Grass-fed burger recipe
Summer is here at last! (At least in my book, summer starts on Memorial Day weekend.) :-)  I'll have a homestead update for you soon with updated pictures of our garden (which is finally coming along nicely), but for the holiday weekend, I thought I'd keep it short and share a tasty recipe perfect for your holiday barbecue!

As you probably know if you've been reading this blog for a while, we are big fans of grass-fed meat. If you're going to eat meat, grass-fed is definitely the way to go (check out my previous post on this for why we feel so strongly about it).

My husband and I now purchase almost exclusively grass-fed meats through local farmers who raise their animals humanely on pasture. Not only do we know our food was treated well, but we also know it was fed food that was good for it, which makes it better for us! It also helps eliminate some of the other issues with conventionally raised industrially farmed meats. That's why our burgers for this Memorial Day's cookout will be grass-fed!

Below is a simple and delicious recipe that is perfect for the holiday weekend, or any other summer grilling occasion. The avocado adds plenty of healthy fats, and the garlic provides a nice flavor kick (though you can leave that out if you prefer a milder sauce).  I like mine with a few leaves of fresh lettuce from the garden, and a big slice of ripe tomato on top!


 
 
Fat for Fuel
Modern medicine wants you to believe that it holds the answer to disease, but if this is true, why aren't we healthier? In fact, today we suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before. More than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illnesses, and 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. today are obesity-related.

So what is the key to this problem?

Many researchers now believe that the increase in chronic modern illness and disease over the past several decades is
largely the result of an inappropriate diet. (Surprise, surprise, right?) Most of us eat far too much sugar (and other simple carbs), and far too little healthy fats and fruits and vegetables.

Part of the problem is that we have been told for years that our bodies should run on glucose for fuel, so we need to make sure to consume plenty of carbs.

However, in the interesting video below, Dr. Joseph Mercola discusses some fascinating findings that suggest that fats are actually the preferred fuel of the human metabolism. By correcting our carb/protein/fat ratio in our diet, he contends that we can maintain long-term good health, especially when it comes to avoiding or even curing modern diseases such as diabetes and cancer.


 
 
Free Detox video class
This time of year, with the fresh air and sunshine of spring all around us, and dreams of beach vacations dancing in our heads, many people are inspired to start a new diet or undertake a "cleanse" or detox program.

Unfortunately, far too many of us have failed at diets - either finding them too restrictive to continue, or simply getting tired of missing out on all of our favorite foods and not seeing the results we were hoping for. Consequently, statistics show that most people who lose weight through dieting will gain it right back again within a matter of months (or sometimes weeks).

Detox programs are often difficult, and even though they may work in the short term, choking down weird concoctions or swallowing loads of pills every day gets old fast, so many people give up before they lose the weight they were hoping to.

But
what if you could achieve the same weight-loss effects without counting calories…and achieve dozens of other health benefits at the same time?


 
 
High-fat healthy foods
Despite much evidence to the contrary, most people still believe that high-fat foods are bad for you. In fact, foods high in healthy fats (in moderation of course) can be an important part of a healthy diet. Some even offer some surprising health benefits, including enhanced immunity to illness, more energy, better brain function, and even better weight management!

A recent study conducted at the University of Georgia found several health benefits associated with healthy high-fat foods. The team analyzed several previous studies that focused on the health benefits related to consuming different foods high in healthy fats.

The 5 foods listed below are some examples they found of high-fat foods that may be consumed in reasonable amounts on a regular basis to help you maintain good health.


 
 
Diabetes risk
Diabetes kills thousands of people every year, and the rate of adult onset diabetes (type II) has skyrocketed in recent decades, despite the mainstream assumption that cutting fats out of our diet reduces the risk of diabetes and other weight-related modern diseases, and the resulting widespread reduction in consumption of most kinds of fat. (By the way, this theory has been debunked hundreds of times - check out some of our previous posts on this topic here and here.)

So what's going on?

If we really are eating healthier, why are we getting sicker?

Below we explore 4 common habits that have been proven to drastically increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes. You may think these habits are totally innocent, but you will be shocked to learn that studies have shown these seemingly innocuous behaviors can actually double your risk of developing this deadly disease...


 
 
Free Event
For this month's "Freebie," I've got something really special to tell you about...

While we focus a lot on physical health here, the truth is, living a holistically balanced life is about more than just the physical. In fact, true health comes from leading a rich and happy emotional and spiritual life. That's why I'm so excited to tell you about this week's FREE online event - The Unify Summit! And don't worry, this isn't just a bunch of theoretical "fluff" that sounds nice but won't make any practical difference in your life.

