The Next Best Thing To A Fast --> The One-Ingredient Cleanse That Anyone Can Stomach
For the Love of Bone Broth...
Word on the street is that bone broth is the hippest thing since Ayahuasca - so what’s the deal, what’s so great about this uber cool variation on stock anyways?!
I’m about to give you the first-hand insider information on this new superfood (beverage?) - thanks to my fabulous crew of progressive Nutritionists at Meal Garden!
If you’re anything like me, you want to know exactly what it is, why it’s great (including the scientific evidence) + how to get your hands on some in the easiest, cheapest way possible - all without satisfying utmost quality of course!
Essentially, at it’s most basic level: yes, it’s simply the water from boiling bones in water and letting that water simmer for at least 24 hours - generally, the longer the better.
But it’s SO. MUCH. MORE. than just being the most boring soup recipe you’ve ever come across.
It’s healing food.
Culinary Nutrition Expert Kristine Peacock from Meals That Matter shares:
“Ah! I love bone broth! So healing for the gut, supportive for the immune system, and lubrication for joints, this powerhouse libation has been simmered for ages.
I always simmered my bone broth in the crockpot for 24 to 48 hours on low. When the bones literally crumble, you know all the minerals have been extracted and its good to go.”
Other tips: add a tablespoon or 2 of ACV to the water in order to draw out the minerals and nutrients from the bones. Skim the bubbles, but don't toss the fat or gelatin, that's where a lot of the magic is!”
On a more technical note, Andrea Caprio, Nutrition Coach at Wellness Methods states that it contains 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), as well as:
Minerals and Electrolytes
All this goodness means it’s a great choice for a less painful and more Hygge-inspired winter “detox”...because juice “cleanses” can often do more harm than good.
Laura DeSanctis from Go With Your Gut isn’t afraid to state that “Bone broth is THE CLEANSE for people that want a good gut!” She recommends bone broth to her clients that struggle with digestive issues such as IBS, Crohns and Colitis. The regime is simply a bone broth, taken straight for several days as a mono-meal to help soothe the digestive system whilst also being restorative. “It is much different than a juice cleanse,” Laura advises. “For someone like me with a sensitive gut, I can't do a juice cleanse. If you study Chinese medicine, you will find, warm beverages are found to help soothe the gut. Bone broth rich with minerals, will help do this.”
But what’s it really good for? Hygge.
It’s NOT miracle food people - because food alone don’t bring miracles...but mindful choices (+ sipping) just might!
My good friend and Naturopathic Doctor Salna Smith from Kale and Coffee sums up the hype perfectly:
“Oh bone broth! One of my fave uber nourishing foods in the winter.
If I have any particular 'take' on it, its that it's a wonderful adjunct to any diet - great for gut health, inflammation (and acidity - think joint pain, headaches, PMS) - who doesn't have inflammation of some sort these days?), immune health (take that old man winter!) and everything in between (hydration during/after stomach flus (a sip every 15 min), sipped as tea on a cold evening (how Hygge!), added to rice (as the water)/soups and stews to amp up their nutrition).
I haven't found it a 'cure-all' by any means but for a food that packs a nutrient-punch, I love it!”
So while bone broth may help with tummy upset, or simply make for a cozier evening in watching The Mindy Project...how do you get your hands on some - without the 24-48 turnaround time?!
Get yourself a grandma.
Okay, but in all seriousness, here are some options:
While I hate to label food as "good" or "bad", boxed or canned broth is simply...not the best...ever. Denise from FitTritious mentions “The store-bought variety contains sweeteners, thickeners, flours, starches, MSG, and artificial and natural flavors, GMO oils and other un-necessary ingredients.” You won’t die, but you probably won’t reap glorious feel-good vibes from it either, so if you must opt for a quick option…
Buy broth from your local butcher - often they’ll at least have stock fresh and ready-made in containers for quick sale. Stock is usually from chicken (it tastes better than beef anyways - well, that’s the consensus among every single one of the nutritionists I spoke with while researching for this post), and it’s a bit thicker and more gelatinous due to the extraction from simmering bones (vs. broth which always also involves meat). You’ll pay the premium for it being done for you, but if the craving for bone broth hits and you just don’t have 2 days to spare...your neighbourhood meat market is a great choice.
- Get a preservative-free bone broth powder. In all honesty, whilst I’m sure they’ll be some super hardcore wellness advocate who begs to differ with me on this one, I have yet to hear a good enough argument that an organic, locally made broth free of all antibiotics and no added hormones - all in a convenient powder form - should be classified as a sin. It’s hard to “Kiki-approve” shelf-stable items (I’m generally too picky to declare anything that comes in packaging to be as “whole-foods” enough for me to get behind), but I’ve been enjoying this bone broth from ORGANIKA and I’m not afraid to sing it’s praises! It tastes great and is SO easy. Literally boil water, stir it in, and BOOM: GRANDMA’S IN TOWN!!!
Of course, the real DIY-er will just want the recipe. And to you, my holistic health warriors - I salute you! There’s a fab & simple recipe on the Joyous Health blog here, which I often use myself. Just kidding, I use the powder or fork out the cash to have it done for me...BUT this recipe looks totally doable and delicious.
*PRO-TIP: Maybe this is incredibly obvious, but when I first heard of this “bone broth” thing (years ago...ahem ahem I’m ahead of the times people!) I figured you could just use bones that have already been cooked with. In other words, go to aunt's house for dinner → ask for the remnants. Besides that being mildly embarrassing for a variety of other reasons, it’s also NOT going to get you the nourishing healthful bone broth you’re intending. All of the “goodness” has essentially been cooked out of it already - hope you enjoyed your meal, that was the point. SO you’ll need to go buy “fresh” (uncooked) bones...another odd but apparently not so strange ask, especially since bone broth has become so trendy these days. Pop on over to your local butcher or even Whole Foods and ask for bones...to make...broth. They know the deal and will get you hooked up. It’s cheap too. Just set aside the time to do it. Here’s where meal planning is your best broke friend.
PS if you’re using it to quell hunger cravings on a “fast” - limit yourself to one or max 2 cups. Fasting isn’t fasting if you’re drowning in broth, with that said, feel free to load up on herbal teas, a few black coffees, and use digestive bitters to your advantage to work through hunger pains. Megan Ramos from the IDM clinic brought up on our past Fasting Retreat we hosted together, that if you do OD on bone broth on a “fast”, it’s not the end of the world and don’t beat yourself up over it! It can be a helpful stepping stone to acclimate yourself to the idea of fasting. I for one much prefer a bone broth “cleanse” vs. a “juice detox” as Laura also mentioned.
Last bonus tip: it’s a great base for my all star ingredient: Himalayan pink salt! The idea that salt is “bad” has basically been proven to be one big fat LIE and here’s why (thank you Dr. Mercola!) - just make sure you sprinkle the good stuff...i.e. the pink and pure variety, and enjoy!