Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Boiling bones and few drinks

The chicken carcass left over from Mother's Day is on the stove in a pot of water simmering, and the beef marrow bones I bought today are in the oven for 30 minutes before I start them in another pot of water.

In addition to adding more fat to their diets and following them around with glasses of potato starch mixed in water until they relent and drink it, my family will be drinking a cup of bone broth everyday as well.

I pulled out my printed copy of this post of Keoni's that I keep with my recipes: Soluble Synergy.
Your gut bacteria is the engine of your immune system. Bone broth is rich in vitamins, minerals, collagen, can heal damaged guts and boost your immune system.
I found this handy reference as well listing all of the benefits of bone broth:

I'm hopeful RLB will experience more relief from his sciatic pain by drinking this daily. Here's another site extolling the many benefits:  Bone Soup: Miracle Food

A benefit to the high fat diet I've been on that I haven't mentioned yet is the lack of hangover I feel if I drink too much. I usually only have a 3-5 ounces of alcohol in a night if I drink. But, on occasion, we'll be up late playing games and talking and we'll just keep pouring. It is those nights that I brace myself for the yuck I'm going to feel in the morning. 

In the past my recovery would consist of: sleep as late as possible, eat as much as possible, and spend the day on the couch in and out of sleep watching movies. 

I noticed something two weekends ago, on a morning after a late night with RLB - I didn't feel bad. 
I drank my bulletproof coffee like normal and went about my day. I mentioned it to my husband but didn't look into it more. As I was reading Keoni's post again I remembered having read about this phenomenon two years ago but had completely forgotten about it. From his post:
With the disappearance of my hangovers, I began to suspect that the increase in coconut oil consumption was most likely the factor. So I googled and found some PubMed abstracts that confirmed my suspiscions.
Check out these excerpts from this PubMed abstract:

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of saturated fatty acid (SFA) and unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) diets on ethanol pharmacokinetics.
METHODS: Sprague-Dawley male rats were fed modified AIN76 diets containing 10% coconut oil (SFA) or corn oil (UFA) for 120 days. A single dose (3 g/kg bw) of ethanol (13% solution) was orally administered using a gastric canula on day 30, 90, 105 and 120. Tail vein blood samples were collected at various intervals following ethanol dose and were analyzed for blood-ethanol concentration (BEC).

RESULTS: Compared to the UFA group (corn oil fed), the SFA group (coconut oil fed) exhibited significantly higher BEC, larger area under the curve, longer half-life of ethanol, and lower rates of ethanol elimination.

CONCLUSION: Dietary SFA protects liver from alcohol injury by retarding ethanol metabolism, and carnitine may be involved.
So my increased coconut oil consumption appears to be my alcoholism enabler.

Check out this PubMed Abstract too:
CONCLUSION: A diet enriched in saturated but not unsaturated fatty acids reversed alcoholic liver injury. 


  1. Hi Sarah - I'm finding these posts so interesting - and hopeful! I struggle so much with hunger and the thought that this could be an answer is exciting. Now to get the hubby on board :)

    A couple of questions: where do you get your bones? There's just the two of us...we don't eat enough chickens to make a steady supply. I've looked once in a while for bones at the grocery store (to make stock) but it's hit or miss (mostly miss).

    Also re: alcohol - I could easily switch from wine to vodka, but my husband is a beer drinker. I'm afraid that will sabotage the"diet" and he'll lose faith in it's effectiveness. Any thoughts in that? Low carb beer is a no-go (why bother?)

    Thanks so much for writing about this!


  2. Hi Mo,
    For the bones, I found a grocery store that has an in-house butcher - HyVee. I talked with the manager and he led me to some beef marrow bones that were already packaged. They have a big display of various bones that they smoke in-house, remove the marrow, then smoke again - sold for dogs. He said all I'd have to do is let him know and they'd reserve any of those bones for me.

    You're right, beer wouldn't be very compatible with a high fat - ketosis style of eating. This site has a list of low carb beers: http://ketogenicdiet.hubpages.com/hub/Drinking-Alcohol-on-the-Ketogenic-Diet
    Maybe he could try them and see if any are doable. If he could stomach Bud Select, he could drink several of them before he'd be over in carbs - though I can only imagine how "not beer" tasting that would be. When he does drink beer, feed him really fatty snacks with it. That way he won't crave other carbs. He might get so full that he'd prefer a highball instead of a beer. :)

  3. Hear, hear on the Bulletproof coffee, SD! Daily coffee loaded with coconut oil and grass fed butter....makes for a bullet proof liver! I don't make bulletproof coffee all the time, but when I do, I usually do that for a "fast" in which I don't eat anything all day until dinner. About 3 cups of bulletproof coffee gives me plenty of energy and I really don't feel hungry until dinner time...even when I'm working an 8-10 hour day of manual labor.

