What Should I Eat: Bone Broth Part 1

Ok so I have finally written another “what should I eat?” blog. I know this one is over due. If you have read the others you know how much i love love love good food.

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Bone broth for breakfast!, Eggs, noodles, veggies, and yes bone broth.

This post is about one of my most favorite things…bone broth. And this is the time of year for it. So as you are going through your list of spring detoxes consider adding some bone broth to the menu of your self-care. One of the biggest differences between Oriental medicine and Conventional “diet therapy” is the strong belief that your food should be cooked. Slow cooked foods are seen as more nourishing versus raw food, juices, smoothies, and nutrients in pills. Bone broth is at the top of the charts. Bone broth is not a perfect food and is not suitable for some; I will go into greater detail in part 2.

So What is Bone Broth? Well, it’s medicine. Tang in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) means soup. It’s also the word used for herbal prescription/ decoction/ tea or broth. So bone broth is a decoction of bones, cartilage, marrow, minerals, and meat. Sounds gross till you realize what’s in the water is a bunch of stuff people pay a lot of money for. Also it makes your food taste really amazing! What this process is doing, with herbs, veggies, and most importantly bones, is removing the active chemical ingredients into the water by means of heat, time, and acid, making the nutrients immediately available to absorb. Furthermore, if you’re looking to get rid of salt and msg but not the flavor bone broth is your friend!

Crab broth that I used for gumbo. You can see some scraps that fell out during straining

Benefits of Bone Broth. Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals. Bone broth is a traditional remedy across cultures for the weak, old, very young, sick, and as preventative medicine. A classic folk treatment for colds and flu, it has also been used historically for ailments that affect the gastrointestinal tract, the joints, the skin, the lungs, fertility, the muscles, connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, and the blood. In other words, chicken soup really is good for you. Bone broth has a ton of health benefits (if you would like to read some of the science click here)

  • Nutrient Absorption
  • Supports Hair, Skin, Nails
  • Broth is an excellent source of several essential amino acids that are often difficult to get from diet alone: Proline, Glycine, Arginine, Glutamine
  • Gut and Immune Health
  • Inhibits Neutrophil Migration (helps fight and get rid of cold symptoms)
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Helps with dehydration and electrolyte depletion.
  • Improve Mood
  • Anti-aging
  • Cancer fighting
  • Arthritis and joint-pain relief
  • Cell-protecting
  • Can help alleviate diabetes and lower blood sugar; supports insulin regulation
  • Can improve sleep
  • Helps regulate bleeding from nosebleeds, heavy menstruation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and bladder hemorrhage
  • Helps normalize stomach acid, which is useful for colitis, celiac disease, ulcers, and other inflammatory gut condition

Can’t get that from a salad! So yeah, bone broth is really awesome and amazing medicine!

How Do You Make Bone Broth? It used to be that there was a pot always going on the hearth. In it went all the scraps from the day; the heals and peels of veggies, the leftover bones, shells from fish, etc. now we throw all that stuff away or pay for some to cut it off and throw it away. For example, fillet of fish and boneless skinless chicken breast. But that’s where all the good stuff is hiding.

A silkie chicken and herbs that are ready to be cooked

Basically to make bone broth you get water, bones or bony meat from any animal, animal scraps (trimmed off skin, fat, tendons etc.) a splash of vinegar, herbs or salt for flavor, set to boiling then reduce to simmer, forget about for at least 24 hours…abracadabra bone broth.

