TLC from Tendergrass Farms (Grassfed Beef)


I called to thank my farmer for the delicious meat he had delivered to my door.

Yup. You read that right.


I met David Marren, his lovely wife, and their newborn at the Ancestral Health Symposium a couple of weeks ago. After sampling his meat (they also served it at the conference for one of our meals), and sitting and talking to him and his wife for over an hour, I knew I wanted my family to eat their meat.

Tendergrass Farms did not disappoint.  First of all it came frozen, packed in dry ice with a hand signed thank you note.


I cooked the ground beef last night (I made a sweet potato stew) and there was very little fat and absolutely NO water.  1lb actually fed my family-unheard of!

Here is what David says on their website:

At the core of the Tendergrass Farms identity is our vision of sustaining local grass-fed family farmers by serving as a channel for their superior quality grass fed beef, pastured pork, pastured chicken and pastured turkey to find its way to committed pastured meat fans like yourself. Our online marketplace serves as a way for our customers to support a number of small family farms that might not otherwise be able to find the customers they need to survive.

Our local grass fed partner farmers raise their animals in a 100% pasture-based environment according to our strict grass fed production standards here on the beautiful hills and pastures of the southeastern United States. By implementing rigorous grass fed standards we are able to offer naturally raised meats of distinction that are truly unparalleled in terms of animal husbandry and welfare, culinary refinement and flavor, as well as purity and wholesomeness. By purchasing products from Tendergrass Farms you are supporting a growing number of small grass fed family farms in rural America that might not otherwise have a market for the meats they so proudly produce.

As Christians, we work for the glory of God and strive to serve both our customers and our partner farmers with consistency and integrity that can be counted on. Thanks for taking a moment to see what we’re all about. Please feel free to call us anytime at 1-800-929-1785 if you’d like any more information about what we do here at Tendergrass Farms and why we do it.

At your service,

David Maren, Founding Farmer & General Manager

Ellie and Catherine

Not only did David provide me with an excellent product with top notch service, he also agreed to give my audience a coupon!

Here is the awesome deal: Get ten (10) free one pound packs of our yummy dry aged, grass fed, grass finished, ground beef (a $99.90 value) with all orders over $199 which will also qualify your order for Free Shipping. Just head over to the Tendergrass Farms online grass fed meats shop ( and toss $199 of our scrumptious grass fed beef, pastured pork, pastured chicken, or pastured turkey into your cart. When you’re ready to check out just apply the coupon code IHEARTIPMG in order for ten (10) pounds of grass fed ground beef to be miraculously added to your cart at a price of $0.00 (expires 9/30/13, limited to 50 redemptions, while supplies last).

In addition he is giving me one thier cool t-shirts (I got one with my order) to giveaway as apart of my ‘500 likes giveaway’. Head over to my Facebook page to have a chance at winning!

There is so much I love about this company. The wholesome ‘mom and pop’ feel, the personalized service, their ethical processing process, and the opportunity to support American farmers are all huge on my list!


“May the Odds Be Forever In Your Favor” (Lunch with the Fam)



Lunch around my house is like a scene in the Hunger Games. You know the one in  which everyone races to the cornucopia to get the rations they desire most?  We are serious about eating over here! We each have our own food personality so everyone is pretty much repsonsible for their own mid-day meal. I keep the pantry stocked with agreed upon options. It’s fun shopping for all the individual food requests *insert sarcasm here*: a pescatarian, a starving athlete, a slow-carb-er, and me… an ancestral eater.


Here is what a typical lunch looks like for each of us:


Meat free

My daughter became a pescatarian a year ago. She loves animals as pets and could not see herself eating them. 😦 I respect her choice completely. She will occasionally eat seafood.. good thing we don’t have a fishtank! 


  • Jammed packed pita

        hummus, sprouts, red peppers (they don’t get soggy like tomatoes) and cucumber. 

  • Homemade greek yogurt (my husband makes it… more on that soon)
  • Fresh fruit(her favorite is strawberries)


The Starving Athlete

 In addition to the lack of nutrtionally dense food in the Cafeteria, school lunches leave my high school junior son hungry.  He takes a lunch in a brown sac and at 6 foot 4 inches, dares anyone to challenge him on it. Ha!  He covers all the food groups twice… and then again!


