! I KNOW!!!)
I go to dinner with Bill and Haley, Danielle, Juli, Sean, Suzanne, and everyone’s staff (all my friends have staff… and I will too starting next week!). Barbeque. Finally! I am in Austin and I demand a barbeque.
I meet up with Luke, Kaila, and some others, and I take them salsa dancing, and we sing and dance until almost the sun comes up.
Not a bad way to end an amazing weekend, eh?
So now I have a flu and am in recovery. I gained a few pounds from all the chocolate and crickets. But all these things are no problem because I had a great time and have made some great connections and have great plans for the future.
Paleo fx demonstrated this year that we’ve been right all along (and only now is everyone else catching on, haha!) – life is about wellness. It’s about holistic health. It’s not about perfect diets or macronutrients. Almost no talks or speakers were about that. It was all about lifestyle design and doing things better in evolutionary perspective…. something I am behind approximately 6000 percent.
First night at Dolce Neve. Bill, Haley, Sean, Suzanne, and Juli.
Stacy and Matt rule the world. “My girl is stronger than you.”
Ben Greenfield. Beyond Training (comes out today!) Love this man.
Cain Credicott, the man behind Paleo Magazine!
Russ Crandall, The Domestic Man, one of my new dear friends.
Tony Frederico, another Paleo Magazine mastermind.
Gluten-extracted beer! Hooah!
Mickey Trescott, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook all star
Tammy Credicott, Make Ahead Paleo author and Jimmy Moore photobombing
Trina’s the woman who brings us Primal Life Organics kickass skincare!
Sushi at Uchi. Sarah Ballantyne front and center.
Ore, one of my favorite fans with the most amazing energy and positivity.
Juli is as loving and beautiful as ever.
Jason Seib, one of the first ever “let’s take care of the brain” paleo-ites and one of the best men I have ever met.
Luke Robinson, dear friend and owner of Wolfpack Fitness
Danielle Walker, about halfway pregnant with her second! So good to see her doing well
Steph Gruenke, Rock Your Hormones, another kickass paleo woman and mother-to-be
Instagrammed photo of me @ Stacy and Matt’s place with some pears. Mmmm.
The Women’s health panel on Sunday afternoon from an audience member’s phone.
I’m going to go take a nap!Read More
Ladies, what up!
The sun is shining, it’s 75 degrees outside, and I am in Austin, Texas for the weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet.
Not only do I get to stay with my best friend of all time who is currently an architecture student at UT, but I also get to party at Abel’s new home, meet Luke Robinson of Wolf Pack Fitness (finally!), hug Stacy Toth, see Kaila Prins for the first time in a year, and, holy crap thank god, see Liz Wolfe for the first time in 18th months. Amy Kubal, George Bryant, Todd Dosenberry, Juli Bauer, Bill and Haley, John Durant, Jason Seib, and Sarah Fragoso are some others I cannot wait to hug again. Chris Masterjohn I have not seen since he came with me to buy my now favorite painting back in August on a trip up the Maine coast.
Paleo fx shall be, methinks, something akin to a hell of a time.
What am I up to?
-I will be signing books at the Victory Belt table on Saturday afternoon from 3:00-3:30. That is my official time. I’ll probably be spending a significant amount of time loitering around there.
-I will be participating in the Women’s health panel from 3:45-4:40 on Sunday afternoon.
-When I am not sneaking salmon out of the ‘speakers’ room (yes, there is, and yes, I will be), I will be loitering around the entrance hall. I probably won’t go to very many talks. Much as I love my friends, all of whom are presenting, and think they are very smart, I’d rather be talking with you.
-I will be dancing cha cha with Chris Masterjohn. He’s a ballroom dancer, did you know? And I do salsa. We find good overlap in cha cha, and it just so happens both of us are pretty talented. This should be fun. We should have booked a stage. Maybe I’ll get a friend to record a video of us dancing.
What else is going on?
So much I can barely keep track. Four stages at all times. Three full days of panels and presentations. Some of the smartest and most passionate people I know.
For the schedule, check it out here.
How can you get involved?
Well, if you’re going to be in the area, get a ticket! You can come hang out on the expo floor for only 20 bucks or so a day. That’s like a penny each for all the cool people you’ll meet.
For those of us who cannot make it, however, we can all be there LIVE!
Each talk will LIVE STREAM at this site: Paleo Fx Live Streaming.
