Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wellness Wednesday: Bone Broth

We have had a round of less than well over here at the Prince House.  Nobody had it severely.  Nothing lasted too long.  BUT, everyone had after the other.  It made for a whole lot of living room sitting, baby carrying, butt wiping days, all in a row.

Here's what I tried to remind myself through these few weeks.

1.  You can do things 'right' (eat good food, get rest, supplement your diet, have good hygiene, etc) and still get sick.

2.  Sick means short term inconvenience, but long term benefit.  Growing an immune system means USING that immune system.  Truly healthy means that sometimes you run a fever and vomit out the bad stuff!

3.  Our bodies are smart.  Need for rest, increased thirst during a fever...these things happen without any help from a momma when a little body is fighting a bug.  It's really remarkable to watch.

Now that things are back to 'normal' around here, I am in rebuilding mode!  Rebuild their gut health, rebuild their hydration!  We eat yogurt and drink kefir.  We drink a ton of water or herbal tea (the kids love orange!).  We (mostly) stay away from sugar and any processed food.

One thing I love for healing your gut is broth.  Homemade broth made with quality ingredients is one of the best ways to replenish nutrients and heal your gut.  It is a mineral rich and nutrient dense food.

For you science minded friends, The Paleo Mom explains the benefits of two of the amino acids found in bone broth:

“In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.  It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.  Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.”
The quaility and taste of homemade versus canned is pretty evident in a picture:
Homemade on the left, Whole Foods Organic Stock on the right

Here's how I made it:

1.5 - 2 pounds of chicken bones (I save these over time and keep them in the freezer)
1 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 T salt

Put bones and 1 gallon of water in to a large stock pot.  Add apple cider vinegar and let sit for 20-30 minutes (this helps to break down the bones).  Add the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Add the salt and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover.  I let this then simmer on the stovetop for 24 hours.  For the first few hours, you should skim and discard any 'suds' that gather on the top.  After that, you can completely neglect it until the next day!

When it's finished, I let it cool for about an hour.  Then I strain it into a second stock pot.  Next, I pour through some cheese cloth to fill my mason jars.  I keep mine in the fridge and use within 5-7 days.  You can of course freeze it at this point.

We sip it, straight up.  I make chicken and vegetable soup with it.  I use it to make rice or quinoa.  Go crazy!