By Shanna Keller, who keeps EPIC Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Beef Bites in her famous “emergency pouch.”
When I did my first Whole30 in the fall of 2013, I had one goal: make it through the program. That was IT; that was all I could focus on. I knew there were factors to consider, like organically-grown vegetables and ethically-raised meat and learning to make my own bone broth and homemade mayo … but I also knew that if I tried to incorporate everything at once, I’d get overwhelmed and quit.
I really wanted to succeed, so I kept it simple and made easy meals with familiar compliant ingredients from my regular grocery store. And my laser-focused efforts succeeded beyond my wildest dreams! On Day 30, I had non-scale victories (NSVs) in every category listed on page 43 of The Whole30. My life was changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
I Feel So Good… What Else Can I Do?
I also—and this was surprising to me—had the energy to turn my attention towards developing more healthy habits to compliment my new, Whole30-inspired lifestyle. The things that overwhelmed me on Day One were now just a regular part of my life. I knew my favorite meals; I had my grocery shopping and meal prepping routine down cold; and the extra cooking and dishwashing was seamlessly integrated into my household routine. I was ready to focus on other habits, and one of those was making the transition to buying ethically-raised meat.
It was around this time that I became aware of meat bars from EPIC Provisions. EPIC was an early Whole30 Approved partner; and their bars were one of the first compliant on-the-go items on the market. From the beginning, the team at EPIC has been committed to making nourishing food from ethically-raised animals. As they’ve added more compliant products (like their bites, strips and bone broths), they’ve continued to stay true to their mission to turn the meat industry on its head and inject much-needed transparency into its practices.
As a result, they don’t just source their animals and ingredients from ethical sources: they are actually changing American agriculture through their animal welfare advocacy and mission-driven business. Motivated by their desire to empower ranchers who go the extra mile for their livestock and their land, EPIC is fighting to show how properly-managed animals actually have a positive ecological impact and promote a healthy diet. Curious to learn more? Check out this article from mindbodygreen.
At the beginning of my Whole30 journey, the effort to switch from conventional meat to ethically-raised meat seemed time-consuming (would I have to add one more stop to my grocery shopping trips?) and expensive. But by purchasing EPIC products, I had the capacity to take small steps towards that goal. The first thing I did was use EPIC Bars as my primary source of on-the-go protein. It was an easy, affordable switch to make, and I knew that I was putting my money towards something that benefited me, the animals, the environment, and our food system.
Vote With Your Dollar
The team at EPIC believes that what you eat and the supply chains you support can have a positive impact on your body, your mind, animal welfare, and the earth’s ecological health. Their team has a favorite phrase, “Vote with your dollars.” They’ve arranged their entire business around this idea:
Consumers like you can help ensure animals are pasture-raised, grass-fed, and given ample opportunity to adhere to their natural lifestyles by backing the companies who are fighting for those standards.
Through these efforts, EPIC’s working to scale practices like regenerative agriculture—which improves land and soil health and promotes global grassland restoration—while eliminating the dangerous, harmful feedlot models that encompass much of the meat industry. Their mantra is simple: healthier animals are better for our planet and our bodies.
Sourcing animal protein from humanely-raised sources isn’t a Whole30 requirement. But, we limit our Whole30 Approved partnerships to companies who believe that it’s important to pay attention to how the animals you are eating were raised, and who are conscientious and transparent and about their sourcing. The EPIC wolfpack goes above and beyond in this regard. They provide a detailed, animal-by-animal sourcing library on their website, and they recently published their first-ever Impact Journal. The Impact Journal is an 112-page publication dedicated to profiling their key suppliers and company missions. EPIC takes pride in changing the standards and narrative around meat consumption. Whether you’re interested in learning more about their company philosophy or want to keep up with their active efforts to change the food industry, their emphasis on consumer education has you covered.
Responsible Protein, More Accessible Than Ever
In the last four years, EPIC products have become widely available; they’re available nationwide at major retailers like Whole Foods, Sprouts and Kroger, on Amazon Prime, at small locally-owned grocery stores, even if gas stations and airports around the country. I’ve even seen their Bars at the cash register at a local coffee shop. This means that more than ever before, it’s easy to find grass-fed beef Bites, or to sip a jar of Bone Broth made from pasture-raised chicken.
One of my favorite things about the Whole30 is that it first changed me personally and the effects rippled out from there. It has changed my community; as my family and friends saw how positive my Whole30 experience was, they wanted to try the program for themselves. And, through my commitment to supporting companies like EPIC Provisions, it is changing the agricultural industry and bettering our planet. These are NSVs I could have never imagined on Day One of my first Whole30, and I am immensely grateful for all of them.
This post was sponsored by EPIC Provisions. Thank you for supporting our Whole30 Approved partners.