Here is a great article on the limitations of meat. During youth, pregnancy, menstruation, and perhaps old age, eating additional protein can be beneficial. For more information check out this article, or its references http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/04/285879644/eat-plants-and-prosper-for-longevity-go-easy-on-the-meat-study-says.
This study (Levine et al., 2014) shows that for the disease state, such as cancer and diabetes, a lower protein diet can contribute to a longer lifespan compared to a higher protein diet. This finding was significant and the effect was reduced or negated if the protein was from a plant source instead of animal. I loved this control because it implies that is not the protein that is the main source of the problem, but the protein source. Here the protein source is casein, a milk protein. Other studies have also shown increases in IGF-1 and cancer progression/incidence with higher casein consumption. Significance of data was also reported in this study to the benefit of a high protein diet in old age humans, additionally in old mice a higher protein diet (30% vs 4%) significantly increased weight gain. Protein intake was measure as a factor of IGF-1 levels. Additionally it shows, in mice, that a higher protein diet contributes to a greater activation of the Growth hormone pathway activated by IGF-1 which resulted in increased tumorigenesis. In contrast, a low protein diet slowed tumor progression in similar mice subjects.
Although the research is not definitive on the frequency of meat consumption that is optimal for health, eating a plant based diet with meat one or two times a week (or even less!) will be the most nutritionally advantageous method of a balanced diet. Check back here for updates on great recipes made with healthy, farm raised, organic meat products. Remember that eating other meat products can do a disservice to the environment and foster cruelty to animals through modern farming methods.
Levine, M. E., Suarez, J. A., Brandhorst, S., Balasubramanian, P., Cheng, C. W., Madia, F., . . . Longo, V. D. (2014). Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population. Cell Metab, 19(3), 407-417. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.02.006
Three Chicken Recipes in One
The following recipes will give you a rough format for making three dishes out of one whole, organic chicken, one grain, one bean, corn tortillas and two to three vegetables of your choice, plus two large onions. Follow these instructions to provide a meal for your family (or self) for three to four days depending upon if you have leftovers from one meal. Minimal effort will go into preping each recipe so a meal can be made in 10-20 min.
Organic Chicken Stew with Collard Greens
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 6-8 hrs
Equipment Needed: Crock Pot or Dutch Oven/Heavy Pot
Whole Organic 2-4 lb chicken
1 stalk celery
1 large onion
1-2 t salt
1 t parsley seed
I bunch collard greens
Optional Garnish: Daikon Radish and green onions
I suggest doing this step in the AM before work so your dinner is hot and ready by the end of the day. Place whole chicken in crock pot and place halved or quartered carrots, celery and onion, salt and parsley seed. Fill pot to the top with water and put on very low heat for 6-9 hours. If desired you may also chop veggies but this is not necessary. If you have many to feed I also suggest adding 2-3 potatoes.
After 8 hours take chicken out of pot and place in thinly sliced leaves of collard greens, leaving heat on. Pull off a few pieces of the breast of the chicken with your hands, a knife or fork. Place this chicken back in the pot. Place the rest of the chicken in a bowl in the fridge. Serve.
Alternatively if you have time this day you may pull all the chicken off the bones. I suggest using your hands. It should all pull off easily in 5 min. Place the chicken and bones in separate containers in the fridge.
Organic India-Mex Chicken Tacos
1 t tumeric
1 t whole coriander seeds
1 t dried coriander
1 1/2 t cumin
1/2 t mace
1 t hot chili powder
1 garlic clove
3/4 large sweet onion
1 T coconut oil
Fry the above ingredients on medium low until the onion is softened. Add in half of the chicken from a whole boiled (simmered) chicken, meat pulled off the bones. Stir well. When warm add 1 T olive oil. Spoon into tortillas that have been gently fried and top with cilantro and green onions.
Aside: There are two ways to prep corn tortillas. If you have just a few tortillas you may wet the tortilla and place in a pan with a small bit of oil. Cover pan and cook 2 min on medium heat. Alternatively moisten a kitchen towel put 10-15 tortillas inside and place in the oven on 300 F (without preheating) till warm (15-30 min).
Organic chicken, 2 cups cooked from the your choice of source (breast, legs, thighs, etc)
green onions or other garnish such as radish
The night you make the chicken tacos place the chicken bones in a large heavy pot. Fill with three to four quarts of water and bring to boil. Keep on high simmmer/heat as long as possible (up to 2 hrs). Turn down to very low and cook for 12-24 hours.
The broth made by long cooking of the bones is highly nutritious and is full of nutrients and minerals. It is such a great dish for anyone, but especially for a person feeling ill.
1 c grain (brown rice or quiona)
1 can corn or garbanzo beans
1 leafy green vegetable (kale, spinach or beet greens)
1 daikon radish
With gloved hands pull bones out of pot (to avoid extra dishes) or strain bones out by pouring broth into metal strainer over a bowl. Put broth back in pan and add grain and other ingredients except greens. Cook for 15 min for quiona and 30 min for brown rice. Add greens in last five minutes of cooking. This dish can actually be made with any vegetables of your choice. I suggest picking a root vegetable, a grain, a bean, and a green vegetable. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, salt and pepper to taste and any other fresh veggies such as peppers or avocados.
Alternative Recipe: Tortilla Soup
This broth can also be used to make tortilla soup instead. Just use the broth with a can of tomatoes, can corn, add in some left over chicken and 1 t chili powder and 2 t cumin. Garnish with avocado, cilantro and cheese.