Creativity is Vital
Creativity has been too narrowly defined. How we see ourselves and design our lives comes from pure creative thought. Breakthroughs in math, the sciences, business, and any profession really, is born from the smallest particles of energy synergizing together to form something new. Having some sort of creative outlet is my life line. I realized that if I don’t channel my thoughts and energy into some sort of creation, whether it be facilitating new ideas, writing, filmmaking, teaching, painting or cooking, the dopamine in my brain becomes clogged and stuck like a stopped up drain. I then become depressed, anxious, worried, drained, and essentially my worst self. Realizing this about myself, I started to wonder about how many other people ignore and stifle their creative pursuits due to obligations, being too busy, complacency, or fear.
I started Soul Creative as a lifestyle and multi-media company to bring inspiration, creativity, and joy into people’s lives. My bi-weekly blog is my way of sharing how I became inspired to create my own food and beverage recipes. Every other week I’ll share another one of my favorite recipes that I have either created myself or stolen, well actually, I share and give credit to, another healthy food welding warrior.
Let me give you a bit of background of how I got started on this creative food journey. I always ate whatever I wanted and I was proud of the fact that I put away carbs like a 200 lb. male. I ran track in college and while I burned off whatever I put in my mouth, I have memories of being bent over on the floor for an hour waiting for my stomach pains to subside. I never knew when it was going to come on and there was nothing I could do but wait for it to pass so I could get on with my life. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome but I continued to eat whatever I had the urge to eat until I entered into my 40’s and I spiraled into chronic colon inflammation. I went to countless doctors, naturopaths, and acupuncturists and I always left paying a hefty price for supplements that gave no relief towards my discomfort. One thing I knew for certain and I didn’t need a doctor to tell me, sugar impacted my digestion the worst.
I never experimented with mind altering drugs but sugar has always been my drug of choice, my heroine so to speak. To do this day, if I start eating sugar, it’s difficult for me to stop. Something clicks in my brain and I can’t get enough. Sugar causes dopamine levels to surge, while not nearly as much as they apparently do with heroin, but enough where the brain keeps asking for more and more. For some of us, sugar addiction is a real thing. Over time, cravings and increased tolerance to sugar can then lead to physical and psychological issues. Recently, after my first colonoscopy, I discovered that I have an inflamed colon. Well, I didn’t need a colonoscopy to give me that information. Why is it inflamed, I may never know, but I now know what foods I have to stay away from for self preservation - gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and the big one, SUGAR.
Enough was enough, I had to take extreme measures and get creative with cooking and baking. To say I felt sorry for myself with the thought of giving up bagels, pizza, ice cream, brie cheese, and my favorite all time food, the elixir of the Gods as far as I’m concerned, chocolate, is a huge understatement. Fortunately, I start to loath self-pity after approximately 3-4 days, that seems to be my pity party cut off. I decided that I had to pull myself out of the trenches and find some food inspiration.
I eventually discovered that not only can healthy and non-inflammatory foods be highly beneficial for your body and mind, but they can taste just as good or even better than processed sugar loaded concoctions. Perusing the grocery aisles, I found gluten free foods to be complete crap, sugar packed, heart cloggers. So what was I left with? I refused to just eat vegetables and white rice, I still wanted to enjoy eating.
I started making my own recipes with dare I say, a glee in my eyes. I felt empowered making my own foods and creating my own recipes. I started to make my own breads, cereal, energy bars, smoothies, juices, sauces, desserts, soups, dinners, and snacks. I had a choice, a creative choice, I could eat yummy foods and beverages, and the kicker was, my fatigue, brain fog, cramps, nausea, and stomach bloat did not have to be a part of my daily existence. I could actually feel like a normal person and have a rocking immune system to boot. I rarely get sick, this past year I didn’t get sick once and the flu was flying around like it was pollen in the spring.
The Sacred Soup
Here is one of my favorite staples for living your healthiest and most creative life, bone broth.
Yes, bone broth is a super food, who knew? I make this chicken broth recipe religiously for its health benefits, I find it to be very soothing, and it tastes like chicken soup without anything else but broth in the soup. This powerful healer is considered a sacred soup filled with an easily digestible form of good fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals and here’s all the ways it works miracles on our bodies.
All-natural bone broth has become my digestive aid, it literally heals the lining of the gut and reduces inflammation. By drinking bone broths on a regular basis, anti-inflammatory compounds called cysteine and glycine calm entire body inflammation. Also, an amino acid in gelatin called glutamine has been known to prevent and heal leaky gut.
