Gelatin: My New Favorite Superfood

greatlakesPregnancy has been a catalyst for many new things in my life, one of those being the discovery of nutritional powerhouses, like Mr. grass-fed gelatin.  And it didn’t take me long to uncover all of it’s amazing healing qualities, for pregnant women and for non-pregnant people alike.

WHAT:

  • Gelatin is the collagen found in the skin, bones and connective tissue of animals (the powder form I use comes from cows).  Think of roasting a chicken.  You know all those glorious juices that fall to the bottom of the roasting tray?  A lot of that is the collagen/gelatin.  Stick it in the fridge and you’ll see it turn to jelly.
  • Like everything we put into our bodies, it’s important to consider the source!  We want the gelatin that we’re ingesting to be sourced from animals that have eaten naturally and lived good lives, like the humanely treated, grass-fed cows from Great Lakes.  It’s just common sense really.  If the cows are living stressful lives and eating rubbish food, we will take in that nutrition and energy as well.

WHY:

  • amino acidSkin health:  Improves elasticity and smoothes those wrinkles.  Gelatin is basically collagen and that’s what your skin needs more of to stay healthy.  It’s also packed full of amino acids, the one in greatest amount being glycine.  Just check out the profile from Great Lakes by clicking on the picture to the right.  These amino acids are the building blocks of your body, including the health and wholeness of your skin.
  • Joint health:  Helps with arthritis because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties. And again, those amazing amino acids, help to strengthen and repair the body, specifically in this case, the bones and cartilage.
  • Digestive health:  When I was battling with my own digestive distress, I started to consume homemade chicken broth on a daily basis, which was full of gelatin, and I have no doubt it was fundamental in aiding my digestive tract to heal and come back into balance.  It was so so soothing to the lining … I could literally feel it healing me.  Aside from my personal experience, you will not be hard-pressed to find many well-known, highly respected doctors, authors, etc singing the praises of the wonderful benefits that bone broths have on digestive health.  One of my favorites is Dr. Natasha Campbell, author of GAPS.
  • Better sleep:  Ingestion of glycine before bed has been shown to improve the quality of night time sleep.

HOW:

  • Roasting bone-in meat such as chicken, lamb, or one of my new personal favorites, oxtail.
  • Bone broths.  After roasting, you can chose to throw the bones and gelatin into your slow cooker with some water, and simmer on low for up to 12 hours.  This will help to extract even more of the vitamins and minerals within the bones and give you a tasty way to ingest the gelatin.
  • Powder form.  Add a grass-fed powdered gelatin to an array of foods to get your daily dose.  My favorite way of the moment is to make these super easy gummies, or by simply adding it to a warm water at night or a smoothie in the morning. But there are loads of other ways to eat it, just google ’til your heart’s content!  ***If adding to a hot drink, you first need to dissolve it in a bit of cold water, and then once dissolved you can add the hot water.  ***Also, 1 Tbsp of powder is good for about 1 pint of liquid.
  • *** There is an opinion that it is best to ingest gelatin on an empty stomach, either 30 minutes before consumption of food or 2 hours after.  Dr. David G Young, a naturopath from Oregon, believes that if it’s taken with food, it will only be used for energy/calories, but if it’s taken on an empty stomach it will actually be reversed back into collagen, giving us the benefits we are looking for.  This is something worth considering.
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D.I.Y. Deodorant

My armpits are officially in love.

I’ve been looking for a natural, toxic-free, comfortable, and most importantly, effective deodorant for months now, and I think I can finally say the search is over.  A simple recipe that includes only four ingredients, it goes on light, smells good and costs pennies.  And as far as I can tell, it WORKS, although it may need to be reapplied sometime during the day.  (By “works” I mean smell-free.  Sweat?  Yes.  Smell?  No.)

Measurements for the roll-on:

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup cornstarch

3-4 tbsp coconut oil

10-15 drops of essential oil (I used lavender)

Measurements for the 12 oz (350 grams) glass jar:

1 cup baking soda

1 cup cornstarch

12-16 tbsp coconut oil

40 – 50 drops of essential oil

TIPS AND TO DOS:

  • Mix baking soda and cornstarch together.
  • If the coconut oil is solid, warm until liquified.
  • Add in coconut oil and stir until blended.  I like the deodorant on the drier side so I only use 3 tbsp per 1/2 cup of dry ingredients (1/4 c CS/1/4 c BS).  But you can put up to 5-6 tbsp depending on your preference.
  • Add in essential oil of choice.  Recommendations: lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint.  Personally, I lean toward using more essential oil than not.  The coconut oil does tend to overpower the essential oil a bit, so I upped the ante to get more of a lavender punch.
  • Once blended together, pour into empty deodorant stick or glass jar.  You may need to put it into the fridge to firm it up a bit, depending on how warm it is in your home.
  • Get crafty and decorate your new deodorant bottle with your favorite inspiration.

Products I Love: Sprite Shower Filter

Ever since landing on Hong Kong soil, my hair and scalp have turned into quite an unfortunate place. Itchy, flakey, dry … yuck.  Every time I washed and dried it, the roots would feel oily and the ends brittle, and my poor little head would get itchy and flakey quite quickly.

So a couple of months ago, I decided to figure out the problem.  Why on earth do I have dandruff!?!?  Not cool.  Most research I did pointed to deficiencies in diet, but with all of the positive diet changes I’ve made lately, my instinct told me this wasn’t it.  And if it wasn’t my diet, than it must be the water.  There weren’t too many other possibilities.  Knowing how much our tap water had changed once we put a filter on it, I decided my skin and hair were just as important as my insides and deserved some better treatment.  If I didn’t want to drink the water, why would I want to bathe in it?

After a little internet research, and suffering through several phone calls with barely-English-speaking chinese sales people (bless them), I finally found the filter I was looking for: the Sprite Perma-Seal.  The reviews looked good, it would fit on a hand-held shower handle, and it was something I could find in Hong Kong, albeit in Sheung Wan, but hey, at least it was somewhere in this country!  (Wing On Department Store for those of you interested)

So it’s been about a month of using it, and I only have very positive reviews.  The dandruff is gone, the itchiness is waaaay better, my hair feels lighter and softer, and my skin doesn’t feel nearly as dry.  And a double bonus, my hubby can now drink the water while showering when he’s thirsty after exercise.  So benefits for everyone!  Ha!

 

A bit about the filter:

  • About $500 HKD ($65 USD)
  • Effective for 1 year
  • Effective in hot water
  • Super easy installation
  • Removes: free chlorine, combined chlorine, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell), iron oxide (rust water), dirt, sediment, odors, plus its pH balanced

 

So if you’re battling with a bit of dandruff, itchy scalp, dry skin or just want to drink your shower water, check out the Sprite, yo!