Bone Broth – Stock

Stock Ingredients

Broth – Stock Ingredients

There’s nothing like good quality home-made stock. This is one of the most restorative simple foods you can eat. I use it everyday. I almost always cook rice or quinoa in stock. I add it to sauces and stews. The stock is a ready to go meal in the freezer that you can easily turn into soup by adding a couple of vegetables, some beans or meat for extra protein – and there’s dinner. I haven’t met a [non-vegetarian] person yet who doesn’t like chicken soup.

Health Benefits
The gelatin heals the lining of the gut and is so soothing. It is predigested so there is no effort for the body to digest it, and it is full of protein and other essential nutrients. We’ve all heard the miracles of chicken soup. Well, this is traditional food that now has the science behind it to back up why it is the cure-all food. When sick with flu, gastro bug or recovering from a major illness or surgery, bone broth is amazing.

I always recommend bone broth to my clients with gut issues. Especially those struggling with any of the Spectrum issues. In healing the gut, in turn, you assist the mind and memory, along with many other aspects of the body and healthy functioning.

Bone broth is very high in the amino acids glycine and proline which are essential for healthy connective tissue, like the ‘glue’ that holds our bodies together, without these two amino-acids, literally, we would fall apart. Glycine has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system and helps the body synthesize collagen and glutathione, a great detoxifier and antioxidant. It helps regulate blood sugar levels and has a major role in supporting healthy digestion. Glycine reduces inflammation throughout the body by reducing the activation of the inflammatory cells, whether that be from an infection, a wound or intestinal issues. Proline, the other vital amino acid in stock is great at healing and aiding supple skin, strengthening cartilage, ligaments, tendon and blood vessels. Helping avoid hardening of the arteries and decreasing the risk of heart attack.

Bone broth is also one of the best ways to build strong bones and teeth with its high amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Yes, that’s right, bone [bone stock] builds bone and helps give the bone some flexibility through strengthening the collagen in the bones and joints. This is essential for when we fall, and at some point we all take a fall. It’s imperative that our bones have a little flex to them, so the bones aren’t brittle and fracture easily. The collagen also assists in strengthening nails, hair and skin by supporting the connective tissue and can assist in elimination of cellulite.

What bones to use:
When I buy a couple of items from my organic butcher, he is happy just to give me the bones, or some butchers charge a little for these bones, but it’s not much. And after we eat a chicken, I save the bones in the freezer. Chicken bones with joints are particularly good because of the gelatin in the joints, especially the gelatinous bones like the wings.

Beef bones are good too, but choose the joints for more gelatin. If using raw bones, bake them in the oven for half an hour at 180 Celsius prior to adding them to the stockpot as it will improve the taste of the stock.

About the other ingredients in the broth:
The addition of onion skins is great too. Yes, the papery part of the onion is what I mean. It is more nutritious than the rest of the onion – full of flavonoids with anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Not one piece of onion skin in my house goes anywhere but into my stockpot. I also add left over eggshells to this bag in the freezer and use in the stock, as it increases the calcium in the stock. Bone stock is one of the healthiest most inexpensive foods you can eat. And making stock is so simple you can’t go wrong.

Bone Broth Recipe

1 kg bones, chicken or beef or seafood
2 Onions – roughly chopped + onion skins from freezer
2 Carrots – roughly chopped
2 Celery stalks – roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar [helps pull the gelatin and calcium from bones and eggshells]
4 Tbsp fresh herbs: Thyme, tarragon [can also use these dried]
1 Tbsp Celtic salt
1 tsp Peppercorns
Eggshells
Pigs trotter or chickens feet can also be added for more gelatin [this may seem a bit hard-core for you the first time making stock, but down the road you could try this out]
4 Tbsp fresh Parsley – add in the last 30 minutes of cooking

Place all ingredients [except fresh parsley] in a stockpot with filtered water, covering all the ingredients. Bring to the boil and then simmer. In the first couple of hours of simmering, skim off any scum and foam from the top and discard.

The cooking times vary depending on the bones used.
Chicken bones simmer 24 hours.
Beef bone simmer 40 hours.
Fish bones and seafood shells simmer 8 hours.

