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Food is Our Medicine (or it can be)

It’s December and we’re all about bone broth at Forager Mike’s. Surely you’ve heard of people drinking bone broth for increased overall and gut health by now, right? With winter hitting and moving full steam ahead, now is the perfect time to integrate this new (and easy) habit in your day-to-day life.  

Bone broth is known to heal the skin, gut, GI tract, aid in digestion, or help you beat the cold/flu.

Bone broth is a “Mineral-rich liquid that carries the essence of vitally nutritious vegetables, herbs, & spices in a way that is easy for the body to digest, assimilate, and utilize.” (Medical Medium) It is chock full of vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids, collagen, and glycine which are key ingredients to help your body repair itself!

Here’s the beautiful part of bone broth: it’s easy for busy people. And busy people are usually the ones that need that extra immune boost, right? It’s perfect because you can make this in your crockpot and leave it unattended for two days while it cooks down and because you can make mass quantities of the broth and store it in individual serving-size bags.

For really busy people, you can buy good pre-made broth in grocery stores or online at places like Kettle and Fire

How do we recommend consuming the broth? Replace your afternoon cup of coffee or evening tea with a piping hot cup of broth. Filomena, Forager Mike’s owner, says, “This is one of those comfort foods. If you are feeling sad, a cup of broth can lift your spirits. You slow down and sip your broth and count your blessings.” Or sub your normal boxed/canned chicken broth with your homemade bone broth! Add it to soup, chili, stew, or most any recipe that requires stock, water, or another type of liquid.

For those of you watching your daily calorie intake, drink your broth before a meal to help cut down on what you actually eat at that meal. 

Add a few dashes of our DANG! Good hot sauce to give this nourishing broth a little extra health benefit.

We hope y’all enjoy this pleasurable and positive addition to your day-to-day health!

*Dang! Healing Broth (recipe adapted from The Tender Foodie recipe):

Ingredients

  • 6-8 organic, grass-fed beef bones, roasted (turkey or chicken can be used with the same benefits as well)
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup of onion
  • 4-6 stalks of celery
  • 2 TBS of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • 1 capful of Dang! Maca and add to taste
  • Keep the bones covered with water (no exact amount)

Preparation

Place bones in a roasting pan and roast in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes until browned. 

Put all of the ingredients in a crock pot.  Start on high for the first 2 hours, then reduce to low. After the first 6 hours of cooking you can begin drinking.  Just scoop out what you need and strain through a fine mesh strainer, to keep any bone fragments from getting in your cup. Replace taken or evaporated broth with water. You can keep the pot going for about 5 days if you do this.

Notes

  • The addition of DANG! Good Maca or DANG! Good Spirulina will not only add a new taste dimension to the broth but it is an additional superfood to pack into this already nutritiously dense broth!
  • The extra simmering time of your broth and added apple cider vinegar leaches minerals, collagen and gelatin from the bones into the broth. This is a key ingredient!
  • We recommend you buy grass-fed meat bones from your local butcher or market, if possible!

Healing Through Food


Mike Hanes: Healing Through FoodThe claws are coming out and I can feel my inner gremlin start to take over. “Oh no” I think as my attitude and mood began to take a deep dive. I struggle for my normal salad-eating alter ego to resurface. Sound familiar? 

You all know this situation that I’ve all been in and how it sometimes puts us in a tricky position. Give in and eat the sugary carbohydrate packed snack and feed the gremlin; resist the urge, find a quick bar instead. It can be a hard call if you don’t plan your day well and maybe that’s what accounts for that extra 5-minutes you need to get ready before walking out the door.

