Why in the world would anyone settle for anything less than the real deal? As a Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert, aka RD aka "Real Deal" this is how I roll. I am all about the real deal; when it comes to food and when it comes to people. When you start making compromises in your life, all you are doing is letting yourself down. You are not giving you what you are worthy of and what you deserve. Why would you do that to yourself? Why? You are the most important person in your life, without you, nothing else would have followed. So treat yourself that way. When it comes to nutrition, feed yourself like you would feed the Queen of England if she stopped in for a snack. No more food without any flavor or crazy ass ingredients. If you want a cookie, grab some butter and make a batch of damn delicious cookies. The love you put into making those cookies will give some love back to you with a sense of satisfaction after eating just one (instead of the 5 or 10 cookies you ate from the store). Then share those cookies. Share them with genuine, kind and loving people who make your heartbeat strong and steady. These are the people who are worth your time. These are the people you share your butter and cheese. These people are also the "real deal."
Nutrition Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation.
My conversation today is with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Kelli Boi.
This spring I had the absolute joy to travel to the beautiful state of Utah and speak at the Utah Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting, Kelli Boi was the annual meeting chair and graciously took time out of her busy schedule those two days to share with me her inspiring journey so far. Kelli has a strong passion for multiple areas of practice including being an educator, clinical dietitian in long term care and skilled nursing as well as being a full-time preceptor and mentor to future registered dietitians. She is one of the most emotionally invested registered dietitians I have met so far and is very inspiring because she gives 100% to being the expert and stresses the importance to advocate for our profession. Our conversation just made my heart happy.
Nutrition Nosh Three. Week in Review.
For the past 4 years, I have been attending a conference/summit with Midwest Dairy. At first, it was an opportunity for a great learning experience. Now is it life-changing learning experience. The knowledge I have gained about all aspects of dairy production and farming has made me a better dietitian and also a better person. My weekly wisdom quote above is sincere with all of my heart. I will admit, I took a little sabbatical from Dairy foods for awhile but it was not sustainable. Dairy foods are the real deal. This week launches National Dairy Month and I will be celebrating by sharing how I Dairy 3 For Me. I hope you will share too by using this hashtag, #DAIRY3FORME with your photos on social media.
One of the best parts of this yearly summit is meeting the local dairy farmers and learn about their operation. Each time I visit a farm and meet the farmers, my biggest take away is this:
These devoted humans love their animals and love what they do.
This year we had the privilege to visit family-owned and operated Jer-Lindy Farms & Readhead Creamery in Brooten, Minnesota. This multigenerational dairy farm is a beautiful partnership between parents and children. What is so unique is milk from dairy cows go straight to the creamery that is located on the family farm to make fresh and delicious cheese. The milk is pumped directly from the cows to the creamery through a unique underground tunnel and in less than 24 hours, the magic has happened and the cheese wheels enter the caves below the cheese plant. This type of creamery is called a farmstead creamery, where all of the milk used in Readhead Creamery cheese is produced at the same location as the cheese.
When I can see the passion a farmer has for their farm and animals, it creates a connection between us, where I want to share their store of passion and purpose. VERY much like my podcast. Being dairy farmer is hard work and is a 24 hour a day job. There are no sporadic vacations or a lazy day of watching Netflix. This beauty was only 18 hours old when I met her. Newborns usually weigh around 90-100 pounds at birth and she was doing her best at walking when we visited her. She does need her own little residence to keep her healthy and free from illness-causing bacteria. She receives healthy, nutrient-packed colostrum for the first couple of days to boost her immune system and then transitions to milk and a special grain until about 4-8 weeks.
As these baby girls grow within 6 months, they are eating silage/grains and can also go out to pasture to feed on grass, weighing in around 400 pounds. Around their first birthday, they weigh around 700 pounds and still has a lot of growing up to do. Around year 2 is when they are all grown-up and has had their first calf, starting to produce milk and joining the milking crew. These ladies weigh in around 1100-1200 pounds are are still early in their careers with a lot more growing to dos. An adult and distinguished lady weighs in around 1500 pounds and has had around 3-5 babies. She eats really well and can produce much more milk than when she had her first baby, up to 12 gallons day.
Dairy farmers love their cows. I mean really love them. They do everything they can to keep them safe, healthy and happy. A happy cow means a lot to the livelihood of a dairy farm. Happy and healthy cows produced the best milk, therefore the farmers can give us the best nutritious, great tasting product. There are around 7,400 dairies in the 10 Midwest States represented by Midwest Dairy, with around 97% of those being family owned, like Jer-Lindy Farms. These dairies are right in our backyards and provide us with fresh milk in less than 48 hours from farm to store. We were able to tour the entire farm by the dairy calves and heifers, the mothers-in-waiting (pregnant bovines), the milking cows, the milking parlor (with cows milking) and milk holding room.
- The more comfy the housing (of the cows) the better the cheese. Feeding the cows corn silage changes the taste of the milk of how long the silage has been developing.
- A member of the creamery will journal each day and write down the weather/humidity, moods of the employees, what the cows ate because it all affects the taste of the cheese. After the cheese has ages for the appropriate time, Alise can determine the state of the cheese and the different nuances. Only the cheese maker would notice the difference.
- The state of Minnesota is awesome for cows to produce higher fat/protein in the milk during winter because they favor being cold. The fat/protein is less in the summer because the cows are trying to stay cool.
- Alise is testing for antibiotics in the milk all the time and is continually being FSMA/food safety compliant.
- The mold formed on the cheese during the aging process is specific for this farm, it cannot be replicated anywhere else because of the location, very unique.
- The creamery produces 800 lbs a week of cheese. Alise is always thinking 6 months out and is focusing on what will be needed at Christmas.
- Whey protein goes to the cows for nutrition. She has been approached about why for a protein powders but the creamery does not produce enough whey to market it for protein powders.
- Always keep cheese cold and serve at room temperature.
- Readhead Creamery has different levels of aged cheese, from 6 months - 2 1/2 years and also makes delicious cheese curds.
- Redhead Creamery ships all over the world, retail and online. She ships outside of the Midwest to specialty stores and restaurants.
- Favorite thing about her job is being creative!
We were not only served a wealth of knowledge on this family farm, we got to experience the wonderful flavors of Alise's cheese. Just like the family farm, the names of the creamery's cheese are also family focused. Lucky Linda's cave-aged cheddar is named after her mom and incredibly delicious Little Lucy Brie is named after her daughter. She has plans to keep creating new cheese as her business grows. This was a dietitian's dairy heaven!
Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery has tours, on-site cheese shop and hosts private events. If you are ever this way, I highly recommend you make a stop.
Nutrition Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.
I didn't realize how many I already had on my playlist. Hello? Singles the movie? Dyslexic Heart!!!
Nutrition Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now.
We were fortunate to visit Land O' Lakes headquarters on our trip to Minneapolis. They pride themselves in being a farm-to-fork company with around 10,000 employees and providing crop inputs, dairy foods and feed to a variety of animals. While we were there we met chefs and the leads of the test kitchen. There are many different products created and testing in any given years times and we got to try their latest product, Less Sodium butter. This creamy and great tasting butter made with canola oil and has 25% less sodium than butter. We were so generously sent this goodie box.
This past weekend, I celebrated National Egg Day and made the creamiest, best tasting scrambled eggs with this butter. There is nothing like local eggs made even more delicious with a local product.
I had a healthy dose of dairy good nutrition on my trip and will be celebrating the entire month of June with nutrient-packed and great tasting dairy foods!