I'm sure you've heard stories from your grandparents about the liver and onions they had to eat while growing up. It seems that over the years, our society (at least in America) has slowly faded out the consumption of organ meats, typically because "it sounds gross".
But from what the research suggests, the organ meats is where the majority of important nutrients lie. If you watch animals in the natural world, they feast on organs first before the heavier muscle sections of the body. That is so they get the nutrients needed to survive.
We have changed that in our society to eating the rich protein, and sacrificing other important nutrients. Ashleigh VanHouten will teach us how we can add organ meats back into our diet without it tasting terrible.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [1:45] Who is Ashleigh VanHouten and what is her role in the health and fitness world
- [3:15] Ashleigh has done a lot of different fitness experiences including bodybuilding
- [4:15] When she was bodybuilding, did she follow a paleo template or a traditional bodybuilding meal template
- [7:00] What is the backbone of the carnivore diet
- [9:45] How hard is it for women to put on "bulk"
- [14:30] How much protein should women be getting each day
- [17:15] When looking at food, what does 100g of protein look like in a steak
- [19:30] Can you get all your nutrients from just meat, or do you need to supplement with other foods
- [22:00] What are the benefits of Offal and how to make it taste great
- [28:30] One of the easiest ways to get started with organ meats is to get it ground into ground beef
- [31:30] Where can you go to get organ meats
- [34:30] 3 different ways to prepare offal
- [36:45] Final thoughts about eating meat and eating organs
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:14] Have you ever tried organ meats? Before. I know it sounds disgusting, but organs actually contains some really healthy nutrients that we really should get more of in our diets.
There are lots of ways to consume these parts of the animal without having to think too hard about it, such as ground up and mixed with other meats. What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous in today's conversation. We'll get a little adventurous as we start talking about a topic a lot of people get squeamish about. Ashley VanHouten will be joining me to talk a little bit about the carnivore diet, but the main focus will be about the health benefits of offal. So let's jump into my conversation with Ashley. Ashley is a health and nutrition journalist speaker podcast, host certified health coach and self-proclaimed health and fitness nerd.
And she has written for a paleo magazine for more than eight years, as well as a number of other health publications. And recently wrote. It takes guts and meat eaters guide to eating offal with over 75 healthy and delicious nose to tail recipes, to educate with a few hilarious and thoughtful anecdotes on the cultural, environmental, and health benefits of adding a little variety meat to your diet.
Thank you for coming onto the show.
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:01:32] Thanks Bryan. I'm happy to be here.
Bryan Carroll: [00:01:34] Yeah, of course. And there's a few different topics that I'm really excited to talk with you more about one is the current aboard diet and the other is how to add more organ meats into your diet. But before we get into all that, let's learn a little bit more about you and who you are.
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:01:51] I'll try to keep it brief because I know we don't have all day here to chat and I've got lots to say. but basically you, you gave a great elevator speech of who I am. I've been a writer and a communicator in the fitness world for over a decade. And my job is mostly through my writing and my own podcast, muscle Maven radio to kind of connect.
Smart people with good information to the people who need to hear it. That's really kind of, my passion is bringing people together, connecting them and teaching and learning together. I also do that through sort of behind the scenes business consulting and the fitness industry for other individuals.
I'm helping them grow their podcasts and their brands and things like that. but I basically, since I was a kid, I've always loved muscles and being strong and watching other people be strong. Yeah. And through my own kind of personal evolution through sport and aging and getting older and learning, I've just kind of.
Managed to meld my passion for fitness and nutrition and learning about health with a job that kind of supports my ability to do that. So I get to really just kind of do what I would be doing anyway every day and getting paid for it. So pretty lucky on that front.
Bryan Carroll: [00:03:05] So I'm getting a feeling that you've done some type of either competitions, bodybuilding, something like that.
Is that true?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:03:11] Yeah. So I kind of have dabbled in a bunch of different things. I like to say that I'm sort of a generalist. I kind of like get proficient in a bunch of things and then move on instead of getting really good at one thing. So, you know, I kind of started growing up. I wasn't. Super athletic.
I was in gymnastics and I was a swimmer. but I never really had that sort of competitive edge as a kid. And then in university I got into CrossFit and he's pretty good at that. And then I moved on to powerlifting and then I moved on to competitive bodybuilding and dabbled in a couple of other things.
the bodybuilding probably was the thing I was like the most into. but I, again, it's like sort of part of my. The fun of the hobby and combining it with the like expense fermentation and communication of my job to sort of embed myself in something, learn about it, do it, and then share what I've learned with the rest of the world.
So that's kind of what I've always done through my competition and my sport and all that stuff, as well as the nutrition part of
Bryan Carroll: [00:04:05] it. So I'm curious because you had that, the exposure with CrossFit, so I'm sure you were exposed to paleo, right? During that time, did that influence the way you ate and the nutrition used for bodybuilding, or did you follow a typical bodybuilding principles?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:04:21] Yeah, it's a good question. I mean, I, when I started caring about nutrition, so somewhere in my, sort of early to mid twenties, when you get out of college and you realize that you have to start paying attention to what you eat or things are gonna go downhill really quick. when I was doing that, that was also when I was in CrossFit.