It is possible to make stock in 3 hours, it just won’t be as nutritionally dense as it could be. But it will still taste great and will be nutritionally miles ahead of any store-bought stock.

Once you have completed the cooking process, strain the stock. You can make larger batches than this recipe, and once cooled, put into ziplock bags and stack them in the freezer so you always have stock ready to go.

Please let me know how you go with the recipe. It will be the most inexpensive nutritionally dense food you will probably ever make.

Chai Chocolate Mousse with Mixed Berries

Chocolate Chai Mousse

How much do you love chocolate? I think it’s easy to say most people LOVE chocolate! And that’s because we have very clever bodies that know that chocolate is full of nutrition. It’s no accident that we crave chocolate at certain times, especially when we are in need of some additional magnesium. And what a lovely way to take a supplement. Cocoa helps prevent cancer, heart disease, & ageing in general. It also helps build strong bones & assists digestion, strengthens the mind and elevates mood with anti-depressant properties. Doesn’t get much better than that!

So how did I make it? Well really, its so simple, you barely need the recipe, but here we go:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 125 ml coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (cacoa)
  • 1 heaped Tbsp chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 big pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 250 gms mixed frozen berries

Directions:

Put all ingredients except mixed berries in the blender and puree till smooth.

Line glass bowls with the mousse and put mixed berries on top. Chill in fridge for minimum 2 hours before serving.

The avocado, the main ingredient is full of high quality oils, brilliant for your heart. In this recipe, I also have some beautiful chai spices happening. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom are all great for your digestion and brain function. We all need all the help we can get in terms of assisting digestion, and in just getting digestion sorted, we in turn help brain function. Healthy gut, clear mind. I can’t stress this one enough!

To find out more about Simone and to book a complimentary consultation email simone@healthwholistically.com

 

Self-love – it is the key

The biggest shift for me from cancer would be my self-love, and the letting go of self-judgement. It bought me truly into my body so I was more present and clear on who I really am. And from this, I really allowed me to be my authentic self. As a result, this threw me straight into remission, with my oncologists amazed and grateful. To quote them: “What ever you are doing, keep doing it because it’s working! There’s no cancer in this body!”

My sense of humour increased when I discovered cancer. As I have told many people, one of the first things I did when I was diagnosed with anal cancer was to start making a list of bum jokes. You would be so surprised how many jokes and metaphors there are about bums! It is so mightily important to laugh. It feels great for you and everyone around you, and along with love, it is about the most healing thing you can do for yourself.

There is a particular time in my cancer treatment that I draw on when I think of the moment when the BIG shift occurred for me in healing. They call this a spiritual awakening. A paradigm shift that changed my life forever. All I felt was love and compassion with absolutely no judgement attached. Complete love for myself and for everyone around me. This is such an essential piece of the picture, to stop judging self and replace it with humour, love and compassion, and this comes first from loving oneself.

Internally I am a different person to what I was before I had cancer. Living an authentic life is what I needed to do to come to where I am today. From this journey I was able to see clearly how interlinked I was with all; my family, my friends, my friends friends and outward to the universe. We are all so interlinked.  And once I felt this so clearly, it took the ego, the doubting, the negative chatter out of the picture, allowing only my authentic self to be present. Nothing is impossible, let the real you out and only healing can come in.

On that day in treatment when I was slipping away, and my body was beginning to shut down from the horrendous onslaught from the treatment, I came back for love. There was more for me to do, it wasn’t out of attachment.  It was intensely liberating and it made me fearless about dying and illness. Self-love is so full inside of me that it is overflowing. So therefore it is no longer exhausting for me to do so much for others, because my real needs are met. Whereas before, I would give to others first and then feel tired and run down. Now there is so much to give and the giving replenishes and energises me instead.

Cancer saved my life, it was trying to give me a message. It was telling me to fully come to life. And so I did. It bought brighter colours, more vibrant than anything I have experienced before. It bought me into a different dimension, with this overwhelming euphoria, appreciation for life and intense clarity.

