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!

 

Why I'm not eating salads...

You are never going to guess what my acupuncturist told me NOT to eat.

SALADS.

Yup. I'm not supposed to be eating the "healthiest" food out there.

Let me explain...

I spent the last few weeks out in California. It was my little escape from NYC winter and it was lovely! I soaked up the sun, ate ALL the fresh produce and really made an effort to take care of myself (not drinking much caffeine or alcohol, sleeping plenty and exercising regularly).

So I was shocked when, at the end of my trip, I started to get sick.

I never get sick!!! What was going on?

I did EVERYTHING to fight off this illness. I ate ALL the immune boosting foods, I took my sickness-fighting supplements and I let myself rest.

I didn't get better. My head felt like it was under water, I was tired and achy and SO BLOATED. Not just my belly, but my whole body felt puffy. After a few days of this, I decided I needed some outside help so I got a recommendation for a local acupuncturist and booked an appointment.

I love going to acupuncture because I feel like it's a great mix of traditional and holistic medicine. The acupuncturist asked me a whole slew of questions (do you drink coffee? what are your stress levels? what's your diet like? do your hands get cold easily?) and he also took my pulse and looked at my nails and tongue (which supposedly show a LOT about your overall health).

His conclusion? I wasn't sick, but my body was working too hard trying to digest all the raw (and oh so lovely and beautiful) foods that I was eating. Because approximately 80% of our immune systems are located in our guts, when something is off with our digestion we can show signs of sickness, even if we haven't got a cold or flu.

So, the very next day I switched from salads to stir fry and soups and other cooked foods. And guess what? I pretty much IMMEDIATELY felt better.

I wanted to share this story for two reasons:

1) Sometimes we need to ask for help. I'm a health coach and very in tune with my body, but that doesn't mean I ALWAYS have the answers. Sometimes it's easier for an outsider to see the situation as it is and point something out that we ourselves have missed.

2) You don't have to eat salads to be healthy!! This is still one of the biggest health myths out there - that raw salads are the only way to beat belly bloat, feel super energized and be your healthiest self. While raw veggies are WONDERFUL, they are not the only option, nor the best option for everyone. In fact, if you struggle from digestive issues like IBS (like me) consuming more cooked foods may help you tremendously.

Here are a few ways to still get your VEG on sans salad:

  • Warm 'em up - Did you know that you can heat up salad greens? Some hold up better than others but you can do a quick saute with pretty much ANY green.
  • Add 'em in - Stir greens into your soups and stir frys. LOTS and lots and lots of them.
  • Get blendy! I'm a huge fan of blender soups like this one.


Click the photos for cooked food recipes!

Do you eat a lot of raw veggies or mostly cooked ones? Do you notice one or the other is more easily digested? I'd love to hear from you.

Spicy Citrus Tea

Tummy feeling off? Or just need something to bust through the after-dinner sweet cravings? This is the tea for you. The brightness of the citrus paired with the spiciness of the ginger and cayenne both calms belly discomfort AND sugar cravings. I like it as is, but feel free to add 1-2 tsp of raw local honey if it's a little too strong for you :)

Spicy Citrus Tea // vegan, gluten free, paleo, sugar free

Ingredients:

- 1/2 lemon, sliced

- 1/2 orange, sliced

- 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced

- generous pinch of cayenne (optional, but great for your digestion and immune system!)

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small pot and cover with 2-3 cups of filtered water.
  2. Let simmer over medium high heat for about 10 minutes (you can let it go longer for a more concentrated flavor).
  3. Pour into a mug and ENJOY!

Take excellent care of yourself

Welcome to Part III of my Immunity Guide! If you are just tuning in - I'm teaching you all my top tips and recipes so that you don't get sick this year. You're welcome ;)

In case you missed it, here are parts I and II:
- Foods and spices to eat for immunity
- Supplements and essential oils to use for immunity

I didn't know exactly what to call today's email since I'm going to cover a little bit of everything else: the self-care practices and daily habits that I focus on to keep my immune system functioning in tip-top form. These also work if you feel yourself starting to come down with something and want to fight it off naturally.

Alright, let's get right to it. Here's what you want to focus on:

- SLEEP - Okay this seems so obvious but I had to include it because sleep is the #1 thing you can do to stay healthy. For real. Sleep is ESSENTIAL always but especially if you feel you are fighting off something. It's your bodies time to rest and repair, and that includes your immune system. So how much sleep do you need? It depends but suggest getting to bed by 10/10:30PM. Your deeper, more restorative sleep occurs earlier in the night so the earlier you can get to sleep, the better! Read more on that here.

- DRINK - Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. I've said it before - water is detoxifying. Imagine this fresh water flushing out the pipes, carrying any gunk in your system out. Herbal tea and kombucha are work great too, but you definitely want most of what you are drinking to be pure H20.  

REST - Different from sleep, rest or "quiet time" is just as important. See what you can clear from your evenings during the week, let yourself have a slower, calmer weekend morning instead of rushing off to yoga or a brunch. Your body will thank you!

- SWEAT - This is a little controversial and depends on how you feel. No, I don't recommend running a marathon, but yes, some gentle hot yoga or a short jog (or walk!) may help get things moving and cleared out. Ultimately you will have to make the call based on how you feel.