This free event will actually provide you with practical, immediate, life-changing action steps you can take TODAY to start living your life with more clarity, purpose, meaning, health, contribution, and abundance!

Sound good?

Click here to register for your free spot, or read more below for more info on what this special event includes...


 
 
The vaccination debate
Few health debates have raged more fiercely in the past several years than the vaccine debate. Even well-known celebrities and late-night talk show hosts have debated the topic on both sides - and with good reason.

While the mainstream medical establishment asserts unequivocally that vaccines are completely safe, and every child should be fully vaccinated, a growing number of concerned parents and natural health experts have warned against various health issues that may be caused or worsened by vaccines - particularly the rise in the incidence of autism. There are literally thousands of anecdotal stories of children showing autistic symptoms immediately after receiving a battery of vaccines - though medical science denies these claims. Other citizens simply don't wish to feel forced by the government or medical establishment to medicate their children.

Whatever the reason is, there are a growing number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children - and some health officials are becoming concerned about the potential risks to public health, such as the resurgence of diseases that have been mostly eradicated by widespread vaccination, including polio and others.

The interesting video below explores both sides of this debate in detail, and sheds light on the pros and cons of vaccinations.


 
 
Community Supported Agriculture
I haven't mentioned CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture programs) in a while, but even though we now get the majority of our summer produce from our own garden, we do still participate in a winter CSA program from a local organic farm that uses unheated greenhouses and high tunnel techniques (a la Eliot Coleman) to grow fresh greens and other veggies throughout the winter months. They also provide a number of partner items from other local businesses and farms - including apples, honey, maple syrup, natural soaps, dry goods such as beans and flour, and more. Participating in this program allows us to eat mostly local year-round! (We also buy almost 100% of our meat from various local small farms which raise animals humanely on pasture.)

While not everyone necessarily has access to these resources, there are now thousands of CSA programs throughout the U.S., so unless you live in a very rural area, you most likely have at least one near you!

We share some helpful information about Community Supported Agriculture on our CSA page, but I recently stumbled across this comprehensive infographic, and thought it might be fun to share it with you... Check it out below to learn lots of interesting and informative tips about CSAs including the benefits of participating, questions to ask when choosing a CSA, and how to make the most of your share, as well as some recipes for using some of the more uncommon vegetables that you may find in your CSA!

Note: We will be taking a blogging break next week to enjoy spring! However, we will be sending out an important email with a FREE resource that you won't want to miss if you care about your health... If you aren't already subscribed to receive our updates, please do so now via the box to the right, so you don't miss out!


 
 
Cell phone dangers
Ah yes, the cell phone debate... For years, people have been debating whether cell phones are bad for your health...or perfectly safe.

While many in the natural health community have remained leery, most people simply think of cell phone warnings as hyped-up scare tactics from "health nuts." However, a recent ruling in California may begin to change the tide of public opinion.

If you have ever wondered about the safety of cell phone use, this new official warning may make you think twice about sleeping with your cell phone next to you on your night stand, or wearing your wireless headset all day...


 
 
Fermented ginger ale
If you are at all interested in health, you almost certainly know how bad soda pop is for you. Most commercial sodas are packed with sugar - or even worse - high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, and of course, weight gain. The "diet" versions are even worse, if that's possible, containing cancer-causing chemical sweeteners such as aspartame.

So what is a soda lover to do? Must you give up those cold, refreshing, fizzy drinks forever?

Not at all! In fact, it is surprisingly easy to make your own healthy, homemade soda pop at home. When you make your own, of course you can control what goes in it, and even better, you can also use a natural fermentation method to create that fizzy sparkle, while actually turning your soda pop into something that is GOOD for you! That's right - natural fermentation creates healthy bacteria that support a healthy immune system and improve digestion. We've talked before about the many health benefits of probiotics, and fermenting your own beverages is just another way to get more of these healthy probiotic bacteria into your diet.

There are all kinds of fizzy fermented beverages that you can make at home - from juice-based sodas, to root beer, and more. If you want to take it to the next level, you could even make hard cider (something that I have been experimenting with over the past few years, with varied but generally delicious results), but today we're keeping it simple, and sharing a delicious recipe for a refreshing, bubbly, and healthy (non-alcoholic) ginger ale.

Below is my favorite recipe - I have made this several times, and I think I have finally gotten it down to the appropriate ratio of ginger for me; my first batch was not quite gingery enough for me, and the second was way too potent! I think the third time was the charm... You can of course experiment to find the right level for yourself.