Adventures in Homemade Bone Broth

I did a bone broth fast a few months back, with great results. (See my blog post about it HERE).  I’d heard bone broth helps heal the gut by providing a generous dose of gelatin and collagen along with minerals leached from the simmering bones.

Because I’m a busy working mom, I consumed store-bought chicken, beef, and turkey bone broth rather than making my own, that first time around.  The packaged broth tasted better when warmed and seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but it seemed a bit diluted and didn’t have much of that delicious golden fat swimming around the top. Nevertheless, I found it palatable and it definitely helped sooth my gut (and my aching back) when all was said and done.

With this experience fresh on my mind, I prepared a homemade beef bone broth to see for myself the difference between store-bought and homemade. I’m a high school teacher, so I happened to have a bit more free time this summer to give it a go. Following a recipe from my naturopathic physician, I purchased beef bones, leeks, onions, carrots, garlic, celery, and bay leaves (all organic, of course).

Following the directions, I put the vegetables into a large cast iron skillet and roasted them in the oven for about 50 minutes, giving them a nice golden-brown color and releasing delicious juices. I then scraped the bones, vegetables, and juices into a large pot of filtered water, added the bay leaves, and simmered them on my stove top for about 26 hours. The aroma was so wonderful, even my vegan daughter commented that it smelled good!

After cooling the broth I strained it and ladled it into large mason jars to store in the refrigerator. I didn’t fast this time, just simply added a cup or two of broth to my daily eating routine over the course of a week, and boy, what a difference! I warmed the broth and added salt, pepper, and garlic powder again and sipped it from a cup. Delicious!

The homemade version was definitely tastier, but because it was my first time preparing it, it felt a bit time consuming. I’ll have to practice a few more times to get it down to a point where I feel comfortable adding one more task to my already busy schedule, but I’m thinking it will be worth it. I like the idea of using a crock pot in the future, which will make smaller, though more convenient, batches of broth.

The store-bought versions were not as tasty, but definitely worked with my busy schedule. The ease and comfort of picking up a box or bottle of organic bone broth at the local market makes incorporating it into a hectic schedule a bit more doable. Packaged bone broths, even organic, can contain monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, and other chemical flavorings, so it’s important to carefully read labels and purchase for best ingredients rather than lowest price.

I’m excited to try making homemade chicken bone broth next, in the crock pot as I’m back to work in a week.  Experimenting with adding different vegetables, adding no vegetables (just bones), and playing with the amount of vinegar I add will definitely keep me occupied for quite a while! 

Get my recipe and bone broth fast instructions HERE.

Give it a shot yourself and let me know how it goes!


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The Benefits of Bone Broth. (2017, June 14). Retrieved July 26, 2017, from

The Best Store-Bought Broth. (2016, October 18). Retrieved July 26, 2017, from

Cinnamon Rolls and The Lessons They Teach Us

Ever heard of the Pareto Principle?

It’s a cause and effect theory first discovered by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1896. It states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Pareto stumbled onto this theory in his garden, noticing that 20% of his pea pods contained 80% of the peas.

What does this have to do with health and nutrition?

What we do when it comes to what we eat and how we move our body can definitely affect our health.

I’d like to suggest that the Pareto Principle is FLIPPED when it comes to health and nutrition.

Here’s how:

If we eat “well” 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time, our bodies adapt and we shouldn’t suffer too many ill effects of those indulgences. Although the 20% DOES count for a lot, the consistency of the 80% keeps us on the healthy path.

If we exercise 80% of our days and rest 20% of the time, we should be able to maintain a strong, healthy body. Taking some rest days will not diminish our strength, power, or endurance gains. In fact, research has shown that rest days actually ENHANCE our training gains.

If 80% of the time we get a decent night’s sleep, and 20% of the time we stay up late Netflix binging, our bodies will recover. Yes, it’s best to stay on a consistent sleep schedule, but life is fun and sometimes the fun doesn’t start until the kids are tucked away for the night.

You get what I’m saying?

So last weekend was Father’s Day, and the only thing my husband James wanted was homemade cinnamon rolls. Not the healthy kind I’m inclined to make (gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free). No. The delicious kind (gluten-full, sugar-full, and ooey-

Here’s a picture of the finished product. Don’t they look fabulous?

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Now here’s what I really want to talk about—THE GUILT.

How many of you would indulge in this delicious treat and then beat yourself up for it the rest of the day? The reality for many people I work with is that they feel “bad” or “weak” when they partake of delicious, unhealthy treats. It doesn't need to be that way.

Here’s the thing—If you eat clean, nutritious, healthy food 80% of the time it is okay to take a bite (or 20 as I did) of something not-so-healthy and “get away with it.”

No guilt. No despair. No, you didn’t ruin your diet. You didn’t undo what you’ve been working so hard for.

You gotta live a little, right?

You just can’t eat like that all the time. Father’s Day comes once a year, so the cinnamon-y and cream cheese-y goodness is okay once a year. (We actually do cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, so that’s twice a year). Once or twice a year won't kill you. It won't even effect you much at all. It's the daily "treats" that are our downfall.

We need to plan out our indulgences so we can make sure that 80% of the time we are making good choices. Birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries can be calendared in advance. Work parties, neighborhood BBQs, and other social events usually give a bit of notice, too.

Plan for them.

Calendar your activities so you can make sure you’re eating and exercising 80% of the time. Then relax and enjoy the other 20%. It’s simple.

The flip side of the Pareto Principle—the 80/20 rule—making sure you’re healthy AND happy for a long, long time. Even if you're a health nut like me.

****Oh, and before I go, I thought you might like the homemade cinnamon roll recipe. 

Yours in indulgence,