And so that's sort of how the paleo thing kind of came across my radar and it always made the most sense to me, as a starting point. And it still does, no matter what. Trend or fad or things seems to be working really well for people paleo to me, which is the concept of whole foods, unprocessed, try and eat seasonally, trying to eat locally.
All of those things that forever, I think will be my basic recommendation for people as a starting point. There's tons of ways you can personalize and, and, kind of tweak for your own individual needs. But I think that that just. Makes so much sense. and so I did take that into account with my bodybuilding preps.
I mean, I was definitely a, more of a paleo bodybuilder. I wasn't a hundred percent paleo. but you know, it really is pretty simple if you want to be strict, because it's just a matter at that point of switching out. White rice for sweet potato or whatever, really. I mean, it's, it's just about doing the work and figuring out what foods you respond well to and what you don't rather than being dogmatic about.
Well, this isn't paleo so I can never eat it again. So like, I joke with a lot of people that I'm like, I'm, meat-based paleo plus oatmeal because I like oatmeal. It works for me. I tolerate it really well. I'm going to eat it. No, I don't care. I don't care if it's not paleo, it works for me. And I think that.
That is a conversation that I like to have a lot in, in my podcast I do is this concept of nuance. Like it's very sexy and easy to say, everyone should be carnivores. Everyone should be Quito. You should never eat a carbogen. When the reality is there, isn't one diet that works perfectly for everyone. We have to be willing to put the work in to.
Experiment to take lessons, to try them, to see what works for us to pay attention, to take notes, you know, and then tweak, like I said, as you go. so yeah, so I mean, long story short. Yes. I was doing kind of like paleo ish for the bodybuilding thing and it worked great for me. And
Bryan Carroll: [00:06:31] then, you've mentioned carnivore diet.
I mentioned carnivores diet. We haven't talked about that at all on this podcast. So I would love for you to touch on a, what is a carnivore diet, because I think it is starting to become a little bit more of a, a topic people are bringing up, but it's not as widely known as like a vegan diet or vegetarian diet.
So can you talk about what is kind of the backbone behind the carnivore diet?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:06:55] Yeah. I mean the, the plant based people definitely have a good marketing team. That's, we'll give them that. So, and I mean, like, let's be honest. It also makes for better Instagram pictures because of very like colorful, you know, fruit bowl is easier to take picture of that are hunk of meat.
So we've got a lot of disadvantages coming on the meat-based side of things. But, I mean, essentially I think there's as with any diet, there's a lot of ways to look at it. You can look at it like. This meat head guy that I follow on Instagram that only eats steak. And he seems to be pretty buff and happy.
That's one version of carnivore. There's also, like a much more nuanced version of carnivore, which is really more of like a meat based paleo. So instead of maybe having your, your paleo plate. Be a giant salad with a little bit of fish on top. Your plate is a big steak with some vegetables on the side, you know, it's, again, it's like the nuance.
It's like what works for you? I personally approach carnivore as more of a tool in my toolbox. Right? Other than this is who I am, and this is how I eat. And I feel the same way about keto. I feel the same way about fast and all of these things. Life is long and our bodies and our goals are constantly changing.
So if a certain protocol is working for you right now, that doesn't mean it's going to work for you forever all the time, every day for the rest of your life. And I feel that way about carnivores. Certainly. I think some people and there's evidence coming out that specific, health issues are. managed really well on a strict carnivore diet, but the vast majority of us do not need to do that.
but a lot of us probably could do better. Especially women who have a harder time eating a lot of protein cause masculine or heavy. protein is the building block of our muscles, which is the building block of our body and helps us be robust and healthy and live a long time and function properly.
And if we aren't supporting that with protein and it has to be an animal based protein that has the full range of amino acids. That's what's going to make us grow and build muscle and be strong. So I think really it's for most people, it ends up being more of a focus on really high quality, healthy animal proteins as the building block of your diet.
And then you kind of just it and the rest with fats, vegetables, carbs, whatever you need sort of again, to fit your goals. so yeah, I mean, there's, there's lots of directions to go there.
Bryan Carroll: [00:09:16] So you brought up an interesting point when you talked about the women with the bulking mentality, right? So you as a fitness competitor and doing bodybuilding, can you talk about how hard is it for women to put on?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:09:31] Yeah, man, I, I rant about this all the time and I feel like if I just keep doing it. People are gonna start listening. but the problem, one of the problems is when you're taught something forever and it's part of the mainstream culture, it's really hard to unlearn that. So when you've been taught forever, low fat is good and high fat is bad.
Like we're just starting to turn this. The tables on that now. Right? And that's been decades of being taught that fat is bad for you. So it's really hard to turn these things around. And women have been taught forever that you got to eat as little as possible. You got to restrict as much as possible. You gotta be as small as possible.
and so there's a lot of weird like gendering of foods like barbecue and red meat is masculine and yogurt and salad, which is ridiculous. Food is food. And it nourishes you doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. So I try to get over that. And then there's also the problem of like social media and the way we can connect with everyone and see everybody's.
Completely curated highlight reels, where we think that we can look like a professional bodybuilder, even though we are not professional bodybuilders, we think we can look like famous people when we don't have millions of dollars of trainers and plastic surgery and, cropping and Photoshopping and all these things.