The statistics are published and we read it on many food labels - Americans are getting way too much sugar and bad carbs in their foods. While it’s normal to get frustrated or feel anger from time to time, regular occurrences of this emotion might be linked to what you put in your body. In turn, all these things can do lots of damage to our bodies in the form of high blood pressure, high heart rate, stress, and build up of anger over time can lead to resentment that can eventually cause depression. In addition, many of these symptoms if not managed and treated properly can trigger diseases like diabetes. You think, how can this all go back to that candy bar I ate? Well, it’s not about that occasional sugary treat. It’s about a healthy lifestyle. Creating a healthy lifestyle by working out, walking, growing food, and watching the amount of sugar that we put in our bodies. 

  • Did You Know? 1 out of 3 people in the U.S. are pre-diabetic and 90% of them don’t even know about it.

My Story

My name is Mike Hanes.  I am a Marine Veteran who was in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. After getting out in 2004, transitioning has proved difficult at times. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride with plenty of stressful moments. A few years ago, the VA diagnosed me as pre-diabetic.  My doctor said that stress could have had a big influence in me inching closer to becoming diabetic.  My fasting blood sugar was constantly rising, 98, 102, 104, 106, 107.  My doc explained that anything past 100 is pre-diabetic, but once you hit 125, you are a type 2 diabetic.  After everything else I have been through in life, I did not want this to happen… I decided to take control of my life.

After working in a health food store and learning more about products available to us on the market, I began taking classes at the VA. It was to my amazement that they were still teaching to eat grains, potatoes, and bread (as standard with the USDA food guide plate). Wait a minute…I would think to myself. Every time I would check my blood with a glucose meter after eating this, my blood sugar skyrocketed! This can’t be right…

Ironically, I picked up a book in the VA book store called “60 Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar” by Dennis Pollock. Then I went to the book store and found another book called “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM. Dr. Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition - See more at: http://www.drperlmutter.com/about.  I learned how to read labels.  I learned the foods that have high sugar and carbs.  I also gathered food making ideas from these books.

In healing through food, I knew I had to replace bread with something that has relatively the same amount of fiber to carb ratio, in order to have a low net carb readout.  So I made bread out of almond flour and flax seed.  Flax is perfect because the fiber is so high!  This bread is a staple in my diet now. You can get the recipe here: https://foragermikes.com/blogs/recipes/132329159-clean-spicy-redmill-bread.

I also had to let go of foods that have a high sugar effect on blood such as bread, pasta, chips, potatoes, any fruit juices or sodas. I also began to incorporate foods with higher healthy fat content such as nuts, seeds, and avocados for snacks. As a side benefit, incorporated with a good workout plan, any fat around the mid section melted away and my abs began to get super defined.

Mike's low carb pizza crustThe trick was not to just let go of certain foods but to replace those foods with a good tasting healthy alternative. The almond bread was crucial for this. I also began to make chips out of almond flour and flax. I replaced pasta with zucchini noodles. If eating a burger, I will do a lettuce wrap instead of bread, absolutely delicious!  Also, pizza made with almond crust is amazing! I’ll share the recipe with you https://foragermikes.com/blogs/recipes/185803207-mikes-mesquite-low-carb-pizza.

I'm not here to tell you what you cannot eat, but to alert you if you notice that gremlin comes out often or find yourself having trouble thinking clearly throughout the day. What can you do to help prevent that and make your life better? Maybe it’s those sugary sodas or that foot-long cheesesteak sub on white bread you eat every day for lunch that’s contributing to your afternoon crash. Maybe you need more exercise. Maybe you’re not getting enough vitamins and good fiber in your diet. Whatever it is, there are options for you and small adjustments in your daily routine and diet can make a huge difference in keeping that stress level down and creating your own healthy lifestyle.

If you try one of our recipes like my bread or low carb pizza crust or if you also have helpful suggestions you'd like to share with our community here on the web, feel free to let us know!

By the way, our DANG! good hot sauce is a great way to add flavor and health to your meals without adding sugar, preservatives, and other things like sodium to your food.

Stress & Hormones – The Healing Power of Maca

We all have it – stress and hormones. You’d think we’d have it figured out by now - how to balance that stress and ease those off-balance hormones. While there is no magic wand to totally cure a bad day or post-partum hormone swings, we do know there are tools at our exposure to help!