    Also, I've done further research on alcohol and it's effects on your body. Essentially, a hangover is when you drink more alcohol than your liver can process in enough time, giving you a "systemic overdose" of ethanol. If you stay within your range of liver function, no hangover. As you know now, consuming coconut oil and high quality fats like butter and broth not only protect your liver, but make it work much better at handling alcohol, tylenol, etc.

    As for beer, alcohol and "low carb" diets...back when I first did low carb, I was a binge drinker that only drank on the weekends, so I probably was in ketosis 4 or 5 days a week until I'd binge on beers friday and saturday nights. Still lost plenty of weight and improved my health.

    Here's the thing though - I believe ketosis and a ketogenic diet can be a very effective therapy...but is not best for long term. I believe it should be used as a dietary intervention, not a permanent lifestyle. Once you use ketosis to achieve a number of health goals like weight, blood pressure, blood sugar stabilization and systemic inflammation etc., you really do want to look into adding "good" carbs back into your diet.

    You do hit a point when you low carb for a long time for which you no longer have the stamina an extended energy for long term workouts and anything that requires endurance. Good carbs are also really good to eat immediately after you've exerted yourself a lot. All body builders eat carbs after intense workouts to aid in muscle recovery.

    So Mo...if you're trying to convince your hubby to try hi fat/low carb diet with you, one of the things you should use as a selling point is that one does not have to give up beer or sugar FOREVER.

    Once you get your health to a really good place after an extended period of careful dieting on only nutritionally dense foods, you will be able to have a little freedom to indulge back into your diet. I drink plenty of beer, and I do not have that beer gut I had six or seven years ago when I was eating the S.A.D.

    I regularly eat high carb type foods like white rice (jasmine rice from Thailand, cuz they don't have GMO and it taste better anyways) and potatoes (mashed, baked and fried in coconut oil.) I have had zero problems since I started doing so. I think the primary culprits in a "high carb diet" are the GMO grains in all processed foods combined with the refined sugars and polyunsaturated and/or partially hydrogenated oils that are the real problems with "carbs."

    When you eat a low/zero carb diet, by default you avoid eating the highly inflammatory ingredients found in processed fare, like chips, cookies, candy, crackers, pastries, etc.

    It's not the "carbs" that are bad. That 's just a simplistic, dogmatic approach to diet that gets people stuck in a black and white paradigm. The problem is really bad carbs made with bad fats and bad sugars...i.e. the difference between FEED, and FOOD.

  4. Once you use ketosis to achieve a number of health goals like weight, blood pressure, blood sugar stabilization and systemic inflammation etc., you really do want to look into adding "good" carbs back into your diet

    I plan to do just that. We have a large garden growing right now and from my perspective, if I'm gonna dig it (the garden - new house), till it, plant it, weed it, pick it, prepare it, can it, freeze it...I'm gonna eat it! :)
    But first I'm going to get to my ideal weight of 145 - my wedding weight. And then slowly add our home grown potatoes back in - prepared with a healthy amount of fat, of course.

    I'm in the process of getting rid of all of our condiments that contain bad oils. I looked for some healthy blue cheese dressing yesterday and couldn't find a single one that wasn't made with canola or other vegetable oil. So I bought some full fat greek yogurt, buttermilk, and a chuck of blue cheese and made my own with some additional olive oil and salt. It was THE BEST blue cheese I have ever had!

    I've also ordered some beef tallow and am looking forward to rendering that and using it to replace our frying oil.

  5. SD,

    You mention you can. Have you considered canning your stock? We do. A few years back Mrs Ipsa asked me what I knew about stock because she wanted to get into having it one hand. I now can beef and chicken stock. Last weekend I put up 21 quarts of chicken stock.

    Its not hard and its an easy way to keep a supply on hand. Plus its a good use for small mouth jars. If you roast your bones and add vinegar to your stock you will increase the amount of nutrients leached from the bones.

    On a related note when I do beef stock I take the bone marrow out and freeze it. I get all the bordelaise type sauces I want with minimal day off effort. FWIW there are a number of ways to incorporate the marrow into your cooking that will improve flavor and increase the nutritional value of the dishes you are serving.

    If you look into traditional ethnic (pre 1900) cooking recipes, like French, you will discover methods and techniques that will give you great diet and nutrition results that taste out of this world.

  6. That's a great idea, Res! It would make sense to do a large batch at one time since it has to sit on the stove for so long.

    I'll do some searching for those recipes and techniques, I love to experiment with our food. Thanks!


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