Getting ready for winter – Bone Broth

Winter is the time when your health needs much more attention. Your body consumes a great deal of minerals and needs plenty of vitamins. A perfect dish for this season is soup. Of course, any kind of soup has good effects, but bone broth has amazing effects. This is a super food recommended by many known people who tackled it for a long period of time. Chris Kresser, Drs. Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet (co-authors of The Perfect Health Diet) and Dr. Cate Shanahan are just few of those who highlighted its super nutritional power.

Bone broth is very easy to cook, but it takes a lot of time. You didn’t actually think that those bones will decompose after 1-hour of slow cooking, did you? No, it takes between 6 and 48 hours depending on the thickness of the bones and on their type (for example chicken bones  take the least amount of time). This food is amazing due to several factors:

– Acts as a great immune system enhancer. Your grandmother always used to tell you to drink chicken soup when you had a cold. Well, here’s your explanation. Drinking it reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the reason for all those cold and flu symptoms.

– Reduces joint inflammation due to glucosamine, which stimulates the production of new collagen, thus repairing and strengthening the joints.

– Bye-bye Cellulite! Dr. Shanahan explained in an interview that bone broth is great when it comes to cellular integrity. If you still have cellulite problems and you don’t know from where, it is probably because of a lack of collagen in your diet. According to Dr. Shanahan “cellulite is fat that lacks collagen support”; therefore this food is essential for supporting the structure of your cells.

– It can help you sleep and relax! The amino-acid, glycine, could calm you down and give you a chilled out  mental state. However, this is just an extra benefit. Do not use the broth instead of prescribed pills. You cannot treat depression or other similar mental disorders by eating bone broth.

– It contains calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Yup! You could say goodbye to osteoporosis by including this food in your diet. All these minerals are very important for bone formation, growth and strength. If you already suffer from a bone condition, this recipe will help you get better.

– Last but not least, it makes your skin, nails and hair healthier. This is also due to collagen and gelatin, which you find in the bone broth.

With all this said, you are probably wondering how to add some flavor to it. You can find many recipes online, but never forget to add vinegar or cider (better) with it. This aliment helps extract the minerals from the bones. Do not worry about acidity because when it is done, you will not feel the taste of the cider. Garlic is another ingredient that shouldn’t miss in this recipe. It is not only healthy, but it gives a completely different flavor. This broth served with fresh garlic and just a pinch of black pepper will make you feel young again.

Of course, you can add the basic ingredients of a soup after you finished boiling the bones. Onions, carrots, potatoes etc. work great with the bone broth and they will give it some taste. Roasting the bones before boiling them could be another option for adding some flavor.

The bone broth is one of the best foods ever due to its health benefits, and its components are crucial for the human body. And, as a last statement, do not worry about storage. It lasts one week in the fridge and in can be frozen in ice-cube trays and defrosted as needed. It is a very easy , practical and healthy food, which will keep you strong and glowing.

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Stress – part II

Stress…a subject about which debates could continue forever and ever. As I mentioned in my first article, the most important thing is to learn how to deal with your problems. Running away from them is not a solution. I know sometimes you just feel like throwing your PC out of the window or breaking something, but think about it! This will cause more damage, thus more problems. You don’t want to do that! Plus you do not deserve to be killed or tortured step by step by people who undermine you or simply do not care.

We encounter everyday situations that stress us. If the situation is of such nature it does not mean that it is necessarily bad. This is where things turn to be very hard to deal with. We all know that one can eliminate the stress caused by bad situations by simply having patience or using relaxing techniques. Meditating, practicing yoga, qiqong or any kind of sport, doing something you enjoy, are some of the most common methods to relieve stress. Even if they are very helpful, this nasty hormonal imbalance will have major impacts on us while we are preparing for something important (even if that “something” makes us happy). Here’s the paradox: the happier it makes us ,  the more stressful it is.

