Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bone Broth and Why I'm Not a Vegetarian Anymore

When I started this blog over five years ago, I was a vegetarian and had been for years before that. Like many vegetarians, I avoided meat because I felt it was healthy to do so. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy meat as a child or that I was a staunch animal rights activist. I simply just wanted to be healthy and live longer and had read that a vegetarian diet would help me achieve that. And for many years, my vegetarian diet served me exceptionally well. I was a competitive long distance runner throughout high school and college who rarely, if ever, got sick. I learned all about vegetarian cooking techniques. I worked in vegan juice bars, cafes, and a vegetarian kitchen of a huge health food co-op. I ate what I thought to be a picture perfect diet full of colorful vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and plant-based fats. All was well. Until it wasn't. I felt that something was missing and my hormone levels were way out of whack.

After about 8 years of being a vegetarian, I slowly began incorporating high quality animal products like pastured poultry and grass-fed beef into my diet. I still ate primarily vegetarian, but adding just a bit of meat started to make me feel better and balanced and strong. It also greatly improved my severe cystic hormonal acne that I was suffering from.

I got pregnant when I was 24 and throughout my pregnancy, I ate exactly what my body craved. Luckily, I craved healthy whole foods (which included meat) and lots of them. I had a healthy pregnancy (with perfect glowing skin throughout!), a natural uncomplicated birth, and a beautiful baby. All was well. Until it wasn't.

The stress and exhaustion of having a baby took it's toll on many aspects of my health and wellbeing. Heck, it still does! But what I have noticed is that adding mineral-rich bone broth to my already healthy whole foods diet really helps in a variety of ways. I make the broth from bones I buy at the farmers market. Grass fed beef bones, pastured chicken bones and chicken feet all make my broth exceptionally rich and nourishing. Broth was the first food I gave to my daughter and she still loves it. It has become an important part of our diet, in addition to all of the beautiful produce, legumes, whole grains, eggs, and meat that we eat.

I don't need to go into all of the insanely amazing health benefits of bone broth here. You can read that from many other places in far greater detail than I could write here. All I can say is that bone broth has changed my life (something I would have laughed at during all those years as a vegetarian) and I wouldn't have it any other way. I encourage you to give it a try.

Bone Broth