Easy Homemade Crockpot Chicken Stock

Easy Homemade Crockpot Chicken Stock

 Health Benefits of Chicken Stock

An old solution to illness that has been used over decades.   The benefits of bone broth/stock are countless and every family should be aware of its beneficial effects.  Every time a member in my family is knocked down by illness, bone broth is one of our first steps back to wellness.

Your Grandparents probably ate soup more often than you do in your home now.  Not only was it an affordable option, went a long ways, it is one of the healthiest foods available.

During the cooking process it can look disgusting but the smell is incredible and cover the house with an auray of warmth.  Chicken stock is my number one suggestion for pretty near everyone that I work with.  The major difference being, if you have histamine intolerance, than you want to reduce your cooking time. 

Why do I  recommend this as a starting point?

Chicken stock is jammed packed full of nutrients and goodness.   The perfect balance of essential nutrients, healthy fats, minerals and anti-inflammatory proteins that your body is craving to make use of.   If you ever watch wild life documentaries, you may notice that the animal works quickly through the meat and straight to the bone and that is not only to sharpen those teeth of theirs but to get to the much needed nutrients

Chicken stock is simple to make and you can use a variety of herbs depending on where you are at with your gut health and your personal preferences.  Once your gut is more stable, you can move onto to bone broth which is essentially the same other than you are boiling the bones rather than the bones and meat. 

I personally like chicken stock but you can use almost any meat and they all have incredible nutrient value.   The most basic ingredients would be just chicken, water and salt but again as you continue to use this practice you will likely find yourself experimentling with various herbs.   

Let’s go over the simple steps:

1.  Boil a large pot of water (enough water to cover the full small chicken and an inch or so higher)

2.  Once the water is boiled,  I like to add 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt and then add in the whole small chicken.

3.  Turn the heat down to boil and add in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  The apples cider helps to pull out all the amazing essential nutrients.

If you have a histamine intolerance you want to boil for 3-4 hours max.  If not, it is a matter of what you like and taste.  I personal let it go on simmer for about 6 hours.  I add lots of salt and drink it in a cup throughout the day.

Once you get used to making stock and if you are getting tired of drinking it straight specific to gut health, you may want to play around with adding in veggies and creating various soups.  The colour of the stock will change depending on what kind of meat that you used as well as how long you let it coil for.  

 

After awhile in the fridge you will notice the broth congeals on the top.  That is a good thing!  It looks gross but that is where the bulk of the nutrititional goodness is.  When you heat it up, just stir the fat into the liquid and you will forget how awful it looked.  The taste is incredible!!!

 Chicken stock and bone broth both are made using the bones and joints of the animal and so the nutrients are pulled out.  Proteins are high ranking in chicken stock.  The pretein value can be up near 50%.  Gelatin is what makes that cool thick layer on top when in the fridge and although it isn’t a complete amino acid it does proline and other non essential acids that are also important.  Protein is imprtant for 

These proteins perform a variety of crucial functions. First of all, they give your body the raw materials to rebuild your own connective tissue, especially tendons (which connect muscles to bones) and ligaments (which connect bones to each other). It’s hard to overestimate how important this connective tissue is for overall health and strength. Professional powerlifters know that their bodies are only as strong as their weakest link: bulging muscles are useless if their tendons and ligaments are underdeveloped. And injury to these crucial tissues doesn’t just stall your deadlift progression. Think of tendonitis, or the overall “aching joints” that seem to accumulate with age. Definitely symptoms we all want to reduce or avoid if at all possible.

 

 

As well as providing the raw materials for healthy bones and joints, the proteins in bone broth deliver an especially interesting benefit for rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease marked by painful damage to the tendons and ligaments. Specifically, these proteins may actually help stop the autoimmune response in its tracks. One study found that chicken collagen dramatically improved symptoms in 60 patients; four of them showed complete remission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another benefit of bone broth for joint health comes from glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a family of carbohydrates found in bones and connective tissue that show interesting effects in reducing joint pain. One of these GAGs, hyaluronic acid, is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis: it’s been mostly studied as an injection, but there’s also evidence that it’s useful when taken by mouth. Chondroitin sulfate is another GAG that has performed well in reducing the pain and damage of arthritis in several studies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best-known GAG is glucosamine, which thousands of people take as a joint health supplement. Interestingly enough, the studies evaluating glucosamine + chondroitin supplements have produced conflicting and inconclusive results, and there seems to be a significant bias introduced by industry funding. However, one study compared glucosamine + chondroitin to plain collagen and found that the collagen was actually more effective, indicating that there might be something in the whole food that the supplements miss.

