Gelatin is a Super Food

make lemonadeBefore you get all excited, I’m not talking about this:

What I am talking about is the deeply nourishing, highly absorbable gelatin that come from collagen.

Let’s Go Back In Time

Traditionally, many cultures valued using the whole animal.  That means if they killed an animal for food, they would use every part of it for something.  The meat and organs would be eaten, the skin would be used to make leather, the blubber would be cooked down to make a healthy cooking fat, and the bones and joints would be boiled down to make a rich, nourishing broth.  This broth rich in gelatin and minerals, would be valued for its healing properties.  Even in our modern, industrialized culture, we recognize that chicken noodle soup is what you give to someone who is sick.  However, most people do not understand why.

Disease Begins in the Gut

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The gelatin in bone broths is very healing to our guts. It “provides building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and [it has] a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut.” (Gut and Psychology Syndrome, p.145)  As we stray further and further away from a traditional diet, we see an increase in auto-immune diseases and in damage to our gut. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride believes that anything from allergies , ADD/ADHD and  autism to depression and even schizophrenia can be directly related to the health of our gut.

I have yet to meet a child with autism, ADHD/ADD, asthma, eczema, allergies, dyspraxia or dyslexia, who had not got digestive abnormalities.  In many cases they are severe enough for the parents to start talking about them first…But what have digestive abnormalities got to do with autism, hyperactivity, inability to learn, mood, and behaviour problems?  According to recent research and clinical experience – a lot!  In fact it appears that the child’s digestive system holds the key to the child’s mental development. The underlying disorder, which can manifest itself in different children with different combinations of symptoms, resides in the gut! (Gut and Psychology Syndrome, p. 7)

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that we are becoming sicker by the generation as we stop eating all parts of the animal and stop nourishing our bodies with real food.

The Number One Reason You Need More Gelatin in Your Diet

There are a lot of compelling reasons to intentionally include more gelatin in your diet.  Gelatin is healing to our guts (see above!).  Gelatin can help maintain bone health and reduce joint pain (source).  Gelatin is excellent for your skin, providing moisture and elasticity, slowing down the aging process. (source) It is excellent in providing the amino acids that are necessary to build new collagen. (source)  All of these are great reasons to more mindfully include gelatin in our diets.  But there is one reason, that I believe is the most compelling:

When we eat a diet of mainly muscle meats and don’t balance it out by eating the rest of the parts of that animal (organ meats, bone broth, etc.) ” the amino acid balance entering our blood stream is the same as that produced by extreme stress.” (source)


Well, it’s quite simple. “When we eat animal proteins in the traditional ways…we assimilate a large amount of glycine and gelatin. This whole-animal balance of amino acids supports all sorts of biological process, including a balanced growth of children’s tissues and organs.”  (source) When we do not eat animal proteins in the traditional ways and only focus on muscle meats, we develop an imbalance of amino acids in our body which ultimately leads to all kinds of health issues.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us.  We have strayed so far from the way God intended for us to eat that of course the consequence is sickness and disease.  We need to get back to the basics!

But I Don’t Want to Eat Chicken Heads and Pig Feet

I hear you, my friends.  It can be so discouraging to know what is good for our bodies and then to know that your family will never go along with it.  It’s also hard to source bones and collagen from animals that are eating from pastures and not from genetically modified grain feed. Many of us can’t afford the luxury of raising our own animals. It was a huge step for us to even make our own bone broth.  I remember the first time I threw some bones in a crock-pot, I felt like I was going back to the days of Little House on the Prairie.

Thankfully there are products that are becoming available to help us incorporate this super-food into our diet. Oh and put down those car keys, those cans of broth or stock at the store do not hold the answer.  They can barely be considered a true bone broth and do not contain the healing nourishment of a gelatin-rich stock.

Collagen Protein and Collagen Peptides

There are two gelatin products that are now available through a brand new company called Vital Proteins. Both of these products are sourced from grass-fed animals and can be an excellent supplement to balance the amino acids in our bodies, bring healing to our guts, and basically provide us with all the benefits of gelatin without boiling our own chicken feet.

collagen protein

 Collagen Protein is basically gelatin.  It is hot water soluble and is great for making homemade jello, gummies, and for adding to stocks, etc.

collagen peptidesCollagen Peptides is hydrolyzed gelatin.  It can dissolve in cold water and therefore can be used in many more ways.

Vital Proteins actually sent me a carton of Collagen Peptides in exchange for a review and I have found it so easy to incorporate into foods for my family.  I’ve added it to smoothies, baked goods, apple sauce, tea, coffee, and many other things.  (Warning: if you take it daily your hair and nails will grow at a ridiculous rate.)   I have noticed an improvement in my skin as well.  However, the thing that I feel the best about is knowing that our diet is more balanced.  Even though I do try to keep bone broth consistently brewing in the crock-pot, the reality is we are still not getting a significant amount of it into our bodies since my family is not huge on eating soups and stews.