Prior to cancer I was super careful and well read about nutrition and toxins, but I still got cancer. These elements are important to know about, but its how you carry yourself in your life that makes all the difference. In the past, I would over-think these things. But what is the point in that if it doesn’t feel amazing. Now when I eat, it needs to feel pleasurable, that is a requirement. Feeling pleasure and enjoying what I do in all that I touch is essential. And the gratitude that comes with this is almost more important than the actual food. I still eat very well, but I love it more.

Following your heart is what we are here for. Not getting frustrated about details, big or small. We are not here on earth to be feeling resentment and anger or to be unhappy with ourselves and others. We are here to love. Go after what you are here to do, you will get it. Live life from your heart, and do what makes you happy, listen to fun stories, watch funny movies, laugh and love everyone around you. Is it a journey or a battle? For me it is a journey.

 

Re-learning what our grandparents knew

When mum knows how to eat well, it automatically filters down to her children. Most of my generation of mothers were not taught much by their own parents about cooking. This is no ones fault, it was really all about the big changes in introduction of processed food in the 50’s and 60’s that changed everything. Mothers were told through advertising that the best cakes for example were made from a cake mix packet. We are more immune to advertising now, but back in those days, a lot of people believed what the advertisers were saying.

The way we ate before all the processed food was introduced, was so much better for us. People ate with the seasons and ate produce that was locally grown so it didn’t have to travel vast distances and ripened properly before picking. And the food wasn’t treated to the same extent, with the chemical fertilizers and preservatives we are dealing with today. There is much confusion these days about nutrition, which is exacerbated by the media.

It’s so easy as mothers to feel guilty about our parenting, how we eat, how our kids eat. That’s not what I’m about. That guilt and stress is so destructive and unproductive. What is it about some food that makes people feel guilty? It’s that pleasure/ pain, comfort/ discomfort duality that drives us. I know all too well as the mother of two boys (really three if you count my husbandJ). My youngest is nearly 4 years old and my teenager is nearly 14 years old. But when I feel that guilt slipping in when I am very busy, I send it off on its way. Eating well isn’t about feeling bad when you eat something that’s not good for you. I have a 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I eat really ‘clean’ and 20% I want to be able to eat out or at other people’s houses and not be thinking about whether it is ‘clean’ food. How you feel about the food is important too. We need to enjoy the food we eat.

There was much wisdom in the simplicity of traditional cooking. Its simply relearning what our grand parents knew, and what we intuitively know about food, but incorporating it into a modern setting. The old traditions are creeping back into the way we eat, which is so wonderful to see. But there is still lots of pressure on parents to buy processed foods out of convenience. There are many simple ways to make traditional food ‘convenient’ food at home. Like cooking once, eating twice or three times. That is, taking a meal and reinventing it into a couple of other meals so there’s not so much cooking involved. Rice or quinoa could be converted easily into fried rice, or with eggs for breaky and in a wrap with veggies for lunch the following day, and that night rolled into rice balls or paddies. It’s a fun way to approach cooking so that it doesn’t feel like you are taking on yet another task, but actually simplifying your lives and feeding your family nutritionally dense food in the process.

As people, we are busier than we have ever been in history, and also less healthy. It’s taking back the power here and making small steps to incorporate real food back into our lives. And sitting together as a family at least once a day, “the family that eats together, stays together”.

Simplifying the process of cooking and using whole foods is the answer. It’s pleasurable, not a chore. And this comes from having a few straightforward strategies in place. This is all doable, it may just mean making a few simple changes. When we really get down to it, what do we really want out of life, but to spend fun loving time with our partner, family and friends, and live healthy fulfilling lives.

 

Getting through the ‘Back Slide’

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There’s always room for growth, that’s where the new year is great, an opportunity for starting fresh, with a new approach or with a reminder of what we already know intuitively with in us.Written by Simone Kopkas

I was considering this, this morning while trying to get back to sleep after being woken by my sweet 3 year old. Sleep when you have a young child or when you are recovering from a life threatening illness is so essential, for your recovery but also your sanity! There were stages in my recovery from Cancer that felt quite defeating, especially around sleep. These stages I refer to as the “back slide”. Though these stages are an essential part of ultimately recovering, when in the back slide, it can feel like you are back “there”; as in back in the scary Cancer place.

