Talk about Bone Broth

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I posted this picture of bone-broth cooling on Facebook and got too  many questions to answer. My husband has been drinking bone broth daily for a few months and has subsequently cut his ibuprofen intake in half (he has been an ibuprofen junkie–for joint pain–for decades). This makes his doctor very happy. And his liver must be happier.

First is bone broth just a frou frou name for stock? I honestly don’t know, but the people instructing me call it bone broth, so I do too.

One other observation. Our attitude toward alternative therapies begins with the question Will it hurt to try this?  If we conclude that the risk is either nonexistent or very low, we’re open to experimentation. Often, it seems, food (the absence of harmful, the addition of helpful) can be the cure for many of our miseries.

There are many recipes on the webs for stock/bone broth. You can make it on the stove top, in a crock pot, or (my preference) in a pressure cooker. I bought the Instant Pot that has seven functions in one appliance. It cost less than I would pay for one appointment with a physician, so that was a no-brainer. As a bonus, it cooks rice beautifully, makes stews in no time at all, can be used as a slow cooker, etc. etc. etc. I have ZERO buyer’s remorse about this purchase. (If you decide to buy and click on my link, you help support this blog, ahem. Thankyou, she whispers.)


My daughter-in-law turned me on to Danielle Walker; her video is very easy to follow.


If you want a book in your hand, I recommend Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel’s Nourishing Broth. Dr. Daniel also has many videos on YouTube.


Some practical tips. Whenever we shop at Costco we buy a rotisserie chicken. We save the bones (leg, thigh, wing, carcass). I throw them in the pot with chopped onion, celery and carrot, add a few bay leaves, some salt and pepper and a tiny glug of apple cider vinegar.

I set the cooker for 90 minutes. It takes ~ 1/2 hour to get the pressure up and at least 1/2 hour for the pressure to decrease. What I love about this pot is that it will keep the broth warm for up to 10 hours. So I can safely let it go overnight. I strain the broth and pour it into pint jars, mark the date, and stick them in the freezer. We warm up the broth before we drink it. I use it as a base for soups, sauces, and so on.

I’ve used ham, turkey and beef bones. Bones, unfortunately, are not what I would consider low cost. I would consider $0.50/lb. low cost. Yeah, well. So I try to buy bone-in meats. We recently helped our kids butcher home-grown chickens on their mini-farm. I clamored for the chicken feet. They made the best broth, evah!!   I have a great photo of the chicken feet (guy, they look like hands), but when I posted it on Facebook, it sent a few friends into therapy.

That’s my story! I’d love to hear your responses.

I Know, Let’s Talk About Hormones

 

Ah, you know…hormones. At my age, I hear this all the time. I say it myself. It’s the reason we are hot, the reason we are cold, the reason we are wet, the reason we are dry, the reason we can’t sleep, the reason we can’t wake up.  Many women my age feel like a hostage to hormones.

If you need to take back your body, you will find much to consider in this book. Stanton addresses diet, exercise, stress, supplements, and, most importantly, bioidentical hormones. The book’s design and writing is about as exciting as a Wikipedia article. But the content is helpful.

Bioidentical? Huh? This neologism describes a “hormone [which] is exactly the same as a hormone made by our bodies.”  This is different from conventional hormone replacement therapy.

And we have just tripped off the path of traditional medicine onto the scenic bypass of alternative medicine. In other words, (lean close to me so I can whisper) the FDA hasn’t approved bioidentical hormones.

Yes, there is controversy. Google “bioidentical hormones” and you will dance your way into the debate.

 

May I tell you my story? Purely anecdotal evidence, but it’s my anecdote. 

I’m not a physician, but I’m a pretty good reader. When the hot/cold/wet/dry problems began—roughly seven years ago—, my most pressing problem was an utterly deflated outlook on life. I woke up, took a shower, and wanted nothing more than to go back to bed.  Stanton discusses this in a section delightfully titled NOT YOUR MOTHER’S MENOPAUSE. 

Initially, many women notice they have less energy or zest for life.
They don’t get as excited about things that should matter,
or just don’t have the energy to do things they used to enjoy.
One day follows another, but none of them brings much joy.
They might notice themselves getting irritable or exploding
for reasons that, in retrospect, seem ridiculous.

 

My respoonse to problems is to read. Shoot, my approach to life is to read. I looked through the lenses of both traditional and alternative medicine, searching for some sense. Across the spectrum, three words flashed: diet and exercise. No one argued with basic stuff like drinking more water and taking a walk. And I firmly believe that so many problems we blame hormones for can be corrected with real food and real movement.

I work for a compounding pharmacy; I am an accountant and cannot pronounce the drug names. But, we have a library of books and CDs (where I got Hormone Harmony) that we lend out to physicians and customers. I took John Lee’s What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. When I read parts aloud to my husband, he dismissed it as rubbish. But one Sunday afternoon, we listened to Dr. Lee speak and his words filled us with hope.  “Let’s do this,” Curt said, although all the “doing” was mine. So I began using an over-the-counter bioidentical progesterone cream. 

Because of my symptoms, my doctor had urged surgery as a solution. Well. He hadn’t urged surgery, but I’ve been longing to pair up that delicious pair of words. The big H. Take it out and be done with it. It made sense to everyone but me. I acknowledge that I have issues: my mom died immediately after a minor gynecological surgery. I wasn’t hysterical, but I refused to consent to a hysterectomy, to use another phrase I’ve tasted these many years.

It wasn’t a shazam! solution, but I made progress with progesterone. I knew my OB/GYN would raise his eyebrows when I disclosed this bit of information. “I think you are wasting your money,” were his words. I decided to push back. “Are you telling me not to use bioidentical hormones? Because I want full cooperation between us; if you say to stop I will either stop or I’ll find a different doctor.”  I respected him and don’t believe in doing stuff—medically speaking—behind my physician’s back. He shrugged and relented.

After a few years, I did my own experiment. I stopped the progesterone. The hot/cold/wet/dry symptoms came right back. That convinced me, and I continue on, with over the counter progesterone (which doesn’t require an RX to buy). Ideally, one should take a $150 saliva test that tells exactly what your hormone levels are. A physician or nurse practitioner uses that data to prescribed an individually formulated compound prescription for you.

If you are curious, click on the link above and use the Look Inside! feature. If you type “frequently” in the search, you’ll be able to read a large part of the the FAQs.