Are you looking to complete your first bone broth diet? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got everything here you’d ever want to know about successfully completing a bone broth diet (or fast).
What is a Bone Broth Diet?
A bone broth diet, also commonly referred to as a broth detox or a bone broth fast, is either the intake of only bone broth, or supplementing bone broth into your regular diet.
What the heck is bone broth, you ask? Well, basic bone broth is made by cooking healthy animal bones in water. A typical bone broth would be made up of beef, chicken and lamb bones, but you can use some variety if you wish — fish bones are excellent, as well as any other healthy animals you can think of (it’s a great use of those christmas turkey bones!). Some people decide to add a variety of other things to their broth. The most common is Apple Cider Vinegar, as it is flavourful and helps to draw out the nutrients from the animal bones. Of course, many different vegetables can be used in your broth as well; all sorts of root vegetables are great, as well as onions and other veggies you have laying about.
That’s it. Simple, huh?
Which bones are best for my broth?
This is obviously down to personal preference, but we certainly find that you need a good ratio of ‘joint bones’ to ‘meaty bones’.
Jointy bones would include things like knuckles of the cow, or the feet of the chicken. You know, the bits filled with cartilage and nutritious gelatin.
Meaty bones are the bones with, well, meat on them. Things like ribs are considered meaty bones, as well as the marrow bone.
The reason for this is that you need the broth to gel, which it has to have a sufficient amount of gelatin to do so. If you’re just chucking your whole chicken carcass in there, that’s fine, but it might not gel as well as you’d want it to.
If you’re finding that your broth isn’t gelling like you want, the best thing for you to do is nip to the local market, butchers or farmer. You can usually pick up a bag of discarded jointy bones for extremely cheap (like, pennies) which will be all you need for a delicious, gelled broth. As a rule, if you want a delicious gelled broth, try to aim for at least a few jointy bones in there to match those big, delicious meaty one.
The only exception to this would be fish, in which case it doesn’t really matter the bones; they’re all full of goodness!
Don’t be too concerned if your broth doesn’t gel over like you want it to. It’ll still be filled with nutrition and goodness.
How to make a simple Bone Broth
Below, we’ve listed the most basic process for making a extremely simple bone broth. You can adapt this recipe as necessary, or use one of the more specific, and delicious, recipes on our site.
- Usually for a bone broth you use all your own leftover bones and the parts of an animal you don’t want to eat — necks are great — then whack them in your crock pot/slow cooker. Most people just stick to using beef or chicken bones, but don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. Visit your local butcher and see what they have — they’ll be going pretty cheap!
- So you’ve got your crockpot or just a large steel cooking pot, if that’s what you prefer. Next, put a few veggies in there. Personally, I don’t really like carrots as they make a broth quite sweet. I stick with leeks, onions and I use the ends of my celery stalks. I love celery as a snack through the day, so it’s pretty easy to get some stalks.
- Season as necessary. Get some peppercorns in there, maybe a few bay leaves. No need for salt though; there will be enough sodium in your broth when it’s cooked.
- Add some cold water and a few tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. Adding the vinegar is pretty important, as it helps to draw out the nutrients from inside the bones and will give you the greatest benefits from your broth.
- Cook. If you’re cooking poultry, rule of thumb is to leave it on for anywhere between 6–12 hours, depending on personal preference (or how badly you want your broth!). With beef, try a minimum of 12 hours, with anywhere up to 24 hours for full flavour. You’ll probably notice a layer of fat rise to the top of your broth, which you can skim and throw away, or use again for cooking something else (beef-fat roasted veggies, anyone?).
- Strain. After you’ve got rid of the fat that has risen to the top, simply strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and let it cool naturally.
Do I eat on a bone broth diet?
Well, there’s only one answer to this one; it’s up to you. If you are deciding to stick to only bone broth diet, then the recommended time is anywhere from 3 days to maybe a week. You can, of course, go for far longer than this; once your body has started producing ketones and you’re in ketosis, a bone broth diet is similar to any other diet. If you are thinking about going longer than a few days, it’s probably best to consult a doctor before you make any long term commitments.