 

 

 

Whether it’s from the GAGs or the proteins, or the combination of all of them, the evidence is in: bone broth is a valuable supplemental food for all of us, and a delicious potential therapy for joint diseases. Especially if you play sports that put stress on your joints (anything where you have to run or jump on concrete, like basketball or jogging), your knees will thank you for adding a big mug of broth to your recovery routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Bone Broth: Digestion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature rarely seems to make foods that are healthy for only one reason, and bone broth is no exception. As well as keeping your knees free from disturbing crunchy noises every time you move, it also helps improve digestion in a variety of ways.

Glycine, for example, is useful because it stimulates the production of stomach acid. To judge from the billions of dollars Americans spend on antacids every year, you might think that this is the last thing we need, but in fact acid reflux may actually be a problem of too little stomach acid, not too much. For the full story, see this series; the short version is that a stomach acid deficiency leaves your food sitting there in your stomach, half-digested, and the pressure from your stomach being so full can force acid up into the esophagus.

By prompting your body to secrete more stomach acid, glycine can help prevent or treat this painful and potentially dangerous problem. This makes bone broth a delicious supplemental food for anyone suffering from acid reflux, IBS, or FODMAPS intolerance.

Adding to its metabolic virtues, glycine is also an important component of bile acid, which is necessary for fat digestion in the small intestine, and also helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Especially for people who are new to Paleo and switching from a carb-based to a fat-based diet, this has the potential to keep the digestive process running a lot more smoothly.

 

 

Glycine isn’t the only useful protein for gut health, either. Glutamine, another amino acid found in bone broth, is a natural remedy for “leaky gut,” that unpleasant and dangerous condition where the barrier between your gut and the rest of your body isn’t working properly, allowing molecules that should stay inside the gut to cross over into the bloodstream and potentially set of a cascade of autoimmune reactions. Glutamine helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall, preventing this damage from occurring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Bone Broth: Detox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glycine also helps in detoxification – the actually meaningful kind, not the ridiculous nonsense about unspecified “toxins” and the necessity of removing them by embarking on long fasts or juice cleanses. None of those special cleanses are necessary, because your body has its own detox system: your liver. Glycine gives the liver a hand up in removing anything dangerous from the body – for example, in one rat study, rats fed glycine showed significant improvements in recovery from alcohol-induced fatty liver disease compared to rats that weren’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glycine is also necessary for the synthesis of glutathione and uric acid, the body’s most important endogenous antioxidants. As described in the article on antioxidants, boosting production of the endogenous (internally produced) antioxidants is much more useful for reducing oxidative stress than taking Vitamin C or other antioxidant supplements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another detox-related benefit is that glycine helps clear out excess methionine, another amino acid found in large quantities in eggs and muscle meat. Methionine is an essential amino acid, but too much of it can raise blood levels of another amino acid called homocysteine, and the process of breaking down homocysteine increases the body’s need for B vitamins (thus increasing the risk of B vitamin deficiency even if your intake is adequate). Glycine from broths and cartilage can help break down homocysteine without the need for B vitamins. This is a perfect example of the wisdom of traditional cultures in eating every part of the animal: the proteins in the muscle meat and the proteins in the connective tissue balance each other out for 

 

 

Related Post:  HPA Axis Dysfunction and

 

 

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Hormone Imbalance Symptoms

F fat in the tummy area.  

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8.  Low Libido

Even though it really shouldn’t matter to us that much… it does..  Having 0 libido makes us feel like less of a women and less of a wife.  I don’t think any women is ok with not having a low libido let alone no libido.

9.  Anxiety & Depression:

I know I have said they all suck but if I had to pick the worst one this would be it.  After I had my daughter, I had the worst post pardum which is often a case of a drop of progesterone.  I have suffered horrid anxiety and depression and I wish it on no one.

Now what?  How do balance your hormones?

To Probiotic or To Not Probiotic…  Bacteria and The Gut

To Probiotic or To Not Probiotic… Bacteria and The Gut

Bacteria and The Gut

When I work with a client and it comes to probiotics my answer is never simple.  I use my intuition greatly as well as the clients feedback for clues when it comes to my recommendation for which probiotic would be best suited for them.  Some people, like myself, cannot tolerate any probiotic for a long while into the protocol.  