The collagen from bone broth works as an amazing tonic to not only improve a woman’s fertility when she is trying to conceive, but to hold her pregnancy once she does conceive. It also boosts fertility because healing digestive disorders in turn supports hormone health. According to an ancient South American proverb, drinking bone broth regularly throughout your pregnancy will help ease labor pains. Bone broth is wonderful for postpartum by supporting ample milk production and helping your body heal after labor and delivery. I have even heard that bone broth improves egg and sperm quality!
The nutrients of fat, collagen, protein and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, seep out into the broth making it a rich, nutrient dense and fertility-boosting concoction. When I was attempting to get pregnant in my mid-forties, I drank bone broth daily and my digestion and health were the best I ever experienced. I thankfully had a nausea free pregnancy and I wondered if drinking bone broth because it’s so soothing to the entire digestive tract and calms the stomach, was the reason. Magnesium deficiency is suspected to be one of the main culprits of morning sickness symptoms and bone broth is a wonderful source.
Detoxifies the Liver
Due to high glycine, collagen and gelatin content, bone broth can help to stabilize blood sugar and detoxify the liver. Essential minerals have many different functions in the body, one of which is flushing out toxins. Bone broth is rich in potassium and sulfur, which are toxin-flushing superstars.
Fountain of Youth
Bone broth has age defying properties because it’s rich in minerals that strengthen bones such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and other trace minerals. Marrow provides vitamin A, K2, zinc, iron, boron, manganese, selenium as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
It is loaded with every amino acid our body needs and promotes collagen production, meaning it could help keep your skin youthful-looking. If our skin is radiant and our health is vibrant, we age at a slower pace. Who doesn’t want to slow down the aging process!
As ingredients simmer, the nutrients release into the water in a form your body can easily absorb. Most of us don’t get enough of these nutrients in our diets and bone broth is literally one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can consume. This magical broth is chock-full of compounds that feed the body on a cellular level. Right now we can all use a super charged immune booster and this broth is the ultimate almighty when it comes to improving health.
Aid to Losing Weight
Bone broth is low in calories but because it’s so nutrient dense, can satisfy hunger. The gelatin in bone broth has shown to promote feelings of fullness, while collagen increases muscle mass and decreases body fat.
Studies have found that the amino acid glycine improves sleep, improves mental functions, and memory. Who doesn’t want a deeper sleep? Basically it’s vital to consume plenty of anti-inflammatory foods like bone broth to ward off serious diseases, like Alzheimers and certain types of cancers, which are related to chronic inflammation.
Elixir of the Gods
While chocolate is still my favorite food, my new found elixir of the Gods is now bone broth. If I haven’t totally persuaded you to start chugging this wondrous liquid, then let me tell you that it’s actually easy to make. Well, you do need to de-bone a chicken with my recipe but it’s pretty quick and easy. You can always buy raw, organic, grass-fed beef bones if you have an aversion to de-boning and use those instead. You can always purchase already made bone broth from a local butcher using all natural ingredients. The Jackson, Wy. butcher, www.sweetcheeksmeats.com makes an amazing nutrient rich bone both.
I love to drink the stuff but it’s great as a base in soups and sauces as well. The recommended amount to drink is 1 cup daily. Bone broth stays good in the refrigerator for five days, so be sure to put some in the freezer as well.
An organic whole chicken
1 medium sweet onion
2-4 gloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of turmeric or 1 Tablespoon of fresh turmeric root
1/4 cup of Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar - The Vinegar draws out the collagen and minerals from the bones.
For taste you are welcome to add basil, oregano, parsley, thyme or rosemary
Fill a large stock pot with water approximately 3/4 full and add the onion, garlic, turmeric, and vinegar. Bring water to a boil.
Add the entire chicken, including the neck and giblets, and allow the water to come to a boil again, then reduce heat to a simmer. Use a strainer to strain some of the chicken fat that rises to the surface.
After 11/2 - 2 hours, remove the chicken to a cutting board, let it cool a bit, then remove all the good meat. It pretty much falls off. (I add the chicken meat to a vegetable soup or cut it up and make a turmeric and red curry chicken salad.)
Then put the skin and all the bones back in the stock pot.
Simmer the bones, ligaments, and skin for another 8 - 22 hrs. The longer you allow the bones to simmer, the more collagen and minerals seep out from the bones.
After bringing the broth to room temperature, strain the broth into jars and freezer safe containers.
Drink a cup a day! YUM!