At Forager Mike’s we’re all about Superfoods. Why? Superfoods are a natural component of our land, have proven to be a vital aid in healing, and have been used by decades upon decades of our ancestors.

Maca is a hormone and cortisol stabilizer. Many studies have proven these affects and should further convince you to add this superfood to your diet!

Maca Can Help:

Energy - Give yourself a boost of naturally provided energy with a dash of Maca. This superfood works by nourishing the adrenal glands, which regulate the hormones involved in energy production.

Stress - Balance those cortisol hormones with Maca. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands; key glands in controlling our body’s hormones.

Mood Swings - Maca naturally stimulates hormone levels that are too low, and regulates those that are overactive.

Maca is also helpful for blood sugar stabilization and decreases inflammation. This superfood is applicable for both men and women in all stages of life.

Now, you may be asking ‘what are some ways to integrate this superfood into my diet?’! Easy. Add Maca powder to your smoothies, pancake mix, salad dressing, or coffee. Better yet, try Forager Mike’s Maca Hot sauce!  

Forager Mike’s President and CEO, Filomena Spiese, has shared her Maca Spicy Mayo recipe! Now you can enjoy Maca on your favorite sandwich! Check out her recipe here!

Sources:

http://wellnessmama.com/8254/maca-herb-profile/

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/maca.html/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18784609

Blood Sugar – The Healing Power of Mesquite

Diabetes and blood sugar issues affect more than 29 million people in the Unites States. Another 86 million people have pre-diabetes. While it’s a clear concern for many, many people – those that don’t suffer from diabetes also need to watch their sugar intake!

“…sugar is worse than nothing because it drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination makes upon one's entire system.” (Global Healing Center)

Physical activity and a balanced, nutritious diet should be a top priority for us all.

Superfood, mesquite, is our go-to for aiding in blood sugar issues and prevention. Mesquite prevents spikes in blood sugar. Its natural sweetness comes from fructose, which helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.

Mesquite also has soluble fibers such as galactomannan gum, which takes four to six hours to digest, thus three times longer than digesting wheat or corn. This therefore keeps you fuller, longer!

Mesquite can be added to drinks and smoothies for a boost of sweetness and nutrition. It can also be used to add a classic sweet flavor to savory dishes, baked beans, and sauces such as Forager Mike’s Mesquite hot sauce!

Friends, we have good news. Even though you’re following a nutritious, low-carb diet to watch your sugar intake – you can still have pizza! Try out Mike’s recipe – see recipe here!  

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/sugar-problem/refined-sugar-the-sweetest-poison-of-all

Sustainable Agriculture with the Veteran Community

The Forager Mike's team spent last weekend farming alongside families from the Veteran community, Patriot Farmers of America, and many others!

We planted rows upon rows of onions and potatoes. As many of you know, we are all about eating local and sustainable eating! While traditional farming is important, Patriot Farmers of America is all about hydroponic farming."Its solar power, water filtration and communications capabilities enable year-round production of produce to combat food insecurity all over the world. It was inspired and designed by combat veterans."

So, the outpost was a big wow factor! Everybody was intrigued with it. It really communicates the essence of 21st Century farming in producing an abundance of beautiful produce in a small footprint, while incorporating 90% water savings with hydroponics.

It was great seeing the Veterans and their families participating in both soil farming and hydroponic farming. Both methods play a crucial role in sustainable practices for our future.

For lunch, we harvested salad greens from the outpost for lunch. We made a dressing with the Forager Mike's hot sauce by mixing olive oil and all 3 superfood flavors (Maca, Mesquite, and Spirulina). We enjoyed the harvest together bringing the community even closer.


Founder, Mike Hayes, said in response to the event, "I see the tremendous potential with all of the skill sets that Veterans have, combined with the will to serve their community and make a better world.  By obtaining the tools to teach others sustainable practices with food production, I feel that Veterans can lead the way to sustainability at a very fast pace."

