I am vegetarian (okay, pescatarian). I have been for well over half my life. I don’t think this inclination will ever totally change. Whatever drove me to give up meat at a very young age was undoubtedly something intuitive. At this point in my life, I can’t imagine where meat even fits into my program.
You may have noticed that grass-fed animal products are the new black, or the new vegetarian—all of a sudden, meat has become chic. Thank you to the exploding paleo movement. As someone who has been passionate about vegetarianism her entire life, I find this very interesting. At first, I went a little conspiracy theorist on it, “It’s the government freaking out that everyone is going veg! It’s a scam—we aren’t made to eat dead animals.” Thus began the internal dialogue, and a refusal to jump on the bandwagon.
But fairly recently something shifted for me. I think it came from a fulfilled hunger. Love in my life has satisfied something deep and biological in my soul—something very primal and animalistic. I’m embracing a new found sense of womanhood and with the desire to procreate, my tune has shifted. Eating to permanently “detox” feels a bit flat and lacking in primal oompffh! Being sexual and fertile is the priority. We are all animals after all…
Recognizing now that I’ve spent a lifetime ignoring these urges, or at least only addressing them superficially, I feel ready to shift my focus and open up to a new conversation. I want to be strong, calm, and grounded—fully ready to say goodbye to my flighty and overly emotional twenties.
As I sit here writing this article, I am losing my virginity. Drinking a full cup of bone broth for the very first time. Honoring the animals that gave up their life to fill this gap in the circle. Life. Death. It feels rich, grounding, and undeniably nourishing.
The nutritional benefits of bone broth are probably somewhere between truth and exaggeration. It is true that many cultures throughout history have consumed bone broth as a means to nourish and be resourceful. The original Chicken Soup for the Soul. The health claims include immune support, digestive improvements, joint health, and some even say it will make you look younger due to the high collagen content.
Every body is different. Everyone has different nutritional needs and availability. Living in southern California, it’s easy for me to pick and choose and the weather is hardly a factor in dictating my nutritional needs.
The environmental impact of meat consumption is astounding. Animal welfare and factory farming should not be easily ignored. By no means do I promote the standard American diet, nor do I imagine I will start incorporating meat into my diet with any regularity.
The point for me is to be open. To travel through life with a new conversation. To recognize that life and death are intimately intertwined.
Of course food is an important subject—both politically and nutritionally. However, there is more to life than what we do and do not eat. The human race has evolved eating meat. It is reasonable to conclude that in moderation, it serves a nutritional purpose. If you are open—bone broth is the perfect foray into that world. Bones that would otherwise go to waste are being utilized for their full nutritional benefit.
This is a very basic recipe for bone broth. You can adjust to suit your needs and ingredient availability.
| INGREDIENTS |
- 2 pounds (or more) of high quality beef, chicken, lamb, etc. bones
- 2 chicken feet (optional) for more gelatin
- 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 large carrots, chopped into large pieces
- 1 leek, chopped into large pieces
- 3-4 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of high-quality sea salt
- 1 garlic head (optional)
- 1 small bunch of parsley
| DIRECTIONS |
- Place bones in a large stock pot. Cover with filtered water and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in water + apple cider vinegar mixture in order to help break down the bones and make the nutrition more available. Add all vegetables except garlic and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. The longer you simmer, the more concentrated the broth.
- The general rule of thumb is the larger the bones, the longer the simmer.
- Beef Broth – Up to 48 hours
- Chicken/ Poultry – Up to 24 Hours
- For a mixture of bones – a day + a half is a good amount of time.
- Add the garlic and parsley to finish for flavor and simmer for 30 more minutes before serving.
- If drinking broth feels a little foreign to you—add some dark leafy greens for an easy and delicious soup. Some fermented chili sauce and a splash of olive oil are also excellent additions.
- Makes approximately 4-6 cups of broth