 

       Examples: weddings (if it’s your own then is the worst kind of stress :D), new jobs, new relationships, new homes. Practically, anything that’s new and obliges you to take decisions, which will be imprinted on your life thread. Yeah!!! It sounds really, really scary! That sentence: you cannot do anything about it anymore! Only if I wouldn’t… Uf, uf, uf! Regret and fear. These two feelings will eat you alive. Add a bit of frustration, some complexes, a bit of anger and Voila! you’ll have the perfect combination for the most delicious stress. Ok, ok …we talked a lot about the theoretical part, and you are probably wondering what can you do? Simple: stop caring! I know it’s not simple at all, but in a world where not everybody can meditate, not everybody likes to exercise and sometimes you really don’t have time to do things that you love, all you have left is indifference. I’m not saying it’s easy…it will be very very hard actually! But if you manage to fight with your fears, you’ll be able to handle anything that will cross your path. You do not know where to start… well, I am going to let you read a book I read a few weeks ago and I would like you to let me know how you feel when reading it or after. You may say that it has no connection whatsoever with stress. Fear and stress are two completely different things. From my experience, stress is caused mainly by fear…and this ain’t the fear you feel when you walk alone at night on an alley filled with thugs.

      Download the pdf. and let me know how are you feeling. If it helped you in any way, then my job here is done. 😉 Happy reading!  2011_1203-the-flinch

More about stress in the next post 🙂 . See ya guys!

Stress – introduction

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Stress is both harmful and useful. One could flee or could fight due to it. When stress appears, neurochemicals and hormones are released. If the presence of stress cannot be controlled, it can lead to serious health issues. It can cause a simple skin rash that will quickly pass or it can lead to a lethal result.

Stress can be defined as an external or internal force that affects the individual. Due to the fact that stress has a very clear sign upon arrival, people tend to think that anything related to it is negative. Nonetheless, stress has both a positive and a negative side. Stress is good when the hormones produced make the body and the mind alert. People, who do not have the necessary amount of stress in their lives look sleepy, give the impression that they do not pay attention and cannot act fast (these are cases not so frequently encountered compared to those that are created due to high levels of stress). However, if these behaviours are noticed it does not mean that the absence of stress is the main cause, but it could be one of the causes. These symptoms are usually related to either hormonal or neurological aspects.

Too much stress can result in behavioral and emotional symptoms that could completely change your life. Why? Mainly because once they affect the body and the way it deals with different issues, they affect personality, perception and the mind, which scientifically speaking has no clear location in the brain. Some of the most common signs are loss of appetite, mood changes, depression, and anxiety, overeating or not eating enough. However, these signs could also be caused by other factors. Actually, any symptom could have a completely different cause than stress, but this does not mean that one should not take it into consideration. Stress could be the reason for developing depression, experiencing poor nutrition or bad habits such as abuse of alcohol, cigarettes, even drugs, all of which can lead to serious health issues; therefore, even if  there may be other noticeable causes, the amount of stress existing should also be questioned.

Depending on the age group, on the lifestyle and on already existing conditions, stress has a different impact on each individual. For example, a teenager who is experiencing plenty of negative change in their lives, a lot of pressure or a stage when their responsibilities increase significantly could develop depression, which in some cases could lead to suicide.

Managing stress is very important, but more important is to know how to do it. One step forward for tensed people is physical activity. Exercises done constantly will stop the production of stress hormones. The ideal option would be creating a workout schedule. This allows a person to be more organized and less worried. Meditation and different kinds of Asian practices such as Qigong and Yoga are a great way to eliminate a large amount of stress. Spending between 20 minutes and one hour per day practicing these methods will help you get to know your body better and they will put the mind at ease.

The environment in which you dwell is very important. People who are surrounded by things they like, by persons they love or enjoy spending time with, experience much lower levels of stress. At the same time, people who do what they love or  are pleased with what they do most of the day are least exposed to stress. This sounds for many like a perfect world where everybody is happy and there are no problems. Actually, the problems and the external factors are not the main issue, but the way people are dealing with them. In conclusion, it is not enough to exercise and do yoga. One needs to be able to control his life, not the other way around. More about taking the matter into your own hands in the next article about stress…