Healthy Household: The Healing Power of Ketogenic Bone Broth

This post is dedicated to all the brave people suffering from neurological disorders and their families and caregivers struggling for solutions.

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Ketogenic Bone Broth starts with a quality homemade bone broth. A sign of quality bone broth is a jelly-like texture when refrigerated.

Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A Price Foundation states that bone broth is:
“A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life?so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.”

Over the years, I have learned how true these words are. I first started using bone broth as a way to be frugal. Bone broth was a way to use parts of the animal normally discarded in modern households. I quickly learned that bone broth was an amazing addition to soups, stews and sauces. It was much later that I realized the health giving quality of bone broth.

Ketogenic Bone Broth is a nourishing drink for the sick or injured. It’s a great way to get more coconut oil into the diet of a sick person. Ketogenic Bone Broth can be used during a modified fast or during every-other-day fasting for weight loss. It can be used as a coffee substitute or as a way to reduce coffee intake. In the case of neurological problems, Ketogenic Bone Broth may slow cognitive decline.

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Add the best quality ingredients you can find. If possible freshly grate the turmeric root and use a finely creamed coconut. Make your own mushroom powder; see the link below for the recipe.

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Turmeric root will turn the bone broth yellow and the added fats will make this a very nourishing broth. Fresh turmeric gives the broth a rich, complex flavor.

Ketogenic Bone Broth
2c homemade bone broth
1tsp organic turmeric root, finely grated
1tsp organic creamed coconut
1tsp homemade mushroom broth (optional)
1-3tsp organic butter, organic coconut oil, or medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oil
sea salt and freshly ground organic black peppercorn to taste (optional)

In a sauce pan warm the bone broth. Add the freshly grated turmeric root, mushroom broth and creamed coconut. (In a pinch, use dried organic turmeric powder but the fresh turmeric has a richer, complex flavor.) Bring to a light simmer. Add the butter, coconut or MCT oil just before serving. Add the sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns, if desired. Putting the Ketogenic Bone Broth in a stainless steel travel mug will keep the broth hot longer making sipping the broth more pleasant.

In the case of someone with neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s Disease replace the coconut oil with medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oil. Presently, there are clinical trials using two tablespoons of MCT oil each day with Alzheimer’s patients. The results seem promising. If you would like to read more information about dietary treatments for Alzheimer’s disease please read Type 3 Diabetes: Metabolic Causes of Alzheimer?s Disease.

If you would like to learn more about the science of bone broth please read Broth is Beautiful and the Healing Powers of Bone Broth. If you are wondering why fresh turmeric root is being added to the bone broth, please read about this secret golden synergy: 10 Turmeric Benefits Superior to Medication and Two Ancient Superfoods Join Forces.

“Bone broth is rich in protein, collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin and key minerals often missing in the diet. These vital nutrients support a wide range of health benefits and body systems including: gut and immune system, joints and lean muscle mass, skin, hair, nails, metabolism and a healthy weight.”
Dr Josh Axe

A stainless steel travel mug will keep the broth hot longer making sipping the broth more pleasant. A go anywhere drink!

A stainless steel travel mug will keep the broth hot longer making sipping the broth more pleasant. A go-anywhere drink!

For more recipes please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely.

Healthy Household: Vitex Extract and Endocrine Health

“High cortisol is the single most common hormonal problem I see in my practice, and high cortisol with low estrogen and/or progesterone is another common combination… Low sex hormones are inextricably linked to the prevalence of stress in the lives of modern women, and we know that the stress begins early.”
The Hormone Cure by Dr Sara Gottfried

Endocrine health is a complex topic and beyond the scope of this website. After addressing problems with our modern industrial diet, some of the most complex and troublesome problems we face as women can come from a dysfunctional endocrine system. A nourishing traditional diet is essential for healing endocrine problems, but years of abuse can require some additional help from the plant world. Unfortunately, there is no one remedy for everyone.

