Bone Broth

Recently among the Prepper and Homesteading groups I follow, there’s been a lot of excitement about bone broth.  Apparently, it’s the best thing to come along since sliced bread.  Only, it isn’t something new.  We’ve been making bone broth for years.

For those of you not familiar with bone broth, it’s the liquid that results from boiling the bones of an animal, poultry, fish, sheep, goat, cow, pig.  That’s it. (Bone Broth Basics, Nourishing Broths, Bone Broth Benefits: From Digestion to Joint Pain, Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease, Making Real Homemade Chicken Stock or Bone Broth, Gut-Healing Bone Broth Recipe)

It’s SOOOOO healthy.  Look at this list of health benefits!

Alphabetical Listing of Conditions that Broth Benefits

aging skin, allergies, anemia, anxiety, asthma, atherosclerosis, attention deficit, bean maldigestion, brittle nails, carbohydrate maldigestion, Celiac Disease, colic, confusion, constipation, dairy maldigestion, delusions, dental degeneration, depression, detoxification, Diabetes, diarrhea, fatigue, food sensitivities, fractures, Gastritis, grain maldigestion, heart attack, high cholesterol, hyperactivity, hyperchlorhydria (reflux, ulcer), hyperparathyroidism (primary), hypertension, hypochlorhydria, hypoglycemia, immunodepression, increased urination, infectious disease, inflammation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis), insomnia, intestinal bacterial infections, irritability, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Jaundice, joint injury, Kidney stones, leaky gut, loss of appetite, meat maldigestion, memory, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, muscle wasting, muscle weakness, Muscular Dystrophy, nausea, nervousness, Osteoarthritis, Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis, pain, palpitations, Periodontal Disease, pregnancy, rapid growth, restlessness, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rickets, seizure, shallow breathing, stupor, virility, vomiting, weakness, weight loss due to illness and wound healing

My first real exposure to bone broth was at Mama Sofia’s dinner table.  Mama Sofia is now nearly 100 years old.  Think on that!  She served us up some chicken broth and there was a chicken foot in it.  The broth was absolutely delicious, but I didn’t know how to eat the chicken foot.  My son, only 4 at the time, was also taken aback.  He couldn’t stop staring at it.  My husband’s aunt Caro finally picked up the chicken foot and said that this was her favorite part because she could use the toenails to scratch the top of her mouth.  She was teasing of course.  Once the bone was out of the way, we all tucked in. 

We tend to have either chicken or beef soup at least once a week.  Twice a week when it’s colder.  There isn’t a set recipe.  We use whatever happens to be in season.  The guy who runs a vegetable stand in front of his house always has a small bag of freshly cut vegetables for 12 pesos and then we add whatever else we have at the house.

Today, for example, we made beef soup with 2 kilos of soup bones, 3 garlic cloves, first of the season squash, some carrots, an ear of yellow corn, a bit of cilantro, 2 chayotes, a medium sized onion, a tomato, 6 small potatoes, a hunk of cabbage, a piece of cauliflower, a joconol (yet another type of cactus fruit), a piece of broccoli and a handful of chickpeas, a handful of green beans and salt to taste.  Sometimes we have nothing but potatoes and onions available, so that’s what we use.

Let me tell you, a mugful of broth from this hodgepodge soup is just the thing right before bed.

These middle-class ladies that have “discovered” bone broth might be on to something. That something being real food is better. Have you checked out the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle yet? Bone broth is prominently featured!

This broth will raise the dead–South American saying

Sometimes I wonder why it is I feel more alive here in Mexico.  I still have health problems, life sure ain’t easy, money is ALWAYS an issue.  It could be as simple as there’s no fluoride in the water.  Or perhaps it’s the constant challenge of managing in a culture not my own.  Or just maybe it’s the bone broth.

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Disasters in Mexico September 2017

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month?  The motto is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”  I’m a little underwhelmed with that statement.  In general, the idea is that you, as an American (because only Americans are prepared), should take the month of September and review your overall preparedness for a variety of disaster scenarios.  The government has even so kindly provided a calendar to help you freak out all year round–oh I mean think constructively about your action plan during a disaster throughout the year, not freak out.

Hysterical Prepping aside, I do believe there are some simple safety precautions everyone (not just Americans) should take when faced with the threat of a disaster.  I’ve mentioned a number in my A to Z Surviving the Apocalypse series published earlier this year. (See Surviving a Windstorm, Surviving global Climate Change, Surviving a Quake)

Be that as it may, there are some situations that are totally unexpected or the severity of the disaster is woefully underestimated.  Mexico was hit by several of these this month and the month isn’t even over yet.

