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When you give up sugar and the cravings stop, you no longer find yourself wasting time thinking about food/planning your next meal even though you just ate/worrying about how fast your friend will serve up dinner at her party because you are STARVING.

Giving up sugar frees soooo much of your headspace, trust me.

Since I’ve been sugar-free, I’ve been free to work on my other issues around food.  I’m more aware of why I’m eating, and am now better able to stop myself from comfort eating when I’m stressed or upset.  I’ve successfully worked on how I’m eating for the last few years – usually sitting down at the table, no distractions (other than D or Eloise; that’s allowed), and I take my time and try to savour what I’m eating.  Now days, I get very resentful if I have to eat and run.

Since the cravings ceased, I feel better equipped to look at what I’m eating – besides the whole no sugar thing.

I’ve been eating fewer carbs for a couple of weeks now, and that’s made a huge difference to how well I’m eating.  When you are sugar-free and low carb, there are only so many things you can snack on.  Previously, I thought I was eating a good amount of veges, but now our fridge (and my plate) resembles a market garden. The funny thing is, I love it!  I am relishing all those vegetables.

Since reading Nourishing Traditions, I’ve gotten into making broths.  I’d made my own before, but never really appreciated just how important they are to our diet.  There’s a reason that chicken soup comes high on our list of sickness remedies.  Broths have some amazing health benefits.  Your great-grandma would have made them all the time, but today they have been lost in our world of fast-cooking convenience.  Well, the western world anyway.  Go to Asia – they often start their day with a cup of broth.

I believe bone broths are so important that the other day I went to a workshop on how to make them.

broth

You may scoff, what’s so hard about chucking some vegetables and bones in a pot of water?  Well, scoff no more, my friend.

The workshop was run by Nicola Cranfield from the Brooklyn Kitchen.  Nicola is passionate about helping people heal themselves with good nutrition.  If you have food sensitivities and live in Wellington, I strongly suggest you check her out.

Nicola says that bone broths are rich in nutrients, and are very easy for our bodies to assimilate.  They are rich in minerals, gelatin, glycine and proline – which aid digestion, help seal the gut, calm and detoxify you.

Here’s Nicola’s tips on making the most out of your broth:

  • Find the best bones you can!  Everything that animal ate, how it lived and where it lived will factor into the health benefits of your broth.  Choose organic, grass fed, free-range animal bones where possible.
  • Use the best possible water.  Tap water may compromise the health benefits of the broth.  In New Zealand much of our tap water is fluoridated and chlorinated.  Use filtered water if you can, or leave a pot of water out overnight to remove the chlorine.
  • Choose a variety of bones.  Long bones contain yellow marrow where fat is stored.  Flat bones (e.g. hipbones, ribs) contain red marrow which has myeloid stem cells.  These cells can help build strength and immunity.
  • Cut the bones into small pieces as it allows more of the marrow to become part of the broth.
  • Add some acid (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice) to release more minerals from the bones.
  • Use the best veges you can.  Don’t throw in anything that looks like it’s on its last legs.  Cut the veges into big, chunky pieces and DON’T PEEL THEM – even onions can go in with their skins on.
  • Cook long and slow – aim for a rolling simmer.  Boiling at high temperatures may affect the amino acids in the broth, and destroy the gelatin.
  • Skim if necessary to remove any impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Chicken bones can cook for 6-48 hours, beef bones for 12-72 hours.
  • Nicola even recommends making a second lot (or more if you’re really keen) of broth from the bones once you’re done.   Simply add new veges.  It won’t be as flavourful, but it will still have lots of nutrients.
  • If making fish stock, include the head of the fish.  Fish heads contain the thyroid gland of the fish, which is great for hypothyroid people like me.
  • Don’t add salt.  Just don’t, ok?

Ok, so now you have your broth – what should you do with it?

  • Use it in soups, risotto, casseroles and laksa.
  • Cook your veges or grains in it.  Nicola swears that cabbage in broth is delicious.  I wonder if it would make Brussel sprouts more attractive to me?
  • Use it as a reduction sauce by reducing it.
  • Use it as gravy – just thicken with flour.
  • Use it as tea.  Broth is very calming so it is a great way to start or finish your day.
  • Use it as an entre to your meal.  Many cultures have a cup of broth before the main course to aid digestion.

I have a pot at the ready to make me some broth.  And the first customer for my broth will be Eloise.  It may help her grow even taller, if that’s humanly possible…

So come on, let’s get bone shopping!

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