What Does Your Farmer Feed Their Cows, Chickens, Pigs, Goats, Vegetables, Fruits...?

I am certain you have heard this before: You are what you eat!

Let's take a closer look at the meaning of the words.

What we take in for food is what directly feeds our body cells to be healthy or not. Eat real food and you create, regenerate, healthy cells. Eat junk (junk should not be called food) and you create un-healthy cells... degenerative cells.

Animals are the same. If they are being fed the dregs; the left-over, crap food from the cafeteria waste bins that is the fuel their bodies use to create new body cells.

Farmers have been known to gather up waste food from restaurant and cafeteria's left-overs to feed to their chickens and pigs. If there is refined junk "food" in that waste bag, well, guess what is fueling the regeneration of the animal's cells. That's correct, junk!  An animal's meat, eggs, and dairy will only be as healthy as the animal, as healthy as that animal's body cells. Feed the animals junk, you get junk cell regeneration and therefor junk food products from that animal. (This means that the animal's meat, eggs, and dairy products are less than vibrantly healthy. These products will only be as healthy as the animal that makes them.) Eating that meat, eggs, and dairy that is less than healthy? Guess what, it is junk to your body cells. What goes around comes around and you are what you eat! The animals are what they eat as well.

My humble garden spot where things literally grow outside the box!

My humble garden spot where things literally grow outside the box!

Vegetarian or vegan? The plants you are eating are not immune to this equation of:

Whole foods eaten = whole body cells regenerated


Junk food eaten  = junk body cells degenerated

Do you know what your farmer is feeding the vegetable, fruit, grain, nut, and seed plants you are eating or eating from?

Feed those plants (i.e. this includes feeding the soil around the plants as well) good compost, cover crops, organic fertilizers, etc. and the plant's cells are being fed well. Plant cell regeneration will be healthy. Feed the plants and soil synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc. and your plant cells will suffer, degenerate.

Healthy plant cells feed your body for positive cell regeneration.

Unhealthy plant cells feed your body for degenerative cell replacement.

By the way, your compost pile is also in need of good food. Feed your compost well as it is what will feed your garden. If you do not eat refined, processed food "products," do not dump them into your compost pile. What goes in the compost goes into the garden, goes into your produce, and goes into your body. 

Be conscious of the food you feed yourself. Get to know your farmers and be conscious of the food being fed to your produce, your "eggs," your meat and dairy. It all truly matters!

You are what you eat!

Naturally Simple Ways to Weigh LESS...

Naturally Simple Ways to Weigh Less

and Live More Every Day of your life!

This is all about re-balancing your body, mind, and spirit to create a vibrantly healthy you... inside and out. So much more than the number on the "scales!"


  1. Feed your soul with primary food.  Friends and family, physical activity, spirituality and a satisfying career feed us. Lack of primary food creates over-reliance on secondary, edible food.
  2. Drink water. Most people are chronically dehydrated. We often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry between meals, drink a glass of water before giving into cravings. Limit liquid calories from soda, juice, sports drinks and “enhanced” waters.  Stick with nature made!
  3. Eat a plant-rich diet. Plant foods are typically lower in calories and higher in fiber than meat, dairy and processed foods, while providing loads of essential nutrients.  Purchase your animal products from farmers who raise the food in a natural manner; healthy and naturally balanced foods make for a healthy, naturally balanced human. Make certain you do get enough fat and protein in your daily diet to satisfy hunger, appetite, and nutritional needs for YOU.  Each of our needs is different!
  4. Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth. By thoroughly chewing your food, your body will better assimilate nutrients; you will also slow down your eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that it is full. By slowing your eating, you’ll feel full, satisfied, and better nourished on less food.  More nutrients in each cell mean a healthier body!
  5. Eat real food; avoid processed, packaged foods. Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. (Reduce or eliminate refined sugars from your diet; glucose, fructose, any “oses”.) Packaged and convenience foods tend to be highly processed, lacking the nutrients your body needs, and are often loaded with empty calories. Avoid artificial sweeteners.  Avoid refined sweeteners, even stevia products.

If you have attended my workshops or been supported by me as a client:  Remember the cellular health information from the Whole Food slide show?  Feed your cells well!  Need to experience this workshop? Join me and the Local Living Venture on Thursday, September 25th for the start of the Whole Health and Healing Academy!  