Many clients that I chat with are under the belief that they must “kill” off all the bad bugs and although we do want to rid the body of many of these culprits, it is not like we can go in with a nerf gun and have at it…

The idea is to push the bad bugs out by increasing the good.  We also want to look at which strains of good bugs do we want to add.  After all, too many good bugs can lead to bad things as well.   We want to think about all of the bi products that all the bacteria create as well as the fact that many of the by products are actually great at keeping inflammation down.

In one article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, according to the book Brain Maker ” These preventive  strategies are already well documented in high-profile scientific literature and can have a radical impact in reducing the incidences of the neurodegenerative illness.  Medical researchers already have knowledge that, if implemented, could slash the number of new Alzheimer’s patients here in the U.S. by more than half”.

What is it that this article was referring to in regards to prevention?  The Gut!

There have also been reports done suggesting that high blood sugar could be a serious factor to development of dementia.  I am talking about high blood sugar that is not considered on the diabetic radar yet.  

I am suggesting that rather than calling in reinforcements to pull the car out of the ditch (medication), perhaps we could slow down and pay more attention to the signs.

 

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Symptoms:

Why am I talking about blood sugar when I was talking about the gut?  The same reason that I talk about blood pressure, SIBO or anxiety…  Because they are connected and it is becoming more and more obvious that those with poor gut health are more likely to struggle with all areas of health, including mental health.  

I have been at the bottom, you know that ugly place where you thought you knew what depression is until you are actually experiencing it first hand and let me tell you, it was far from pretty.  Once I was completely submerged in it, I began to really research and see just how connected my gut health was in relation to my mental well being.  I am not a doctor and if you need medication, that is not for me to judge.  I would recommend though that you take a close look at your gut health as well.  

I have also had a long list of symptoms such as depression, IC, IBS, candida, chronic migraines, joint pain and so on.  My point is that almost any symptom can and likely is a direct result of the health of your gut.  There is obviously a lot more to solving the puzzle to your ongoing health concerns and it id not gut a matter of digestion but also absorption among other things.

So, where to start…? 

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Steps:

 

  1. Clean up your diet
  2.  Probiotic
  3. Water with sea salt
You Don’t NEED Dairy to Get Calcium

You Don’t NEED Dairy to Get Calcium

  • Why do we need Calcium
  • How Calcium works with other vitamins/minerals in your body
  • Symptoms of low calcium
  • Foods that can raise Calcium
  • Supplements that can increase calcium

Why do we need Calcium?

At some point during childhood, we all have heard our parents tell us to drink our milk so we can grow big and strong… While Calcium is critical to bone health, we can get adequate amounts from food sources other than milk.

Truthfully, milk is not necessarily the enemy. I know lots of people that do well on milk but the difference is typically that they are consuming raw milk. The way that milk is processed and the antibiotics that are given when needed have negative effects on our system.

Calcium does more than just make bones healthy. It also helps to keep blood from clotting which is why you may have heard taking it with vitamin K2 can be a good idea. It also helps our muscles to contract so that we can walk, use our arms and carry our kids around. On top of that, it even helps our heart beat. I’d say that is a big deal…

Related Post: How To Improve Leaky Gut

Calcium is found to make up 1.5-2% of body weight in humans and is by far the most abundant mineral. It is very important to take vitamin D3 if you are taking a calcium supplement. Vitamin D3 aids in calcium absorption and metabolism, it also helps the calcium be absorbed in the digestive tract and helps to regulate blood calcium levels. This is critical because if there isn’t enough calcium in the blood than the parathyroid gland will simply release extra parathyroid hormone and that is not good because that will pull calcium out of the bones to ensure that the blood gets enough. This means that even though calcium is predominant in the bones that the body will sacrifies the bone calcium to give it to blood calcium. Hello, osteoporosis…

Calcium is an alkali mineral that is found in the Earth’s crust. In Latin Calcium comes from calc and it means “lime”, such as limestone. The calcium supplement that is often used by people is derived from Dolomite, which is a calcium-magnesium earth mineral; the body is able to use this form as it is slightly soluble.

The problem that can arise is that dolomite is often mixed with lead in the earths clay and precautions need to be taken when purchasing this product.

