I’m busy migrating this dusty old site over to self hosted WordPress and my goal is to start posting more regularly about my adventures as a meat operations manager for a local, sustainable farm that specializes in grass fed and finished beef.

Before, I was using this site as a means educate people on the importance of eating and living healthier from a paleo point of view while I tried to become a paleo dietitian. And try as I might have, I wasn’t so good at it and I didn’t really like it.

Also, there are enough people doing that these days. And I still don’t know enough about food and diet to comfortable telling people what to eat all the time. And NC happens to be very unfriendly to people who like to blog about nutrition and proper eating sooooo…

Now, I have a really awesome interesting job that I need to write about since I learn about 1100 new things a day. I’m working on a sustainable, pasture based farm that produces super high nutrient grass finished beef, chicken, eggs and vegetables. We’ve also partnered with The Shrimp Connection who sells sustainably sourced seafood, local whenever possible. My job is sweet.

And I have lots of pictures from around the amazing Summerfield Farms that I need to be sharing, like the one below.

Cows getting down on some salad bar.

Cows getting down on some salad bar.

I’ll still be referencing the paleo and Crossfit lifestyle I’m living quite often but the theme of the blog will definitely be taking a new direction as I write and share about what I see and learn on the farm. Time for a new nutritionator.

The salad bar at Summerfield Farms

It’s been almost 9 months since I’ve written anything for this poor, neglected blog so I figured why not use this as a means to explain what the hell I’ve been doing for the past year or so. A lot has happened in my life recently, I just want to update a bunch of people at once and a post on the ever-changing facebook just didn’t seem appropriate.

In the summer of 2010 I discovered the Paleo and Primal diets after a lifetime of digestive upsets, joint pain, ADHD, acne and countless other maladies that I just couldn’t seem to fix no matter what drugs I took. I finally realized that most, if not all of my problems were caused by a shitty processed diet, also known as the Standard American Diet (SAD). Up until that point in my life, most of my meals consisted of grain-based, sugar-filled, nutrient-void foods. I finally found Mark’s Daily Apple, Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser and many other whole food advocates that quite literally saved my life with the information they consistently share with the world.

Everything changed right then and there. I started eating real food and less processed crap and stopped the constant trips to the doctor’s office. With my new found energy I started this blog in an attempt to help as many people as possible that might be going through the same things that I once was. I spent all my free time reading and researching everything I could find related to whole food diets and the harms caused by neolithic foods (basically any food that hasn’t been around for more than 100 years or so). I was on a mission to fix the world through kale and ground beef. I toyed with the idea of becoming a paleo blogger and joining the ranks of so many other people like those above that have helped so many other people get healthy through better food and smarter lifestyle choices.

This passion turned into a desire to do this kind of thing for a living and in August of 2011 I started grad school to work towards a Masters in Nutrition and certification as a registered dietitian. I knew that I was probably going to disagree with a lot of what I was learning since I had started to see the scary truths about our current diet recommendations and food system, but I was determined to become a Paleo RD. Well, I did do some learning but most of my time in class was spent biting my tongue when my professors talked endlessly about low-fat, whole-grain, red meat-free diets. It was truly a struggle to sit through a lecture without going nuclear. I dabbled with being a “wellness coach” and had some awkward consultations with local Crossfit members as I tried to help them “go paleo” and honestly just didn’t really like the whole dietitian thing.

My class experience coupled with a scholarship and assistantship that fell through due to funding cuts in the Nutrition dept. (and everywhere else) led to my deciding to take a break from grad school and get back into the workforce. And I thought I was miserable in grad school…

With my degree in Biotechnology and few years spent in various biochemistry labs doing cancer research, I was obviously destined for another job in a lab. In a hurry to start getting a paycheck again, I took the first opportunity that came my way. This opportunity happened to be a quality control engineer at a local flavorings company. An artificial flavorings company. Times were tough and I desperately needed a job but anyone that knows anything about me or the Paleo diet knows that this was not a good fit for someone that digs a whole food diet.

I definitely wasn't working with ideal materials...