Beginning with Tropical Storm Lidia on September 1 which resulted in 7 deaths when it made landfall in Baja California Sur.  Two of the deaths were a result of electrocution from downed power lines.  Two deaths were drownings, one a woman who was swept down a flooded street and a baby who was wrenched from its mother’s arms while crossing a flooded area. Rains from the tropical storm caused havoc as far inland as Mexico City where flooding caused a 33 ft wide, 23 ft deep sinkhole and the collapse of El Angulo dam.

Then on September 8, Mexico and Guatemala experienced the most powerful earthquake in a century, measured at a magnitude of 8.2.  To date, there are at least 90 reported deaths as a result of the earthquake in Mexico.  In Tabasco, two children were killed, one when a wall collapsed and the other after the hospital lost power and the child’s respirator stopped.  Oaxaca, specifically the area of Juchitán, was the hardest hit. 

“It is a nightmare we weren’t prepared for,” said a member of the City Council, Pamela Teran, in an interview with a local radio station. She estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the houses in the city were destroyed.“A lot of people have lost everything, and it just breaks your heart,” she added, bursting into tears. (Mexico Earthquake, Strongest in a Century, Kills Dozens)

As a result of the earthquake, a tsunami warning was issued for the coasts of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Over the next several days, the already devastated area was hit was multiple aftershocks, with at least 6 measuring above a 5.0 in magnitude.

Also on September 8, Hurricane Katia made landfall near Tecolutla, Veracruz. A state of emergency was declared in 40 municipalities in the area due to heavy flooding and mudslides.

On September 14, Hurricane Max made landfall in Guerrero, near Acapulco, sinking 6 ships off the coast, destroying more than 1,500 homes and causing major flooding and deadly mudslides.

On September 18, Tropical Storm Norma caused dangerous ocean conditions off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.  Meanwhile, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) has issued an ash advisory indicating current volcanic activity in the volcano Popocatepetl, near Mexico City.  Later, one explosion and 256 “low-intensity exhalations” between Tuesday and Wednesday were registered. A church in Atzitzihuacan at the foot of the mountain collapsed during the quake and eruption, killing 15 worshippers as they celebrated Mass inside.

On September 19, on the anniversary of the deadly 1985 earthquake, Mexico City experienced an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale.  More than 200 confirmed deaths as of September 21 with desperate rescue attempts ongoing.  One of the hundreds of buildings that collapsed was an elementary school. Thirty children are still missing and hope is dwindling.

On September 23, an aftershock measuring 6.1 was registered in Lázaro CárdenasOaxacaMexico while another measuring 5.8 occurred in San LuqueñoChiapasMexico.  Rescue attempts were suspended as already damaged buildings collapsed in Mexico City.

Thousands and thousands of families have lost everything this month in Mexico.  Reportedly 300,000 homes were damaged or completely destroyed as a result of the earthquake on September 8.  No definite number of homes destroyed by hurricanes or subsequent earthquakes.

Map of damaged and destroyed buildings in Mexico City after the September 19, 2017 earthquake.

How can you help?  Fabiola Blogger at My Heart of Mexico lists the following donation sites:

Donate to Oxfam Mexico

Donate to Unicef Mexico Earthquake Victims

Donate to Save the Children Mexico

Donate to Global Giving Mexico Earthquake and Hurricane Relief Fund

If you know of any others, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

There is every indication that this sort of climatic devastation will not only continue but get worse. (See also 100 million will die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate: report, Climate change and health, NASA Releases Detailed Global Climate Change Projections) I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but maybe, just maybe it’s time to build your ark or head for the hills.

So back to the whole Prepper thing, maybe it’s time to reread my A to Z Survival series and see why La Yacata is the place to be in the event of a disaster.   If you need more information about Prepping lifestyle commitment, I found just the thing. One of the presentations (Embracing Your Off-Grid Lifestyle) that I totally enjoyed during the Back to Basics Living Summit is part of this Prepper Bundle.  Check it out here.  Available only from September 22-25.


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Rainy Season Foraging

I’ve already written about how foraging is part of our lifestyle. (See Gleaning) Our animals are taken out of their corrals and allowed free foraging daily.  Recently this mass exodus has not just been limited to the goats, sheep, and horse, but also the chickens, ducks, and rabbits delightedly head out to the tall grass for vittles.

When the Earth provides such abundance, it really is a sin against nature not to harvest its bounty (See Tunas, Pitayas, and Cactus) both man and beast.  Of course, each season brings its own flavors.  This past month, we did some rainy season foraging.

Not edible!

Lots of rain mean lots of mushrooms.  This year was hardly a bumper crop, but we did get a meal or two out of the mushrooms.  I always let my husband harvest these as I’m still a little unsure of choosing the right ones.  Both types of mushrooms that grow in droves during the rainy season look like partially opened umbrellas.  The edible mushrooms are pink underneath.  The poisonous ones are brown or white underneath.

