Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bone Broth Recipe

In the previous post, I mentioned a home made bone broth I am eating as part of the "Beef and Leaf" diet. Here is the recipe if you are interested in making it for yourself. It is wonderfully nourishing and healing for the stomach and digestion.


-4 to 5 pounds of beef shank or knuckle bone with the tendons attached if possible
-6 to 8 quarts of water (spring water or filtered)
- 1 tablespoon salt
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (absolutely necessary)
- the white parts a bunch of scallions
-1 onion seared in a pan
-3 to 4 slices of ginger 3mm thick each

1. Bring large stock pot of water enough to cover bones to a boil
2. Boil bones for 10 minutes to clean them off
3. Drain water and fill pot with 6-8 quarts water and bones
4. Combine rest of ingredients and bring to a boil
5. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours
6. Let cool and skim off layer of fat that rises to the top.
7. Store by freezing in various containers to be accessible when needed.

Many people ask where to buy bones. You will notice that even run of the mill grocery stores like Shaw's, Albertsons, Shop Rite, Food Lion, etc. will have beef marrow bones in the meat section. You just didn't notice them because you weren't looking for them! You can also go to a butcher and ask directly. Even whole foods has them frozen. Grass feed beef bones are the preference, though I realize that your regular supermarket will not be too likely to have those.

This recipe is taken from Chris Chen. 

Beef and Leaf

I had for almost the entire existence of this blog, been eating a vegetarian diet that did not include any sort of grains whatsoever and no simple sugars even from fruit. Such a diet did wonders in helping to keep me from taking insulin, but over time, something did not feel quite as vital as it could. I began seeing an amazing healer/ acupuncturist who practices traditional Daoist medicine, and soon found myself on a new journey.

His treatment plan to keep me off of insulin, repair my digestive system and give the pancreas what it needs to heal- beef and leaf. For 6 months I am to eat nothing except for lean beef (preferably grass fed), dark leafy green vegetables and drink a broth made of the shank bones from beef. Eggs are the only other food permitted. Absolutely nothing else. The goal is to make the digestive system outrageously strong. By the end, I should be able to eat and maintain a normally balanced diet. We shall see if this will be the case.

The logic behind it from our western perspective is simply that my digestive system had been abused from day one of my life by all of the processed foods we've bombarded ourselves with and things went wrong. This is an entirely whole food diet. The protein from the beef to supply all of the power, leafy greens to keep the intestines full and the bone soup to supply the minerals, enzymes and vitamins needed to repair the damage. Why beef and not chicken or pork? I was also anemic, and beef is blood. As you'll see in the next part, beef also has perhaps the strongest digestive element you can find in food, and my digestion and assimilation is what needs to heal.
      From the eastern medicine perspective, a bit more complicated. Extremely briefly, in the 5 element theory present in this kind of medicine, there are 5 elements- metal, water, earth, fire and wood. Each element controls one of the other. Diabetes is seen as a disorder of the earth element where the wood element is overacting on it and throwing it out of balance. Each element is associated with a color, mood, emotion, organ system, season etc. The color of the wood element is green- hence, eat tons and tons of green leafy vegetables to calm the wood element and keep it from overacting on Earth. Earth on the other hand, when weak, needs to be healed with Earth. Earth is the stomach/ spleen/ pancreas element. Beef is earth. Beef has 4 stomachs- it has an outrageously strong digestive quality, provides blood is weighty and powerful like planet earth. In this logic, I eat these two foods to balance wood and earth. Other food are different elements and will throw out the balance agin and not allow the healing we are looking for to take place.

This is by far the most radical thing I have ever undertaken. Fanatic even. However, my healer says that if it works, it will be the last fanatical thing I'll ever have to do about this. It certainly seems like a concerning diet from a typical health perspective. What about cholesterol? Are you getting enough vitamins? I have seen a nutritionist and my endocrinologist. The nutritionist concluded that I am indeed getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals except for possibly vitamin D. I can either supplement for that or go outside a bit every day. Labs have been drawn and the cholesterol is decidedly approaching the upper side. However, it is important to remember that this diet is only temporary for 6 months. The things I see people do for years on end including drugs, alcohol and the host of other things we can guess we shouldn't eat cannot be a better situation, and they live for incredible lengths of time. Beside that point, this diet is healing. Comparing it to something that is "worse" is actually an argument that I don't like to make. It is simply radical, unfamiliar and extreme to most people.

Do you get tired of eating the same foods? On rare occasion. The food I am eating feels so nourishing and powerful, that I have had less cravings for other foods during the past two months of this diet than I have ever had. I noticed the cravings disappear as soon as I started drinking the bone broth (which I began to ween myself into eating beef after being a vegetarian). Additionally, I am so absolutely curious to see if this will work that my curiosity and commitment to experiment and see what happens overrides a desire to eat any certain type of food. Can you believe what it would mean if this actually works? I can't wait to find out.

Is there any scientific evidence? To that I say, is there any scientific evidence to the "cure" for cancer, cystic fibrosis, depression or ebola virus? The answer of course is no, as these "cures" are as yet undiscovered and as yet, untried, untested and unproven. However, the fact that we do not know what they are does not mean they do not exist. To scientifically prove something is actually just to become aware of a fact that already existed where we were unaware before. Is this scientifically proven? In that sense, no. However, there is a logic of ancient medicine behind it. Has it been tried on others? Yes, I have heard from my healer of it being tried on others. Have I met them? No, but that does not concern me.

As I press forward for 4 more months of this- October 20th, 2014 will the end, I get more and more curious to see what will happen. I don't need scientific evidence to convince me to try something. There is nothing to loose. If it doesn't work, I will readily admit it does not, and try something else. I will know and be able to feel if it is not putting me into better health. Intuitively, I will know if I need to stop. Until that time, my doctors and healers are behind me and come October an even more interesting experiment will commence when I attempt again to eat a normally balanced diet without the need for insluin.