A few more tips for balancing mind, body, and soul weight.

  1. Eat raw foods:  raw fruits & veggies, raw nuts and seeds, raw nut & seed butters.  Raw foods are rich in nutrients that are not altered by the heat of cooking and provide natural enzymes needed in the body for many processes including digestion.
  2. Eating enough healthy fats and protein to satisfy your appetite and your body’s nutritional needs:  choose naturally raised animal products for protein and fat and the omega 3's found in naturally raised meat, eggs and dairy products, wild salmon, avocados, walnuts, raw nuts and seeds.
  3. Eat breakfast. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar levels to peak and dip, affecting your energy and moods. It can also cause overeating later on because you’re so hungry.  With this said, listen to your own body and what you know works for you.  Some people do much better without breakfast and have no problems with the rebound overeating later in the day.  Be conscious of you and your needs. I can personally admit I am not a breakfast eater.  I get hungry by 11 AM or so. I listen and follow my body's requests for food.
  4. Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV. Get away from the computer. Sit down and savor the food you are eating with no distractions.  Eat from a space of unconditional self-love!
  5. Get moving. Do any type of physical activity every day. Find movement or exercise you enjoy.
  6. Get outside.  Your body needs fresh air and natural light.  You will create life long health benefits!
  7. Sleep, rest and relax. Breath work creates relaxation, slow down & breathe deeply.  Ask me for my educational handout on breath work.  When you are sleep-deprived or stressed, your body will crave energy, causing cravings for sugary snacks and caffeine as an energy boost.
  8. Schedule fun time. Boredom and stress can lead to overeating. Make sure to take time to laugh, play and participate in activities that bring you joy.
  9. Find a mindfulness practice and use it every day. (Yoga, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Meditation, Prayer...)


PS  Just a reminder about the Whole Health & Healing Academy that starts Thursday, September 25th. Join us to create vibrant health in your life!

My Holistic Momma's Dilemma

You might remember my earlier blog post on healthy kid's b-day parties and WHY have healthy kid's b-day parties. So my latest dilemma... my soon to be 12 year old kid wanted an Oreo cookie birthday cake.  First of all I asked: "Why Eli? I have never purchased Oreo cookies for you!"

Bottom line is he wanted what he wanted.

Truth of the matter is there is not one ingredient in an Oreo cookie that was ever meant to be:

  • in your digestive tract being digested and
  • sent out into your blood stream being delivered to
  • every cell in your body to do
  • all the processes to nourish your cells so you have a
  • healthy body!

Nature did not mean for our body cells to be poisoned by packaged food's synthetic ingredients.  Ouch, Paula, really?  My healing advice comes into question on occasion:  "She is so strange, too harsh, very severe, too tough..." But really, the truth is the truth, our bodies were not meant to be poisoned.

I am all about moderation; moderation in foods that were meant to be part of our cellular metabolism. There is no way, in my mind, to be moderate about that which was never meant to be a part of our cellular being.

For just 2 weeks, try feeding your body with 100% whole food, every snack and meal.  I guarantee you will feel like a whole new person: alive, vibrant, clear headed, sleep well, etc. Then, after 2 weeks of whole food eating, go back to your regular diet, 100%, for a day or two.  You will be aghast at how lousy processed food leaves your body feeling.

Whole food eating is not about what you are removing from your life, junk food, but what you are inviting into your life, vibrant health.  Let me know how it goes.

So, back to that Oreo cookie cake. I started off with the basics.  I do not measure ingredients, just throw in the bowl, so I am giving my eyeballed estimates. Thank my Mom, that is how she cooks. I learned through observation.

  • real butter, from grass fed cows grazing in the Finger Lakes of NY - about 3/4 cup
  • 3 pasture eggs from Maria of Deep Root Farm, wicked orange yolks. Lots of good nutrients.  Use the whole eggs.
  • local milk from some sweet, grazing, local goats - 1 cup
  • *oat flour I ground from gluten-free oats - about 1 1/2 cups
  • Sucanat unrefined, real brown sugar (Available at the Potsdam Food Coop & Nature's Storehouse, Canton) - 1/2 cup
  • organic vanilla - 1 Tbsp.
  • baking soda - 1/2 tsp or less
  • baking powder - 2 to 3 tsp.