Really that’s it. Ok there are some other little basic things like strain it, store it, it’s a good idea to scrape that initial foam off the top blah blah blah. However, the bulk of what you need to know is pot, bones, water, vinegar, cook the heck out of it. Because I know that will just not fly for some of you here is a more actual “recipe.” I promise to put up some of my actual recipes for things like turkey necks, oxtail, fish tea, and foot soup in part 3. I say that but y’all should know I’m not a measuring kinda cook 😇

Recipe 

Chicken feet, Chinese dates, Ginger, Astragalus, Ganglia, Goji Berries simmering
  • 2 lbs. of bones from a good reputable source (not Walmart)
  • 2-4 inches of sliced ginger
  • onion
  • head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • any herbs seasonings or salt you desire. I love chinese dates, astragalus, and goji berries,
  • water to fill the large pot
  1. wash bones. an extra step is to brown them under the broiler. It gives a really excellent flavor. I almost never bother to do this.
  2. toss bones in a large pot and fill with water. set to boil. now I’m not really big into measure things. feel free to google online if you need more exacting instructions
  3. add remaining ingredients.
  4. once pot is up to a good boil reduce heat to a medium simmer. be on the lookout for foamy scuzz that will start floating to the top of your broth. scoop it out and toss it
  5. FORGET ABOUT THE BONE BROTH
  6. periodically make sure water is still in the pot. turn it down to low and cook for 24 to 48 hours
  7. let it cool, strain out bones herbs ginger and whatever else you got in there.
  8. extra steps include leaving in the fridge overnight. This allows for the fat to float to the top where it can be removed. careful only to remove the fat and not the top layer of gelatin. I generally only do this for beef or fatty bones, not poultry or fish.
  9. I store my broth in 1-quart freezer bags and pull them out as needed.

What to Do with Bone Broth? Where ever you would cook with water, bullion, or soup use bone broth instead.

  • rice, barley, quinoa, couscous and other grains
  • beans, lentils,
  • soups, stews, bakes, casseroles,
  • drink it by itself with a pinch of salt, lemon, fresh basil and or mint.

    Home made wonton in bone broth.  One of my absolute favorite foods!

Ok well that’s it for part one.Watch out for part 2 coming soon.

I’m Tenisha Dandridge LAc. Owner and operator of Everyone’s Place. Thanks for reading.

Eat Some Food

How are are your mornings? I’ve talked alot about different ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. I’ve not yet mentioned that you do actually have to feed your body. I mean real food every morning. I do not mean coffee and toast, bullets, smoothies, sugary bars, and or yogurt.

We live in a biomechanical electrical machine and it needs regular fueling. Many people skip out on this very important ritual in the morning. So give yourself the gift of an awesome breakfast. If you don’t know what to make check out one of my earlier entitled blogs What should I eat? Breakfast. Take the time to put some high octane fuel in the tank as a part of your perfect mornings. #getpokes

Read

What makes up your perfect morning? Have you ever thought about it? If you could wave a magic wand and you could carve out a few minutes just for you what would feed your soul? Besides more sleep that its. Try reading anything you  find really interesting. Random facebook post or other social media doesn’t count. Read an actual book, article, or magazine.

read-fantasyReading has some really cool effects on the brain including it reduces stress even better than music. YUP! It also enhances memory, gives you better focus and concentration, increases learning capacity, helps battle dementia, leads to you being more empathetic, and more. These effects are even better with an actual paper book as opposed to to a  digital screen. Further, when you read something exciting your brain lights up like its really having the experience right down to the physical motion.  Reading is one of the best exercises for your brain.

baby-readingGive your brain some love first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that your brain works better in the morning especially the older you get. Read something inspirational, motivating, daring, or anything you have a strong interest in. If you really want to delve in to nourish yourself mode combine your reading with a little soft background music, tea, sunbathing, a bath, aromatherapy, or whatever recharges your batteries. As always there is no right or wrong. It’s all about your perfect mornings. #getpoked

Bells, Bowls, and Gongs.

I love the energy and clarity I get after a perfect morning. If you don’t know I am super busy mother of a 6 year old that I homeschool, a new teething puppy that I’m potty training, and a business owner where I manage other people’s health and lives. Something goes wrong, gets lost, gets forgotten, and I’m always struggling to get everywhere on time: In short, my mornings are the definition of utter chaos. So this not a blog about just smile be happy and it will be alright. This is about finding a few minutes to give YOU a little love and nourishment before you swing at life’s many curve balls.