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Making Vitex Extract is very easy but takes a bit of time. It is a good endocrine tonic for women but only works if your cortisol is not too high or not too low… but just right!

Unlike men, women’s bodies must ride the ebb and flow of monthly cycles. In the history of herbalism, there have been some plants that have helped women ride these cycles and make life transitions a bit easier. Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) is just one plant that has been used for a long time. It works as a tonic or adaptogen, helping the woman’s system find its own balance:

  1. Vitex works primarily on the pituitary in a top-down fashion. This is why the plant can help with so many different types of endocrine problems.
  2. Vitex usually has the effect of enhancing progesterone and decreasing estrogen levels. But this is not always the case with all women.
  3. Vitex nourishes and supports the endocrine system. It helps the endocrine system find its own balance. Vitex does not have any hormonal building blocks like many medicinal plants used to help restore reproductive health.
  4. Vitex is slow acting. A woman will need to take the plant for 3 cycles for the plant to start doing its work.
  5. Vitex is not for men. It can cause testicular atrophy, impotence, and loss of desire. Traditionally, it was secretly used by wives dealing with their husbands’ infidelity. I wouldn’t recommend this traditional use of the plant, but instead the modern tool of divorce!

Almost all of the symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle can be treated with this plant. For the young woman, Vitex can treat many of the symptoms of PMS such as: cramping, flooding, headaches, depression, water retention, constipation, acne, breast tenderness, and irritability. For the woman looking to conceive, Vitex enhances the chances of ovulation. If a woman is prone to miscarriage during the first trimester, Vitex will reduce the chances of miscarriage due to its effect on enhancing progesterone levels. After birth, Vitex helps a new mother to produce plenty of milk. For the perimenopausal woman, Vitex can help normalize irregular or scanty periods by helping balance the ratios of estrogen to progesterone.

Vitex Extract
1 part organic Vitex or Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus), ground
3 parts organic Vodka
Vitex Extract combined with a nourishing traditional diet loaded with healthy animal fats can help balance a woman’s endocrine system. Grind the Vitex with a mortar and pestle. Grind small amounts at a time to avoid the round seeds from bouncing out of the mortar. Put the ground seeds in a pint mason jar and add the vodka. Label the jar with: all ingredients, today’s date, and the date six weeks in the future. In six weeks, decant your extract. Strain and squeeze-out the ground seeds with a cheesecloth. Compost the ground seeds. Take the Vitex Extract and decant into a dark bottle or store in a dark cool place. You will have to experiment with the dose. A standard dose is 1/2tsp two to three times a day taken in some water.

For a long time, I have been looking for a book that explains endocrine dysfunction with easy to follow lifestyle and diet adjustments. The best book I have found so far is The Hormone Cure by Dr Sara Gottfried. The Gottfried Protocol starts with a simple questionnaire of symptoms relating to common hormone problems. From this questionnaire she follows with appropriate lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, supplementation and herbal treatments which will help most women. A few women may need to take the final step of bioidentical hormones… or not. Along with a nourishing traditional diet, the Gottfried Protocol gives women the tools to manage their own hormonal balance using lifestyle, diet and herbs.

BEFORE using the Vitex Extract make sure you PASS the cortisol questionnaire in the Gottfried Protocol. You need to address cortisol levels before addressing the any of the “downstream” sex hormone imbalances. Dr Sara Gottfried will explain pregnenolone steal in the book. You will find many adaptogen recipes in the Healthy Household Series which will help support adrenal function and healthy cortisol levels:
Healthy Household: Remedies for Stress, Depression and Grief
Healthy Household: A Good Night?s Sleep
Healthy Household: Adaptogen Green Drink
Healthy Household: Out-of-Whack Nut Balls

For more recipes, please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely and Saving Money.

Are promises of safety worth our freedom?

“I confess that I get quite upset when people like MPs tell me the Regulations are necessary for our ?safety?. Indeed, I am now of the opinion that the word ?safety? when used by politicians and bureaucrats is the most dangerous word in the English language. It is the only word that over-rides critical analysis in the population and leads the average citizen to willingly give up freedoms.”