We need to allow the time and energy for the back slide. Its going to happen at some point- life happens! And life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to. We move forward and think we are making all this progress and it feels good and then all of a sudden we have either some kind of health relapse that reminds us of the unhealthy place we were once at or some other difficult thing turns up in our lives. Its going to happen at some point, so rather than being upset and frustrated with yourself, feeling like you are going backwards; draw on your resilience and ability to adapt. It is key to not add stress and anxiety to these situations, but to be kind and patient, as we would be to a good friend. To remind ourselves of the amazing progress we have made. This doesn’t mean I will negative things onto myself, it just means, I’m not shocked at life when it doesn’t go my way.

This is all more doable when we have explored our past and healed our childhood. That is, owning our story, not having our story own us. Our story when explored, can set us free or it can impede us on a daily basis in all aspects of our lives if left to its own devises. This can happen without us even recognising that it is simply us recreating our childhood everywhere we go and in everything we do. This can be so destructive to ourselves internally. Many of us say things to ourselves that we would never in our darkest moments consider saying to someone else. How can we be so hard on ourselves? This part is essential to healing; finding the love, compassion and peace within ourselves. Much of this is through forgiveness.

So, when I’m in the back slide, this doesn’t mean I am back at the beginning, back before I did so much of my healing. When you have gone through healing yourself, you create change and even if you wanted to, you never undo the growth and changes you have gone through. We are ever evolving and that is what keeps life interesting, even when the changes we are going through, don’t feel good at the time. It is just a temporary stage we are moving through, it is truly no more complicated than that. Keep taking small steps forward, and keep that curiosity to life always close by.

Every day I am more and more at peace with my life. As paraphrased from Joseph Campbell: “Its not the meaning of life” that people want “it is the feeling of being truly alive “ that they crave.

Looking after mumma-bear can be the most important thing you ever do for your family!

We mothers are all too ready to do whatever it takes to have our children’s lives and health be in the best possible place and in the process, forget ourselves and our own needs.

There are more demands on mothers today than there ever has been. The woman’s movement in the 60’s I have often laughed with my friends; “its awesome that we gain the place that we have today in the work force, but look at how much we are really doing!” Running a household, keeping all the family and events together, cooking, trying to stay on top of what’s healthy, doing our bit to support the schools we send our kids to, keeping up with the mind boggling number of communication mediums that we are expected to be answerable to! It’s overwhelming!

The mother, one generation ago didn’t have emails, texts, voicemail, FB, Twitter, Instagram and the list goes on… Yes we are so connected! Isn’t it awesome that we can within seconds know what a dear friend that we went to college with in NY is having for brekky. But this is so much to keep up with!

What about mumma-bear. Who’s looking after her? She is pouring all this love into everyone else. As the carer, it’s so easy to go through burn out, believe me, I know, I have been there! Nurturing oneself is so essential, and it’s slightly different for everyone as to what that missing ingredient is. Though mum is the loving glue that holds the family together. If she’s not well nourished in all aspects of her life then the whole family is ultimately affected.

A great place to start is with eating well, that is, with whole foods. Foods that are not processed, lots of vegetables, high quality protein and oils, fruit and whole grains. This has become more difficulty for mothers to navigate because of all the mixed messages that are in the media from advertising and marketing. But its not complicated, it’s really about getting back to basics. Our body know what is good for it. Our body knows intuitively how to heal itself. We just need to get the whole food in, and there are lots of fun ways to do that!

This is called crowding out, or crowding in, depending on how you want to look at it. But the idea is, you eat so many yummy whole foods, that the craving for processed food drops away. It is all too easy when you are sleep deprived or too stressed, to reach for unhealthy foods.  As Christina Grof puts it in her book, The Thirst For Wholeness; “filling a God shaped whole with God knows what”.  These stressed times in our lives are the times when we need to nurture ourselves more than ever. Finding our soul food is key. More groundedness, whether it be having a few moments in the sun, pausing and taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, appreciating nature, honouring the present moment, meditating, being kind to yourselves and asking the internal critic to please leave the room!

Simone Kopkas lives and works in Castlecrag, Sydney as a Nutrition and Holistic Counsellor specializing in digestive issues and Cancer.