If you are considering a bone broth diet, it’s likely you’ve already heard of Kelly Ann and her ‘Bone Broth Diet’. Kelly Ann has really catapulted bone broth into the limelight over recent years. In her bone broth diet, she suggests a 21 day diet, with bone broth being a supplement for regular, healthy meals.
On Kelly Ann’s website, she promises that:
‘As you regain your glow on the inside, you’ll also transform yourself on the outside. Your hair will get fuller. Your skin will get softer and smoother. And, your body will become more sculpted. Within weeks, you’ll look ten years younger. As a result, you’re not going to feel invisible anymore. That stops with me’
Well, she can certainly put forward a case! It’s worth checking out her website. Though a lot of it is filled with other ‘you’ll transform yourself’ promises and other sales-esque stuff (as her goal is to get you to buy her book), you can pick up some good tips.
So, back to the question; do you eat on a bone broth diet? Well, despite what Kelly Ann suggests, you certainly don’t have to, especially if you are only looking to do it for a few days. In fact, you will likely benefit more from a short bone broth diet if you were to consume only bone broth. Of course, there are contributing factors to whether you can just drop everything and stop eating (some of us have jobs and families, I know), so it really is up to you.
Benefits of a bone broth diet
It’s really impossible to list all the benefits that you could gain from doing a bone broth diet, as there are lots of knock on effect benefits. For example, the added collagen will create healthier tissue in your body, which will then have all sorts of positive benefits. See what I mean? Anyway, I’ve listed some of the key benefits of a bone broth diet below, including some that are pretty specific to bone broth.
Possibly one of the main reasons someone may choose to do a bone broth diet over another type of diet, like water fasting or juice fasting, is that you’re likely to lose less muscle whilst on a broth diet. There are a few reasons for this. A bone broth diet is nowhere near as intense as the other types of fast, and often people choose to incorporate bone broth into their regular diet, whilst maintaining a normal protein intake.
Whilst on a water fast, your intake of protein is literally nothing, so you are guaranteed to lose some muscle. During the initial stages of the fast when your body is looking for sources of energy, it will utilize muscle; this is less likely on a bone broth diet.
Another reason that you are likely to retain more muscle with bone broth is that it contains valuable amino acids, the most important one being Glycine. The benefits of Glycine are countless, with it being invaluable for building and maintaining a healthy amount of muscle. It is also great for protecting your joints and keeping them healthy, as well as fighting fatigue and getting a good sleep.
Another of the main reasons for choosing a bone broth diet is that you are less likely to have to deal with electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are pretty essential to your health and help enable us to function properly. Because bone broth is basically liquid made from animal parts, those animals parts contain lots of nutrients and minerals that are essential to human health too. We are animals, after all!
Bone broth is packed with electrolytes that support your health. Though apparently the source of Calcium in particular has been exaggerated, it is still a great source of calcium and other electrolytes, specifically magnesium, sodium and potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that people are commonly deficient in as it isn’t as easy to include in your diet as say, sodium. Potassium is super important for various reasons, including;
- Organ Support. Potassium helps to support a healthy heart, kidneys and helps your brain to function
- Maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
- Reducing appearance of cellulite.
- Lowering risk of stroke.
Tip: Use fish bones every now and then for extra Iodine! Iodine is important for many reasons, including keeping your thyroid healthy.
How long should my bone broth diet be?
Well, if you listen to famous doctor and bone broth advocate Kelly Ann’s advice, you’d consider following her 21 day bone broth diet.
Well, she certainly argues a good case for a 21 day bone broth diet. Of course in Kelly Ann’s diet, she suggests using bone broth as a supplement as opposed to the option of consuming just bone broth. Of course, her method is more of a diet than a fast.
If you are sticking to just bone broth, then for your first fast, why not just try a 3 day fast? Usually, 72 hours is a good amount of time to see whether or not you enjoy it. The beautiful thing about fasting is that you can listen to your own body about how long you want your diet to be whilst on your diet. Finished 3 days and want to carry on? No problem! Just keep on going.