If you have high oxalates and eat food such as spinach, almonds and chocolate on a regular basis that can interfere with absorption as well. With adrenal issues on the rise, we have to watch as everyone is encouraged to increase sea salt. Although this is extremely helpful, the excess salt can increase calcium loss in the urine. Sugar is also another culprit in reducing calcium absorption.

 

I personally struggled with high oxalates which caused me to suffer from IC pain.   I realized that adding a calcium supplement to my daily regime reduced the pain significantly as calcium binds with oxalates.   

Low Calcium Symptoms

According to University Health Daily News, some symptoms include:

    • Heart issues and/or chest pain
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle cramping and/or spasms
    • Numbness around the mouth
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Course hair
    • Muscle weakness
    • Brittle nails
    • Psoriosos
    • Dry itchy skin
    • Tooth decay
    • Osteoporosis symptoms (backache; a gradual loss of height and an accompanying stooped posture; fractures of the spine, wrist, or hip)

  

Foods that can increase Calcium:

 So, how do we address food when it comes to calcium?  Milk is by far the highest calcium ratio food source and lactose helps calcium absorb but that does most people no good as they cannot tolerate milk.   We can look at green leafy vegetables but they tend to be high in oxalates causing more issues.  Nuts could be an alternative but what do you do if you are allergic plus the fact that nuts contain higher levels of phosphorus than we may want.

Better solutions may be foods such as cauliflower, broccoli, peas and beans such as pinto, aszuki and soybeans.  Molasses, figs raisins and apricots are also good options.  

 

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Supplements to increase Calcium:

Calcium absorption also becomes less efficient as we age and taking a a supplement for this may be necessary.  Calcium aspartate and citrate will need less vitamin D3 to absorb, however calcium lactate and carbonate will need more.  It is important to work with someone who can advise you which form is best and also how much vitamin D you would require.  You will also want to make sure that you are balancing calcium with magnesium and ensure that you take vitamin K2 as well.  Vitamin K2 aids in directing and works synergistically with the others.    I recommend looking at CanPrev brand D3+K2 – Organic Coconut Oil Base Softgels.

Talk with your doctor about testing your calcium and if you would benefit from a supplement. 

Before you begin throwing all these vitamins into your mix, you will want to address stomach acidity and by that look at the level of hydrochloric acid being produced.  Hydrochloric acid is very important in digestion and aids in absorbing calcium.  I am a fan of  Thorne – Betaine HCL & Pepsin.  Main absorption of calcium happens in the duodenum as it is more acidic.  Calcium is fantastic in helping b12 absorb properly but watch out because to much calcium can deplete zinc, iron and mangenese.

I recommend that if you do start a supplement to boost calcium, that you order a calcium/magnesium combination or add a magnesium as the two work together.

 

Hormones

Hormones

Hormones

It is not unusual during my first session with a client for them to ask me about adrenals.  Truthfully, it has become the hot topic of anyone that has researched past the conventional realm and with reason.

The adrenal glands are 2 tiny glands that sit above the kidneys and they hold a lot of responsibility.  Basic knowledge tells us that the adrenals are responsible for the fight/fight reaction but the process is not that simple and when the signals get mixed; all can go array.

Related Post:  HPA Axis Dysfunction and Symptoms

If the clients cortisol is high for example and DHEA level is low, the effect can be: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, blood cholesterol can increase as well as triglycerides, the thyroid becomes effected and so much more.   Of course, these symptoms vary in each person as no one body reacts the same.  If the cortisol and DHEA are low that can indicate that the individual is not able to make enough but we need to look further, is it that they aren’t making or making it and not processing it.

We know that when we reduce the stress load that the DHEA levels can begin to increase and that is a large part of what I do during the 1st month of working with a client.  The nervous system work that I do with a client during 1-1 sessions can directly target what stress needs to be reduced and once these areas are addressed we notice that the cortisol levels can begin to decrease and therefor increase the levels of DHEA.  The brain cannot differentiate between emotional and physical stress so we need to look at where the stress is coming from and what is triggering it.

In my opinion mindset work and the work that I do for the nervous system has to be the first step in healing.  Diet comes next and careful consideration to what the specific client needs.  No, not everyone needs to be on Paleo or Gaps or Vegan…  We then look at lifestyle and detox strategies.  Supplements can be extremely useful but working with someone to determine the appropriate supplements is critical, if not you are simply paying for expensive urine.  For example, high cortisol can benefit from supplementation but low cortisol can require more digging into the person’s health and what is going on.  Many clients have been taking some sort of adrenal blend and if they have high cortisol that can be making matters worse for them.  Low DHEA can benefit from supplementation as well but I suggest not using long term and working with someone to look at what the other hormones are doing before just starting on a supplement.

