If you are reading this, chances are you have started the plant paradox protocol and 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 making lectin-free, plant paradox recipes using pasture-raised chicken.
I’ve been following the Plant Paradox protocol since August 2017. This is one of the most frequent questions I see in forums and social media. I hope this article will clarify most of your chicken and poultry questions and help you cook some yummy plant paradox recipes with chicken.
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 everything they may find in the soil. You want to eat poultry that is never given antibiotics, hormones, and steroids and is not supplemented with GMO corn, wheat, and soy.
Unfortunately, the free-range label doesn’t mean much, and it just means the birds are given at least 5 minutes of access to air per day. They are still crowded in barns 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, glyphosate, and lectins.
Ideally, you want all poultry and eggs to be “pasture-raised” and lectin-free. However, there are instances when pasture-raised chicken is supplemented with non-GMO corn and oats. 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 general rule, know that all chicken, even if raised on pastures 24/24, is still supplemented. As long as is non-GMO, and the feed doesn’t contain soy, you should be ok.
The world’s first lectin-light chicken and lectin-light chicken feed
The good news is that a ‘lectin-light feed for chicken’ already exists. It was developed by Dan Walter, owner of Pastured Steps, a regenerative farm in Midlothian, Texas, just a short drive from Dallas. I had the honor to meet Dan a few years ago, at his farm. You can find more about him and his farm in this article: Raising Lectin-Free Chicken. Interview with Dan Walter, Owner and Farmer at Pastured Steps in Dallas.
We produce high-quality Lectin-Light Chicken™. Our chickens are pasture-raised and fed a supplemental diet consisting of ingredients on Dr. Gundry’s “Yes” list. Our homemade feed is SOY-Free, Corn-Free, Wheat-Free and does NOT contain peanuts, peas, oats, rice, sunflower, or any of the other typical lectin-heavy grain substitutes. Yes, you can finally eat chicken again! We have selected a specialty breed of broiler that is known for its gourmet flavor. This makes our chicken both nutritious and delicious! In addition, we use regenerative farming practices to promote soil health and animal welfare.Dan Walter, Owner, Pastured Steps
So excited to announce the world’s first chickens raised on a 100% Plant Paradox-friendly diet! Finally, Pastured Steps takes the worry out of eating my favorite food… and probably yours too. And they taste delicious too!Dr. Steven Gundry
In the 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. I buy the duck from Mary’s Free Range, air-chilled on rare occasions, 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/flexitarian 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!).
The recommended daily amount (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein / kg of body weight, so multiply your weight in kg with 0.8 to get the RDA (if you only know your weight in pounds, divide weight in lbs to 2.2 to get weight in kg). Now, we know Dr. G recommends a smaller amount, but only when it comes to animal foods. The palm of your hand (without fingers) is a good guideline to how much protein you can have in one serving. Also, the need for protein is bio-individual and depends on your age, health, body weight, level of physical activity, etc. Best is to experiement and see what serves you and your goals best. Since plant based protein is incomplete (doesn’t contain all the amino acids), you have to make sure you consume a variety of plant foods to cover all your body needs. Also, remember excess protein is stored as fat, not muscle.
If you transition to Phase 3, when you can introduce some high protein lectin foods, 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 of 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 buy pasture-raised chicken near me?
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 used to buy most of my poultry from Burgundy’s Local, a store in Dallas that sells local 100% grass-fed beef, lamb, and pasture-raised pork and partners with local farms for pasture-raised chickens and eggs. I know 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 responsible farms deliver across the country.
When I discovered Pastured Steps (see below details), I started to order from them. They are probably the only place in the world intentionally raising lectin-light chicken. But I’m sure others will follow now that they have shown the world is not impossible.
I put together the below list with places where you can buy pastured chicken, no matter where you are in the US. If you are outside the US, check your Farmer’s Markets, and locate and talk to local farmers around you. 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 on a farm, where we raised chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc. I know it’s possible if you have the land and love farm life.
Places where you can buy pasture-raised chicken
Pastured Steps, Midlothian, Texas (near Dallas); deliveries throughout the US, and pick up in the Dallas area. Pastured Steps is the only place in the US (and probably the world) that produces lectin-light chicken and lectin-light chicken feed. I also love that they practice regenerative agriculture practices. The best is to pre-order.
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 convenience and their products.
The Provisions House, shop and deliveries in Dallas. What I like about them is that all their meat/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, delivers in all US states. 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, is one of my favorite farms. They farm responsibly and 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, and Crowd Cow. I follow them on Instagram. Check them out. They are awesome.
My favorite plant paradox recipes with chicken
And now the fun part. I love to cook and create lectin-free, plant paradox recipes, and chicken has been one of my favorite ingredients to play with. While I try to have a more flexitarian, 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 he eats lectin-free about 70% of the time, thanks to my compliant cooking, which is great.
All the below recipes are phase 2 plant paradox compliant (with just a couple using some phase 3 ingredients). 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 plant paradox recipes and you loved them, I’d love to hear from you.
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