If you are reading this, chances are you have started the Plant Paradox protocol and you are confused about what chicken or poultry is Plant Paradox compliant and where to get it from. Or, you are just looking for more ideas on how to make lectin-free, Plant Paradox approved recipes using pasture-raised chicken. I’ve been following the Plant Pardox protocol for 1.5 years (since August 2017), and this is one of the most frequent question I see in forums and on social media. I hope this article will clarify most of your qustions related to chicken and poultry and will help you cook some yummy food.
You are what the things you are eating ate
This is a major rule of the Plant Paradox protocol. Naturally, chickens are supposed to roam pastures, soak in the sun and eat grasses, bugs, insects, worms and everyhting they may found in the soil. You want to eat poultry that are never given antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and that are not supplemented with GMO corn, wheat and soy. Unfortunately, free-range doesn’t mean much, it just means the birds are given at least 5 minutes of access to air per day. They are still crowded in barns for most of the time. Chicken are omnivores, so you don’t want a chicken advertised as “vegetarian fed”, as it will be loaded with GMOs, gyphosate and lectins.
Ideally, you want all poultry and eggs to be “pasture-raised” and lectin-free, however there are instances when pasture-raised chicken are supplemented with non-GMO corn and oats, and that’s a limit you can cross if that’s the best poultry you can find, provided that it doesn’t give you a reaction (which is possible if you are extremely sensitive to lectins). Try it, and do the best you can. As a genral rule, know that all chicken, even if raised on pastures 24/24, are still supplemented. As long as is non-GMO, and the feed doesn’t contain soy, you should be ok. So far, I have not dicovered a chicken that is supplemented only with lectin-free feed like millet and flax.
In his latest published book, The Plant Paradox Quick and Easy, Dr. Steven Gundry advises the best next thing after pastured poultry is Mary’s Free Range, Pasture Raised, Air Chilled Chicken, which you will find in Whole Foods or other similar stores. “It’s not lectin-free, but it’s a fine substitute in a pinch”, he says. On rare occasions I buy duck from Mary’s Free Range, air chilled, and it’s been great for me.
How much chicken / protein can I have if I follow the Plant Paradox protocol?
Contrary to what some people may think, the Plant Paradox is a low to moderate animal protein protocol, with Dr. Gundry personally encouraging a vegetarian / flexatarian diet. The general rule is 8oz a day, 4oz per serving, if you are in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Plant Paradox program (and eggs count towards animal protein!). If you trasition to Phase 3, when you can introduce some high protein lectin food, pressure cooked, such as beans and lentils, you should be able to reduce your animal protein to 2oz daily.
I love the below food pyramid created by Dr. Steven Gundry for a visual representation to how much low to moderate animal protein means. As you can see poultry is toward the tip of the pyramid (“ok to eat a limited quantity per meal), while red meat is all the way at the top (1, 2 times a week).
Where to get pasture-raised chicken?
As mentioned above, most of the time farms supplement their chickens with lectin food such as non-GMO corn and oats, and that might be the best you can find. I buy most of my poultry from Burgundy’s Local, a store in Dallas that sells local 100% grass-fed beef, lamb, pasture raised pork and partners with local farms for pasture raised chickens and eggs. I know for sure they are supplemented with non-GMO corn and oats, but I’ve decided that’s good enough for me. But there are options for everyone, and most of these responsable farms deliver across the country. I put together the below list with places where you can find pastured chicken, no matter where you are in the US. If you are outside the US, check your Farmer’s Markets, locate and talk to local farmers around you and find out how they raise their poultry (you can also leave a comment below with your location and the source you are buying from, it may help other people in your area). Chances are you will find something good enough. If not, maybe raising your own chickens is something you would like to consider (for both meat and eggs). I grew up in a farm, where we raised chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc and I know it’s possible if you have the land and you love the farm life.
UPDATE, December 2019 – Since we wrote this article, we have some updates. Read all about one of the very few farmers in the US and the world who is now raising 100% lectin-free chickens. Behind the experiement is Dan Walter, the owner and farmer at Pastured Steps in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. Weather he will continue or not this project in 2020 depends on the demand. Please check this interview with him and contact him if you are interested in buying lectin-free chickens.
Raising Lectin-Free Chicken. Interview with Dan Walter, Owner and Farmer at Pastured Steps in Dallas
Burgundy Pasture Beef partnered with Cobb Creek Farm, TEXAS, to provide pasture-raised chicken; deliveries only in TEXAS. I buy from them because I live nearby their store in Dallas, I love the conveninece and their products.
The Provisions House, shop and deliveries in Dallas. What I like about them is that all their meet / chicken is flash frozen, so it’s been a safer option for me since my low histamine journey (freezing stops the build of histamine triggering bacteria).
Circle C Farms, based in FLORIDA, deliveries in all US states. Not only their poultry is some of the best you can find in the country, but they also specifically attend to the Plant Paradox protocol, by selling boxes with 4oz portions. My sister (who lives in New York City) buys from them and she loves the personal service and quality.
Pasture Bird, a farm located in CALIFORNIA, are one of my favorite farms. Not only they farm responsibly but they make an effort to educate the public on what it means to eat poultry that is tasty and healthy, and raised in a sustainable way. For national deliveries they partner with the sellers that distribute nationwide such as Primal Pastures, Vital Choice and Crowd Cow. I follow them on Instagram, check them out, they are awesome.
My favorite Plant Paradox chicken recipes
And now the fun part. I love to cook and create lectin-free, plant paradox approved recipes, and chicken has been a main ingredient I played with in the past 1.5 years. While I try to have a more flexatarian, vegetarian diet, my husband loves his protein and I’m doing my best to make healthy food that both of us eat and enjoy. My husband is not 100% on the Plant Paradox program (he loves beer too much, haha), but thanks to my compliant cooking he eats lectin-free about 70% of the time, which is great.
All the below recipes are Phase 2 Plant Paradox compliant. For Phase 1 recipes and ideas (using pasture raised chicken) please check this article: A Three Day Plant Paradox Cleanse Guide.
If you made any of the below recipes and you loved them, I’d love to hear from you.