Shawn Buckley is a constitution lawyer who lives in Kamloops, BC. He is being interviewed by Vinny Eastwood. Shawn Buckley talks about a number of court cases he has been involved with, including Strauss Heart Drops of Kamloops, BC and Truehope of Raymond, AB.

The stories about both companies are extremely instructive as to how our government perceives our autonomy, or lack thereof. He introduces a term called rent-seeking, where large companies influence governments to increase regulation which makes it more difficult for smaller companies to access the market.

Large companies like this policy because they can maintain a larger market share or even a monopoly by making it difficult for newcomers to enter the market. Bureaucracy likes this policy because it grows their power and influence. Please watch if you would like to learn more about Health Canada’s promises of improved safety at the rock bottom price of your personal freedoms.

Dealing with Children, Societal Pressure, and Halloween

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This is the day after the celebration of the Day of the Dead. Maybe mothers could take back the holidays and make them into something healthy for our children.

As a parent dealing with young children, I have struggled with wanting my children to have the best quality food possible and living in a toxic food society. So what’s a mother to do? Should I be a killjoy or conform to societal norms and allow my children to consume industrial junk? I refuse to call this junk, food.

As I see it, if we had one or two holidays a year that indulged the consumption of industrial junk, it wouldn’t be a problem. If all children normally ate whole foods from a quality source, I wouldn’t be worried. Unfortunately, industrial junk has become the normal daily fare for children and adults alike. It is also possible that industrial junk, for special occasions, has been the wedge that has increased industrial junk consumption throughout the year. Some people believe industrial junk is addictive and giving it to children will lead to a lifelong battle. Please read Zapping Sugar Cravings.

It has been the policy in our household to allow our children to go trick-or-treating for Halloween. Since my children never eat industrial junk, I feel it is okay for them to have one holiday a year where they can totally indulge in industrial junk. In fact, I feel my children need to have some exposure to industrial junk as part of their education. Here is how our household deals with Halloween:

  1. We allow the children to eat as much of the candy as they like for the one evening.
  2. If they don’t like the candy, I encourage them to spit-out the candy and discard it into a pile of refuse.
  3. After they have eaten their fill, the candy goes in the garbage. It is one of the few times I encourage wastefulness.

What I like about this policy is that I can conform to societal norms while at the same time feel confident I’m not hurting my children’s health. It’s just once a year, right? Unfortunately, after doing this program for a number of years, I have noticed a few negative outcomes, including lying and hoarding.

Every year my children agree to this arrangement around Halloween. They love dressing up and plan their homemade costumes for months. The act of going trick-or-treating and the excitement of the night is irresistible. When they get home, they are happy to spit-out yucky tasting candies and are grateful that I’m not worried about wastefulness. Within a few hours, the super sweet binge is over and the candy goes in the garbage.

Well, that’s the plan. But my children have dumpster dived for candy and even gone to the trouble of hiding candy at a friend’s home. I find the behavior of my children strange. Normally, my children don’t lie or hide a hoard, but candy seems to have the power to motivate them into less than ideal behavior. Even indulging once a year, these sugary treats have a powerful hold on my children.

I really don’t know what to do. As a mother I can only do so much. Our household is like an island in a sea of community. Without the support of other like-minded families, our battle with industrial junk is likely a losing one. In my mind’s eye, I can see our community change the nature of our holidays and make them fun and nourishing for our children. Jill Escher has some ideas about how Moms could transform Halloween.

One new idea I’m going to try this Halloween is to “trade” industrial junk for artisan quality chocolate. I would prefer to know and control the ingredients that are in their treats. My hope is that quality chocolate and confectioneries will educate my children’s pallet. None of my children have taken me up on this offer yet, but I am hopeful. Honestly, can a high quality organic chocolate or confectionery lose out to industrial junk? I will find out this year.