Exactly. So, A lot of times we're women are trying to find this muscular lean toned look. And we're looking at our fame, favorite famous people on social media and, they may or may not be showing. Truthfully, what they're doing to achieve that look, right? They may be, they may have special interests and sponsors that are telling them, you got to say, you'll look like this because you took this, you drink this tummy tea, right.
Or you could be seeing professional athletes who are telling you what they're eating, but they're not telling you the extracurricular supplements they're taking to look a certain way that they're looking right. But. Any, any, natural female athlete, physician, or functional medicine person who works with female athletes, any trainer that works with female athletes that is willing to tell you the truth will tell you that 99.9% of women will never look.
Overly muscular, no matter how hard they try, unless they're taking drugs, we do not have the physiology for it. We don't have the testosterone levels. We don't have the, we don't have the starting point of muscles that the average man does. If you look at the average woman and the average man that are say 20 years old, the dude has 30 pounds more muscle just by nature of your physiology.
If the testosterone you're born with the frame that you're born with, we. We build muscle the same way men do. So that's the other thing. There's no such thing as like gendered exercises. I squat you squat. It's the same thing. We're both. Getting stronger and building muscle the same way. It's just that I'm starting way further back in terms of how much muscle and strength I'm starting with.
So for me to catch up to you, you gotta stop working out. And I got to work out 10 times harder for 10 years to catch up. That's just how it works. so if you're seeing somebody that's doing CrossFit or bodybuilding and they look manly or masculine to you. It's either because they are an absolute freak of nature.
One in a million who just happens to be able to lift like that. And that's after years of dedicated lifting that you probably, I don't have the motivation to do, or they're taking all kinds of drugs that they're just not telling you about. And that that's how it happens for the majority of women. so, you know, I have women coming up to me in the gym all the time and they'll, they're saying, you know, I want to get stronger and I want to have this nice kind of toned, muscular lean look.
And I just don't want to get bulky. And I'm worried. And how do I work out? Do you have any advice for me? And I always tell them, I'm like, Tell me the truth. Do I look bulky? Do I look manly to you? Do I look overly muscular and hulky to you, like, is this a look that you wouldn't want to achieve? And you can be honest with me, it's up to you, you know?
And they're like, no, no, you look great. And I'm like, I'm trying to look like the health every day in the gym. And this is what happens. This is what I end up with. So I promise that you will not accidentally. Go in the gym, pick up a weight and tomorrow look like the Hulk. It has never happened in the history of humanity that a woman has accidentally become too bulky.
It just doesn't work. So I think it's, it's a lot of unlearning. It's a lot of people making excuses and saying like, they don't actually want to do the works. They're just like, I'm, you know, I don't want to get in there and be manly and bulky cause they realize it takes. Decades of working out in the gym to get muscles, you know, men, men too, you have to work really hard.
so yeah, just miseducation, but I think that, we're trying to turn the tide on that too.
Bryan Carroll: [00:14:07] And since now that we kind of worked through that a little bit, can you talk about, how much protein should women be getting. Because you said that a lot of them aren't eating enough because they don't want to get bulky.
Well, if they're not going to get bulky, then how much can they have?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:14:20] Yeah. I mean, so again, this is very individual and I'm not a physician or a doctor, so you can't, you've got to kind of take my advice with a grain of salt. but based on the, my functional medicine physician that I work with, who's, who's focused on muscle.
Optimal muscle and all the research and work that I've done. A good starting point for most people is about a pound of about a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. So if I'm a woman and I'm 175 pounds, and I want to lose a bunch of fat and I want to be like a lean one 40, and you might want to do like an InBody test or a body fat test, too, you probably don't want to be eating 175 pounds of protein.
You want to be closer to a hundred. Maybe 20 or 140 grams of protein. For me, for example, I usually walk around at around 125, 130 pounds, and I've done the InBody like body mass testing. And I'm about, about 110 pounds of. like lean body mass. So not water, not fat, right? The rest is like water and fat. So I probably am trying to get minimum 110 grams of protein a day because I don't, I want to maintain that mass or maybe grow it.
If you want to grow it, you kind of up it a little bit. but I know that a lot of, a lot of circles are talking about. Like half, half a gram per kilogram of body weight. So if I'm like, what 57 or 60 kilograms or something I'm eating like maybe 50 grams of protein a day or something like I'm eating that before lunch.
so yeah, and I mean, again, these things have to be kind of worked out individually, and I know a lot of women who maybe are used to eating 30 grams of protein a day being told to you at 120 is going to be tough and you need to work your way up, but it also doesn't mean that you have to eat. Rare steak.
That's not the only protein. Yeah. There are many ways you can get your protein and there's many creative, interesting, fun, delicious ways you can get it in. but ultimately it's the only these amino acids that you get from animal protein are the only things you can't make for yourself. Like you can create your own glucose, you can use your own fat stores.
You can do all of that, but we can't get those. Those protein building blocks from within us. We have to get them from outside sources. That's why they're the most important. And that's why I tell everybody at any clients or people that I'm working with protein. First, when you're building a meal, when you're building a meal plan, you got to get the right protein in first and then build the carbs and fat around the protein based on what your goals and your preferences are.