There are many ways to build up your Qi and reduce stress. Today’s topic is sound therapy. This is not quite the same as put on your favorite jams and shake your tailfeathers like your name Tina T. (Yes I’m old back off lol, and that post is coming) This is about the meditation and healing that  be achieved with resonance from bells, bowls, gongs and other instruments. This is not a bunch of new age JuJu either. Here is a great indepth article. Sound is used for in hospitals  before surgery, as a treatment for people in the autism spectrum,  and yes even in acupuncture and oriental medicine and more. I am trained in Acutonics, The use of tuning forks on acupuncture points and it is amazing.

Why sound? Ever heard the saying music soothes the savage beast? Sound is a motion, a wave of energy that moves through the air, water, and even solid structures (think how you can FEEL the music at a concert). We are energetic beings made up of a lot of water that these vibrations can move through. You don’t have to wait for a concert or your local neighborhood pin lady to get sound healing. Instead you can invest in your own piece of sound magic and make it a part of your perfect morning.

Singing bowls are my favorite and come in many different tones. Find a local shop and see if the sound makes you want to take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. Bells and gongs can be struck at intervals to help bring focus back to deep breathing and letting go of stray thoughts. Didgeridoo is one of the most grounding sounds I have ever encountered. A bit challenging to learn but you are forced to relax and take a deep breath in order to get a good sound from one. Find any “instrument” that has a lingering quality once a note is played.

Man this got long fast. Ok so quick note, yes there are plenty of other sound therapies out there like binaural beats, theta wave music, and chanting. Remember this is about your perfect morning and what works for you.

Moving Meditation

How are your mornings? A pefect morning should include steps to take care of body and the mind.  A great way to do this is with moving meditation. I’m one of those people who really like the benefits of meditation but the sitting can be more of a distraction. I’m allllllll about whatever works.

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What is moving meditation? Slow rhythmic physical movements and deep breathing. This of course has all the benefits of regular meditation including;

 

  • increased focus and calm,
  • reduction of stress and anxiety,
  • helps blood pressure and insomnia.

Moving meditation can have a profound effect on the body as well as the mind including decreased inflammation and pain. Moving meditation can also lead to increased;yoga

  • flexibility, balance, and agility
  • energy and stamina
  • cardiovascular capacity
  • muscle strength
  • joint health

So what are some examples of moving meditation? Yoga, tai qi (chi), qi gong, breath walking, certain types of dance… honestly you can make a moving meditation out of almost any can of activity you want. It only has to be rhythmic and breath centered. Breath centered means that you are focused on taking slow deep inhalations and exhalations. So give it a try in the morning. #getpoked

Standing Meditation 

Perfect mornings should have a relaxing and nurturing component. It’s hard on the body to wake up and rush off to life’s many demands and not give it daily TLC. An unusual way of doing this is standing meditation.

Standing still in a relaxed pose and breathing deeply is great for:

  • Increasing your energy
  • It can reduce low back pain
  • Improve posture
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improves core strength and tone
  • Improves balance
  • Increases bone density
  • Improves sleep quality,
  • Helps with body alignment
  • Tones the pelvic floor
  • Improves the mind-body connection

There are many different ways of doing this. My favorite is called horse stance. Now, if you really want a detailed description you can find many online like here and here. It’s always best to have someone show you that way you know where you might not be doing it correctly. Ultimately, I think with practice most people get it right one way or the other. Here is a quick description.

1. Place feet about shoulder’s width apart, toes pointed straight. Make sure your feet are making good solid contact with the floor.

2. Gently bend your knees as if you are about to sit down on a stool behind you.

3. Tuck your pelvis forward using your abdominal muscles. Aim the tail bone down to lengthen the low back and spine.

4. Stand straight, shoulders down not back. Don’t over elevate the chest.

5. Bring your palms together in prayer hand position in front of your chest. Be sure to keep the shoulders down. Note: there are many variations on arm position feel free to pick one that you like better.