*gluten free flours will make a shorter, denser cake.  If gluten is Ok in your diet, use whole spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour.  Whole food cakes, made with 100% whole grain flours, will be heavier, denser, and shorter cakes.  When you get used to this denser, more flavorful, manner of creating in the kitchen... the "fluffy" refined food versions will be tasteless and boring.

The below Newman cookies are made with wheat flour and therefor contain gluten.

I caved (What else is a Mom to do? He is so damned cute.) and bought Newman's Own Organics Newman-O's Creme Filled Chocolate Cookies.


Original Ingredients:

Organic Unbleached Wheat Flour, Organic Powdered Sugar (Organic Sugar, Organic Corn Starch), Organic Sugar, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Canola Oil (Expeller Pressed), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Unsweetened Chocolate, Salt, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate (leavening), Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier)

I took one row of the cookies, scraped the creme filling out, crushed the wafers, and added the crushed mess to the batter.


The "Oreo" cake after baking:


Tomorrow I shall slice it in half to make 2 layers and fill the center with frosting. Then I will slather the whole thing with the rest of the frosting.


  • 2 eight oz. packages of Organic Valley Pasture Raised whipping cream
  • 1 eight oz. package of Organic Valley Pasture Raised Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. local, dark maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. organic vanilla
  • the second row of Newman-O's, scraped and crushed, added to the finished frosting

The final, third row, of Newman-O's will be cut into 1/2 rounds and placed on top of the cake.


Happy Birthday Eli!  Much LOVE, Mom

Or, as my boys call me...


Teaching whole food eating, cooking, and baking classes:  I volunteer teach cooking classes through the Sustainable Living Project, Local Living Venture. Sign up for their emails to be notified of upcoming classes.  I also do small groups at my home, just ask.  pyoumell@gmail.com

Fats: yummy, yummy fats!

Fats: yummy, yummy fats!

Ok, I confess.  I love fat!  It makes me feel full, keeps me from being hungry again in 60 minutes or less, and aided me in the loss of 18 pounds and I have kept it all off! This was all weight that I gained in the eat low fat, high carbohydrates days.  You know the days I speak of... "follow the USDA Pyramid and eat lots of grains" mentality that has turned the USA into a country of even heavier people.

1992 pyramid

6-11 servings of grains, oh my!  I am feeling like a grain fed heifer just thinking of it!

The pyramid below emphasizes vegetables as the base of the pyramid, meaning our meals should be based around vegetables, not grains.  Now this is a bandwagon I can jump on, as long as my veggies have a 'lil grass fed butter on them.

Dr. Fuhrman's Food Pyramid

from www.diseaseproof.com

Then there is Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory food pyramid:  Much better than the USDA's but I still would not eat 3-5 servings of whole grains everyday.  I am thinking about my butt getting bigger...

Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid, Diet, Dr. Andrew Weil

There are so many food pyramids available for reference:  vegetarian, vegan, Asian, Latin American, African, Mediterranean... the list is quite extensive.  Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage, has several versions of traditional diet food pyramids:  http://oldwayspt.org/resources/heritage-pyramids/why-pyramids-are-important.

Fat, that's my answer to weight loss.  Now, do not think I am sitting about peeling and eating sticks of butter like a banana.  But, I do not shy away from high fats foods, or butter, for that matter!

Well, truthfully, fat is just one of my answers to weight loss.  I guess I should say that the fat is part of a whole food diet, based around locally grown foods, eaten in the season they grow and/or can be stored.

I have other whole health and healing recommendations for weight loss.  Email me and ask me for one of my weight loss educational hand outs.     pyoumell@gmail.com

There are many good fats out there from nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocados,  dairy products from naturally fed cows, meat from grass fed animals, eggs from pasture raised chickens... the list goes on.

Are they all available locally?  No, no they are not.  Create your own plan around what you are comfortable with in regards to food and where it comes from:  avocados from California or Mexico, olives and olive oil from California or Italy, grass fed butter from Wisconsin or Ireland?