Bryan Carroll: [00:16:52] lot of people, they might not have tracked food before or seen charts of what, you know, as steak, how many grams of protein are in a steak. So if you're eating 110 grams of protein, can you just give us kind of an idea what that might look like on a plate?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:17:05] Yeah. I mean, usually it changes a lot for me, depending on what I'm training or what my goals are in.
quarantine, for example, I was eating differently than I normally do. Cause I was moving a lot less. I was not training super hard. So my diet really changed. But if I'm training, if I'm trying to build muscle, if I'm working towards a specific physical goal, I'm usually eating probably four meals a day and I'm having probably like 30 grams of protein per meal, which usually looks like about sort of like.
Six seven ounces of protein with every animal protein, with every meal. So maybe it's three eggs. plus I'm like leftover chicken or steak for breakfast. It looks like, you know, this kind of amount of like a steak or fish or whatever for lunch, same for dinner. And then maybe for my snack, I'm having a protein shake or I'm having even a protein bar.
I don't care all of the protein bar. Good delicious. And in front of me or I'm having, yeah, like meat-based snacks, things like that. It's not like massive big plates of food. And if you're eating good quality, high quality, animal protein, you don't have to eat 12, 15 ounces again, if you're a big dude and you're 230 pounds of muscle, when you're trying to grow, you're gonna have to work a little bit harder.
Like that's the reality. but for most of us, like not a large person, I don't need to eat huge amounts of protein, but I'm always eating protein first. I'm not like. Having my, you know, I don't know, whatever carbs snack. And then if I feel like it later, having my protein, like protein is always a priority and the rest of it comes, comes after.
Bryan Carroll: [00:18:41] So, whenever there's different diet types like carnivores or weekend, the other party always points out the nutritional deficiencies that are associated with that said diet. and a lot of people are talking about, well, if you're just eating all meat, Then you're going to miss out on vitamins and minerals that you can get from plants.
Is this true? Can you get all your vitamins and minerals through me or do you have to supplement in some way?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:19:08] I mean, it seems to be again through my research that the most heavily supplemented diet. if you want to be a healthy functioning, human being is the vegan diet. I mean, you are missing so much nutritionally from a vegan diet.
And I, I take great pains with my work and my podcast and my book and all of these things. I am in no way, trying to convince a vegan to eat. Oregon mates. You know what I mean? I get that. It's like, it's a tough sell. And if there's moral reasons and all of these, like I could debate all of them. But if you have your own strong reasons to not eat meat, you're absolutely entitled to that.
But if we're looking at it yeah, from a pragmatic scientific, History and evidence based approach. We are meant to eat plants and animals. We're meant to eat both in different amounts depending on who you are, but that's how, what our physiology is set up for. We're supposed to be, and you know, there's, there's also arguments about, do we need fiber?
Do we, how much fiber do we need? And you can talk to the other carnivore folks, the Paul Salvadorenos and the Sean bakers and people who will say that fiber. Isn't necessary and actually can be harmful to a lot of people and anybody who's eaten a ton of cruciferous vegetables and have the digestive issues that results can probably attest to that.
but some people manage it really well. basically if you're, again, if you're eating high quality nose to tail meat, you are getting. Every amino acids that you need, EV the gamut of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, everything from like a to K vitamins, vitamin B, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, iron, anything you can think of.
You're getting from nose to tail. You know, mediating. So, again, there's antioxidants in fruit, there's fiber in vegetables, there are flavor and texture, things that you might be missing if you're immediate eating mostly neat. And that's where. It's up to you to figure out what piece bits and pieces from all of these different food groups that you want to incorporate.
But I think that if I, I know if I was told, if I was given an ultimatum, like, Hey, you can only vegan. You can only meet for the next six months and I want to be healthy and robust and look good and feel good. I'm going for the meat. I'm definitely not eating a vegan diet.
Bryan Carroll: [00:21:16] Yeah. And you mentioned the organ meats and most of our grandparents probably had them, or at least had liver and onions.
but over the years, we've kind of, our culture has started to think. offal sounds just like it isoffall. Right. So, Can you talk to us more about offal? Why is it important to get that into our diet? And then also talk about taste?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:21:40] Yeah, I can, I can already tell I've got a hard sell with you, Bryan, but I'll try my best.
So first of all, I go into this in, in depth with my book that just came out. So if this is something that's interesting to you, there's plenty more information that I can. Then I can get across in a brief kind of conversation here. There's so many reasons why you would, if you are a mediator and you are concerned about health, there are so many reasons why you want to eat organ meats from an economic standpoint, a sustainability standpoint and ethical standpoint, and then not least the, the health standpoint.
certainly deal is basically, and again, I'm speaking mediators, I'm not trying to convince vegans. You're already eating meat, which most of us are. And you want to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Oregon meats are the healthiest part of an animal. The muscle meat has vitamins and minerals and amino acids and all that great stuff.
It's protein, but it is essentially protein. You're eating just protein. When you're eating organ meats, you are getting. All of those vitamins and minerals. I just talked about all the iron and all the co Q 10 and all the antioxidants and the B vitamins and the K vitamins and the vitamins, all of that super highly concentrated in the organs.