6. Let the head rest naturally on the neck  as if suspended from a string in the ceiling. Tuck the chin down just slightly.

7. Put the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Breath as deeply as you can. Hold it for a few seconds then exhale very slowly. Repeat and hold this posture.

8. Do a mental rolodex of all previous steps because at first your body will not stay in that position. And you will know your doing it right when you have been holding it and you get a case of the shakes. Keep holding the posture.


Work your way up to 10 minutes a day or however long you have. The cool thing about horse stance is that you can do it anywhere at anytime and no equipment is needed.

Tea

Tea is awesome in the morning. White, green, black, red, puh-er, flower, herbal, heck hot lemon and water; doesn’t matter what kind of tea you like. Yes different teas have different qualities. Just pick one that you like and preferably without too much sugar. Tea is associated with China because the leaves used from Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub native to Asia. fresh tea.jpg

What you may not know is tea is the original prescription in Oriental Medicine. Tea or “tang” means decoction. Different herbs were gathered together in a recipe and tossed in according to their properties. There is a chemistry that happens when you allow things to steep in hot water. This chemistry  was the basis of Chinese herbal formulas. This is why a Chinese herbalist has to control an eye roll when we are asked what herb is best for….

So in your search for perfect mornings have some tea. Doesn’t matter what kind. Lucky for you tea has a ton of health benefits. Studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol, helps digestion, bring about mental alertness, and it has antimicrobial qualities. My favorite tea I make at home I call Juju. (cause its a little bit of magic in a cup). It’s made with fresh not dried ingredients. YES fresh ingredients, it makes a huge difference in flavor and medicinal property. In a stock pot (spaghetti pot) bring fresh water to a low boil toss in:

  • 2-3 inches of fresh ginger sliced
  • 1-2 chinese date
  • 1-2 whole pieces of astragalus

extra ingredient possibilities include:

  • fresh lemon grass (1 stalk)
  • garlic (for tea I like flowers and stalks use what you got)
  • dang gui (1 piece)
  • gou qi zi berries (small handful)

Bring this to a boil then simmer for at least 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add;

  • 1 cup fresh basil ripped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint ripped
  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice and peel
  • pinch of salt

Let the last ingredients sit in your tea for 3-5 and suck it down. If you are sick you can use bone broth instead of water. #getpoked

Talk to Old Friends

Let’s keep it short for this Monday morning. If you have to get up early try to make it pleasant by reaching out to old friends and family members. In this digital age humans are spending less and less time actually engaged with another human being. This can lead to issues with depression and anxiety.

Whether or not we like to admit it, humans are social creatures and we need human contact. Social media is separating us from the live energy transfer that happens when we connect with a living human instead of our digital device. Yeah energy transfer. Plants do it and so do humans. So this morning call and old friend or loved one. See if you can have coffee or lunch. Get reconnected and enjoy your morning. 

Make a List

The morning is a great time to use the old grey matter. The brain actually works a little better in the mornings. This is a great time to improve your day by making a list while the mind is at optimal performance. Lists are a great way to organize your day. They have the added bonus to allow you to see what you have accomplished.

 

I used to be so annoyed at making list. But as I’ve gotten older its becoming my best friend. I simply have to much to do. Without my lists I feel overwhelmed and non-productive. I can’t figure out what I did with my day. Or I’ll get home and realize I forgot to do something work a deadline.

 

Having a set list helps you to be more productive, focused, and less stressed. The less time you spend spinning your wheels in the morning the better. The very act of writing helps you to think about ways if tackling each entry. The list can be anything. My list today is a self care checklist; drop off paper work, high tail it to an acupuncture treatment, my favorite eyebrow place is near by, I have a massage scheduled, and then a tea meeting. What’s on your list?