I find it ironic, that as I try not to buckle under societal pressure regarding Halloween, Michael Schmidt is into day 23 of his hunger strike, fighting for our collective food freedom. So what’s it going to be: trick-or-treat?

November 4, 2011: Both girls decided to trade their industrial junk for artisan quality chocolate, organic chips, organic mulberries, and organic nut butters. It was interesting to see what the girls wanted but the price tag was high. I spent about $150 on this experiment. We planned for a Bon Bon Fire but everyone was too tired by the end of an exciting Halloween day. I just gave away the industrial junk. My eldest daughter went to her first Halloween dance and enjoyed chocolate cupcakes and a few pieces of industrial junk. Yesterday, she ended up in bed with her first cold of the year. Some people believe sugar will suppress the immune system for a number of hours after ingestion. I treated her with homemade Elderberry Syrup and local propolis for sore throat and Hibiscus tea for extra vitamin C. I also made up some soothing homemade chicken vegetable soup with extra garlic.

December 8, 2012: Here is a documentary called Big Sugar: Sweet, White and Deadly by Brian McKenna. Join the movement to have a sugar-free Halloween.

December 30, 2012: Diet plays a very big roll in mental health. Here is a lecture by Dr Russell Blaylock about how poor nutrition can bring a young person into a world of violence, crime, depression and suicide. Not very sweet news.

Updated October 30, 2016: It’s been a long time since I wrote this post. Since I wrote this post, my girls have become young women. They are past the days of getting excited about dress-up and trick-or-treat. We now have a Mexican feast or Meat Lover’s Pizza for Halloween. We also enjoy watching a scary or spooky movie together! No candy to be found anywhere! I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!

Sugar Free Halloween?

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What do you think about a skeleton riding a bicycle? Would our children find Hallaween a deeper experience if it wasn't all about candy?

Could it be possible? Could we have a sugar free Halloween? This is the hope of Jill Escher of endsugaraddiction.com. She is the founder of the first annual Sugar Addiction Awareness Day (SAAD) which is happening on October 30, 2011. Jill says, “the point of SAAD is to enlighten as many people as we can about the reality of sugar and refined food addictions, and provide general guidance about overcoming them. Halloween is the perfect hook for this important message.

Here are some of Jill’s ideas for a sugar free Halloween:

  1. Make a sugar free Halloween poster and post it on your front door: “Sugar-Free Halloween House” or “This House Not Haunted by Junk Food”.
  2. Instead of handing out candy at the front door give children: pencils, toys, books, glow-in-the-dark sticks, necklaces, masks, fortunes without the cookies, funny jewelry, small school supplies, quarters, or other fun alternatives.
  3. Hand out custom made bracelets or buttons with sugar free messages such as: “I’m a Sugar-Free Kid” or “Say Boo to Junk Food”.
  4. Find something your children want and make an exchange for your children’s Halloween candy. Find a local dentist who will “buy” Halloween candy. Offer to “buy” Halloween candy from your neighborhood children.
  5. If permitted, hold a Candy Bonfire in your yard’s fire pit. Invite the local children to burn their junk food in the fire and watch. (warning: messy!)
  6. Work with other families on your block to turn yours into a candy free street. Organize a Halloween block party with fun activities that don’t include junk food.
  7. Take the Sugar Is Spooky Challenge and have your whole family go sugar free on Halloween and the following week.
  8. Don’t participate in the Halloween tradition. Turn off the porch light and enjoy a quiet evening without adding to your local community’s sugar load.

October 30th is Sugar Addiction Awareness Day! Are you going to have a sugar free Halloween?

December 8, 2012: Here is a documentary called Big Sugar: Sweet, White and Deadly by Brian McKenna. Join the movement to have a sugar-free Halloween.

December 30, 2012: Diet plays a very big roll in mental health. Here is a lecture by Dr Russell Blaylock about how poor nutrition can bring a young person into a world of violence, crime, depression and suicide. Not very sweet news.