And you can eat way less and get the same amount or more of these benefits than if you're trying to just shovel down ground beef by the pounds. Right. You can get a couple ounces of liver a week and you're. Maximizing the, like recommended allotment of these minerals and vitamins and stuff. and yeah, so, I mean, basically like if you look at historically, like you were saying our grandparents and.
Hunters and people who, before they had Google and they could Google, what's the healthiest part of an animal to eat, or what, how much vitamin D is in this part of the animal versus that part of the animal when people were more intuitive and they just new in their bones, in body and in their practices, what to do, they were hunting animal and they were cutting out the heart and the liver and eating that right away.
And the muscle meat was the leftover because that's nutritionally how it works, but because muscle meat is less strong tasting, easier to transport, easier to cook that kind of stuff. the organ meats fall out of favor and we just we're even the leftovers now, really, which is kind of a crazy thing to consider.
If you want to get into the taste part. So this is, this is the funny part. Cause it offline, you were like, all right, you're gonna have to talk about how to eat Oregon's and not make them be disgusting. And my thing is like, I have a hard time, a little bit with some of it because when people message me on Instagram or the DME and they're like, You know, how, how can you, how do you eat these things?
Like how do you make it not gross? And I'm like, I don't think they're gross. So I'm maybe not the best person to convince you. I didn't grow up eating organ meats. Like I, I didn't grow up eating liver and heart and brain and tongue and all the cool stuff. That's in my book, I ate normal American food, right?
Like I had skim milk for breakfast and I ate bread and I ate chicken breasts and whatever people ate, you know, I popped up, I ate normal, normal food. And as I kind of got older and cared more about my nutrition and cared more about, honoring the animals that are dying so we can be nourished and all of these things.
And I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck. I started kind of playing with game meats and different parts of the animal. And as I was experimenting, I'm like, I like this stuff. Like I'm not choking this down. I'm not forcing it. I feel nourished when I eat liver in a way that is completely different than a few weeks chicken breasts, or if you had a salad, so nutrient dense, your body responds immediately and that's not.
I'm not blowing smoke. Like I'm not, you know, no, like liver lobbyists pay me to say that, like, it's just, it's legit. That's the way it is. However, there are things you can do. If you are scared of texture or you're not into strong tasting stuff, you need to work your way up. There's lots of things you can do.
So a couple high-level suggestions I would say is. Start with smaller animals. The Oregon's a smaller animals cause the smaller, the animal, the milder tasting it's going to be. So a chicken liver is way milder tasting than a beef liver. So right off the bat, much easier. you also want to maybe look at liver is sort of like the, The like King of, of Oregon meets and it's like the most nutrient dense.
So that's the one everybody talks about, but there are a lot of other, cuts that are still very nutrient dense that are actually delicious. So things like tongue, for example, which some people might kind of freak out about. But if you've ever been to a Mexican restaurant, if you like tacos, you probably had tongue tacos, delicious because tongue is a very rich fatty.
Cut of meat and it is a muscle meat just like shank or loin or ribeye or whatever. It's a, it's a muscle meat. There's nothing. It's, it's completely arbitrary that we think that part of the animal is weird just because we're not used to it. It's not weird. Lots of cultures eat it all the time. It's delicious.
And if anyone ever makes you a tongue taco, And maybe it doesn't tell you what it is and says, just try this. I guarantee any mediator, it's going to be like, this is amazing. What is it? And then you tell them it's a tongue and they freak out. but it's super fatty. It's like pulled pork. It's like brisket it's salicious.
So there's tongue there's heart is another one that I, I really enjoy. I probably have heart once a week. All different types of animals, all the animals. I've tried every animal heart. It's another muscle meat. It's a little bit stronger tasting than maybe again, steak or ground beef, but it's not, it doesn't have the textual issues that some people have with liver.
It's very needy. It's like a steak. You can roast it like a pot roast and it's super, super high in antioxidants. delicious. So there's lots of different things you can do. You can also chop up some of these organs and mix them with your ground beef to make your burgers, your meatballs, your sausages, things like that.
Like I have no problem with people hiding. Healthier food in other foods. Like if that's how you want to do it, if you recognize that it's going to be good for you and, and help you and make you a healthier person, but you just like are never going to like the taste deliver fine. Mix it up with your ground beef, make some meatballs, go to town.
You're you're getting the best of both worlds, right? So there's all these options. Everything from super easy, hide it in your food to very adventurous recipes. It's all in the book.
Bryan Carroll: [00:27:43] Yeah, I think a big piece of it for our people is the, the idea behind it. Right? If you didn't grow up eating heart, Then it just sounds weird.
And so then it kind of puts you off, but like you said, even if you started with grinding it into ground beef, then as a really great way to slowly work your way into.
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:28:01] Yeah. And I mean, my, one of my biggest kind of friendly debates and my biggest message with this book, more so even than you should eat organ meats is this concept of.
Being open minded and being willing to try new things, because I argue with people all the time about this, like it's getting your head around it. Cause it's weird. That's fine. We're allowed to have that reaction if we've never or eaten a heart before. Totally fine. But if in this world, if we're trying to learn, if we're trying to expand, if we're trying to get better.
