Bone broth, or soup as I call it, is one of my favorite diet recommendations to give to patients. I have been recommending it for years and it is finally hitting the mainstream consciousness. One reason why I recommend this to so many people is that it is an easy way to add a lot of nutrition to any diet. It is also loaded with good fats, and is easy to digest, which makes it a perfect food to promote healthy weight loss.
My favorite way to make bone broth is the method I learned during my nutrition class in Chinese Medical School. You basically take a whole organic chicken and several slices of ginger and simmer these in water for 2-4 hours. At the end you need to cut up the meat and add any mushrooms or veggies you want and soy sauce for flavor, but that is pretty much it.
I try to make broth every week or two, and keep it in the refrigerator. Sometimes I use it as soup, but mostly I like to use it to replace water in cooking rice, steaming veggies, etc. I find that it adds good flavor to pretty much any recipe.
The importance of getting bones from non-toxic (organic or free range) animals is vital for good results from bone broth. This is true both for the taste and the nutritional value or the broth. These days I usually get the organic chicken from Costco, although I noticed that Trader Joe’s has these at a great price as well. I also like to simmer the organ meat that comes with these chickens when making soup as it adds to the overall nutrition of the soup.
The most complete resource on Bone Broth, that I know of, is the book, Nourishing Broth, by Sally Morell. (It’s available online at amazon.) This book is loaded with information on the health benefits of bone broth. Dr. Mercola also has a great article about bone broth including a couple of recipes which you can find here.
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Before writing this post I did a quick web search for news about weight loss, diet, and exercise. I was amazed by what I found. Here are the headlines from articles that are based on research that came out in the last three months: “Exercise is good…but it won’t help you lose weight“, “Exercise beats dieting for Weight Loss“, and “Diet and Exercise are not enough” Wow talk about confusing! No wonder people struggle with weight loss.
The truth is that all three of these headlines and articles are true, but need to be understood a little deeper.
The first article is making the point that no matter how much you exercise if you eat a diet full of sugar and other refined carbohydrates you will not lose weight. Unfortunately, this is exactly what comprises the standard American Diet (or SAD). As the author of the study says, “You cannot outrun a bad diet.” The authors also correctly conclude that a diet high in fat and low in sugar and carbs is best for weight loss. Let me repeat that; a high fat diet, low carb diet is best for weight loss.
The next headline, “Exercise beats Dieting for Weight Loss”, is talking about data that shows that as people age they usually become less physically active. Most Americans do not reduce their food intake so this inactivity seems to lead to weight gain. The conclusion that if you don’t exercise you will tend to put on unhealthy weight (such as increased BMI and waist size) is correct, but by not explaining WHY this happens this article misses something very important. Guess what else changes as we age, our hormones. And are hormone levels affected by exercise? You bet! So the actual mechanism for this weight gain is that as hormone levels go down unhealthy weight goes up.
Now the third headline makes sense. The authors of this study conclude that Diet and Exercise are not enough because there seems to be a “biological cause” that limits the effectiveness of diet and exercise in some individuals. Hormone imbalance is the biological factor that can make weigh loss very stubborn. One of the most common hormones that can be out of balance and lead to difficulty losing weight is Thyroid hormones. The stress hormone cortisol is another.
So to lose weight you do have to eat well, exercise regularly AND have healthy, balanced hormones.
If you have questions about Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, or if you have struggled with weight loss and want to see if your hormones might be the reason why, visit us at Orlando Acupuncture.com