  • Whole wheat wrap

        chunks of chicken (I roast a whole chicken each week)

        shredded cheese and raw spinach

  • low sugar protein shake
  • Banana (to wart off muscle cramping)
  • Handful (or 3) of grapes



The Adults

So there isn’t much difference between me and my husband’s lunch options.  Here is something we might eat:

 Fish un-tacos 

  • cod seasoned with lime juice and garlic salt and pepper  

         homemade salsa

         homemade guacamole

  • 1 cup black beans (I don’t eat these)

One major change is that my diet is taking on a more Paleo appearance since I attended an amazing symposium last weekend.  I will share more of my experience soon. My family is not quite on board but I do most of the shopping and cooking so they will slowly come around. Hee hee!  

 I have to mention my college son. He has taken a stance as it relates to eating. He has appealed to be taken off the University’s meal plan. It is a requirement for those living on campus and last year it was a disaster. It did not take my son long to realize that his asthma/allergy symptoms, skin breakouts and bloated feeling were due to the crap he was limited to. He was miserable. He also felt that it affected his athletic performance (he plays soccer for the school). While the control I have over his eating is now limited to my quarterly contribution from Costco, it is comforting to know that  I have influenced his level of awareness. Many adults feel horrible for years and don’t make the connection that it’s the food they are eating! I’m glad he is learning this lesson early, I’m also glad I got a bit of a pat on the back. 😉 



A Walk Through My Local Market


The Snellville Farmers’ Market was named the best medium sized Farmers’ Market in the State (Georgia) and the 2nd in the Nation. Lucky for me, it is also within miles of my home.  A perfect summer weekend definitely includes a Saturday stroll through the market.  Please join me!


First stop: Eggs and honey. Edward Sezonov of Snellville Honey has free range eggs which are a favorite amongst shoppers. I got the last two dozen eggs! While we chatted about his jalapeno honey (it has a 3 second fire delay FYI…) and the design of his chicken coop at least a half-dozen folks came looking for eggs.  Good news he is local and sells them on site.   Edward is quite charming…he explained to me that while I was already sweet, the jalapeno honey would make me HOT! lol. Well alrighty then!

Local, raw honey has incredible health benefits and works wonders for those with seasonal allergies (my poor husband falls victim to several times a year).  It is a staple in our home. I also sampled pollen granules. Here’s what I learned today: over millions of year plants have had to compete by producing the most nutritionally complete pollen possible, because bees will go for the flowers with the best, and those plants are the ones that will survive. Time and evolution (and our friends the Bees) have ensured that when you eat pollen you are eating an extraordinary blend of nutrients, life-force, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, and more. People who consume bee pollen make claims of increased energy and libido. It also believed to aid in weight loss. I didn’t buy any today but I’ve definitely filed that information away.


My next stop was NNN &Co. Farm.  Super nice Jamaican family with some of the best vegetables available at the market (in my opinion). Being a small farm, they too, run out quickly.  I typically get okra, garlic, and scotch bonnet peppers but today the only had callaloo left. Good thing I love that too! They rinse it and cut it into strips which makes for easier cooking (greens can really be a pain to deal with!). If you have never tried callaloo, they will provide directions and a recipe.


On my way to get peaches from Person’s farm I stopped to visit with Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue.  Diva’s rescues pits from high kill shelters. A few of their foster families were at the market looking for forever homes for these oh so sweet pups. Bella, the dog hiding under the table, was really overwhelmed by all the attention. I tried my best to coax her out but she didn’t budge. Bless her heart! All donations are used directly to the vetting needs of the rescues. The foster mom in the picture explained to me that her little puppy was moments away from being put to sleep when they saved her. She is so happy and healthy! Please contact them if you are interested in fostering or donating.

During this visit I managed to get everything I need to make okra and tomato stew for Sunday dinner. I also bought some hearty oatmeal raisin cookies from True Vine Gluten Free.  Yummy! They sell their items online just in case you are drooling.


Being weighed down with bags didn’t stop me from making one last stop and King of Pops.  King of Pops has become an Atlanta area staple by making delicious gourmet ice pops. They are made with fruit and lightly sweetened with unrefined sugars. They have flavors Chocolate Sea Salt and Key Lime Pie. My pop was Blueberry Lemonade (sweetened with cane juice). See the blueberries in my teeth?