By looking at everything that's different as gross, scary and weird. You don't learn that way. You don't expand and get better that way. So instead like, and this is what I've always done when I was trying new cuisines or cultural dishes and things like that. I'd look at something and be like, Oh, that's weird.
Like, let me try it instead of, Oh, that's weird. Like, Oh, I don't want to touch it. That's different. That's weird. I always was like, I want to give it a shot because it's so low risk. If you try a new dish or a new. Piece of animal and you don't like it. You're right back where you started, you didn't lose anything.
You just learned something about yourself. Okay. I don't like kidney. I'm not gonna eat kidney anymore, but if you try it and you like it, then you have this new, super healthy addition to your diet. You've learned something new you can, and maybe it empowers you to try something else. New. Maybe it's trying a different sport.
Maybe it's reading a different book. Maybe it's meeting a different person or traveling to a new place. It's just. This idea of approaching new things with like a sense of adventure and what you can learn from it instead of. Everything that's different is bad, you know? and again, it's a very modern thing for organ meats to be weird because all cultures throughout history have always eaten all of the animal because we had to, because we, we didn't have the luxury of wasting things.
And there are plenty of different cultures within America and all around the world today. That's still, yeah. All this stuff. Like it's nothing like I get people messaging me all the time that are like, This isn't weird. I eat this stuff all the time because they're from Mexico or they're from Africa or they're from Jamaica and that's just what they eat.
So it's really like actually a small subset of the world that thinks it's totally normal to eat the butt of an animal, but to eat their liver is extreme and weird. It's kind of weird that that approach is kind of weird when you think about it. It's very arbitrary, right?
Bryan Carroll: [00:30:21] Yeah. And if you ever pay attention to the animal kingdom and you watch carnivorous animals that take down other animals, they always go for the organs first.
And if you have cats or anything, how's cats, any ever watched them go after mice, you know, they play with their prey and then once they're going after it, they go after the Oregon's first and then sometimes they'll eat the rest. Sometimes they won't, but Oregon's always seem to come first.
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:30:45] Absolutely.
They know what they're doing. They don't need anybody on Instagram to tell them what to do. They just
Bryan Carroll: [00:30:49] do it. Yeah. And they're not counting their calories or anything like that either. Yep. Yep. so I know around where I live, like whole foods, you know, typically has better quality foods, but a lot of people go there and they get the organ meat.
So they're almost always out where can people go to source? Different organ meats.
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:31:08] So there's a lot of different options here. again, for things that are a little bit more common, so things like beef, liver, chicken, liver, chicken hearts, they, you can usually find them at almost any grocery store. Like we can have a completely separate debate or conversation around food quality, and that does matter.
but generally speaking, those, those cuts you can find at the same place you're buying your chicken wings or your ground beef. Right. I recommend. Anybody who's fortunate enough to be in a, in a, community that has a farmer's market as local butcher shops, like real butcher shops, not a bunch of shops within your grocery store, but a butcher shop to go and make friends and be friendly and ask questions with those people.
And that's what I had to do when I was getting tons of recipe development and buying a bunch of ingredients for my book and finding ingredients that were not easy to find. Some weird stuff. I had to make good friends with these butchers and ask questions and find out where's this stuff coming from.
And there's, if you're fortunate enough to have a farm that's local to you, that would be happy to send you the stuff that most people aren't asking for. it's easier to find new think. I think a lot of people find it's like this uphill battle. We'll like, I've never seen a tongue before. So like I'm never gonna be able to find one.
It's like, it's actually not that hard. If you just look. A little bit. so farmer's market butcher shop first stop. I would also say, spend some time looking around at local, like ethnic markets. So go to your Asian grocery store, go to your middle Eastern grocery store, go to your African grocery store places again, where these folks are already making use of nose to tail.
We'll have all this stuff. So that's another option. and then depending on where you are, I'm assuming that most people listening to this are probably in the United States, but throughout North America. there's a few online companies now that are sort of shipping meat across the country that also have some Oregon meat options and I don't have any.
Direct affiliation with any of these companies. But I know for example, like us wellness meats does a great job. They do all kinds of like patties and liver worse. You didn't even have to make anything. You can just buy it and eat it yourself. places like Crowdcast now, Bel Campo. So a lot of online companies will.
Have these options for you too. It's just like taking a little extra second to look around, you know, you go on the website instead of just like clicking 10 pounds of ground beef. Just say like, Hey Liberty, let me check that. They probably will. so yeah, it's just asking a couple more questions and kind of getting a bit more familiar with, your community really.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:33] And, can you share three of your favorite ways that you like to prepare offal?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:33:38] Yeah. So the one that I tell pretty much everybody to get started with liver because people are mostly interested in liver. Cause again, best bang for your buck, nutritionally and cheap. The first thing I would tell people to do is make a chicken liver mousse like a moose or a Patay.
Super easy to do really delicious. There's usually booze in it. There's usually like LA or something, which also helps you put that on like a salty piece of bread or Cracker, depending on how you eat, whatever. it's just really easy to eat. Like if you, again, if you're a meat eater, that one is usually pretty crowd pleasing.
