Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Bone Collector

I've since written an addendum to this post, which can be found here

In my home I am jokingly referred to as "The Bone Collector".  

You see, a while back we stopped buying boneless skinless chicken breast for our meals, which is what we almost always ate.  We used to buy our organic chicken in bulk at Costco, which was almost always boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Then they switched to carrying Foster Farms as their brand of organic chicken.  And it was a unanimous decision in our home that we needed to find a new source for our organic chicken.  

We went to the health food stores near us--we have 3 large ones to choose from.  But the organic boneless skinless chicken breasts were outrageously expensive at these stores.  So we made the decision to start using other chicken parts.......this was a struggle for me at first, but I've gotten used to it & I have to say that it's so much better!  As they say, "hindsight is 20/20", & it's so true!!  Boneless skinless chicken breasts are so lacking flavor & they dry out so easily.  Now I do wish I could sometimes buy organic chicken breasts with bone in & skin on, but no one near me sells that, so I mostly buy bone in skin on chicken thighs or whole chickens.  And about once a week we eat a whole cornish hen as well.  

Not long after we started buying chicken with bones I realized I should be saving the bones.....for making broth.  So I started saving them in a bag in the freezer & when I get 1.5 pounds of bones I make broth.  It does seem to take us a while to get 1.5 pounds saved early November I was sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter, contemplating how I could get more bones.....and then it hit me that Thanksgiving was going to yield me a whole bunch of bones!!!  I was so excited when that revelation hit me!

It's now almost Christmas & I have just finished off the last of the turkey broth that I was able to make with turkey bones from Thanksgiving.  When I have bone broth on hand I drink a cup of it in the morning & I mix my Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides in it.  (When I don't have any bone broth on hand I drink a hot cup of tea instead, mixing the collagen into it.)  

There are so many health benefits from consuming home made bone broth--I could go on all day.  But the primary benefit I am most interested in is gut healing & wellness.  Like I said previously, if you have any issues with gluten you most likely have some gut damage that does need to be healed. 

So here's my recipe that I've devised for making bone broth.  I prefer to make it in my slow cooker.


6-8 Cups filtered water 
1.5 pounds bones
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 onion, halved
2 carrots, cut into thirds
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons sea salt or himalayan pink salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 bunch fresh parsley

*Place the water & vinegar & bones in the slower cooker & let it sit for 30 minutes or so (this step allows for more collagen to be pulled out, making for healthier broth)
*Turn the slow cooker on to "HIGH" for 2 hours
*Then add all the rest of the ingredients at this time, except for the parsley
*Cook on LOW for 12 hours OR on HIGH for 6 hours
*Turn off, add the parsley, cover, & let sit for 30 minutes
*Then strain well--I always pick out the veggies & bones with tongs & slotted spoon & then strain twice--a rough strain & then a fine strain.

I like to store mine in mason jars.  

Enjoy :) 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Using Collagen & Gelatin for gut healing

If you have gluten issues, no matter the cause (celiac, gluten sensitivity, allergy, etc), you probably have gut damage.  It can be challenging to heal.  Here is an amazing way to facilitate that healing that I have found.

I have absolutely fallen in <3 LOVE <3 with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides & Gelatin.

So here's the scoop:  these are both fabulous for healing your gut (& for lots of other things!! but we'll get to that later!  I promise!).  But if you do have gut issues you should really start with the Collagen Peptides first & once you are tolerating this well then you can use Gelatin.

Basically the Collagen Peptides are "cooked" or "predigested" Gelatin.  So it makes it easier to digest & it's gentler on the gut.

Personally I had to start with 1/8 teaspoon of Collagen Peptides each day.  And then I slowly worked my way up to the full scoop in the container, which is one heaping Tablespoon.  The full recommended amount is a scoop once or twice daily.

Once you can tolerate the full scoop of Collagen Peptides then feel free to use the Gelatin.  Personally I didn't have any issues tolerating the Gelatin after I had gradually worked my way into the Collagen Peptides.

These days I personally consume more of the Collagen Peptides, but my son consumes more of the Gelatin.  I have a scoop of Collagen Peptides every morning, in a mug of bone broth (if I have it on hand) or tea (if I don't have any bone broth on hand--note to self, must acquire MORE bones!!).  With lunch I usually take an empty capsule & fill it with Gelatin & take it as a pill, although it's not a full scoop I do still get some into me.  I sometimes get a second scoop of Collagen Peptides later in the day.

The Collagen Peptides dissolve very easily in hot liquids.  It can also be dissolved in cold liquids, but you need to add it slowly & mix it in well if it's cold.  Gelatin gels so it needs to be used a little differently than the Collagen Peptides.  You can put it in a drink, but you need to drink it quickly or else it will gel up.  I personally have some serious texture issues & jello has always been one that I cannot tolerate, so I have to be creative at finding ways to get it into my diet.  I'm still working on this.  And in the meantime I just consume Collagen Peptides instead, which is a fabulous option.

For my son I make home-made gummy bears.  He calls them "cubby buddies".  I also got a heart shaped mold.  So now he eats gummy bears & gummy hearts each morning.  I usually eat one or two of them, but I'm not a big "gummy" fan either.  And often he will go back for more during the day.  He loves them!!  And I love them because I can sneak other healthy stuff into them for him!  But that's a whole other blog post that I will be getting to!!  And as I find other ways to incorporate these great products I will be sharing in future blog posts as well.  :)

Personally I use & recommend Vital Proteins brand for these products.  They are made from pastured, grass fed & grass finished cows in Brazil.  The quality is amazing of these products.

Another bonus for using these as a protein source is that when you eat most other protein sources--namely animal meats--they contain tryptophan & cysteine.  These 2 amino acids can cause an inflammatory response in our bodies.  And inflammation, especially CHRONIC inflammation (even at low levels) can cause all sorts of health issues.  The Collagen Peptides & Gelatin do not contain those amino acids.  There is a full listing of the amino acids they do contain & the amounts they contain of each of them on the label.  I used to use a grass fed whey protein in a shake to get my protein but I honestly find this to be such a better protein source than even whey.  It's also totally fat free & very low calorie.

There are also other benefits--your hair, skin, & nails will love it too!  Not to mention your joints!

So if you have gut health issues or joint pain or are just looking for a good protein source--I highly recommend giving these a try!

I will definitely be sharing more about these wonderful products in future blog posts.

Just a final word to any vegetarians & vegans reading this: there is truly no vegetarian or vegan alternative for this.  Agar does gel like gelatin does, but it does not contain the same health benefits.  I've heard there are some fish collagen options out there, but I honestly don't know the quality of them or how they compare.  (fish is very questionable in my opinion, due to fukushima, pollution, & farmed fish)  I personally was a vegetarian for 10 years in my younger years & I was a vegan for about a year just a few years ago.  I personally did not benefit health-wise from following those diets, BUT we are all different--there isn't ONE perfect diet that works for all of us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Welcome to my new blog!!

This is sort of a spin-off from my Instagram account by the same name.

I do post on a wide variety of topics, as that is what truly reflects my own life.  But the majority will be about gluten free living & health related topics most likely.

I am looking forward to this new journey & I invite you to come along for the ride!!

Stay tuned for more blog posts.......