As a Certified Nutrition Coach, it’s a question I hear all of the time: “But if I do just one thing for my diet/health, what should it be?” The answer might surprise you! Most people assume that the most beneficial thing they can do for their overall health is to decrease their sugar consumption. Let me tell you why that’s wrong.
Decreasing or eliminating refined sugar IS hugely beneficial for your body and your well-being. Here’s the problem: most people crave sugar because they are nutritionally deficient. That is, to say, they are missing out on certain vitamins and vital nutrients in the diet that cause them to crave sugar in the first place. In order to successfully wean yourself off of refined sugar and carbohydrates, it’s essential to replenish those vitamin and mineral stores. Otherwise, you will be in a constant battle of will power vs. cravings. And trust me, as a former sugar addict, I know from experience that that battle never ends well.
The very best way to replenish your deficiencies that I have found is through the addition of bone broth soup to your diet. That’s right! What you add IN to your diet is more important than what you leave out. As your nutritional stores increase, your sugar cravings will decrease. Really!
Homemade stock, be it chicken, beef, fish, etc., contains minerals that the body can easily absorb. These nutrients are in liquid form, so they require minimal digestion. Magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, silicon, sulphur, trace minerals, and more, can be found in this nutritious super food!
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, and www.westonprice.org list the following healing benefits of bone broth soup:
1. Bone broth builds strong bones. In the nutrition world, like supports like. So the nutrition from the bones and marrow in the animal will support your own bones, strengthening and fortifying them. Forget calcium supplements that are synthetic and not readily-absorbable by the body. The calcium/magnesium combination in broth is just as nature intended.
2. Bone broth nourishes the sick. It soothes sore throats, and delivers crucial nutrition when the body needs it most. On the rare occasion that someone in my household is sick, we consume nothing but bone broth until we get well. Usually, this greatly shortens the duration of illness.
3. Bone broth can help with arthritis and joint pain. Because of the natural chondroitin, sulphates, and glucosamine in the cartilage, the body can improve joint pains from degeneration with the right rebuilding tools.
4. Bone broth can speed workout recovery. Athletes who look for essential supplementation to compensate for the extra stress they put on their body through exercise need only add a mug of bone broth in to their daily routine. The vitamins and minerals, calcium and magnesium, and good fats are more complete than any supplement you’ll find at GNC.
5. Bone broth can heal the gut, making it an invaluable tool for improving seasonal allergies, mental health, digestion, and many other gut-health-related maladies. This is the most remarkable property of bone broth soup. I used to suffer from horrible Spring allergies: itchy eyes, runny nose, sinus headaches, sneezing. After six months of weekly batches of bone broth soup and diet modification, my allergies are completely gone. Since mental health is also a gut-level issue, bone broth soup can help those who suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, autism, and more. (If this topic greatly interests you, I encourage you to go to www.gapsdiet.com to do further research. We have clients with autistic children that have successfully weaned their kids off of their medication after following this diet plan.)
Want to know the best part about bone broth soup? It is so easy to make. Seriously. After hearing Sally Fallon speak at a nutrition seminar last December, I made it a priority to implement this simple staple into my diet. I was shocked at how little effort and preparation it took to make, and how good it actually tasted!
There are a number of different recipes out there. What I will do is provide you with my favorite. You can look up others online, or tweak mine to suit your personal tastes. I prefer chicken broth over beef or fish.
So each Sunday morning, I dig out my crock pot. You can make this on the stove, too, but since I am usually not home all day, I opt for the crock pot. This stuff needs a lot of cook time! In the crock pot, I toss the following:
-A whole chicken carcass (the more meat/skin left on the carcass, the more flavorful your broth will be)
-Celery, 10 cloves of garlic, an onion, and carrots (any or all of these veggies are optional; they will be removed from the broth at the end, but add flavor)
-2 tbsp high-quality apple cider vinegar (this is essential; it helps break down the nutrition in the bones as the broth cooks)
-Salt, pepper, turmeric, and/or any other spices/herbs that suit your fancy (ginger, thyme, parsley, and cayenne are some other favorites)
Cover all of the ingredients with water. I usually flip my crock pot on high until the water starts to boil, then turn it down to low. You could leave it on low the whole time and just cook it a bit longer. On the stove top I cook it a minimum of 7 hours. In the crock pot, I do 24 hours. The longer you cook it, the more flavorful it will be. If your broth tastes watery, you probably need to add more salt and/or less water.
Once it’s done cooking, I strain the broth out and dispose of the other ingredients. In the Winter, I use this stock as the base for a soup. I make soup at least once a week and eat on leftovers for lunches and even breakfast. In the Summer, I keep a container full of broth in the refrigerator and my husband and I heat up a mug in the morning or evening and drink it down!
If you want to improve your overall health, and the health of your family, the addition of bone broth soup takes a matter of about ten minutes a week. Since the vegetables get pulled out at the end, you don’t even have to spend a bunch of time slicing and dicing! This broth is also great as a base for gravies and reductions, if you are in to cooking. It adds flavor to anything you use it for.
So next time you roast up a chicken, save the bones! Nutritionally, they are the most important part.
Yours in Health,