Grassland Beef - U.S. Wellness Meats
Featured Chef / January 2024

Ann McNeel

Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Clean Me AIP
Rye, New York

Ann McNeel is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. Prior to becoming a nutritionist, Ann received her Ph.D. studying food consumption behavior and the psychological effects of brand names on eating behavior. Ann developed autoimmune inflammatory arthritis in 2019, which led her to begin her AIP diet journey to put the disease into remission.


Tell us about yourself:

Hello! My name is Ann McNeel. I  am a nutritionist and lover of all things health and wellness. Prior to becoming a nutritionist, I earned a Ph.D. in Marketing, for which I studied food consumption behavior and the psychological effects of brand names on eating behavior.

Health, nutrition, and eating behavior are especially important aspects of my own personal journey, as I suffered from childhood obesity for many years. In adulthood, I was able to overcome my struggle with obesity through the power of nutrition and exercise and have been able to maintain a healthy weight for over two decades!

As my health journey continued, I hit a bump in the road when I was diagnosed with autoimmune inflammatory arthritis in 2019. I faced my diagnosis by educating myself and reading every book on the topic of autoimmunity that I could find. It was in these books that I learned about the autoimmune protocol (AIP) way of eating. Again, as with my obesity, I used nutrition to heal. I use easy, clean, and nutritious eating to put my autoimmune disease into remission and keep it there.

Preparing, eating, and sharing beautiful, delicious, and nutritious
food with others brings me so much joy in life!

How did you get involved in cooking?

I have been a life-long lover of all things food and have casually enjoyed cooking and baking for decades. It was only in recent years that my personal health journey necessitated that I cook everything from scratch in order to better control what I am putting into my body. Through this challenge, I really got a sense of how food can truly help or hurt. I think back at the things I used to put into my body, and I am grateful that I am making much better choices now. As I like to say: when we know better, we do better.

Also, like many of us, I was forced to spend a lot more time in the kitchen during Covid lockdown. With more time at home, I could really dig into experimenting in the kitchen as opposed to constantly running from one place to another as a busy mom of two young kids.

Describe your cooking style:

My cooking is above all else clean. I aim to choose the best organic ingredients without additives, preservatives, fillers, or anything I cannot pronounce. Most things I make have only a handful of ingredients and are prepared in a very simple way that anyone can do.

How did you learn about grass-fed meats?

One of the many silver linings to come out of Covid lockdown in 2020 is that is precisely when I learned about the benefits of grass-fed, grass-finished meats and began my relationship with US Wellness Meats. When the entire world shut down, it became more difficult to procure the food ingredients I needed from my local grocery store. I began researching alternative ways of buying meat and fresh produce, and that is when I found the US Wellness Meats website. I placed my first order back in April 2020, and it’s been love ever since!

What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?

When it comes to grass-fed meat, I love working with grass-fed ground lamb. It is perfect for making a nice, juicy holiday stuffing or meatloaf (no dry meatloaf here!). I use it in my AIP Mom’s Meatloaf (, which is perfect as a side dish or even a stand-alone meal. Packed with multiple different veggies and nutrient-dense grass-fed lamb, it was the hit of my Thanksgiving meal last year.

Also, for those, who are partial to white meat, I love my Paleo Chicken Nuggets ( Who doesn’t love some good fried chicken, am I right? My recipe is a hit with everyone–both young and old (even the pickiest of eaters!). With these nuggets, you feel like you are really indulging in something a bit naughty when, really, they are super clean and nutritious!

You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:

What a fun question! There are so many beautiful ingredients out there. However, if I’m thinking desert-island-survival, I’ll need to make sure I balance my choices to cover as many key macronutrients and micronutrients as possible (I am a nutritionist, after all!).

#1: My number one top essential ingredient on a desert island would definitely be US Wellness Meats 3 oz. grass-fed and grass-finished Beef Tenderloin Filet Mignon. This is the most beautiful and flavorful cut of beef I’ve ever tasted, and it comes in the most perfect, small portion. I buy these in bulk because I love how the small size allows them to defrost quickly, so I can get right to cooking. No matter how it is prepared, it is delicious every time. I can even throw it in my air fryer, come back 20 minutes later, and it’s perfectly cooked and juicy. It’s just the perfect portion of clean, nutritious protein, B vitamins, and essential trace minerals.

#2: Tiger nut flour is a pantry essential for me (and anyone who eats paleo and/or grain-free). This flour is my absolute favorite to use in all things baked (muffins, cakes, breads) and also my daily n’oatmeal for breakfast. Because it has a beautiful, naturally-sweet flavor, I find myself not needing to add additional sweeteners when using tiger nut flour, which is wonderful for anyone needing to watch their sugar intake. It’s also high in fiber, which I love.

#3: Unsweetened dried cranberries are an amazing choice as far as fruit goes because they can be added to all kinds of recipes (see muffins, cakes, breads, and n’oatmeal above!). They’re naturally low in sugar but high in antioxidants, and I love their tartness. My pantry is always stocked with small packages of unsweetened dried cranberries, so I can just grab-and-go this super healthy, clean snack on busy days.

#4: A good olive oil is essential. I look for extra virgin, cold-pressed and unrefined products in glass bottles. I make sure to read labels closely and pick olive oil from one single geographic region. Olive oil gives us modest amount of Vitamins E and K and also a good amount of essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Research has consistently shown beneficial health outcomes with olive oil consumption.

#5: I love so many vegetables, but if I’m thinking about what would be most practical on a desert island, I’d have to go with carrots. Besides the most well-known beta carotene, carrots provide us with vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, biotin, and so much more. I absolutely love rainbow carrots in all different beautiful shades and hues. They can be used in anything from making vegetable or meat stock, making a beautiful side dish, or even making my absolute favorite baked good–carrot cake! I also cannot live without dehydrated carrot sticks as a snack for busy days (make sure to read labels and choose ones that have only one ingredient: carrots).

It’s so hard to pick just one kitchen tool, but the one I use the most is my cordless food processor. I use it almost daily to make just about anything from hummus, to nut and seed meal for muffins, or even the crunchy plantain-crust on my fried chicken recipe above.

Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:

The best tip I have is: choose quality ingredients. Food just tastes better when it’s clean, good quality, and additive- and preservative-free.

What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?

I whole-heartedly agree with Chef Jamie Oliver who said: “Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients.”

Your social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube):

Find me on Instagram and at my website where I post easy, clean recipes and nutrition info. If you’re on a journey to clean up your eating, I’d love to be friends. Email me at:

Enter To Win!

Enter to Win our January 2024 Clean Eating Contest for a chance to win $150 bundle of delicious & nutritious grass-fed and pastured meats.
Contest runs from January 1 – December 14, 2024.

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