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.

Beanie Ginger Snaps

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Adding more ground flax will give a hard, crunchy cookie which may be better for travel food.

I know this recipe sounds strange but I hope you will give it a try. This recipe is great for people who cannot eat grains.

This recipe is based on Ginger Snaps from the Joy of Cooking. I heavily altered the recipe to make it grain-free and for production in a dehydrator. The trick with the cookies is to have the cookie dough thick enough not to drip through the dehydrator screen but thin enough to have a light, crunchy cookie.

2c soaked, cooked and rinsed organic white beans
1/4c organic black strap molasses
2-3T local honey (optional)
1-2T organic coconut oil
4tsp organic dried ginger, freshly ground
1/4tsp organic whole cloves, freshly ground
1/2 organic cinnamon stick, freshly ground
3-4 pinches sea salt
1T organic lemon, freshly squeezed
1tsp organic lemon peel, freshly grated
2-4T organic yellow flax seeds, freshly ground

Soak the white beans overnight in filtered water. Rinse the beans well before covering with fresh water and cooking for 1-2 hours until very tender. Remove any scum or hard beans during cooking. Rinse the cooked bean well in cool filtered water before using.

Grind all the spices in a spice grinder. In a food processor, add the cooked beans, molasses, honey, coconut oil, freshly ground spices, sea salt, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Mix until very smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the ground flax seed and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours until the dough thickens. If the dough is still too soupy add a bit more ground flax seed. Mix well and refrigerate again.

Drop the cookie dough onto the dehydrator sheets in teaspoon amounts. With a wet spoon lightly press down the cookie dough into a round shape. The cookies will dry very quickly in the dehydrator. The trick with the cookies to to have the cookie dough thick enough not to drip through the dehydrator screen. This produces a light, crunchy cookie. Adding too much ground flax will give a hard, crunchy cookie.

The ginger snaps have a nice crunchy, creamy texture with a spicy aftertaste and are a great travel food.

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While the cookies dry in the dehydrator your home with be filled with the most amazing spicy smell! Yum!

Homemade Broth Powder

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This homemade broth powder is a good camping or travel food. Adding some healthy fats to the broth will make this drink very nourishing and sustaining.

“Nutritional yeast is an excellent natural source of B complex vitamins (except for B12) plus a variety of minerals. Look for yeast that has been processed at low temperatures.”
Weston A Price Foundation: Guide to Superfoods

Commercial broth powders, bouillon granules or cubes are filled with some very questionable ingredients. These ersatz foods are among some of the worst industrial foods available. Making your own broth powder is a easy way to say “No!” to a boatload of food additives while still having access to a convenience food. With homemade broth, no one has to pay for convenience with their health.

This homemade broth powder is a good travel food. The powder can be used by itself in hot water or with bone broth. A cup of broth is tasty with 1-3 teaspoons of coconut oil, creamed coconut or butter. Add some extra nutritional yeast or fermented miso, if desired.

1c organic shiitake mushroom powder
1-2T sea salt
1-2T organic sage, finely ground
1-2T organic nutritional yeast, finely ground
1-2T wildcrafted dulse, finely ground (optional)
1 organic birdeye pepper, finely ground (optional)

In a spice grinder, finely grind the sea salt, sage, nutritional yeast, dulse and hot pepper into a very fine powder. In a bowl add the mixture to the shiitake mushroom powder and mix very well. Use 1-2 tablespoons of powder for each 2-3 cups of hot water. Adding some healthy fats to the broth will make the broth very nourishing and sustaining.

Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part II

“It has been shown fairly conclusively that it is only the high-fat, not the high-protein diet that produces the greatest health benefits in combination with a low carbohydrate intake.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr Ron Rosedale

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Jimmy Moore’s new book Keto Clarity will explain how to benefit from a ketogenic diet.

