The soup that saved my life…
Ok, so I’m going to be frank with you, I am not a writer, don’t claim to be and don’t try to be. My blog usually consists of a short blurb and a recipe. There are alot of beautifully written blogs out there, they seem to write with such ease and eloquence. That is not the case for me…. However, today I felt compelled to share a little bit more about my story… so bare with my awkward and probably grammatically incorrect writing :P
When most people are sick, they fix themselves a nice hot cup of tea. For me, it’s a piping hot mug of homemade broth. Here is my reason why….
It was exactly one year ago this month that I discovered a new lifestyle that changed my life forever. I was almost 5 months pregnant, suffering from a severe flare up with my Crohn’s disease. I had not been able to gain ANY weight in my pregnancy ( I had actually lost weight…) I was so afraid to eat anything because EVERYTHING was making me sick and caused pain beyond your imagination. I was so sick, unable to manage my daily life, taking care of my other 3 children. I was concerned for not only my health, but the life of the baby I was carrying. I went to my GI and without even running any tests or checking labs or blood work, he wrote out several prescriptions including steroids… I went to the pharmacy, got the meds and headed home. I felt so uneasy about what ill effects these serious drugs would have on my unborn child. Everyone kept saying, your health comes first, you need to do what is right for you. But I am very stubborn and you can’t blame a mother for putting her child first… the idea of those steroids reaching my baby, was frightening. So I got on the internet and started searching out alternative treatments and came across the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I was definitely put off by what seemed to be an extremely restrictive diet, but the science behind the diet made complete sense. I figured I would give it a go for a few weeks and if it failed, I would use the meds sitting in my cabinet.
The diet works in phases, beginning with the Intro diet, which is basically homemade chicken broth and the tender carrots and chicken cooked in the soup. There are couple other random things on the list, but basically this is what I ate… for 3 days. And you would not believe that I was symptom free….. after JUST 3 days. This diet was a Godsend, a miracle, that saved my life. I slowly worked my way through all of the phases, keeping a very detailed food diary to figure out what foods I can and cannot tolerate. It has taken almost a year to get to this point. But I know my body now more than ever and can tell if I didn’t eat something right almost immediately or if stress or sickness is triggering my Crohn’s. The first thing I do at that point is make a big batch of broth. I truly believe that bone broths have healing properties and are extremely beneficial to the immune system. You can read more about that here and here. Broths have been used for medicinal purposes for years, specifically in Chinese cultures. It is known for its natural anti-inflammatory properties and loaded with calcium, minerals, and gelatin which helps aid in digestion. So, it’s no coincidence that mothers of many generations have made chicken soup for their kids when they are sick!
So if you know anyone out there suffering from any allergies, autoimmune disease or illness, please share with them the SCD. There is hope. I know it is hard for people to imagine eliminating certain foods from their diet, but if it means a pain free, medicine free, happier and longer life, wouldn’t it all be worth it?? Oh and in case you didn’t already know, I carried my pregnancy to term and had a healthy 7 lb baby girl! She is perfect. I love her and am so grateful for Elaine Gotchall and the SCD for giving me a second chance at life.
isn’t she a cutie??
I don’t usually share alot of personal things on here about my family and such, but this diet and specifically this soup has impacted my life immensely.
Now, there are two different ways to achieve good bone broth. You can use either a whole chicken or leftover bones. We roast a chicken almost every week for a simple dinner. Then I use the bones to make broth for the week. Whatever you do, do NOT throw out your bones, do not waste them. If you don’t have time to make a broth right away, simple throw them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. The benefits to making it with a whole chicken, is eating the tender chicken along with the soup, more like a meal. However, I prefer to drink my broth, rather than “eat” it, so I tyically make my broth with bones only.
Homemade Chicken Broth
- 1 whole chicken, rinsed or leftover chicken bones
- gizzards/liver and stuff you removed from the cavity
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 6 whole cloves garlic
- fresh herbs (I like to use thyme, parsley and bay leaves)
- salt and pepper
- splash of vinegar
- Place all of your ingredients in a large stock pot.
- Fill the pot with water, several inches above the chicken.
- Slowly bring to a boil, then let simmer away for at least 4 hrs. The longer the better.
- Remove chicken, strain your broth.
- After chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat and either place back in broth or use in another meal.
- Place broth in fridge. After it is cold, any excess fat will naturally separate and you can skim it right off of the top.
You will end up with a beautifully rich and dark broth. Nothing like what comes in a can or carton. Once you make your own, you may never go back…. I use this broth as a base for soups, to make sauces or like I said before, just on its own when I’m not feeling great.
*broth will keep in the fridge for about a week and stores in the freezer up to 3 months