Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Make Nourishing Beef Bone Broth


Bone broth is definitely all the rage these days, however, this food staple has been around for ages. Cooking the bones of animals along with a variety of vegetables creates a nourishing and extremely flavorful base from which you can create rich-tasting and satisfying soups and stews. Yes bone broth has a small amount of minerals and some easily digested amino acids, but it also has something called umami.

Umami is part of the five tastes along with sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It's a meaty flavor you get from bone broths, some hard cheeses, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce, fish sauce, and other fermented foods. It's the taste that makes you go "ahhhh" after a good meal, helping to create pleasure in eating and a satisfaction with your meal that leads to satiety.

I like to cook beef bone broth in the wintertime because of the long cooking time. When I make beef bone broth I usually make a large batch in my 12-quart stockpot and cook it all day for about 3 days on a low simmer and then set the pot on my garage floor to cool during the night, then bring it back in the next morning, adding back in water that was lost through evaporation. I don't have a slow cooker large enough to fit this recipe! During this long cooking time, the collagen matrix in the bones begins to break down into free amino acids, making the broth a good source of glycine and proline. Free glycine  is very beneficial because it can to bind to toxic chemicals and pull them out of the body in a Phase 2 liver detoxification reaction called glycination. Glycine also supports the production of glutathione (the body's primary antioxidant) and helps to rebuild collagen within our own bone structure. The acids (vinegar or wine) added to the broth during cooking also break down the meaty parts of the bone, freeing some additional amino acids. These free amino acids in the broth can be very beneficial for those with weak or compromised digestion. Oftentimes people with impaired digestion are deficient in amino acids, so bone broths can provide a quick route back to health.

If you have an autoimmune condition, have adrenal fatigue, have food or environmental allergies, have poor digestion, or have a child or toddler who is pale or malnourished ("failure to thrive" children") then consider adding bone broth into your weekly meal planning.

Look for organic, pastured beef knuckle and marrow bones at your local Farmer's Market or health food store (they can often be found in the freezer section). I like to roast the bones in the oven first before making the broth. This creates both a richer flavor and helps to remove some of the excess fat.

I hope you enjoy this nourishing beef bone broth recipe (also called beef stock)! I like to use it as a base for lentil and vegetable soups, beef stew, and minestrone soup! My Nourishing Meals cookbook has plenty of soup and stew recipes where this bone broth can be used if you need any recipe inspiration!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe (sugar-free)



After a long blogging break, I'm back with an amazing hot sauce recipe for you to make and enjoy for many months. I grew a lot of hot peppers in my garden this year, in fact my garden has been extremely bountiful this year! Up until recently, I've sort of taken my garden for granted. I had no idea how healing gardening could be….until it was all I could do. You see, on June 2nd, just after returning from a functional medicine conference and after two years of non-stop work, I suffered an adrenal crash. Taking care of five young children, updating and publishing a book, developing an online program, co-authoring a new book, and being in charge of the development of a new website and book launch proved to be too much.

Two things that have helped tremendously with the healing process (other than totally slowing down, going to bed early, taking certain supplements, diet, and Epsom salt baths) are gardening and staying off the computer. Being in the fresh air, having the sun beat down on my skin, feeling my bare feet in the soil, and eating nutrient-dense raw vegetables and fruits everyday straight from the garden (your adrenals need a lot of vitamin C to function properly) has been extremely therapeutic for me. In fact, it would be wonderful therapy for anyone suffering from adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout. The little bit of energy I put in, I got back tenfold in edible bounty. Gardening has helped to reset my cortisol rhythm and nourish me, whereas too much computer time (especially at night) along with too many stressors has led to a dysfunctional cortisol-melatonin cycle. To help heal and regain balance, I’ve also spent a lot of time with my children outside all summer …at the lake, river, ocean, and mountain. Nature is powerful medicine. I encourage those of you who are dealing with a chronic illness to get outside for a walk in the woods, spend time at a beach every week, and take some time to be in your garden everyday (you can start a garden this fall if you don’t have one already).

I just love going into my garden and harvesting the abundance of vegetables growing there, and then preserving them so we can enjoy their flavors, colors, and nutrients all winter long. If you have too many hot peppers, then consider making this hot sauce recipe. It's a perfect way to preserve them! If you don't grow your own hot peppers, then check out your local Farmer's Market; they are usually brimming with all kinds of peppers this time of year!

According to this resource, sriracha sauce is named after the coastal city, Si Racha, in eastern Thailand. Sriracha is used as a dipping sauce in Thai cuisine, and is also used frequently in Vietnamese cuisine as a condiment for pho, noodle dishes, and spring rolls. Of course, we use it on everything! Traditional sriracha sauce uses sugar in its ingredients. Instead, I use sweet red peppers to cut the spiciness of the hot peppers. The sweet peppers also add body and flavor to the sauce.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our NEW Book: The Elimination Diet….plus FREE Gifts!