Fats are needed in the body for many functions.  Here are some reasons to eat fats:

  • endorphin and neurotransmitter production
  • fat soluble vitamin absorption, metabolism and usage of omega 3 fats
  • eye health and prevention of macular degeneration
  • proper function of the thyroid and bodily metabolism
  • healthy cell membranes
  • incorporation of calcium into your skeleton for the formation and   maintenance of healthy bones
  • protection of liver from toxins such as alcohol, prescription and OTC medications
  • immune system enhancement
  • hormone production and fertility enhancement

How to get Fats from Food not Supplements  I am not big on supplements, they are factory made and I run from factory made food... why would I embrace factory made supplements?  With that said, I do recommend some supplements, some of the time, especially those that are 100% whole food, whole herb, etc.

Where do we get good fats?  From good foods, of course!!  Always remember, fat is a dense, highly concentrated food.  Eating it in moderation is best.

ANIMAL SOURCES:  If you are eating healthy animal products:  from animals raised and fed naturally, running about the fields eating what they would naturally eat, not being fed the packaged, processed foods that are manufactured for animals by factories owned by corporations. (Does this sound familiar?)  If animals are living natural Whole Health Lifestyles, eating the natural Whole Food meant for their species.... their bodies are going to be radiantly, vibrantly healthy!  They are going to produce eggs, dairy and muscles, (meat), and organ meats that are healthy.

If you eat healthy animal products, they will have a healthy effect in your body.  The reverse is also true; eat unhealthy animal products from animals not living whole health, whole food lifestyles and these animal products make you unhealthy.

Example:  Full fat PLAIN yogurt from grass fed cows, goats, sheep (perhaps horses, yaks, pigs!)*

Butter and fat from grass fed, naturally fed animals is loaded with healthy fats and vitamin D.  This includes lard, yes lard!  Not from factory farmed, grain fed, feed lot animals though!  You want to eat animal products from animals raised as naturally as possible.

Wild caught, deep water fish and Wild caught Alaskan Salmon

No, these are not local, but a source of good fats from whole foods, not supplements. These fish have to be WILD.  If it is farmed salmon or farmed fish they have been fed un-natural diets (grains and manufactured fish food pellets), kept in un-natural captivity, and given antibiotics and hormones.  These things do not make their bodies healthy, nor will they make yours healthy.  Avoid large predator fish: swordfish, tuna, etc... They are top of the food chain and are high in toxins like mercury.  Most fish are not a local food. Make your food choices, local or not, that work for you.

PLANT SOURCES:  Walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, dark green leafy veggies, and purslane.  Most plant sources of food have some amount of fat, even if tiny amounts.

If you make smoothies, you can add the raw seeds and walnuts to the smoothie. Blend well to fine grind the nuts and seeds.

Another option is to pre-grind nuts and seeds.  A coffee grinder works well.  Then sprinkle them on granola, stir fries, soups and stews, plain yogurt and fruit, and add them (pre-ground) to your smoothie.

Other great plant sources of healthy fats:  whole olives, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, avocado, coconut, unrefined coconut oil in moderation, all nuts and seeds.  Cold pressed sesame oil for cooking.  Cold pressed walnut oil for salad dressings.  Buy RAW nuts and seeds, not the roasted / salted / sugar sweetened varities.

Peanuts, which are really a legume / bean, should be roasted. Most of these are not local, obviously.

I do use organic, extra virgin olive oil for making salad dressing.  Butter just does not work well!  Before the heavy importation of olive oil, local people made salad dressings from the cream, off of the top of the milk, from the cow in their back yards.

Fat is yummy.  Eat whole food sources, in moderation and enjoy!!  I also recommend, as with all food, to get your fat sources as locally as possible despite the global food advertising urging to eat coconut oil, etc.  Healthy bodies are all about whole food eating, whole health living, period!!!

I cut and pasted this below section from my book, Hands On Health, as my explanation of fats.

mini pic

These are my thoughts and opinions on fats from many years of working in nutrition and health.  As I always tell people: read, learn, form your own opinions and truths that work for you.  Bottom line: eat whole foods raised 100% naturally, you can’t go wrong with nature.

I like to compare grass-fed land animals to the “eat wild fish” agenda that has been popular for some time. (See wild salmon information above.)  We are told how the fats in wild Alaskan salmon and other deep, cold-water ocean fish are good for us.  Are fish really the only animals that can eat their natural diets and turn this natural food into healthy fat that is good for both the fish's health and for the humans who choose to eat them?  It does not make a bit of sense to me that fish are the only living creatures capable of this feat.  I believe that all animals, eating their natural diets, uninterrupted by humans’ manufactured “food products” are producing 100% healthy bodies, their fat included.

Warning: farm-raised salmon and other fish are unhealthy.  They are fed unnatural diets creating unhealthy bodies with unhealthy fat profiles.  Tampering with nature does not pay off!

100% Grain-fed dairy animals produce cream that is unbalanced in its fatty acid profile.  Consuming unbalanced, unhealthy fats from animals (or hydrogenated vegetable fats) will only create chaos and un-health – disease - in the human body.*

The question arises: between animal and plant based fats, which one is healthier?  I have my thoughts and theories here too. (Bet you are surprised!)  If the animals are raised naturally, their fat in moderation is not unhealthy in our diets.  Peeling a stick of butter and eating it like a banana is not moderation!

I will repeat my thoughts here on plant-based fats:  they are also best in their whole, natural state:  avocados over avocado oil, olives over olive oil, nuts and seeds over their oils.  These plants need to be raised organically and sustainably, so they contain the full array of nutrients that nature intended.

My thoughts on saturated vs. unsaturated fats.  Saturated fats (butter, lard, coconut, etc.) are solid at room temperature while most vegetable fats are liquid at room temperature.

Average room temperature is somewhere around 60 to 70 degrees F.   The average body temperature is a bit higher than that, say somewhere around 98.6 F.  Where does that leave solid fats in this huge temperature discrepancy?   I have to assume any animal fat that is solid at 60 to 70 degrees is going to look and function a bit differently at 98.6 degrees.  I don’t know; I could be wrong.

Possible research sites for more information:

•           www.westonaprice.org/ (article “Why Butter is Better”)

•           www.eatwild.com

•           www.americangrassfed.com

•           www.raw-milk-facts.com/raw_milk_health_benefits.html

•           www.realmilk.com

Writer’s Disclaimer:  The writer’s knowledge and experiences are not necessarily shared, nor have they been evaluated or approved by the F.D.A., the A.M.A., or any other agency.  My theories, beliefs and hypotheses come from 25 plus years of studying and working in natural nutrition and healing.  Eat butter and fat at your own risk and pleasure - I do!

*Introduce yourself to a local brand of yogurt, Prosper's Farmstead Creamery Artisan Yogurt. I have had great conversations with Jessica Prosper on grass fed dairy cattle in Northern NY.  It gets cold here... remember that fact!  I like her solid, common sense answer about giving cows a little bit of grain in order for the cows to thrive in our northern NY weather.

" I know you use my product which is mostly grassfed, but not 100%.  The point that I would like you to be aware of, that I think is very important since you are an educator and an expert that people listen to, is that from an animal welfare standpoint it is very difficult, if not impossible to supply a dairy cow in this climate (boldfaced by me to emphasize my point about the north country cold!)  the nutrients and energy that she needs without some kind of grain supplement.  It is not just the cold in the winter that attributes to this,  but also the fact that it is very difficult to grow the really high energy forages here that they can grow out west. This is mostly due to our short growing season and often times rainy weather.   I realize that there are dairy farmers in the area that are 100% grass-fed who would disagree with me, but they are wrong. It comes down to simple math - energy in, energy out, and understanding what a healthy cow is supposed to look like.  I could go on and on, but what it comes down to is what all diets are about - moderation - grain in moderation.  Many conventional dairies feed too much, 100% grass-fed feed none.  I think people need to be aware that a happy medium does exist and that it is not fair to the cow to ask her to deplete herself so we can consume milk with a slightly better lipid profile."

Jessica Prosper, Dairy Farmer and Yogurt Artisan at Prosper's Farmstead Creamery

I love and respect information that comes directly from the hands, heart, mind, and soul doing the "work"!


Ember and yoga... or yogurt, she's not fussy!

By the way, the Prosper's yogurt is available at Elliot's Agway in Winthrop, The Potsdam Food Coop, Nature's Storehouse in Canton, Martin's Farm Stand on Rt. 11B just outside of Potsdam, Martin's Store in Moira, and Nori's Village Market in Saranac Lake.