“Humans went into ketosis every winter for thousands of generations. Being in a low level of ketosis is the more natural state for our metabolism.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr Terry Wahls

In Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part I, we talked about Dr Krista Varady Every-Other-Day Diet as a inexpensive way to loss fat. The book could be summarized as: feast one day, fast the next day, then repeat. (Without the marketing hype, the summary would be: eat normally one day, do a modified 500 calorie fast the next day, then repeat.) If this approach works for you, read no further. But if you don’t loss weight, or your weight loss stalls, or your hungry all the time, please continue reading. You could be carb-intolerant.

“Everyone is different and has different carb-tolerance levels. Some people, especially athletes, can maintain ketosis with as much as 100gm of carbs a day. But most people need to be at 50gm or less, and those with metabolic syndrome typically need to stay below 30gm of total carbs a day to produce adequate ketones.”
Moment of Clarity by Maria Emmerich

A person’s carb-tolerance is primarily influenced by three factors: age, activity level and gender and to a lesser extent endocrine health and medications. So, a twenty-something, active male can safely consume more carbohydrates than a menopausal, sedentary woman. If you are overweight or obese and have metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, you are by definition carb-intolerant. People that are carb-intolerant will benefit from a low-carb or ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet might cure your other medical problems too.

“Type 2 diabetes is a state of profound carbohydrate intolerance, and carbohydrate restriction reduces the demand on the pancreas to secrete excessive insulin in the face of insulin resistance while improving glycemic control and facilitating weight loss.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr Keith Runyan

Personally, I got interested in ketogenic diets because the diet was a traditional treatment for epilepsy. I used to have epilepsy among other chronic conditions. Doing a low-carb version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet cured my epilepsy along with asthma, allergies, chronic sinus infections, migraine headaches, yeast infections and osteoarthritis.* Because of my own personal success, I have been following the research and experimenting with low-carb and ketogenic diets for some time.

“The efficacy of ketosis in reducing the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy has been in the medical literature since 1928.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr David Purlmetter

The ketogenic diet is being used clinically to treat a number of serious illnesses: epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Research is being done on using the ketogenic diet to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple?sclerosis (MS), dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and sleep disorders. If you have any of these serious conditions the ketogenic diet could literally be a life saver.

“A ketogenic diet may provide weight loss benefits over and above those achieved with carbohydrate restriction alone. It provides all the benefits of a low-carb diet but to a somewhat greater degree, since ketosis increases satiety and provides mental clarity, focus, prolonged concentration, and increased energy.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr William Davis

Until recently, it has been very hard to get good information on a whole food, ketogenic diet. Jimmy Moore has just put out a book called Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-carb, High-fat Diet. Just in case your are wondering if this is just some new fad diet, Jimmy Moore will introduce you to 22 experts on ketogenic diets and their research.

Jimmy Moore states that the biggest mistake people make with ketogenic diets is eating too many carbohydrates. The second biggest mistake is eating too much protein. A ketogenic diet is a very high-fat, low-carb and just-enough-protein diet. The book will explain:

  1. The science of ketosis and why it has health giving benefits and to test to know you’re in ketosis.
  2. How to find your personal carb-tolerance and protein-tolerance.
  3. How to free yourself of the habit and need to eat three or more meals a day and how to manage societal pressures surrounding food.
  4. Why people on a ketogenic diet need more salt and why consuming more salt isn’t a health problem.
  5. How to use a ketogenic diet and intermitted fasting for fast, hunger-free weight loss.
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This book is a detailed look at ketogenic diets. Section 3 has information suitable for a medical professional. Dr Volek explains the “natriuresis of fasting” and why ketogenic dieters need more salt. Just take a pass on the bouillon cubes and make some bone broth.