I definitely wasn’t working with ideal materials…

It was literally in my job description that I was to analyze the artificial flavors created on the production floor and determine that they had the proper color, smell and TASTE. Every day I went in to work and had to taste soda sweetened with aspartame and HFCS and powders filled with fake dyes and other chemicals. Add in occasional second shift work (ask my beautiful girlfriend, I am NOT a night owl) and coming home with my hands and clothes dyed a variety of colors thanks to the fake colorings we used (and I was regularly consuming), and I was not a happy camper.

During this job I began to work on a side project I was calling “The F.A.T. Food Truck”. F.A.T. stands for Farm and Traditional and my plan was to start a mobile farmers market that brought the farm to the people, making local, whole food more convenient. I would come home and complain endlessly about my job and then work endlessly towards being a blogger here at Nutritionator AND starting a local food business from scratch. My poor girlfriend.

Obviously having to get away from the flavorings job, the job hunt was back on. This time around I found an opportunity with a small medical device company. I was to be a customer support specialist that worked on a device that analyzed blood and urine samples for drugs of abuse, prescription drugs and blood chemistry markers. Not a bad sounding gig but still pretty far off from where my passions lie. Constant on-call hours, out of town work and working with a machine and software straight out of the early 1990′s had me frustrated and I decided to go full-boar at the F.A.T. Food Truck idea as my way out of the 9-5 grind.

I set up a frugal campaign at Indiegogo to raise the money needed to start my dream and ended up about $7000 short of my $7500 goal (which I now know was about 1/5 of what I actually needed to get this thing up and running.) I took the $500 I did raise, bought a fridge and freezer and a bunch of local food with my own money and began selling it in my free time at different Crossfits around Greensboro. The idea worked. Extremely well. People LOVED having a convenient way to buy fresh, local meat, eggs and produce after a tough workout on their way home. I wasn’t making any actual money (actually losing some over the long haul) but I was proving that the concept worked. I was working with local farmers that produced products with sustainability and the wellness of the animals at the forefront of priorities. I was also working with hungry customers who were passionate about whole, locally grown food. I started collecting sales data and putting together an actual business plan that I could approach lenders with in order to obtain the startup capital I needed.

Once I had a somewhat finalized plan together I started having different people look at it for tips and suggestions. A few of these people I had come to get to know fairly well as they worked for the farm that supplied me with all my 100% grass fed, grass finished beef. Summerfield Farms here in Greensboro NC not only produces the most delicious beef products my customers and I have ever tasted, they are the nicest, most-hardworking people I have ever met. The farm is a paradise and they share my love for everything local, fresh and nutritious (Their beef actually has an Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio similar to that of wild-caught salmon.) If you live in or around Greensboro, stop by the farm and try anything, you won’t regret it.

The salad bar at Summerfield Farms

The salad bar at Summerfield Farms

Ok, done advertising, back on track…

So the fine folks at Summerfield Farms took a look at my business plan and little did I know, had a very similar plan of their own in the works. They too recognize that healthy, local food is not the most convenient product and are constantly working on getting more people better access to it. A few short days after the owner of the farm and his trusted crew of locavores saw the plan, we sat down to discuss how we might be able to help each other in our ventures. This culminated in my having to make a decision that I thought was tough at first, but ended up being one of the easiest I have ever made.

Basically they offered me a job with the farm doing exactly what I wanted to do with the F.A.T. Food Truck. But they wanted to know that I would be 100% absolutely dedicated to the farm and the farm only. They knew exactly how hard I had been working on the F.A.T. Food Truck concept and they wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t take the experience I gained on the farm and start a competing company of my own in the near future. They also said they would be MORE than happy to support my business idea in any way that they could if I wanted to go in that direction, but I had to choose between starting and owning my own business and working solely for the farm.

Thinking about it at first scared me. I had spent over a year and a half of my free time trying to build a business from nothing. I had a built in support system that would aid my venture however they could and I would be working for myself for the first time ever. I had systems set up and ready to go and was willing to work the 80+ hours a week that would be necessary for the foreseeable future.

Thinking about it for another 5 minutes, I realized that the position on the farm was exactly the opportunity I’ve been searching for all along. I also realized that I was so desperate and determined to start my own business because I just never thought I was going to find the right job with a resume filled with work that I wasn’t passionate about. Thirdly, grad school is expensive, school loans suck and I would SO much rather have a steady paycheck rather than a money-sucking startup at this point in my life. I took the job that same day.

All those words to say that I finally have what might be my dream job and that The F.A.T. Food Truck is going to be put on hold for the foreseeable future. I am still going to be selling local food at local gyms once again in the very near future and I’m going to be doing it for a farm/company that focuses on nutrient density, sustainability and the health and wellness of the animals and the earth above all else.

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you that supported the dream I’ve been working on, especially those of you that bought some amazing local food from me at the gym and the owners at Crossfit Versatile, Crossfit Greensboro and Crossfit Greensboro Battleground for hosting me while I tried to get the truck up and running. I am very much looking forward to having a regular schedule of stops at the gyms and offering a much more diverse and plentiful selection of local meat, eggs, dairy and produce.

I might even start posting here at Nutritionator a little more often about my experiences at the farm now that I have a new found focus. Thanks again for all the support and stay tuned for more updates in the saga of Pat.

So I’m kind of obsessed with raw honey lately. Raw means never heated, never filtered, never chemically or physically altered, straight from hard workin’ bees honey. Store-bought, free-flowing, crystal-clear honey is NOT raw honey. The clear honey that comes in a squeezy bear at your local grocery store has been micro-filtered and super-heated to increase shelf life and some of it can’t even really be classified as actual honey.

Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals and other superfood components. And I quote:

“Honey in its natural raw state contains 2 predominant natural sugars (Fructose and Glucose) 11 enzymes, 14 minerals, 21 amino acids, all the vitamins that nutritionists consider necessary for health A,D,K, Rutin, Nicotinic acid, B vitamins, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine and Biotin as well as Ascorbid Acid (Vit. C.).”

Add in all the anecdotal evidence of raw honey healing the digestive tract and increasing nutrient absorption…this stuff looks to be quite the multivitamin/multimineral supplement in sweet disguise. Just a spoonful of honey help the nutrients go down.

Raw honey can replace expensive beauty products. I should have Jessi write an in depth article about honey for beauty uses. For now though, supposedly raw honey helps balance the pH of the skin to levels that fight aging. I do know that raw honey is anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-viral and contains lots of bioavailable minerals, all good things and no fake crap for the skin.

Buying LOCAL raw honey supports local farmers AND is effective for seasonal allergy relief. Raw honey contains bee pollen. When you buy honey from local farmers this means that your honey contains the pollen produced by local plants. This pollen acts like a vaccine, inoculating your system against seasonal allergies. I myself have seen the allergy benefits

In this study endurance athletes liked honey even more than their highly-prized gel packs.

The study indicates that using honey as a carbohydrate source during exercise significantly improved performance and power during endurance cycling trials.

Using honey, especially the raw variety seems like an obvious choice for athletes due to readily available sugars, an abundance of vitamins and minerals and other anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Traditionally used for wound care and to promote healing, raw honey is increasingly being used nowadays to heal severe burns, treat internal ulcers, as an antiseptic wound treatment and even as an acne spot treatment! Honey has been shown to be MORE effective than the current standard burn treatment, silver sulfadiazine, while being completely natural and containing all those nutrients mentioned above.

Known to increase energy levels before exercise, raw honey is also a proven natural sleep aid. The natural sugar in honey helps keep blood glucose levels steady throughout the night thereby avoiding the release of stress hormones mid-snooze. The small insulin spike that accompanies a spoonful of raw honey also signals insulin to deliver tryptophan to the brain where it is converted into melatonin. Melatonin promotes the release of growth hormone during sleep which is necessary for muscle development, bone protection and tissue repair.

AND.

Raw honey is freaking delicious. Props are due to spain-in-iowa.com for this eye (and mouth) candy:

With it, you can really expand upon the ever growing list of “paleo” and other other real food recipes. Raw honey is most definitely a source of simple sugars so moderation needs to be exercised. But as you read above, it’s not all about the sugar. Cooking with raw honey will destroy some of the important enzymes and vitamins it contains but even when combining raw honey with high heat, you’re still using a far less processed and more nutritious option than any other sweetener on the market today.