For example, it is recommended that you take DHEA with foods that contain high levels of good fats in order for the supplement to absorb properly.  I always work with supplements at very low doses and start at a very small amounts.  The lower the DHEA, often suggests the lower amount of supplement needed.  A supplement that has been reduced to its smallest size is ideal, often termed “micronized”.  Working with someone that can help you become educated is key!

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Talk with your doctor if you think that this is something that you would like to look into.

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms

    • Starving all the time
    • Night sweats
    • Hot flashes
    • Weight gain or loss
    • Bloating, esspessially around the midsection
    • Poor sleep
    • Exhausted ALL the time
    • Loss of muscle mass
    • Loss of libido
    • anxiety/depression

1.  Starving ALL the time

This is a tough one because unbalanced hormones can make us hungry and they can make us want to eat the most unhealthy things as well.  That is where a really bad cycle starts because now you may be not just eating more but eating things that the “bad bug” (bacteria and yeast) thrive on.

2.  Night Sweats

This is sucks and you don’t need to be pre menipsoal or meniposal to have this happen.  I had this myself for about 8 years, every single monthly cycle I would wake up SOAKED.  As in wake up and change…  It was soooo frustrating.  If that is you, I recommend after reading this post that you jump over and read my post on How To Improve Leaky Gut

3.  Hot flashes

This one sucks as well…  They all do but when it comes to trying to get through a work day and kids and everything else that you have going on the last thing you want to worry about is suddenly being drenched while chatting with your boss at work.  sigh…

4.  Weight Gain:

First thing that I suggest here is getting your hormone levels checked.  Some women eat the healthy options and still gain weight.  They are doing all the right things, like exercising as well and yet no change.  Ask your doc to check and if it you are insulin resistant and then run a full hormone panel, including cortisol and your free T3 and Free T4.  If you are just starting out then I recommend that you cut out dairy, gluten and refined sugar ASAP.

5.  Bloating

This is a pretty common one and truthfully it is where everyone should start.  Looking into the state of your gut health is imperative in the world that we live in.  We no longer eat the cleanest, healthiest foods or use only vinegar to clean.  We spray our food with chemicals and so it just makes sense to make sure that your insides look as good as your outside.

5. Poor Sleep

This is really hard when you wake up soaked but sleep is the area that you want to focus on after you get working on the gut.  Check  out this post on 5 Foods That Can Help With Sleep.

6.  Exhausted ALL the time

Again, tough when you are not sleeping and you aren’t sleeping because you wake up soaked.  You see the vicious cycle here.  I talk more about what I think may be the deeper cause of all this here, HPA Axis dysfunction and Symptoms.

7.  Loss Of Muscle Mass

Cortisol is often a factor here.  Typical when the endocrine system is on the weaker side it makes more of certain hormones and less of others, hence, hormonal imbalance.  One of the things that happen here is that when there is an over production of cortisol the body will often store fat in the tummy area.  

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8.  Low Libido

Even though it really shouldn’t matter to us that much… it does..  Having 0 libido makes us feel like less of a women and less of a wife.  I don’t think any women is ok with not having a low libido let alone no libido.

9.  Anxiety & Depression:

I know I have said they all suck but if I had to pick the worst one this would be it.  After I had my daughter, I had the worst post pardum which is often a case of a drop of progesterone.  I have suffered horrid anxiety and depression and I wish it on no one.

Now what?  How do balance your hormones?

Start with the basics if you haven’t already:

  1. Change the way that you eat:  NO refined sugar (I call it white death), 0 gluten and 0 dairy.
  2. Move your body.  No need to go join a gym.  You are probably to exhausted.  Start doing more around the house, I know, you probably already do a lot but start working one specific tasks that you might enjoy like redoing a room or painting a small wall.  Just move your body.  The “bad bugs” live LOVE low oxygenated environments so get the oxygen cycling.

Next, recommend you read The Body Keeps The Score by _____________________.  You can grab it Here

Remember that this will take time and there are many more tips that I will share with you but start here and be gentle with yourself!