Tag Archives: bone broth

Hair as an Indicator of Health

hair

Not too long ago I had very thin hair; I was using the flat iron a lot and eating the government sanctioned “healthy diet”. I was probably about 45 years old when I was at dinner with the family and one of my sisters mentioned that my hair was getting thin. She had just gone through a thin hair period (it runs in the family), and I’m pretty sure she fixed it with Rogaine or something like that.

I didn’t really do anything about it right away; I think I started taking gelatin and biotin supplements, but I tend to take supplements pretty haphazardly. A few months later I got a horrible haircut; I had been going to this girl and she was really great, and my hair looked awesome, but this time she butchered my hair. She took off about four or five inches and did something with my side bangs that just ruined that entire side of my hair. My husband was not happy with how short it was at all, and this was when I started concentrating on my hair in earnest.

Searching, the most common thing I read about growing hair was drinking bone broth, so I started making that. Just prior to this I had discovered saturated fats and animal fats and was experimenting with those. Seriously, saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc) changed my life. My body and brain LOVE them. I’m drinking coffee with raw heavy cream right now!

During this search and research, I discovered the Paleo/Primal Diet, and whereas I don’t religiously stick to it now, it really pretty much changed my life, too. Cutting out most of my carbs eventually cut out most of my inflammation. Before, I was mostly vegetarian, and after I was mostly carnivore. Not “you are what you eat” (who wants to be a grain or vegetable?) but “eat what you are” (you are an animal!).

For thick healthy hair, there is only so much you can do on the outside to help: you can quit using high heat appliances, you can oil your hair, you can only shampoo twice a week with a sulfite free shampoo and conditioner, you can go No Poo, but eventually you have to go to the source of the problem. You have to fix your body before you can fix your hair. If your body isn’t healthy, your hair probably won’t be either. A lot of hair is genetic, but if you give your body the necessary building blocks, you can maximize your hair growth.

I tried to use my flat iron as little as possible, and I thought that it was the main culprit as far as my thin hair went, and it did help, but I needed more. I was making bone broths and using them for soup but I didn’t really think of using them as lunch until I discovered intermittent fasting (IF), and broth fasting. I don’t constantly IF, though; I go on spurts of IF, resistant starch, and eating whatever leftovers that I happen to bring from home for lunch. I eat a full regular dinner with my husband each evening.

So, what is my current regimen? Monday morning I wash and blow-dry straight (I have very curly hair that is easier to straighten than it is to make the curls behave). Tuesday I use a YouCurl curling iron (I curl my hair in only three parts: back, and both sides for larger curls) to reduce bedhead ; it is damaging, but since it’s not used near the roots like a flat iron, it doesn’t thin your hair. Wednesday and Friday I shampoo and blow-dry, and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I use the YouCurl. Sometimes I wear a hat on Sundays, LOL.

The evenings before shampoo day, I will oil my hair with either coconut oil or Argan oil or both. Every day after drying/curling, I use a tiny amount of pomade (wax) from either Pantene or Herbal Essences to make my hair less static and look more polished. The main reason I don’t shampoo every day is because I do more damage to my hair when I do. I looked for a dry shampoo to try, but I couldn’t find one, and then decided that I didn’t want to put any chemicals on my scalp. I’ve heard you can use baby powder or baking soda, but I’m not that adventurous.

Recently, I have been taking a couple of tablespoons of Blackstrap Molasses before bed with the zinc and magnesium supplements that I take to sleep (excellent sleep aid!). Molasses is also good for sleep like raw honey is. The honey didn’t seem to help my sleep, but I’ve been sleeping like crazy with the Molasses.

To improve the gelatin in my bone broth, I have been getting chicken feet at the Asian Market to add to my chicken broth and I have been getting cow hooves, feet, and tendons for my beef broth. My hair is now nice and full, and I only have another four inches to grow it before it will be the perfect length. The funny thing is that before starting on bone broth, both my husband and I were going gray, but after, both of our hair went back dark. I hardly have any gray right now and I’m in my early fifties.

Everyone remarks on how young we both look, and I’m pretty sure it is the collagen and gelatin (and minerals?) in the broth. I think it is helping our bodies resist “going south”. When you get to our age, and I’m in the middle of menopause, which doesn’t help at all, everything starts to sag. There really isn’t any way to stop this, but I think that broth helps retard the process. With a good diet, lots of broth, tons of squats, kettlebell swings, and some weight training, you can be in really good shape well into old age.

Current Diet and Exercise

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I’ve been on Dr. Illusion’s one meal a day plan for just over a week (except Saturday when I had a humongous piece of chicken in addition to my regular meal), and it’s funny because I’m no longer hungry for lunch. If I do get hungry, I’ve found that a cup of hot green tea (no sweetener) usually takes care of my pangs. For the last few years I often only have a cup of homemade bone broth for lunch or maybe even a cup of raw whole milk.

It’s just such a pain to have to figure out what to take to work for lunch, and there’s no way I’m blowing $8 on some greasy take out or fast food. I’m super hungry for dinner, which is the only meal my husband eats anyway, so I might eat an entire T-bone with some rice. That meal, some heavy raw cream in my coffee for breakfast, and a few beers at the bar pretty much takes care of my daily caloric needs.

