Bone Broth 101

This post is long overdue. I've been drinking (and posting about) bone broth for awhile now, and consider it a key part of my wellness routine. I would even go so far to say that bone broth is one of my favorite foods, or superfoods, actually - it really is that awesome.

I've personally seen the following benefits as a result of drinking bone broth:

  • Stronger and more healthy hair, skin and nails
  • Fewer gut issues (pain, indigestion, bloating, etc)
  • Better energy (especially when I sip bone broth instead of a caffeinated beverage)

In this blog post I'm going to cover the following:

  1. What is bone broth and how is it different from stock?
  2. Why should I drink bone broth?
  3. How can I easily include bone broth in my diet?

Plus, I'll share my favorite delivery bone broth services so that you can get yourself some broth no matter WHERE you are and what your cooking abilities are.

 

 

Let's dive in!

What is bone broth and how is it different from stock?

Bone broth is made from simmering bones (and marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments) over a period of days. This slow cooking causes these normally non-digestible parts of the animal to break down and release amino acids and minerals that are super good for you.

Making broth was the way our ancestors (and even our grandmothers and mothers!) made use of every part of the animal. However, nowadays many broths and stocks (especially the ones you buy in cartons from the supermarket) are made much more quickly. As a result, the bones do not break down and thus the broth is not infused with all those beneficial amino acids and minerals.

Technically, there's a slight difference between broth, stock and bone broth:

  • Broth is typically made with meat and small amount of bones. It's simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours) and is light in flavor and thin in texture.
  • Stock is typically made with bones and a small amount of meat.  It's simmered for a bit longer than broth - about 3 to 4 hours - and is a good source of gelatin.
  • Bone broth is typically made with bone and a small amount of meat. It's simmered for a very long period of time (anywhere from 8 to over 24 hours) and is a great source of gelatin, minerals, and protein.

Why should I drink bone broth?

Besides being delicious, bone broth is a nutrition powerhouse.

  1. Bone broth helps heal the gut. The gelatin in bone broth helps restore the lining of the gut and the good bacteria (probiotics) that live in your gut. In addition, drinking bone broth can reduce food sensitivities (like wheat or dairy) and supports healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.
  2. Bone broth is anti-aging. The collagen in bone broth helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are key for maintaining youthful skin tone and texture. Studies have also shown that increasing collagen can decrease the appearance of cellulite.
  3. Bone broth is immune-boosting. It's estimated that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut (yep!!), so when you heal the gut, you're also increasing your immune strength, which means you'll get sick way less. Despite having a busy schedule AND living in a crowded city, I didn't get sick once this year. I know that keeping my gut healthy with bone broth and other superfoods was key to this.

How can I easily include bone broth in my diet?

Here are a few easy ways to incorporate bone broth into your daily diet:

  • Drink a cup in the morning (in place of coffee, if you want!) or as an afternoon pick me up
  • Make my Bone Broth Breakfast Soup
  • Use as the base for any soup or stew
  • Swap for water when cooking grains
  • Add a splash to sauteing veggies for extra flavor

I've also heard that you can freeze bone broth in ice cube trays and then add to smoothies, but I haven't tried this... yet!

How to make your own bone broth:

Making bone broth isn't hard, but it does require some time and effort. If you're not ready to make your own broth - no worries! Broth shops are popping up all over the place (stay tuned for my guide to NYC's bone broth scene!) and you can usually find some sort of broth at your local health foods store. I've also included some of my favorite bone broth delivery services below so you can have the good stuff shipped directly to your doorstep!

There are two essentials you'll need to make your own broth:

  1. Quality bones
  2. A large pot with a fitted lid, Crockpot (or other slow cooker) or InstantPot

Where to get your bones: Your broth will only be as good as the bones you use, so you want to get quality bones! I've found bones at some health foods stores and some Whole Foods. You may also find them from your local butcher or farmer's market.

You can buy the bones directly (often the case for beef bones) OR you can use leftover bones from a whole roasted chicken or turkey (I did this after Thanksgiving last year and it worked great!).

Which pot should I use? It's really up to you. I've made bone broth in a slow cooker and am currently hunting down some bones to try it in my InstantPot. These two sure make the process easier, because you can "set it and forget it" for most of the process. If you choose to make it on the stove in a traditional pot, you'll want to plan accordingly so that you can be around for the time it needs to simmer.

In making my own bone broth, I've exclusively used the recipe from Go with Your Gut by Robyn Youkilis. There are plenty of recipes online, but this recipe is easy to follow and includes beef, chicken, fish and veggie options. The rest of the recipes in the book are pretty fabulous too, so it's worth ordering yourself a copy! Order Go with Your Gut on Amazon.

Me  checking out my homemade broth!

Me checking out my homemade broth!

Bone Broth Delivery Services:

  • BareBones - If you're looking for fun flavors and varieties, BareBones is your place. They have classic chicken, beef and turkey, as well as flavors like Tomato Spice and Rosemary Lemon. Currently their broth is shipped frozen, but I've heard that they will be switching over to shelf-stable broths soon. Order BareBones here.
  • BrothMasters - BrothMasters was started by a fellow Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduate and her mom! Their signature chicken bone broth is the most flavorful I've tried and is packd with organic onions, carrots, celery, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and bay leaves. Order BrothMasters here.
  • Kettle & Fire - Kettle and Fire was the first shelf stable broth (aka no fridge needed!) I discovered. They offer both beef and chicken variations that are delicious. Order Kettle + Fire Bone Broth here.
  • Thrive Market - I recently joined Thrive Market and was happy to see that they carry shelf stable bone broth. I was pleasantly surprised with the Thrive Market brand Beef Broth - it's rich in flavor and thicker (i.e. contains more of the gut healing gelatin) than many other shelf stable broths I've tried. Join Thrive Market here and receive 15% off your first order!
  • Amazon - YUP you can even order bone broth on Amazon! I've tried the Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth - it's good and very affordable (I've also seen this at my local health foods store). If you don't have Amazon Prime already (fast, FREE shipping on all orders), use this link for a free trial membership: Try Amazon Prime for FREE Today!

Where can I get bone broth in NYC?

That's another whole post in itself ;) I'm actually putting together a guide, so make sure you're signed up for my newsletter list to be the first to know when this is available!  Sign up for my newsletter list here!

Additional reading:

And that's a wrap folks. I hope this post has clearly answered some of your bone broth FAQs and highlighted the awesome benefits of this superfood!

 

 

Got another question? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, I love hearing from you!

 

How to create an exercise routine that sticks

"I NEED to exercise but for some reason it just doesn't happen."
"I want to get into running but it's hard to get my butt out the door."
"I know I should go to yoga, but honestly I'm kind of intimidated."


Any of these lines sound familiar? 

We all know exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but with our busy lives, this is often the piece of the equation that gets left out. Let me be real with you - to be your healthiest self, to feel energized and inspired, to be confident in your body - you MUST exercise, or move your body in some way on a regular basis.

I know this may sound intense but hear me out.

Why is exercise so important?

  • It's energizing - Moving your cells wakes them up! Plus physical exercise also requires us to use motor skills and parts of our brain that we don't use most of the day (because most of us work on the computer).

  • It stimulates body’s natural detox functions - Sweating, breathing and elimination (pooping!) are all ways that your body "takes out the trash" and you want that to be happening regularly. No one wants to live in a house filled with trash, do they?? Exercise pretty obviously stimulates your breathing and sweat functions, but it also helps move things along in your digestive system.

  • Movement OUTSIDE creates movement INSIDE - Different exercise types inspire different moods and energies in our bodies. For example...

    > Running and cardio = endurance, stamina, feeling of moving forward
    > Yoga, dance, stretching = flexibility, calm, sense of peace
    > Strength training or high intensity training (HIIT) = strength, energy

What type of exercise should I do?

Every body needs a little something different, but most research shows that we need to do a combination of things for optimal energy and well-being.