Pink Himalayan Salt vs Table Salt: What's the difference?

All of our products include Pink Himalayan Salt instead of Table Salt. Why? Good question.

Bottom line, it's a lot healthier for us and we believe the taste is incomparably better.

"In conventional table salt, the salt is processed to remove all “impurities”. These impurities happen to be essential minerals needed for your body. After this “chemical cleaning”, what’s left is 99% sodium chloride. Sodium chloride which is not in its natural form." (organics.org)

Table salt is highly refined and striped of what's actually good for us.

Additives are often added throughout this refinement process to prevent clumping.

Himalayan salt is the purest form of salt on the Earth. Untouched by pollution or refinement.

"Himalayan salt happens to be 85% sodium chloride, and the remainder contains over 80+ minerals." (organics.org) These minerals (calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium) can have the following impact on our bodies:

  • help your body balance your PH
  • regulate water content
  • remove toxins
  • help absorb nutrients
  • prevent muscle cramping

Forager Mike's is committed to using the highest quality Superfood ingredients with exuberant taste. Our mission is to deliver good food, inside and out, promote health sustainability and food justice to ensure the well-being of future generations.

Dang! Flavor Series: What is Spirulina?

Out of the flavors Mesquite, Maca, and Spirulina - Spirulina is our hottest flavor!

With a bright and almost herbal taste, Spirulina has a peppery heat that is a level hotter than the Maca. Spirulina is a very concentrated form of nutrition and has been considered a food of the future. Try it on grilled fish, sweet potatoes, or mix into a vinaigrette!

Spirulina Ingredients:

  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • Organic Spirulina
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

Spirulina Superfood Properties:

Highest form of protein in the plant world ranging from 65 to 71% protein. Rare and unique source of vitamin B-12 in the plant kingdom. Complete protein containing all 18 amino
acids.  Contains 10 vitamins and essential minerals. Is a heavy metal detoxifier. Known as the food of the future due to its ease of growth, high nutrition content, and its’ single cellular simplicity ensuring easy assimilation.

Give it a try today!! Buy a bottle for only $6.99 

Dang! Flavor Series: What is Maca?

Maca is the mildest of the three Dang! sauces.

This sauce can blend well with any type of food and serves as a great flavor substitution for salt. Maca has been used by the native Peruvians to increase energy, vitality, and stamina. Try it on chicken, quinoa, and veggies.

Maca Ingredients:

  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • Organic Maca Powder
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

Maca Superfood Properties:

Maca is known for increasing fertility and libido in both men and women. It contains over 31 different trace minerals. Maca increases energy, stamina, DHEA levels, and strengthens immune system. It decreases anxiety, lowers stress, and blood pressure. Maca acts as a hormone regulator and adaptogen along with many other qualities.

Give it a try today!! Buy a bottle for only $6.99 

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Dang! Flavor Series: What is Mesquite?

To kick off our series on the three Dang! flavors, we are starting with Mesquite.

Out of the flavors Mesquite, Maca, and Spirulina - Mesquite is our sweet and smokey flavor. Try A Bottle!

With a sweet and smoky flavor, Mesquite’s wave of heat is really delicious and tastes like the Southwest. This sauce can be a great complement to many dishes, especially meats, beans, and eggs. This sauce will add flavor and a definite kick when your plate needs an extra boost.

Mesquite Ingredients:

  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Organic Mesquite Powder
  • Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

Mesquite Superfood Properties:

Considered a wild-crafted superfood powder with a low glycemic index (25), sweetener and flavor enhancer.  Although it is sweet, it does not contain fructose, so insulin is not required for breaking and assimilating it into the blood. This Superfood stabilizes blood sugar levels, is great for diabetics and has a high fiber content at 25% of its weight.  Mesquite is high in protein, Quercetin and lysine, and also the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.