Saturday happiness at its best!

Beautiful, Fit, and HIV +

Just when I thought my dance card was full…
I made a new friend.
It is no secret that I am drawn to strong women.  I started The New 40 on Facebook primarily because I wanted to highlight the amazing women in my circle. Women who are willing to be transparent and share their testimony. Women who are chose to let God use them completely. Sometimes these women do this at the risk of ridicule and isolation. Those are the strongest of all.
Renee is such a woman.
I didn’t want to wait until Friday to share her story. Besides… she’s only 30. 😉
Here is her story, in her words. May it enrich your world as it has mine.
You don’t expect when you get married for the first time that it would end in such a way as mine did. I went from being this blushing bride and this awesome newlywed wife to a guy who I thought was my heaven sent to a woman that felt damaged, scorned, and abused. When I found out I was pregnant I was excited and that quickly ended Nov 21, 2007. Numb is the only word to describe how I felt when the doctor said to me that I was HIV Positive.I was a new bride, newly pregnant and newly infected. All by my husband. You think you know everything there is to know about someone before you marry them only to find out it was all hidden and you were being fed lies. Never once did I think I was going to die. The only fear I had for my future was rejection and that still didn’t stop me from being open about my status from the beginning and sharing my story with the world. 

I tell anyone who is married. Don’t think that because you’re in this committed union that you’re safe from the disease. Some men cheat, some women cheat. It’s ultimately up to you to know your status and get tested!

In my life now I have 3 beautiful children. My twins who I were pregnant with when Imagediagnosed deal with various developmental and physical disabilities. My days are spent making sure they have every single thing they need. I also make sure that I am taken good care of being that not only am I HIV positive but I’m also a Type 2 Diabetic. 
I started 2 years ago waling 2.5 to 3 miles a day in one hour. Then decided I wanted to do more and help myself relieve the stress and tension while achieving a healthy lifestyle so I incorporated Zumba and the Insanity Workout with Shaun T. More recently I also do the Crunch and Squat Challenges. In these 2 years I’ve lost 20 pounds, my diabetes is more controlled, my energy level has increased and I feel no stress whatsoever! Oh and all I drink 95% of the time is water! I buy cases of water. 
I guess I say all of this to tell you that no matter what you’re dealing with and what trials come in your life you have to stay on top and love yourself first. In order to love and care for others you have to love and care for yourself. 
Renee’ Burgess
Check out Renee on Faces of HIV
Renee also has a foundation dedicated to sharing her message. Check it out here.

Back To School Series:My Crazy Mornings Breakfast Solutions


Another school year is beginning for my kids and  this week I found myself stocking the pantry with their favorites.  Over the next few days I’ll share some of our mealtime solutions.

First at bat: Breakfast.


The hubster and I both have early starts so mornings are a little hectic insane.  One thing that works really well for our family is steel cut oats cooked in the rice cooker. I dump dried fruit and a cinnamon stick in with the oats and almond milk (I prefer it to water) and I walk away (ahhh!!!).  I also boil eggs by the dozen for the kids to eat with a slice of 100% whole wheat toast. *SN: we go through 2-3 dozen eggs a week!* Sometimes they add a little avocado or peanut butter to their toast.   Every now and then I’ll go for ‘Mother of the Year’ and make omletes. But that is only if I don’t have morning appointments or an early workout so that happens like… never. Their dad actually gets the breakfast golden star for his homemade greek yogurt. My daughter especially likes this with blueberries and little honey drizzled atop.

My mom used to make my sister, brother and I this special (and easy) breakfast that I introduced to my kiddos last school year. They love it!

Core a granny smith apple, slice it into rings, and sprinkle the rop with cinnamon. Add a sliver of cheedar cheese to the top of each slice. Cook at 350 degrees until the apples are a little tender (about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of slices).  

