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As we move into this holiday season, I thought I would give myself the gift of health. I admit it’s a little daunting. Thanksgiving and Christmas are probably the most food-rich celebrations. This is about the time of year that I start hearing people say things like, “I’ll start that January 1st “ or “That’ll be my new year’s resolution”. Well I’m saying, why not create a new tradition and start ringing in the end of the year with good health!
I’m going to share with you an easy way to get started. I thought it would be fun to host a health challenge over the next 100 days; something we can all benefit from.
I have taken gelatin in the form of bone broth and collagen hydrolysate sporadically for some time as part of my daily health regimen. Lately, I have been seeing more and more articles on bone broth and the many health benefits of gelatin. I started thinking that I need to give this a better go and start consuming gelatin daily to really see the true benefits for myself. What better way to do this than to host a challenge.
This challenge is easy, even with the holidays coming up.
All you have to do is consume gelatin-rich foods every day for the next 100 days. This can be done by consuming homemade bone broth, eating homemade gummies, or taking gelatin or collagen hydrolysate powder.
Challenge starts December 1st. So go order your goodies and get started making your broth now. (Challenge will run from December 1st, 2014 through March 1st, 2015)
I will be participating in this challenge as well and will be sharing several gelatin-rich recipes over the next 100 days to inspire and motivate us all.
Important Note: I am using this challenge as a sort of research tool for my nutrition practice. Those of you who are willing to participate fully in this challenge by filling out and returning the forms below will be entered into a giveaway where you could win the following prizes.
100 Day Progress Assessment
Informed Consent and Disclaimer
1) a copy of Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon And Kaayla T Daniel
2) a canister of Great Lakes Kosher Grass-Fed Collagen Hydrolysate
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is an odorless, translucent, flavorless dietary protein derived from cooking down the bones, joints, cartilage, connective tissues and skin of animals, all of which are rich in collagen. Gelatin contains collagen, which is easily absorbed by the body improving collagen throughout the entire body. Collagen is found in our bones, joints, hair, nails, skin and teeth, to name a few.
Many cultures of old practiced nose-to-tail eating in which they essentially consumed all parts of the animal, especially the aforementioned gelatin-rich tissues. This nutrient-dense way of eating has been lost on many of us in the modern world. Consuming gelatin and gelatin-rich foods on a regular basis is imperative to reclaiming our health.
Benefits of Gelatin
- Good for joints; helpful in arthritic conditions and joint recovery
- Aids in better, more restful sleep and relief of insomnia
- Glycine in gelatin acts as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, acting similar to GABA.
- Helps regulate hormones; promotes thyroid health; aids in stress-reduction (Empowered Sustenance)
- Helps build the immune system
- Shortens recovery after exercise and sports-related injury (WebMD)
- Speeds wound healing
- Easy to digest protein improves nutrition
- Contains 6 grams protein per tablespoon, and 18 amino acids (9 of which are essential)
- Gelatin seems to be especially effective when taken with meats, as it balances out the amino acids
- Supports liver detox
- Nourishes the gut lining to help heal leaky gut, food allergies and other intestinal issues
- Glycine in gelatin can help increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
- Supports skin, hair and nail growth
- 80% of your immune system lies in your gut. Healing the gut will help heal skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
- Can help improve cellulite, wrinkles, stretch marks
- Gelatin (collagen) makes up the connective tissues of the skin responsible for giving it elasticity. Degradation and loss of collagen is the real cause of wrinkles. Taking collagen internally in the form of gelatin helps make the skin much less prone to wrinkles.
- Gelatin helps improve skin’s firmness, elasticity and function by boosting collagen production, which is the elemental in preventing stretch marks.
- Cellulite is caused by a breakdown of collagen, often exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies.
- Collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin, so collagen skin creams are relatively useless… take it internally to reap the benefits.
- Can help reduce sugar cravings
How To Begin The 100-Day Gelatin Challenge
1) Purchase 1-2 containers of either gelatin or collagen hydrolysate
2) Make homemade bone broth (freezing excess is a great way to ensure you will have some on hand at all times).
3) Search for recipes through links provided or through recommended bloggers – make them ahead (see below)
4) Consume ½ – 1 cup broth three times a day - OR- 1 tablespoon gelatin or collagen hydrolysate three times a day
- Take a tablespoon dissolved in water (or herbal tea) right before bed to assist sleep. Best if your stomach is empty.
- For more intense leaky gut healing and reduction of inflammation, consider taking up to 7 tablespoons a day, for a week.
Remember Challenge will run from December 1st, 2014 through March 1st, 2015
1) If you have a known or suspected Histamine Intolerance, you may want to consider doing Collagen Hydrolysate versus Bone Broth. Bone broth is known to be high in histamines. Check out this article on Histamine Intolerance by The Paleo Mom
2) Ensure adequate Vitamin C intake – Vitamin C is a key nutrient in collagen and elastin production and can be a limiting factor if you don’t obtain sufficient quantities in your diet. Eat vitamin C rich foods such as guavas, red bell peppers, watermelon, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy greens, cauliflower and cabbage. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so foods eaten in their raw form will retain more of their vitamin C than cooked foods.
I like to keep one of these whole foods supplements on hand for when I’m feeling a
little deficient in Vitamin C (they both contain acerola powder which has 65 times
the vitamin C as an orange):
Pure Radiance C by The Synergy Company
Truly Natural Vitamin C by Healthforce Nutritionals
3) Butter Nutrition - What You Don’t Know About Gelatin May Hurt You – 5 Things You Need To Know
How To Use Gelatin
Taking gelatin internally is the best way to reap the benefits. Ideally we would all be consuming high-quality bone broth each day, eliminating the need for extra gelatin. Since I know I am certainly not at that point yet, I will continue supplementing with a high-quality powdered form in addition to my homemade bone broth.
- Put a tablespoon in your smoothie, applesauce, yogurt…
- To mix gelatin powder into liquid without having it clump – first mix it into a small amount of cool water and stir well. Let it sit (bloom) for 2 minutes and then add the needed amount of warm water. This does not apply to collagen hydrolysate.
- Put a few tablespoons in your soups or stews
- Make gummies or jello
Where To Get Gelatin
1) Great Lakes Gelatin or Collagen Hydrolysate
The orange canister will gel – use for anything you want to gel or thicken
The green canister does not gel – use it to dissolve easily in tea or water or mix into
your food. Both are easy to digest, but the green is easiest. Check out the following
articles to further support your choice in gelatin:
Butter Believer – Choosing Gelatin Powder
Healthy Home Economist – What’s the Difference
2) Bernard Jensen Gelatin
3) Homemade Bone Broth – check out these links to get started:
Nourished Kitchen - Perpetual Broth
The Paleo Mom – Chicken Bone Broth
Autoimmune Paleo – Pressure Cooker Bone Broth
or order bone broth frozen from these sources online:
Bare Bones Broth
The Flavor Chef – aka The Brothery
Wise Choice Market
I am not a medical doctor and this challenge is not intended in any way to serve as diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure for any disease, mental or physical. If you decide to use Gelatin as a supplement and participate in this challenge, check with your doctor or a medical professional, especially if you have a medical condition. This challenge is intended for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes only.