Over the last ten years, thousands of people have let go of migraine suffering, arthritis pain, skin problems, and mood issues by following our Elimination Diet. And now this powerful Functional Medicine tool can be found in a comprehensive hardcover book! The Elimination Diet (March 31st, 2015) is up for pre-order and with it comes some fabulous gifts I've been working on…a FREE Elimination Diet Cookbook and Quick Start Guide (see below).

Studies on Elimination Diets have demonstrated:
  • 100% of Gallbladder disease improved
  • 90% of Rheumatoid Arthritis pain lessened
  • 85% of Migraine sufferers found relief
  • 70% of Mood/Behavior symptoms of ADD were lessened
  • 50% of Skin issues like atopic dermatitis got better

The Elimination Diet book clearly explains why so many people are reacting to foods these days and gives you a practical tool as to what you can do about it. Through Tom’s Functional Medicine science and cases studies, and my recipes and cooking tips, you will gain all of the information you need to transform your health and your life.

In other words, you will learn how to get to the root of your symptoms by using the process of the elimination diet. But there's more. This book is not just about the diet. It's a guidebook to elevate your health and your family's health to the next level. Because food has the power to heal and the power to harm. Think about it. What is the one thing that our body comes in contact most with during the day? Food! In fact the average human will consume over 25 tons of food over the course of a lifetime.

Odds are that foods you are eating every day are leaving you sick and tired. How do you find out which ones? The Elimination Diet. This foundational tool of Functional Medicine has been used for centuries to discover which foods are making you ill and which ones make you feel incredible.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Scones (gluten-free, nut-free, vegan)



I finally have the recipe many of you have been waiting for....the gluten-free, berry scone recipe you've seen me post about on Instagram over the last few weeks. Although I used raspberries once, they are out of season right now and just too darn expensive to keep using. Instead, I've been making these with the frozen blueberries we have in our freezer from last summer's harvest. You could use any berry in this scone recipe. Try blackberry, chopped strawberries, marionberry, or blueberries. I've also tested this recipe using diced (very small) Granny Smith apples with added cinnamon, which were quite delicious as well. Oh...and this recipe is xanthan-gum free of course!

If you haven't seen our brand new Whole Life Nutrition website already then you might want to check it out: www.WholeLifeNutrition.net. We've begun to add articles and videos, and will be adding a lot more content and features in the coming weeks so stay tuned. You can sign up for our newsletter there and get our Free Clean Eating Cookbook and Grocery Shopping Guide if you would like (all new gluten-free, whole foods recipes).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Salad with Fennel and a Blood Orange Vinaigrette


Even though it may be winter, you can still eat the colors of the rainbow and give yourself a hearty dose of powerful phytochemicals! Consuming the deep reds, magentas, and oranges you see in this salad means that you are flooding your body with plant chemicals that prevent DNA damage, stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, block substances we ingest from becoming carcinogens, and of course mop up free radicals. In fact, I should rename this salad to The Anti-Cancer Salad! My children even love this salad (minus the red onions). I came downstairs yesterday morning to find that they had all packed a container of it their school lunches (along with chicken-vegetable soup or turkey black bean chili)!

If you haven't worked with fennel before then you are in for a treat. This delicious vegetable adds complex flavors to this salad. I love eating it raw but it's also delicious braised or roasted! We like to added it to fresh juices, in fact, since this recipe only uses the bulb, you can save the stalks to make green juice (combine green apple, parsley, kale, lemons, and fennel stalks for a delicious elixir). If you need some visual assistance in cutting up fennel then check out the tutorial I prepared for you at the bottom of this post.

One more note on the ingredients here….this recipe calls for either chopped or segmented blood oranges. To chop them you just peel, slice, and then chop into pieces. To segment, you need to peel them and then cut into wedges around the membranes. I like to use a small serrate knife to do this. It's really very easy but if you've never done it before it can seem daunting. Food52 has a great, short video on doing this that I suggest watching for guidance if you need it. You can view it here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Masala Chicken and Vegetable Stew (Nightshade-Free)


I love curry dishes, but curry powder typically contains chili peppers (a nightshade vegetable). If you are following the Elimination Diet and craving curry, try this stew! It's warming, though not as spicy as a typical curry would be. I use garam masala powder, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder to create a flavorful dish without chili peppers. I know it's not authentic at all, but it is totally satisfying if you are on a nightshade-free diet or elimination diet!

Consuming nightshades (potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries) can trigger joint pain, migraines, skin rashes, acne, GI upset, and inflammation in SOME people. Are you sensitive to nightshades? Please share your experiences in the comment section below. If you think nightshades might be an issue for you, the best way to determine that is to do an Elimination Diet.

Garam masala is a staple spice blend at our house. I use it a lot to flavor roasted vegetables, or garbanzo bean dishes. Garam means warm, and Masala means spice blend. Garam masala typically contains cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander.