One of my favorite Sunday morning rituals is people watching at Whole Foods in downtown Austin.
If you’re not from Austin, the Whole Foods here is like the “Max” diner on Saved By the Bell or the Central Perk coffee shop on Friends—“the place” to see and be seen. And I especially love observing the pat-on-the-back purchases many shoppers make in the name of “good health”…
- Organic boxed mac & cheese.
- Gluten-free, natural-sugar Cocoa Krispies.
- Vegan-friendly donuts.
- And “bone broth” in a carton on the soup aisle.
However…are these things really the “real deal”?
The words “organic”, “gluten-free”, “natural”, “vegan-friendly” or popular “health” foods (like bone broth) are enough to make anyone feel like a conscious shopper.
Just because the label says it’s “healthy” or “good for you”, or just because it’s “popular” (like bone broth) doesn’t mean that it’s the gospel—it just means it’s really good marketing.
The “Health” Trap
I’ve been guilty of this many a time too—falling for the marketing claims of foods or products that I thought were the “righteous” choices to make—based merely on a label’s advertising.
For instance: Protein bars and supplements.
For years, I ate these things like candy: Quest bars, Cliff Bars, Luna Bars, Power Bars, canned protein drinks, and powders.
In fact, walk into any nutrition supplement shop and you may confuse it with an adult candy store—every product masked as a candy bar or milk shake, flavored as “Cookies & Cream” or “Double Fudge Brownie.”
But turn over the ingredient label and you’ll see names like: soy, silicon dioxide, aspartame and natural flavors. Couple this with the constipation, bloating, gas or diahrhea you experience and something’s not right here.
Or for todays main example: Bone Broth.
Bone broth is all the rage lately (and for good reasons).
Note: Bone broth boasts TONS of great benefits like:
- A healthy immune system
- Improved joint health
- Enhanced digestion
- Curing leaky gut
- Treating allergies and food intolerances
- Boosting your bod with amino acids (protein building blocks) through collagen
- Protecting your joins
- Supporting detoxification (of metals and toxic exposures)
However, the broth you buy in the carton on the soup aisle at the grocery store is NOT the same as the real thing.
Get the Facts
Traditional (real) broth is a broth made directly from disintegrated chicken or beef bones + apple cider vinegar + root vegetables + sea salt, slow-cooked in your crockpot or on your stove top.
The broth (often called “stock”) at the grocery store relies on higher temp and faster-cooking techniques than the “real deal” (which results in a watered down, non-gelled liquid).
Not only do you miss out on the gelatin (collagen protein) benefits from bone broth plus, but most of the nutrients, in general are watered down.
In addition, unnecessary additives (like MSG—a trigger of headaches and inflammation) and other flavors are often added.
The bottom line? Bone Broth in the carton on the soup aisle—like by Pacific Foos is NOT the same as the real thing. If you just need a small amount for a recipe, store-bought stuff is fine, but if you’re interested in drinking bone broth or using it for its healing properties, you have to make it yourself (recipe below) OR be a conscious buyer of your broth.
The good news? For those of you who DON’T have the time to make your own broth, there ARE more and more reputable companies popping up with the “real deal” in bags and jars.
Here are a few of my favs:
Bonafide Provisions (found at Whole Foods too!).
In addition, consider hitting up your local Farmer’s Market for some goodies.
This week’s find?
Fond Bone Broth here in Austin.
(Found at the Mueller’s Farmer Market during a Sunday afternoon stroll around the lake).
By all means 80/20 or 70/30 with food and life people (i.e. NOT perfection).
Chicken and waffles (the real thing gosh darn it), or a gluten-free brownie, or cup o’ fro yo, yo ain’t gonna kill ya.
Life is too short to not taste or experience the “good things.”
What this message is really saying is: Don’t believe everything you hear.
Just because a label says “heart healthy” or “with protein” or “gluten-free” does not mean it is real food your body recognizes as real food either, NOR does it mean it’s the “real deal.”
Bone Broth Recipe
Easy peasy lemon squeezy
- 2-3 lbs. organic chicken or beef bones(Note: I prefer “meat broth” so I just buy 1-2 whole chickens and use the whole thing)
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, in coins (pre-roasted veggies are a bonus!)
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Thyme & Rosemary, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic
- Bunch of parsley
- Any other herbs or spices you prefer
Place all ingredients in a crock pot or a large stock pot, and cover bones/meat with water (approx. 1 gallon for 2 lbs. bones/chicken). Let sit for 20-30 minutes before turning on. Turn crockpot on low, or stovetop on very low and allow to cook for up to 24 hours (chicken broth) or 36-48 hours (beef broth).
If you’re short on time (like all the time), consider getting an INSTANT POT (the best invention like ever for making broth in less than 2-3 hours). Cray cray!
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