We are not big cereal eaters but I keep a few boxes on hand because some mornings the stove and oven stay cold.   Here is what I look for:

  • At least 4 grams of fiber
  • Less than 6 grams of sugar
  • Less than 240mg of salt

Below are some good cereal options for you to consider. You will note that they don’t all offer my nutrtional trifecta. While I stick pretty close to my guidelines, I wanted to give you a little wiggle room. Let’s face it, you might need several options if you are weaning the kids from Cocoa Puffs.  😉

Cereal Serving Size Nutrition Profiling Index (NPI) Score Total Carbs (g) Fat (g) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g)
Post Spoon Size Shredded Wheat 1 cup 82 40 g 1 g 6 g 6 g 0 g
Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs 2 cup 82 30 g 1 g 4 g 2 g 0 g
Kellogg’s Unfrosted Mini Wheat Bites 1 cup 82 46 g 1 g 6 g 6 g 1 g
Uncle Sam Flakes 3/4 cup 78 38 g 5 g 7 g 10 g 1 g
Fiber One – Original 1 cup 78 50 g 2 g 4 g 28 g 0 g
Nature’s Path Synergy 8 Cereal 3/4 cup 78 24 g 1 g 3 g 5 g 4 g
Weetabix 1/2 cup 74 26 g 1 g 4 g 4 g 4 g
Kellogg’s All-Bran Original 1/2 cup 72 23 g 1 g 4 g 10 g 6 g
Cascadian Farms Multigrain Squares 3/4 cup 70 25 g 0.5 g 3 g 2 g 4 g
General Mill’s Cheerios 1 cup 58 20 g 2 g 3 g 3 g 1 g

Thinking About a Revolution


As a child I would watch Leave it to Beaver reruns with my mom and think why on Earth would anyone wear pearls and panty hose to cook dinner?  That made zero sense to me.  What really had me puzzled is the fact that these women seemed to do it with a smile. For real?

I wasn’t raised in the Days of Mayberry (Good Lord Aunt Bee how did you pull it all off?). I was raised in the 80’s when women felt they had a lot to prove. They fled the kitchen; tearing off their aprons and did not dare look back.  They stripped off the panty hose, donned a sensible suit, and headed to show men: “Anything you can do I can do better!”

And families started to fall apart.  Divorce rates rose as everyone was trying to bring home the bacon and nobody was there to fry it in the pan.  The pendulum swung from mothers with painted on smiles to latchkey kids.


So what has happened?

We are once again redefining what it means to be a woman.  While we value our families most, we are learning to take care of ourselves first.  Martyrdom is not classic; it’s just sad. We understand that you don’t get any extra points for throwing yourself on the sword.  Our kids need to us be role models by taking care of ourselves.

We set the tone for our families rather we work outside of the home or not.  This is a responsibility we take seriously. We realize that breastfeeding is natural and are no longer letting men (or other women for that matter) treat us like a freak show when we feed our babies.

We are also not allowing others to control our lady bits. You are entitled to your opinion but we are responsible for the bodies God entrusted us with.

We’ve each birthed 1,000 children. When a child is victimized, we weep for that child and we relate to that mother.

We are doing our research.  We want to know what is in our food.  We typically decide what our families eat and will no longer tolerate that crap in the grocery store. We are planting gardens, joining CSA, and getting to know our farmers.  Did I mention that we are not giving our families crappy food anymore?

We are turning off the TV and running 5ks with our kids.  Our husbands hold signs cheering us on from the sidelines. We are pumping iron, doing pull ups, and swinging kettle bells. We now realize that we might not be able to do it better but we will certainly make your jaw drop when we go into a deep squat while holding 100+pounds overhead. We are not doing this to impress you but let’s be honest: our strength is a turn on.

Speaking of which:

We are sexy. Damn sexy. And we are not apologizing.  We wear bikinis, form-fitting jeans, and pumps. Deal with it. We are not trying to be teenagers (who in their right mind wants to go back to that?)  but we feel good in the skin we’re in and it shows!

When I was a child watching those classic shows I thought my options were to be coiffed and miserable at home or ‘successful’ and miserable in the corporate world. Neither of which appealed to me.

Thank God we have evolved. Being a woman is exciting! Who would have thought that instead of asking if you are a member of Junior League or Jack n Jill, people would ask what Crossfit ‘box’ you go to or what cool races you’ve signed up for.

I realize this is my very special version of reality. I call it my happy place. However, I do think we are starting  a revolution of the female kind.

Care to join us?