If you always do the elliptical, why not try weights one day instead? Or perhaps you strictly go to yoga - maybe skip a class for a long walk.

How do I make it happen?

Here are a few ways to make sure that pilates class or HIIT workout or short jog actually happen:

Buy some special workout clothes/shoes/gear that you LOVE - Being excited to spend time in your workout clothing can make all the difference between getting to the gym or staying on your couch. 

Put your workouts in your calendar. Literally. Block off the time, set a reminder, and don’t accept other commitments during those times. Treat this as if you had a meeting or date with someone - you wouldn’t cancel last minute on someone else, so why do it with yourself? I find it helps to workout at the same time each day (I’m a morning girl), but do what works for you.

Find an activity that you actually enjoy. There are SO many different workouts out there now - you don’t have to spend time doing something you hate (because life is meant to be enjoyed, right??!). If you actually enjoy your workout, you are WAY more likely to stick with it.

Here are some resources for exploring different workouts (without breaking the bank!):

ClassPass - One membership that gets you into all sorts of different workouts - yoga, cardio, dance, high intensity, sports, etc. 

New student specials - Most studios/gyms have some sort of free trial period, or discount for new students. Take advantage of this!

The growing world of online workouts - There are so many inspiring teachers on YouTube or membership-type services so you’ll never get bored! Many of them are free or offer a low subscription fee. Here are some that I love:

  • FORTE Fit - You can now take my yoga classes online (!!!) as well as some of the top workouts in NYC via FORTE Fit's online platform. Use the code 'EMILYFORTE' and receive a FULL YEAR membership for just $50!
  • YogaGlo - A great library of yoga videos with something for everyone. I love that you can sort by body part, mood, duration and instructor.
  • Bikini Body Guide - A printable guide with targeted HIIT workouts.

Okay here's your homework for this week: make a workout plan! This can be ONE new thing you are going to try this week, or ONE tip you are going to take away from this post. Leave a comment below and let me know how you are going to MOVE IT this week.

This is more important than WHAT you eat...

The past two weeks we focused on WHAT to eat - the specific foods you want to fill your plate with to feel energized and satisfied after every meal.

But guess what - you can follow the exact formula I shared and STILL feel bloated, too-full and BLAH after meals.

Why? Because WHAT you eat is only half of the equation.

 

The other half, and, from my experience with myself and working with clients, the more important part is HOW you eat.

Specifically, CHEWING!

Yes, chewing.  We all do it, and do it often.  What does this have to do with feeling good and being your healthiest self? Well most of us, myself included, do not chew our food nearly enough.  We talk while eating, rush through meals, and eat on the go.  So what? Chewing food thoroughly is one SUPER EASY yet important change you can make to loose weight, settle stomach issues, and feel GREAT overall.

Here's why chewing is so important:

- Chew more, eat less - When you chew your food slowly and thoroughly you end up eating less. Your body's natural hunger cues have more time to kick in and signal you to stop eating when you are actually full (versus 30 minutes later, as is what normally happens if you rush through a meal).

Digestion begins in your mouth - We have teeth for a reason people! The mouth is food's first stop in the digestive process - the teeth are there to breakdown food to a point where it can be easily processed by the rest of the system.  Also, the saliva in your mouth contains digestive enzymes which further aid in digestion.  If you don't chew your food, that's more work on the belly, which can result in bloating, cramping, etc. 

Enjoy every bite - Thoroughly chewing each bite of food causes you to slow down and reflect on what you are eating.  You will be more likely to only eat things you LOVE and that make you FEEL GREAT.


Here are a few tips to amp up your chewing practice:

1. Chew until your food is liquid - Don't think too much about it, just chew every bite until it becomes liquid.  Having a juice, smoothie, or blended soup? Chew it too!  It may feel weird, but you want the food to stay in your mouth for some time so that the digestive enzymes in your saliva can get to work!

2. Put your fork down in between bites - Resist the urge to put more food in  your mouth until the current bite is done.  Focus on each bite until you have chewed it completely, and then pick up your fork for your next bite.  