The Competition

If you have been around the real food circuit for awhile, you know there is another company that makes a similar product.  When deciding if I wanted to work with

In conclusion, is adding gelatin to your diet going to solve all your health problems?  No.  Will it help? Yes.  Gelatin is one part of the complex puzzle of nutrition.  It is not the cure-all, but it is very necessary – especially in this day and age.

If you are interested in trying this for your family (one carton lasts for quite a while) you can order through their website.

Do you view gelatin as a super food?  How do you incorporate it into your diet?

(Full disclosure: This was a sponsored post from Vital Proteins.  All opinions are 100% my own and I would never endorse something I wouldn’t use with my own family.  I am truly a fan of this product.)



No More Frumpy Hair (A Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Review & Giveaway)

I have a confession:

 I have a frumpy head of hair.

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It all started when I had kids.  After each pregnancy I Iost a considerable amount of hair.  Then it all grew back in again in waves.  I called it my porcupine look.  I had so much new hair growth it just stuck up like a porcupine all over my head.  Then when the new growth started growing out, I had these frizzy layers. Sounds attractive, huh?

Well it wasn’t.  It was scary.  I tried to hide it under headbands and different hairdos, but eventually I gave up and resorted to a daily ponytail frump.  I say frump because I don’t want you to be under any kind of impression that it was a nice looking ponytail.

Don’t get me wrong, I desire to make myself look presentable.  I don’t want to walk around as the permanent frumpy mom, but it’s just not a priority of mine.  It probably won’t be until I am no longer changing diapers, kissing boo-boos, and wondering where the booger on my shirt came from (just keeping it real people!).

So when Kristen Smith of Smithspirations was doing a giveaway for a Lilla Rose Flexi Clip I may have over-zealously mentioned that I wanted to win. And when I didn’t win, she had pity on my poor frumpy self and sent me my very own Lilla Rose Flexi Clip in exchange for a review.  (There are some definite perks to being a blogger.)lilla roseWhat Is A Flexi Clip?

I could tell you about the Flexi clip, but I will let Kristen do it for you. Isn’t she just the cutest thing?! (Sorry I called you a thing, Kristen.)

My Review of the Flexi Clip?

I waited impatiently for my Flexi to arrive in the mail.  I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  When I received it I noticed several distinguishing characteristics:

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Also, when I received the Flexi clip my hair was really long.  I enjoyed wearing my hair in up-dos and I really did feel like the simple elegance of the clip made me appear less frumpy.  Even if I wore it in a pony tail style.

Then I had a slight blow-dryer misfortune (don’t ask) and ended up cutting my hair above my shoulders.  I can’t do as many of the up-dos now, but the Flexi is still my go-to hair clip.  This is what it looks like from the front when I wear my hair in a simple half-pulled back style.

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And here is what it looks like from the back:

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I chose the simplest clip I could find.  But there are a lot of beautiful different clips that you can choose from.

The penny-pincher part of me feels they are a bit on the pricey side, but I have a feeling they last for a really long time unlike rubber bands or other grocery-store hair devices. Also, when you order a clip you are supporting a stay-at-home mom, which I think is pretty nifty!

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Verdict: I am a fan.  It’s amazing how something so simple really can bring you out of frump-land and into sophisticated-mommy-land.  (Those are the scientific terms.)  I also like how it holds my hair without slipping and is easy to use.

How Do I Get Myself a Flexi-Clip?

There are several ways you can get your hands on these clips. You can purchase them through Kristen’s store, she’s having this special for new customers:

lilla rose 4And/or you can enter to win one right now!

This giveaway is good for any item in the online catalog up to $16. It is good for one per household and to new Lilla Rose customers only. This giveaway is only for U.S. residents and is open from 4/15/2014 until 11:59 PST on 4/18/2014. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

Good luck my friends!  May the frumpiest head win. ;)

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DIY Felted Dryer Balls

diy felted dryer balls


You ever have one of those weeks where your whole family catches the stomach flu? Except the kids only wake up with it in the middle of the night? On separate days? And then you are so tired you forget to put water in your coffee pot and you think that it’s broken? Then you catch the stomach flu in the middle of the day? And your husband has to take time off of work that he doesn’t have so that you don’t have to listen to “Mommy I want a banana” while your head is bent over the toilet?

Because that’s the week we’ve had.

You know you’ve been there too.

And it’s weeks like this that I am so grateful for an electric washing machine and dryer, because heaven knows we have been doing laundry like it’s going out of style.

And it’s weeks like this that I am so grateful for my dryer balls, because our dryer is old and generally takes two long cycles to get something dry. When I use my dryer balls, it definitely shortens the dryer time, which is very helpful when you are having a laundry crisis.

These are so easy to make and are a great way to reduce toxins and save energy.

Read my tutorial here at Modern Alternative Mama.