Then there is this plant that my husband called toritos (little bulls).  I’m pretty sure that’s not its name.  The interior of the seed pods before it hardens up is edible. It tastes, well, beany.  Once the pods harden, they darken to an almost black color and two pointy prongs pop out at the end.  My husband and his brothers used these mature seed pods as bulls in their play way back when.

Another edible plant is what my husband calls quesitos (little cheeses) because once peeled it resembles a cheese wheel.  These are bitter in taste.  I’ll pass.

This pretty flower turns into tiny metallic colored berries.  They sort of taste like blueberries.  Apparently, there are several varieties of this plant differentiated by the flower color but all giving the same sort of berry.  Anyone know the name of this plant?

Stopping on our nature hike to take a picture in Los Amoles, I found tomatillo growing wild at my feet.  Tomatillo is used in all sorts of savory Mexican dishes.  It has a tart or tangy flavor to it.

Not edible!

The fruit developing on this plant is not to be eaten, according to my husband, although it bears an uncanny resemblance to a squash.

Verdolaga (purslane) is found year-round.  Cooked up it has the consistency of spinach with a sort of tangy taste.  It’s often used in green salsa.  

This plant is called Chichi de burra (Donkey boobs).  The pods are edible and taste like figs.

The tubular petals from this flower (Klip Dagga) have nectar that can be sucked out making it a favorite of chuparosas (rose suckers otherwise known as hummingbirds) and mariposas (butterflies).  They grow in large bunches under the mesquite tree near our house.  It’s my favorite place to be at the tail end of the rainy season.

This is not an all inclusive list of wild edibles by any means.  Every year, I learn a little bit more about the flora and fauna that surround me.  Where else can I get a glimpse of a mountain lion, a roadrunner, and fox in one day?  Where else do butterflies of every imaginable color and size flutter in clouds?  Where else are daily humdrum activities stopped with the glimpse of a hummingbird? La Yacata remains the place to be for me!

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Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

This is the bundle I’ve been waiting for!  I was so excited to get my affiliate bundle the other week!  I felt like a kid in a candy store!  Three weeks later and I’m still wading through all these delightful goodies!

As you know, I’m all about healthy living and this bundle has it all!  I’m only going to highlight one or two things from each category, but you can check out the full list of awesome products here.

Alternative Health

  • 14 Day Meal Plan: For Balancing Hormones and Restoring Gut Health by Kelsey Steffen ($14.99)
  • Understanding Your Hypothyroid & Hashimoto’s Symptoms by Lisa LeVerrier ($19.00) PERFECT FOR ME!

DIY Beauty & Skincare

  • 50 All-Natural Skin Care Solutions Using Essential Oils by Melanie Habibzadeh ($17.97)
  • Herbal Skincare 101 by Kristyn Bango ($49.00)
  • Natural Beauty Guide by Katie Wells ($24.00) AGING IS WRINKLING UP MY SKIN (OR PERHAPS THE HARSH SUN IN MEXICO). EITHER WAY, I NEED SOME HELP HERE!

Fermentation

    • Intro to Kombucha, Fermented Sodas, Kefir, Kvass and More by Kombucha Kamp ($9.95)
    • The Craft of Herbal Fermentation by The Herbal Academy ($119.00)  I LOVE THE HERBAL ACADEMY COURSES AND HAVE BEEN ITCHING TO TAKE THIS COURSE! (As a side note, Herbal Academy is also running a special on this course this week. Click on the image below to check it out!)

    The Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course by Herbal Academy
    Fitness & Weight Loss

    • 21 Day Mini Course: Establish an Exercise Habit by Dr. Christine Carter ($9.99)
    • Move My Mood: Happy Bundle by Jen Hoffman ($39.97)
    • Walking As A Workout by Beth Learn ($19.99) SINCE I’VE BEEN LIBERATED I’VE INCORPORATED A WALK WITH PUPPY EVERY MORNING.

    For Women

    • Cooking for Hormone Balance. Rebalance Your Hormones with Food by Magdalena Wszelaki ($67.00)
    • Yoga For Healthy Hormones: How To Use Yoga To Boost Your Metabolism Naturally By Balancing Low Thyroid And Adrenals by Marina Gutner ($27.00) YET ANOTHER WINNER!

    Gardening & Homesteading

    • How To Embrace An Off-Grid Lifestyle: Our Journey & A Step By Step Look At The Lifestyle by Tammy Trayer ($12.99)
    • The Do It Yourself Homestead by Tessa Zundel ($9.99) WELL, WE’VE BEEN DOING OURSELVES FOR AWHILE NOW BUT SOME TIPS MIGHT BE USEFUL.
    • The Homestead Kitchen by Teri Page & Tatiana Abatemarco ($37.00)

    Gluten- & Grain-Free

    • Bake It Gluten Free and Vegan by Kelly Roenicke ($7.99)
    • Get Merry: A VERY Healthy Cookbook by Carla and Emma Papas ($39.00) ALWAYS LOVE A GOOD COOKBOOK!
    • Grain-Free Cooking: 20 Grain-Free and Refined Sugar-Free Mouth Watering Recipes by Jennifer Eccleston ($5.00)

    Healthy Home

    • Clean, Naturally! Non-Toxic Cleaners for Your Non-Toxic Home by Kresha Faber ($4.99)
    • Go Low Tox Minus the Overwhelm: Face. Body. Kitchen. Laundry by Alexx Stuart ($29.00) CLEAN, ORGANIC AND ME!