Like people, like a lot of people are like, we'll just put the liver in a pan and cook it and then eat it. Like, that's going to be tough for a lot of people who aren't used to the different flavors and textures, but you put it in like a Patay it's almost like a dip. Very delicious. So I have a recipe for that on my website, so people can go check it out.
so that would be one. I'd also tell people to, incorporate more bone broth, which I know isn't an easy one. So again, my book, isn't all scary stuff. It's not all like eat a tongue and a brain and like weird stuff. Well, that's just like bone broth recipes or like desserts with collagen in them because collagen is another thing that people don't consider to be like an animal.
Animal-based sort of supplement, but it is it's comes from the hide and bone and skin of animals. It's very good for you, but it's tasteless and flavorless and it adds all of this health benefits to your cookies or your brownies or your smoothie or whatever. So there's a lot of, like, I'd say start like incorporating bone broth, collagen into everything that you do.
and then maybe play around some hearts. because again, heart, heart. Yeah. Out of all of the organs is probably one of the. Easiest tasting. Oregon's like people who are scared of eating strong flavors will probably be pleasantly surprised by heart of any kind chicken hearts, super tiny. They're just like little nuggets of dark meat, super easy to eat, bigger animals, even too.
It's relatively easy to prepare. You can slice it and put it in a pan. You can roast it in the oven. You can barbecue chunks of it and put it in your salad or on top of rice or something. and it's just easy to work with and delicious and satisfying. So that's where I'd start.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:47] Perfect. Well, is there any final things that you want to just touch on when it comes to eating meat and eating organ meats?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:35:54] I mean, I think we've covered the basic things, but I think, again, it's just, it's just a reminder. What I want people to get out of this is, if we are going to eat animals, which most of us are, and we've accepted the fact that. We are part of the life cycle and that things have to die for other things to live.
Let's respect the things that are dying for our nourishment. Let's not waste it, let's eat it all. Let's be as healthy and robust as we can be by honoring what our bodies actually want. rather than just eating, like the part that we think is socially acceptable or something it's so arbitrary and weird.
So, you know, do a little bit of work, do a little bit of research, have fun with it. And. that's really, it just be willing to kind of try new things and experiment and have fun.
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:39] And what do you do each day to improve your, your own health?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:36:43] Oh, good question. my, I mean, my biggest thing is I'm pretty sorted because again, this is like, My job and my livelihood.
So it would, I'd be really failing if I was not trying nine to focus on my health every day. Cause that's literally, all I do is like learn about health and try and try new things every day. For the sake of my work, my biggest struggle has always been sleep, which is an absolutely crucial part of health and something that I think a lot of people.
Neglect, because working out needing is more fun to think about and do. so sleep for me is always a challenge and I work very hard at coming up with a. Appropriate sleep routine, nighttime routine to kind of like downregulate and calm at the end of the day. And I play with different supplements and I play with different kind of practices to get myself good quality sleep every night.
so that's something that I focus on, but other than that, I'm just working out and eat meat and it seems to be working out for me.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:38] Your book is coming out October 20th. Is that correct?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:37:41] Yes.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:42] But it is available for preorders so people can go get it right now and then it'll ship out to them. Right. When it's ready to go.
Can you talk, is there any other things you want to talk about with the book? What else can people find in there and how many recipes
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:37:54] do you? Yeah, so there's more than 75 recipes. again, it ranges from, I've got like a very robust dessert section because I have a sweet tooth. So there's lots of. Dessert that isn't scary.
It's not like tongue desserts. Most of them, like I said, are usually like collagen based. There's a couple kind of exciting ones, but there's desserts. There's a big section on like side dishes, healthy side dishes that again, do not have organ meats. So I tell everybody, I'm like, if you buy those books, there, there may be very few people who would eat every recipe.
But I guarantee there's a couple of recipes in there for everyone. and I, and I basically lay them out by like part. So like from the neck up. And then there's like the liver section and there's like the heart section and there's some other, so that's kind of how it's laid out, but there is a big educational component to it because I understand that unlike Kito, where it's just like, eat the steak with avocado next to it, this kind of approach needs a little bit more.
Understanding and explanation. So there's like a big section at the front of the book that lays out what offal is. All the different types of organ meats, what their individual benefits are, health benefits, how to prep them, how to cook. I, them, how culturally people usually prepare these different.
Pieces and things like that. So there's a lot, and I've got a lot of personal stories in there about the recipes and where they came from and my experience, cooking them and learning about it and all of that stuff. So there's like a lot of entertaining stuff in there too. Cause I just really wanted people to know the story.
I don't want to just feel like here eat. Oregon's like here's the recipe go to town. Like I think people need to be kind of led into it a little bit more. So, that's really how the book goes. I hope that people are entertained by it. yeah, that's it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:39:33] Perfect. And, people can find more about [email protected]
We'll have links to all of that in the show [email protected] slash one 30. you also have a pullout program. Do you want to touch on that real quick?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:39:46] Yeah. So by the time this comes out, hopefully it will be live. I've been working on it for a really long time. but that's kind of been a side, Project and passion of mine for a long time, is getting people to, to get a pull up because it's an extremely technical difficult movement.