Now, here's your homework for this week: Pick ONE meal (or snack!) to practice your chewing. Slow down and just let yourself focus on chewing the food in front of you.

And then I want to hear from you! How did it go? Was it easy? Hard? Is there a certain food you noticed you needed to chew more? A food maybe you don't like as much as you thought you did? Leave a comment below.

Fermented Foods 101

Did you notice that there was a BIG piece missing in last week's "How to Fill Your Plate" equation?

It's a part of basically EVERY one of my meals.

A food that boosts your digestion and your immunity, helps banish sugar cravings AND {most importantly} adds AWESOME flavor.

Do you know what this mystery, miracle food is yet???

FERMENTED FOODS!!

Likely you've seen me share about kombucha, sauerkraut, and tempeh but today I am going to explain WHY I consider these foods "superfoods" and what benefits you can expect to see from incorporating them into your diet.

Alright, so what exactly are fermented foods?

They are foods that have been through a process of fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

Ooooh yeah probiotics, I've heard of those guys! But wait, tell me what they are again?

They are the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. This “good” bacteria helps your body absorb nutrients and minerals from from food.

Side note: The word "probiotic" is a compound of two Greek words: "pro," meaning promotion of and "biotic," which means life. So probiotics literally promote life. And “anti-biotics” means anti-life...

You can totally take a probiotic supplement but you’ll get more, diverse strands of bacteria (which is what you want!) by eating a variety of fermented food. Which brings me to my next point...


Why should I eat fermented foods?

  1. Fermentation jumpstarts the digestion process. Fermented foods are already partially broken down which makes them easier to digest than their non-fermented counterparts. PLUS they've got those good-for-your gut probiotics which further boost your digestive health.
  2. Fermented foods boost your immune system! It's estimated that 70-80% of your immune system is located in your GUT so keeping your digestive tract healthy is key to keeping YOU health.
  3. For FLAVOR, my friends! Above all, I am a foodie and fermented foods are my favorite way to add killer FLAVOR to any dish.

Ready to try 'em? Here are just a few of my favorite ferments:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha tea
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Kefir (fermented dairy drink)
  • Pickles (the kind in the refrigerator section)
  • Kimchi

Check out this post for some ideas on how to incorporate these foods into your daily diet: 10 ways to eat fermented foods.


Now, here's your homework assignment for this week: try ONE fermented food! You may already have one of these nutritional powerhouses in your diet, and if that's the case, I encourage you to try something new. Avid kombucha drinker? Try another fermented beverage like kefir or beet kvass. Sauerkraut totally your thing? Try a different brand or flavor variation!

10 ways to eat fermented foods

If you follow me on Instagram, or eat ANY number of meals with me, you know that I LOVE me some fermented foods. Today I'm sharing 10 ways to add these wonderful superfoods into YOUR diet.

[What the heck are fermented foods? Check out this post: Fermented Foods 101]

10 ways to eat fermented foods:

  1.  Sip on some bubbly kombucha (or... make a kombucha cocktail!)
  2.  Start your day with a Superhuman Breakfast
  3.  Order miso soup along side your sushi roll.
  4.  Top your salad pan seared tempeh.
  5.  Add kimchi on top of your stir fry or noodle bowl.
  6.  Snack on some raw pickles (either homemade or ones you find in the refrigerator section).
  7.  Upgrade your avocado toast with this recipe: Upgraded Avocado Toast.
  8. Try your hand at making beet kvass! It's SO easy, I promise, and GREAT for heartburn or indigestion. Here's a recipe: Homemade Beet Kvass.
  9.  Use unsweetened kefir instead of milk in your favorite overnight oats. Check out my recipes here: Overnight Oats OR Paleo Overnight No-Oats.
  10. Take a forkful of your favorite kraut or fermented veggie and stir it into any salad or bowl for an INSTANT flavor boost!

What is YOUR favorite way to eat fermented foods? Let me know in the comments below!!