If you are looking for a more how to approach to low-carb eating, The New Atkins for a New You is an excellent whole food primer. This book will introduce you to your “metabolic bully” and help you get this bully out of your life. It’s safer to just pass on the industrial vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners suggested in the book. Small amounts of honey or stevia would be a better choice than artificial sweeteners. After a few months of low-carb eating, your sense of what is sweet will naturally be dialed down to a healthier level. I would also suggest avoiding the Atkins brand of prepared foods and find ways to prepare these foods at home. Also, take a pass on the commercial bouillon cubes and industrial thickeners and make some bone broth and Onion Gravy. This is especially important for followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS which must avoid common food additives.

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This book is an excellent “how to” approach to low-carb eating. Just ditch the industrial vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, bouillon cubes and the Atkins brand of prepared foods. Other then that, it’s a great book.

One thing I have learned about low-carb and ketogenic diets over the years, is that it’s easy to eat your fill of salad or greens and still be low-carb or even ketogenic. For example, you could consume 12 cups of romaine lettuce a day and still be under 20gm of total carbohydrate. Or you could eat 4 cups of cauliflower and be under 20gm of total carbohydrate. That’s a lot of salad or greens. The trick is to save all your carbohydrates for salad and greens and not to waste them on starchy vegetables, fruit or simple sugars.

Fiber is also very important because many people find low-carb or ketogenic diets constipating. When you cut out the grains, legumes, beans, starchy vegetables and fruit there’s not much fiber left in the diet. Consuming large amounts of salad and greens will help fill you up and supply essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Salad and greens also provides fiber. Fiber comes in two forms: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber just passes through the body. Soluble fiber can be consumed by our gut flora. The gut flora thrives on the carbohydrates in the fiber.** The gut flora also produces short and medium chain fatty acids from the fiber but cannot consume these fatty acids in the anaerobic environment of the bowel. These fatty acids are reabsorbed in the large intestine and used by our body. These special fatty acids are being researched for their health promoting qualities. The fantastic part of this process is that eating soluble fiber from greens is like eating high-fat, after digestion… And you get these very special fatty acids produced just for you by your gut flora!

So, eat your salad and greens.?Know that your friendly gut flora with convert these carbohydrates into health promoting fatty acids… after digestion!

“Herbivores obtain little glucose from diet, but up to 70% of their energy needs from short-chain fats produced by bacterial fermentation. These short-chain fats are transformed in the liver to ketones which nourish neurons, substantially reducing the body’s glucose needs.”
Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet

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Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be ketogenic and eat your fill of salad or greens. This meal is ketogenic. It’s very high-fat, low-carb, and just-enough-protein. The trick is to save your carbohydrates for a plate full of salad and greens and take a pass on the starchy vegetables, fruit, or simple sugars. Just remember to enjoy your salt and bone broth!

If you would like to learn more about the science of ketogenic diets please see this lecture by Dr Peter Attia. He sees being overweight or obese not a disease state but a marker for an underlying medical condition, a predisposition to insulin resistance. Dr Attia shows how the ketogenic diet will help improve bio-markers, body composition and athletic performance. He will explain why a ketogenic diet will make you more “metabolically flexible” as a fat burner. He also talks about new treatment protocols using ketone supplements such as medium chain triglycerides (MCT) that may be especially effective for treating neurological disorders.

*Please note: I was on a very low-carb, not a ketogenic diet when I cured my epilepsy. I was on a very low-carbohydrate diet (40-60gm) but I didn’t have a way to test if I was actually in ketosis.
**If you are wondering why you should care about the health of your gut flora, please see: What is a Healthy gut?

Updated March 13, 2015: Here’s another example of an extreme athletic event using a ketogenic diet. Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring rowed 2800 miles from Monterey, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii in 45 days. The couple became the fastest pair to accomplish this crossing. They completed this row on a whole food, very high fat diet. Dr Stephen Phinney the author of The New Atkins for a New You was the pair?s nutritional adviser. The couple did the row to raise funds for childhood diabetes and publicize the dangers of eating sugar.

Updated April 2, 2015: If the idea of not eating fills you with anxiety, Dr Mercola has a technique you can learn that will help with anxiety: How to Radically Increase Your Intermittent Fasting Success.

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!