    Healthy Kids

    • Crash Course in Natural Parenting: How to Maintain a Green Home While Growing a Healthy Family by Karli Von Herbulis (7.99)
    • Kids Cook Real Food: Knife Skills & Safety Lessons by Katie Kimball ($20.00) THE BUDDING CHEF (MY SON) NEEDS THIS!
    • Treating Kids Naturally by Sally Mathrick ($9.99)

    Home Remedies

    • Aromatherapy: A Practical Guide for Home and Family by Kristy Doubet Haare ($15.99)
    • Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends for Pleasure & Health by Heidi Villegas ($4.99) YOU’ VE BEEN FOLLOWING MY TEA SERIES RIGHT?
    • Essential Oils Revolution 2 by Dr Eric Z ($99.00)
    • Herbal Remedies for the Whole Family by Kristen Smith ($17.00)

    Keto

    • Keto and Low Carb for the Novice Cook by Patricia Daly ($14.90) NOVICE COOK–THAT’S ME!

    Paleo

    • Paleo Made Easy: Getting Your Family Started with the Optimal Healthy Lifestyle by Sylvie McCracken (29.97)
    • Paleogasm: 150 Grain, Dairy & Sugar-Free Recipes That Will Leave You Totally Satisfied and Begging for More by Camille Macres ($30.00)
    • Well Fed: The Ultimate Remix. 60 Fantastic Recipes From 3 Best-Selling Cookbooks by Melissa Joulwan ($19.95) MORE COOKBOOKS!

    Real Food & Nutrition

    • 30-Day Broth Challenge e-Guide by Starlene D. Stewart ($19.00)
    • Understanding Healthy Eating: A Science-Based Guide to How Your Diet Affects your Health by Renaissance Periodization ($19.00) PARTICULARLY APT!

    Recipes

    • 4-Week Healthy Meal Plan by Emily A Roach ($27.00)
    • Big Book of Green Smoothies by Robyn Openshaw (14.95)
    • Sweet Without Sugar: A Collection Of Nourishing, Allergy-Friendly, Low-Carb Desserts by Lindsey Dietz ($14.9 )
    • That’s My Jam: 40 Seasonal Canning Recipes + Printable Labels by Lindsay Landis ($16.99) I TOTALLY WANT TO DO THIS!

    Wellness & Lifestyle

    • A Playful Life: Think, Move, & Eat Your Way to More Fun by Robyn Robeldo ($10.00) I LOVE WHAT I’VE READ SO FAR
    • Amazing Feets: How to Safely and Enjoyably Transition to a Barefoot-Dominant Lifestyle by Mark Sisson ($9.95) SHOES OFF LIFESTYLE, THAT’S THE ONE FOR ME!
    • Energy Reset: Remove the Toxins, Reset Your Hormones, Restore Your Energy by Michelle Brown ($7.99)
    • Holistic Living: Creating Happy + Healthy Families by Lahana Vigliano ($349.00)

    Wait!  There’s more!  After you complete your Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle purchase, you’ll have the option to also get the Herbs & Essential Oils AND Gut Health Super Bundles at a HUGE discount plus bonus offers for gads of healthy living products listed below! Hurry along now!  Limited time offer.

    Bonuses

    • 3 Free Digital Guides from Experience Life Magazine ($27.95)
    • FREE 1-month Subscription (includes 2 cartons of broth) from Kettle & Fire ($20.00)
    • FREE Bottle of Kombucha Pro and/or Free Kombucha Tea Blend from Get Kombucha ($29.95)
    • FREE 2 oz. Immune-Biotic Herbal Tincture from Earthley ($14.99)
    • FREE Grove Collaborative Cleaning Concentrates Bundle, Grove Spray Bottle with Silicone Sleeve, Microfiber Cloth + 60 Day Vip Trial (with $20 purchase) from Grove Co. ($30.00)
    • FREE $15 Site-Wide Credit from Bloom Naturals ($15.00)
    • FREE 1 oz. Bottle of Beard Oil (any scent) from Hobo Beard Oil ($16.95)
    • FREE 8 ounce Bag of Red Gelatinized Maca ($15.00)

     


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    Do you want to become an Ultimate BundleAffiliatee and get discounts and all these super bundles?  Sign up here!

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