One that women especially have a hard time with, because as we talked about at the beginning, we are not born with the same upper body strength. Unfortunately, that men are, I feel like a lot of dudes that aren't, that stick can kind of like throw together a couple of pull-ups, whereas women have to work really hard at it.
but the program is for men and women, and it's basically a sort of progressive. Program that teaches people how to get a pull up, how to build the strength and body awareness and muscle recruitment to get proper. Pull-up not a crappy, weird hitching kipping fake pull up, but like a real one, because it's an incredibly, like I said, functional movement, but also an empowering movement.
Like when people get their first pull up, it's a big deal. It's a really useful skill to have in it. Carries over into so many other physical things you want to do. so, and that's kind of always been my, my strong as soon as like upper body back stuff. Like when I was bodybuilder, that was kind of like my.
My sweet spot was like back muscles. So I just want to share that with the rest of the world. So that's gonna be something that's available and you can, again, kind of just reach out to me on social media. I'm always on Instagram at the muscle and you can check out my website. It'll be available there. I would imagine by like the end of September, early October, and I can't wait to get people trying it and getting their pull-ups cause it's just so much fun to watch.
Bryan Carroll: [00:41:15] Have you ever taken your pull up skills to a rock wall?
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:41:18] Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, I gotta say like, I'm a bit of a diva right now, like in quarantine and my nails I've let them grow really long. So I can't do a lot of the functional movements. We probably could be doing outdoors, but, but yeah, I mean, and like a lot of people I know that are going to take the program.
Maybe they have pull-ups, but they want to get weighted, pull ups. Like maybe they want to work towards like a muscle offer. They want to do pull ups off, like. W not just on a bar, but like you want to jump on a tree branch or you want to pull yourself up off a cliff or something like that kind of skill.
And again, it's taken, people get so many things wrong with Philips because they think that it's just, we just got to pull your body up, but just like a squat and a deadlift, they're actually full body, very technical movements that require a lot of different muscles working right at the right time. so yeah, I mean, I can't wait to get a bunch of people doing pull ups.
Bryan Carroll: [00:42:08] Awesome. Ashley. Well, thank you so much for coming on and talking through the carnivore diet and talking about organ meats and how to actually not be so scared about trying them. So thank you. Thank you so much.
Ashleigh VanHouten: [00:42:19] Thanks, Bryan. I hope I, I hope I convinced you to try a couple things.
Bryan Carroll: [00:42:22] awSee offal. Doesn't have to be as bad as it sounds.
You can't knock it until you try it. And there are a lot, lots of different ways. You can try it without ruining yours taste buds. Ashley's new book that will be out in a couple of weeks as lots of recipes for you to choose from. And if you liked this episode, then open up your podcast app and leave us a quick rating and review.
Those are the lifeblood of pocket. Yes. And really helps to promote our show. It takes about 10 seconds to complete yet is extremely helpful. Next week dr. Ben Bikman is on the show. Let's go learn a little bit about him. I am here with dr. Ben Beckman. Hey Ben, what is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
Dr. Ben: [00:43:07] Yeah. People would not know that I am really an introvert. I I'm, I seem like I'm a boisterous, energetic public speaker and I'm glad I'm comfortable public speaking, but I actually find that when I'm left to my own devices, I quickly retreat to myself in a good book and prefer nothing more than quiet time.
Bryan Carroll: [00:43:27] You know, different guests I've had on the show have said the exact same thing. So it's kind of interesting how many introverts do a lot of public speaking?
Dr. Ben: [00:43:36] Yeah. Yeah. So I guess, yeah, we, we often conflate the two. We assume that the person must be an extrovert and thrive with the attention. I find it a little exhausting and, and get energized when I'm, you know, in a quiet time.
Bryan Carroll: [00:43:49] Well, we be learning about in our interview together.
Dr. Ben: [00:43:53] Yeah. We'll be discussing the single most common health disorder in the world. and so why it matters what it is and what to do about it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:44:03] And what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their diet?
Dr. Ben: [00:44:09] Yeah, I could almost narrow it down to one thing.
I think one of the keys to better health is actually eating more beef. Beef has everything you need for survival. And unfortunately, in our hyper politicized, hypersensitive world, we live in, beef has really taken a hit where we're, it's become a food that, that common and voices are encouraging us to avoid.
And I think we avoided to our detriment.
Bryan Carroll: [00:44:36] Yeah. I think with books like sacred cow, I don't know if you're familiar with that. that was just released. Hopefully that'll, help make some changes in what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness?
Dr. Ben: [00:44:50] Yeah, so I actually, I would narrow down my top three health, advice, top three health thoughts into, Principals based on the three macronutrients control your carbohydrates.
So void the most refined of the starches and the sugars prioritize protein. Make sure you're getting enough of high quality protein, which is to say animal protein, which beats plant protein in every single category. And then third, fill your remaining calories with fat don't fear fat. It is an essential food.
It has a, it actually helps the body burn fat. You, you burn what you eat.
Bryan Carroll: [00:45:27] This is a fantastic episode and we dive into a lot of information around blood sugar, insulin, and how it messes with our health and weight. So until then keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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