The first step of starting a successful cleanse or elimination diet… a menu for the week and its associated grocery list (including snacks).
I have a few “go to” cookbooks that I have been using for years. I choose recipes from them based on what I intend to accomplish, and I know that the results will be yummy. It’s important to me to know that I will feel well-fed while making dietary changes. Here are some of my favorite cookbooks:
- Vegetables Every Day: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Today’s Produce by Jack Bishop
- Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon
- Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
- Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes
- Dallas Dish by the Dallas Junior League
The second step… Preparation.
As much as possible, I chop and cook things in advance of day 1 so there’s less to do to keep myself on track. Today I am making homemade bone broth for the first time ever to drink during the day. Notice the chicken feet for added nutrients! Eek!
In this chicken broth, I am using a whole uncooked chicken and will use the cooked meat from making the broth in a chicken rice soup. For pork or beef broth, you will want to use knuckle, neck, and/or marrow bones. Roasting the bones at 400F for 45 minutes before putting them in the broth will give the broth a richer flavor.
No matter what type of broth you make, you will want to:
- Use chicken feet or a calf’s hoof. They contain a large amount of gelatin. During the cooking process, the gelatin is released into the water making it available for absorption. Gelatin is healing to the intestine lining, promotes healthy skin and hair, and protects your joints. Without cooking it into and consuming it from the broth, most of us don’t get enough gelatin since we aren’t eating chicken feet… at least not on a regular basis!
- Left the ingredients soak for an hour in 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 4 quarts water (adjust quantities for your recipe). As the ingredients soak, the vinegar will pull minerals out of the bones making those bones available for absorption when you drink the broth
- Bring the ingredients to a quick boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for the duration of the cooking. This is because gelatin breaks down in high heat. So, if you are drinking broth for medicinal purposes, reheat it (don’t boil it!) for consumption. Of course, if the gelatin breaks down, you are still getting it’s healthy components like the amino acids glycine and proline.
There are lots of recipes out there for bone broth (including one I have used out of Nourishing Traditions), so I won’t put one here. Just find one that looks good to you and tweak it with the herbs and spices that you like. As one reader on my Facebook page suggests:
“For chicken broth, I use roasted ginger and onion/leek (sliced and roasted just a bit), lime leaves and lemongrass. For beef, try Pho style…star anise, ginger (roasted again, makes a HUGE difference), cinnamon, etc. I say Pho style because I leave out the sugar, fish sauce, etc and just use veggies, aromatics and bones. Although I do use a few chicken bones in my beef to keep it from tasting too “flat”.“