- BUNDLE UP - Whether you feel cold or not, bundle up! Your neck, ankles/feet and wrists are the most important areas to keep covered. Wear big fuzzy socks and a scarf around the house, and definitely when you go out. Have a pair of gloves already stashed in your jacket pockets so they are handy (ha ha!) whenever you need them.

- VISUALIZE - See yourself getting better, stronger, healthier. Imagine all that water that you are drinking flushing the germs outta your bod. I know, sounds a little out there, but it works!!

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Now for your homework this week: think healthy thoughts! Really - I know that there is a lot going on this week and this month, but ultimately you gotta take care of YOU before anything or anyone else. So take two minutes when you wake up to think about how your will prioritize YOU that day. Maybe one day your goal is to try a new immune boosting food (kombucha! bone broth! ginger tea!) and maybe another day all you can focus on is making sure you don't leave the house without a hat and scarf. Even if these things don't happen all of the time, the fact that you are thinking about them is a great start.

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? I think you would love this post where I share a whole lot more ideas on how to take excellent care of yourself: A long list of self care ideas

Supplements + essential oils for immunity

Welcome to Part II of my Immunity Guide! In this three part series I'm going to be teaching you my top immunity tips and recipes so that you don't get sick this season. Yes, that's totally possible. 

In case you missed it, last week I shared the foods and spices you'll want to eat to naturally boost your immune system.

Today we will dive into the supplements and essential oils I recommend to my clients specifically to boost immunity. I consider this list my "natural medicine cabinet" and it's what I keep on hand both to prevent myself from getting sick AND to ward off illness if I do feel I'm coming down with something.

Let's get to it!

Take these supplements boost your immune system:

- Probiotic - Did you know that 80% of your immune system is actually located in your digestive tract? Yup! In addition to eating fermented foods, I recommend taking a probiotic (especially this time of year) to build up the good bacteria in your gut. Like with your fermented foods, you want to vary your probiotic sources because each brand has a slightly different combination of bacteria. Here are a few brands I recommend: Prescript Assist, Garden of Life, and Enzymedica
- Vitamin D - Studies show that with adequate blood levels of Vitamin D it is possible to prevent any and all infections. The trouble is that for most of us it is nearly impossible for our bodies to produce sufficient vitamin D from exposure to sunlight alone, which is why supplementation is important. I suggest taking a liquid supplement, like this one, with your breakfast in the AM.
- Echinacea - Echinacea is a powerful herb that has been used for thousands of years as a natural and effective cold and flu preventer. I bring in this one when I feel myself starting to come down with something or if I've been around someone who is sick. 
- Olive leaf extract - A 100% natural herbal antibacterial/antiviral supplement that won't mess with your stomach (as many supplements can, see note on Vitamin C below). Again, this one I use if I feel a little drained, like my body is fighting off something. 
- Vitamin C - 1000 mg or more of Vitamin C daily has anti-viral and immune enhancing effects (just be careful not to take TOO much as it can cause digestive upset and diarrhea). You can totally take Vitamin C daily this time of year for extra "health insurance" <<< hehehe :) 
 

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Use these essential oils that boost your immune system:

- OnGuard - doTERRA's signature "protective" blend, onGuard is my favorite immunity oil. I rub a drop between my hands and breathe it in while traveling and diffuse in my apartment regularly. It smells amazing because it's a blend with cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus, among other things. Also, of you have a sore throat you can put a drop of this oil in hot water for a soothing, yummy tea, or gargle with it. 
- Lemon - Lemon is detoxifying and cleansing which means it helps your body eliminate any yuck it comes into contact with. I love adding a drop to my morning water
- Breathe - If you are congested or have the sniffles, this oil is for you! Breathe is another doTERRA blend which (as you can probably deduce from the name) helps promote breathing. You can rub a drop on your chest or diffuse at night (when congestion often makes it hard to sleep).
- Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus oil helps open up the nasal passages so that you can breathe deeply. It's invigorating, so I prefer to use this one during the day - rub a drop between your hands and breathe it in, or place a few drops in your shower for a spa-like experience.
- Oregano - Oregano is one of the most potent and powerful essential oils and has been used for centuries for its cleansing and immune-boosting properties. I save this oil for when I feel myself coming down with something. It's VERY strong (and sort of tastes like liquid pizza) so I'll place a drop in a small glass of water and CHUG. I'll repeat this 2-3 times per day until I feel better. Works like a charm every time. 

Click here to purchase essential oils.

Note: I only recommend the doTERRA certified therapeutic grade essential oils. These oils are triple tested for purity and are the highest quality out there (which is super important if you are going to be ingesting them as per my recommendations above). 

Purchasing more than 1 or 2 oils? Open a wholesale account to save 25% on this and all future purchases - hit reply to this email for details and instructions!


Like with the foods and spices list, this list is by no means exhaustive - I'm constantly researching the best holistic remedies and new products, which I always share as soon as I've tested them! However, I do hope that with this list you feel like you have a great start to building your own natural medicine cabinet. 

Now for your homework for this week - choose ONE of these supplements or oils to add into your daily routine. And then let me know which one (or ones!) you are trying out in the comments below - I can't wait to hear from you!