Tonight I have planned a dinner of two strip steaks cut in thin strips and marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, stir fried in coconut oil with onions, garlic, peas and some rice I made yesterday flavored with turmeric, ginger and cumin. Since I cooked and cooled the rice, it will have a lot of resistant starch, so I will just throw it in at the last minute to warm it up because I’ve read (I don’t know where – it was a while ago) that you can heat a starch up to 120F before it starts to reduce the RS.

I also have some homemade yogurt to plop on top of the rice – the flavor goes so well with the turmeric and cumin. So yummy; we had a tester of the stir fried rice last night with some ribeyes that I pan fried with coconut oil after marinating in bourbon.

I have started in earnest, an exercise routine that seems to be working well for me. My husband found me the most adorable little 15lb kettlebell, so I have started doing some swings with it. I’m starting out slow because I’m old and don’t want to hurt myself. I’m doing the swings that start in a squat with the KB between my legs, swing the KB up to the ceiling (narrowly missing the ceiling fan – yay for 9ft ceilings) and swing back down to the squat. If the soreness in my abs and upper shoulders is any indication, it is a good workout.

I’m also doing a bunch of squats for my butt. Squats work so fast! Seriously, a week after I started doing them, my butt was noticeably rounder. It was amazing. I’m still using the ancient SoloFlex in rotation with the other exercises, and it is set up for my husband, so it is really hard to push that bar upward.

That and a little work with a couple of 10lb dumbbells is the extent of my workout. I’m not looking to really reduce much (if I did that would be great) but I want to reshape a few areas. Mostly I want to smooth out my waist area and inner thighs, which are looking a little droopy 😦 I might even resort to doing a few lunges or even invest in a Thigh Master (LOL;jk).

Bone Broth

1 gallon of beef stockbone broth

This is what my refrigerator pretty much looks like right now except I’m more of a Kerr girl than a Ball girl (canning humor). I’ve had the same bone broth going for quite a few days now & each morning I strain off a quart or so, pour in new filtered water with a splash of apple cider vinegar & start the process over again.

The reason it has been going so long is that I keep cooking things with bones for dinner, so each evening after dinner I toss the bones, skin & fat of whatever we ate into the crockpot plus the ends of whatever veggies we cook with dinner. Tonight I’m making chicken soup with some of the broth & since I’m using the dark meat from the rotisserie chicken we savaged the breasts from last night, I will have the bones & skin from that to add to the pot.

Chicken soup is awesome because you just use whatever veggies you happen to have in your crisper, saute them slowly in a buttload of butter with the diced meat, add broth & simmer for a few & then just after you serve the soup, you pour a large dollop of raw heavy cream into your bowl. Heaven.

I generally have a nice cup of broth with my lunch at work; I’m not sure if this will extend into the summer, but right now it is a tasty, warm addition to my day. Sometimes there is meat in my broth for sort of a gruel, but usually it’s just broth. I started doing this for my hair a couple of years ago & I swear it went from thin & just starting to gray to now thick & brown. It is literally less gray now than a couple years ago; there are just a few gray strands left.

My husband is much less gray too, and he actually has an advancing hairline now. The bone broth has another interesting effect on him; we now refer to it as boner broth because, well I’m sure you can figure it out! Broth has a lot of curative properties not necessarily related to huge throbbing boners; it basically breaks down the bones into easily absorbed gelatin, minerals & cartilage. Eat what you are. Just don’t heat it in the microwave.

Sometimes when I’m at the Asian market I will get a tray of chicken feet or ox tail just for some brothy goodness. Sometimes they have huge marrow filled bones just for broth. I’m not really picky & sometimes I mix & match the bones. Since I made baby back pork ribs Sunday, I went ahead & threw the bones into the chicken broth pot.

Oh & now baby back pork ribs are my new favorite “large chunk of slow cooked meat” to make & I love me some large chunks of slow cooked meat!

Lose the Microwave

microwave

I was reading an article over at Excavating Eden on Three Ways Modern Civilization Neuters You about microwaving food & it reminded me of exactly why I ditched my microwave. I always had an uneasy feeling using it, but didn’t really have anything definite to go on & it is just too convenient to use. I had to go cold turkey.

We got rid of our microwave a year or two ago.  I was making a lot of bone broths & the microwave was awesome because you could make the broth, store it in mason jars in the refrigerator & then heat it up as needed in the microwave. Easy peasy. Until I read the bad news in this (very excellent) Weston A.Price article.

Whatever form of gelatin is used, it should never be cooked or reheated in the microwave. According to a letter published in The Lancet, the common practice of microwaving converts l-proline to d-proline. They write, “The conversion of trans to cis forms could be hazardous because when cis-amino acids are incorporated into peptides and proteins instead of their trans isomers, this can lead to structural, functional and immunological changes.” They further note that “d-proline is neurotoxic and we have reported nephrotoxic and heptatotoxic effects of this compound.”55 In other words, the gelatin in homemade broth confers wonderous benefits, but if you heat it in the microwave, it becomes toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. […]There is no reason to think that proline is the only amino subject to this kind of destruction, and it is likely that other aminos would be similarly affected. The studies, however, were done on proline.

So, instead of making an extremely healthful substance I was basically poisoning my household. Yay! Liquid death! Then I looked up what else contains proline & even coffee has it. Basically if there is protein in a food, you should not microwave that food. Our microwave was promptly donated to GoodWill to poison the less fortunate.

A lot of restaurants freeze then microwave their food like Applebee’s does, so this is another reason to do more of your cooking at home.