I will be attempting the Raw Vanilla Ice Cream from Honey Pacifica (from Cali but as pure as you can get) ASAP thanks to a steady supply of raw milk from the farmers market downtown. (That I feed to my dog of course since raw milk is illegal in North Carolina… winky face!)

The “raw honey” tag at PaleOMG is a dangerous query. Only perform this search under the supervision of someone that can prevent you from eating your computer. All those goodies might be “paleo” but you and I both know that you should not be eating Apple Fritters for breakfast Carrot Cake Doughnuts for dinner… at least not every day…. double winky face!

Random google finds: Honey Roasted Red Potatoes, Honey Mustard Chicken, Spicy Honey-Glazed Bacon, Chipotle Honey Pulled Pork.

For any of you lucky enough to have access to local raw honey AND raw grass fed yogurt, combine the two in a bowl with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract for a quick superfood snack.

And for even more honey food porn, here’s a modern list of raw honey delights brought to you by Kenny G.

That’s all I got on honey of the raw variety right now. How do you use honey?

Convenient food is my favorite food and these egg muffins are the perfect breakfast/snack on the go. I’m weird and usually just eat them cold out of the fridge but they’re just as good warmed up in the microwave or oven. You can easily change up the ingredients to prevent getting bored of the same ol’ thang. My go to recipe is posted below but some of my other favorite fillings are broccoli, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, ground sausage and all different kinds of cheese.

Ingredients

1 dozen eggs from happy, pastured chickens

1 package (12-16 oz) bacon from happy, pastured pigs

2 cups cheese from happy, pastured cows…seeing a pattern?

1 handfull chopped basil

1 cup chopped green onions

salt, pepper, parsley, any other spices to taste

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 350!

2. Cook the bacon, wait for it to cool and chop it up.

3. Combine the bacon, eggs, cheese, basil, onions and spices in a big bowl and mix er up.

4. Keeping the mixture…mixed, fill up the cups of a muffin tin, you’ll have enough for about 12 muffins.

5. Pop em in the oven for 25 minutes and keep an eye on them, when they just start to brown on top, they’re donezo.

Butter your muffin tin, don’t use muffin liners like pictured, you do not need them ;)

El Fin. You don’t have to worry how long they stay good in the fridge because they won’t last that long.

Let me know what you think and any favorite combinations you come up with!

My poor, poor blog.

I’ve been neglecting the hell out of it, but for good reason…I’ve been busy.

I just got home from visiting Bettini Farm in Greensboro, NC. Every farmer I talk to adds fuel to the fire that is my mobile farmers market in progress. Deb and Randy Bettini are incredible folks and in addition to full-time jobs, maintain a spectacular, sustainable farm. They will be providing my truck with 100% naturally grown italian heirloom tomatoes, onions, leafy greens, carrots and tomatoes.

In addition, I’m also going to be getting raw grape cider, raw honey, shitake mushrooms and all pastured chicken eggs from these wonderful folks.

They were gracious enough to send me home with some veggies that I picked out of the ground myself and a jar of their homemade grape jelly. I had to throw one of my shoes in there so you could truly appreciate the size of that freaking head of cabbage.

I toured their vineyards, chicken coops, vegetable beds, beehives and workshops. They have 6 varieties of grapes and were more than happy to explain the process of turning a little grape seedling into wine, jelly and cider.

We talked for over two hours about how Randy’s grandfather came straight from Italy, bringing heirloom varieties of different vegetables with him and starting his own farm, the very same one I just visited, from scratch back in 1910. Deb and Randy are still practicing the same techniques that started the farm and are well researched in sustainable farming and green technology. They make their own compost, have an extremely over-protective but quick to warm up to strangers pet coonhound and invited Jessi and I over for a home cooked dinner whenever we want. They wouldn’t even consider taking any of my money in exchange for the awesome food they sent me home with. Just look at this place:

One day, hopefully in the near future, it’s going to be my job to visit farms like this and help farmers like Deb and Randy Bettini make a living by providing their naturally raised food to as many people as possible.

Keep your eye on kickstarter.com in the near future. I have a feeling that a dreamer trying to turn a school bus into a sustainable machine providing sustainable food might be showing up soon…

My business idea is coming to fruition and that’s cool and stuff, more on that to come in the very near future.

In the mean time…

Qdoba, Chipotle, Moe’s and lets not even mention Taco Bell (soybean oil in a fruitista and everything else? really?) are serving incredibly unhealthy food and it’s for one reason, their cooking fat of choice is soybean oil. In the case of the first three, if we could just get the FREAKING attention of someone with a a little bit of power and a willingness to replace soybean oil with pastured beef tallow or ghee, a change that quick and easy to adopt would do wonders for the nutritional quality of any one of those menus.

If this current business idea pans out, next on the list is a taco joint that serves grass fed fajitas and locally grown corn chips cooked in pastured beef tallow along side homemade salsa from local veggies.

Off to the grind…

I’ve been working on a little somethin’ somethin’ that is actually starting to materialize quicker than I thought. That being said, I need to use the power of the internet and social networking to do a little market research…

There are a few other people doing things similar to this but I’m planning on starting a mobile farmers market in Greensboro, NC. I’m still deciding between an ice cream truck or school bus but something of the sort will be retrofitted to carry local, 100% pastured, organic meat and eggs and organic produce (hopefully raw dairy in the future.) Ideally sourced from farms less than 100 miles from Greensboro. I might carry a few other hard to find goodies like coconut oil, seaweed and organic nuts but I’m more focused on the farm food.

Support local farmers, make it easier for people to locate healthy food, educate people on the importance of whole food, take some money out of the pockets of factory “farmers” and possibly recycle some of the waste from the hundreds of restaurants that are in Greensboro. I want that to be my job.

I’m also looking into biodiesel as a fuel source and the possibility of solar panels to power the meat freezers. Biodiesel doesn’t actually look too difficult and seeing as I’d be working in mostly a warm climate, should be an affordable, earth friendly way to power my food mobile and reduce waste.

I do plan on offering exclusively “paleo” food but I’d rather just advertise it as whole, local fresh food instead of an anti-processed food campaign. Trust me, it’s paleo. If I’m allowed to, I want to use the outside of the truck or bus to educate on the differences between factory farmed crap and the amazing food that local farmers produce. I’m looking at you CLA

I plan on focusing on people that don’t have transportation, are extremely busy, don’t know how important local food is, or need more farmers market availability than just Saturday mornings.

There are a plethora of stops I could see being beneficial for my customers. Food desserts, college campuses, apartment/townhome complexes, gyms, downtown, after-school pickup, malls, festivals and so on…

Imagine finishing your workout at the gym and waiting outside in the parking lot is a source of local, cheap, organic, crap-free food, far more fresh than anything you would over pay for at the store. No need to make a special trip to the store on your already tight schedule. Just grab some salad ingredients, ground beef for burgers and a sack of sweet potatoes for fries for a perfect post-workout meal.

Now for the most important part of this post. You.

I need your help. I need to know if you would use a service like this and where you would like it to be offered to make your life easier.

Leave a comment, send me an email, tweet or facebook message, however you do it just let me know what you think of the idea. BE HONEST and share this idea with as many people as you can. The more feedback I can get, the more detailed my business plan can be when I start begging for funds to make such a project a reality.

I do plan on using crowd sourcing like kickstarter.com to fund the project. Again, feedback would be great!

Word vomit tends to be common around here huh?

Thanks in advance!

I haven’t been posting much and that will change soon I promise. I finally feel like I’m starting to put out some quality posts and received really great reviews on my first guest post for Highbrow Paleo, a blog created by a very special group of paleo proponents. I know that some people seem to think that you have to say crazy things and be a huge A-hole in order to “help” people and get more twitter followers but the people behind Highbrow Paleo are much more level-headed. AND SMARTER!!!

On that note, I started a little online Paleo newspaper that gets updated at 5am and 5pm every single day. The content is automatically pulled from the links tweeted by a bunch of people much smarter than I am. I do my best to weed out the crazy crap and get right to the good stuff. You can sign up for email updates or just follow me on Twitter for update notifications!

I ran the caption contest mentioned in the previous post and it was a success! Congratulations to Libby Kite for winning $49 to GreenPasture.org!!! If you haven’t checked out their goodies, that needs to move to the top of your to do list. I can only hope that Libby picks up something like this…

After how well this contest ran, I’ll be begging for awesome products more frequently, stay tuned.

Tomorrow afternoon will mark my 3rd Nutrition/Paleo seminar and I’m feeling much more comfortable and prepared than in the past. I put together a powerpoint with wayyy too much information to present in 30 minutes but I’m going to do my best to make an impact and get a couple people to give a whole food diet a try! Once the powerpoint is a little more tuned I’ll be posting that in Handouts so my Fridge Guide isn’t so lonely.

I’m also going to be offering my current Wellness Coaching sessions at HALF PRICE for the next two weeks. My schedule is about to open up quite a bit and I want to start helping as many people as possible see better health this summer. Any appointments made in the next two weeks will be half price, the appointments don’t actually have to take place in the next two weeks.

Too many words! Time for a picture to break up the monotony!!!!

My 110 lb Lab mix proving that he is indeed, a lap dog with Jessi. In the package are white T-shirts destined for tie dye for the Rugged Maniac next weekend!!! 

Side note: I might be begging you for money in the future. And I apologize in advance.

I’m working on a project that will make local, organic, naturally grown food available to more people in my current home town of Greensboro, NC. I got inspired after seeing the success that a Paleo Food Cart in Portland had getting funding through the internets and I might be using kickstarter.com myself one day soon. Many more details on that to come, once I figure out what the hell I’m doing…

Now that’s what I call word vomit.

And here’s how I’m going to do it.

*There is one catch to this contest, you have to pay shipping and handling which will come to about $6 for a couple things. I’m sorry, but seeing as if you win, I’m going to get you a free bottle of high vitamin butter oil/fermented cod liver oil blend or whatever else you fancy from the amazing folks at GreenPasture.org…I think it’s a fair deal. If you win and don’t want to pay shipping, I’ll give it to second place and so on.*

The Contest

I’m going to post a picture on my facebook page. It’s this awesome picture of my girlfriend Jessi holding my then 2, now 6 month old nephew Maximus The Brutal Head Chopper Offer…

Maxtin Patrick Gottorff seen here:

I’d appreciate it if you liked my page, but either way, come up with a witty, funny, clever, awesome caption for the photo in an attempt to get as many “likes” as possible. Like other people’s comments before you go.

Make sure you comment on the picture on the Nutritionator facebook page for it to count!

The person with the comment with the most likes when the clock hits 12:01 am EST on Friday April 13th will win a $49 gift certificate to GreenPasture.org.

Don’t be lame and try to hack the system, I’ll find out and have you tarred and feathered.

Have fun, looking forward to some lol’s.

1. White Rice. Preferably bone broth rice.

2. Homemade Sweet Potato Fries.

3. Chili.

4. As many eggs as you desire.

The Result: A superfood breakfast/ideal post-workout meal/can be piled into tupperware for lunch/dinner and ready in about 3 minutes.

Posting has been infrequent and I apologize for that, but I have a lot of things going on behind the scenes. I found this awesome site, paper.li and put together a little online paleo/ancestral health/whole food/food science newspaper for people to check out. It’s updated every morning and evening at 5am with whatever people have been tweeting about that day. Check it out HERE or search for Highbrow Paleo on papers.li.

I might be starting a green business in Greensboro, NC. I just need to find investors and I’ve been thinking about giving kickstarter.com a try once I have a more convincing business plan written up. Stay tuned for that.

Back to the grind, sorry for all the Twitter spam I’ve been spitting out, I just wanted people to know and be cool with the fact that their tweets are being highlighted on yet another venue on the series of tubes known as the internets. And that I think you’re crazy smart, creative and interesting.

Hooray for Mondays…