AND if you miss the LIVE STREAM, you can purchase individual talks or whole packages in days afterward! You can do so at the same live streaming page, HERE.
So join us in any way you can! It’s an absolute party and an honor to be a part of this beautiful event. I cannot wait to share with you all the photos and stories on the other side!
Once, I went on a three month trip through the Rockies with a group of 12, and there were two women named Stephanie. (My name is spelled ‘Stefani,’ but pronounced ‘Stephanie,’ to be clear. Maybe I should have told you that years ago. *Sigh.) In order to distinguish, she became “Stephie G” and I became “Fani.” As in, if you pronounced my name like Gwen Stefani and left off the ‘Ste.’
So anyway, long story short: I am Fani.
And when I talk in third person, I am Fani.
Fani is all over the internet these days, and how amazingly fun is that?
This is what is going on:
-Sexy by Nature is again hovering around the #1 spot in the category “whole foods” on Amazon!
This doesn’t mean much, though. The book shot up in the rankings because I just this week got some reviews on some important websites (more about which in a minute). It’s performance has actually been quite low. My heart’s not broken, not quite, I do believe in us!, but I am definitely working hard to keep our numbers growing!
We cannot spread the good love and food word if we don’t have word of mouth.
So this is where you come in.
Did you buy the book? Could you write a review? Every single review is one more vote for us in the Amazon world, and, literally, every single one counts. If you could put something up on Amazon, Good Reads, Barnes and Noble, I and the rest of this movement will be indebted to you forever.
Do you have a Facebook page? Twitter account? Pinterest? Instagram? Want to share the book with your followers? (Here’s the amazon page!) Do so and tag the PaleoforWomen page and I’ll go ahead and share your stuff back in turn!
-Last week, the popular hippy yoga largely vegetarian website Mind Body Green published an article I wrote called “6 Reasons the Paleo Diet is Great for Women.” Originally, I called it “6 Reasons the Paleo Diet is the Best Diet for Women,” but I guess they wanted to tone it down. The article’s about soy and grains and and nutrient density and eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full.
There are a ton of really dumb comments. Sorry. That’s rude. But there’s a lot of blood type talk going on. Vegetarianism I consider to be less crazy, and a lot of hate coming from that angle, too. If you want to go defend me and our lifestyle, please, be my guest. If not, please, spare yourself the agony and don’t read the comments.
-Twitter and instagram really, really like my new “Love is the New Skinny” campaign (see here), which I am going to continue, and which I think might be the title for my next book.
Pin and tag if you like, whoopah!
(This is me, btws.)
-Sexy by Nature has been reviewed and loved by some really, really kick ass people.
Long, fun reviews:
1) Stacy Toth and blogger Courtney at Paleo Parents.
2) Heather Spergel at HeatherSpergel.com (brought tears to my eyes)
3) Nina at Paleo Owl. (A truly great review, saying this incredible bit about Sexy by Nature having “it all:”
For me personally, Sexy by Nature is like a sassy sister to The Paleo Coach. This Sherlock finally got an adequate Waston. I know that my “obsession” with EPLifeFit, Jason and his book might seem a little repulsive to you by now, but hey, so is running and chronic cardio, and pictures of fitness models with “motivational quotes” to me.
The reason that I have a Top 3 paleo books (The Paleo Coach, It Starts With Food and Primal Connections) and not just one, is that every book has “something” and no book has it all. Sexy By Nature DOES HAVE IT ALL. Sexy By Nature takes all the most important knowledge that the author gained over time, mixed it with some solid science and research, sprinkled it with sweet bits of her personality and added a provocative title on top.)
4) Liz Wolfe’s video review at Real Food Liz.
5) Kaila Prins at In My Skinny Genes
6) Jason Seib @ Everyday Paleo (another one that brought tears to my eyes. It means the world to me to have so much of Jason’s respect.)
Short and to the point reviews:
8) Pete’s Paleo
9) Richard Nikoley at Free the Animal
And some really beautiful reviews over on the Amazon page by incredible people like Jimmy Moore, George Bryant, Russ Crandall, Sarah Fragoso, Todd Dosenberry, and Ashley Tudor.
-But, as you have seen, this is just 9 blogger reviews! And 34 Amazon reviews.
We can do so much better.
So I am! Here we go, ladies, to the mattresses, huzzah, huzzah!
And there’s more on the way, as always!
Check out and/or review Sexy by Nature (still 27 percent off!) @ Amazon @ here.