My Bone Broth Hack (+ a promotion!)

Bone Broth

There is nothing better than comfort foods, am I right?! I'm sure bone broth is not news to you guys, but it has quickly become one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. Plus, the health benefits seem to be endless. Now you guys have heard about collagen at this point I'm assuming. Well, bone broth is probably the #1 source of collagen (and the best way to get it into your diet). Just a cup of this stuff daily, and you're on your way to better immunity, hair, skin, nails, gut, and overall health! Sounds pretty good right? Read on for some of my favorite things about bone broth.

Bone Broth
  1. It is one of the best sources of gelatin/collagen, so it's got major benefits for your hair, skin, and nails - especially your skin. It helps to banish wrinkles, improve the elasticity, and decrease cellulite. I've noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started using it - my face is clearer, brighter, smoother, and healthier.
  2. Bone broth helps to heal leaky gut in a major way. The reason for this is because it builds probiotics and protects the lining of your gut. This also helps to fight food sensitivities. Even if you don't have gut problems, it is still great for overall gut health.
  3. Like I said above, it's a major source of gelatin, which means it's pretty darn good for your joints also. Gelatin acts like a cushion for your joints, so for all of you with sore knees, wrists, and elbows, start drinking this and I bet you see a difference.
  4. Because it has such a large benefit on your gut, it also benefits your overall health and immunity, as well as your inflammatory response. Inflammation is such a huge problem in our world right now (it's what causes almost all disease), and bone broth can help lower the inflammation levels in your body.
  5. I stole this last one from my favorite doctor, but had to include. Bone broth also helps the detoxification process, because it is a source of potassium, glycine, sulfur, and glutamine - all of which aid in cellular and liver detoxification. 
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Is bone broth worth the hype? I think it is. I've noticed a big difference since I started drinking it, in my skin as well as my gut, but you do need to drink it regularly. Issue is, it's really not easy to make it in my tiny NYC kitchen (nor do I feel like it's safe to be simmering something on my stove for days at a time). I know I could make it in a slow cooker - which I will try some day when I actually purchase a slow cooker - but I'm all about quick and easy. 

This is where Kettle & Fire steps in. Kettle & Fire is my favorite source for bone broth. It comes in disposable cartons that you can heat the broth in, portioned out so that you can enjoy one full carton at a time. They make it so darn easy to consume bone broth on a regular basis - which you should be doing if you want to see the benefits - without all the hassle of having to make it yourself. Plus, it tastes delicious, and I always add extra ingredients to mine for the additional health benefits. In these photos, I'm drinking mine with some crushed garlic and turmeric. Yum!

I want you guys to reap the benefits also, so today, I'm giving you 20% off Kettle & Fire! Just use code CASUALCLASSIC20 at checkout. Let me know how you like it! xo

16 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Get Healthy FAST!

It's that time of year where everyone jumps on the healthy bandwagon. Detoxes, cleanses, fasts, and so on are selling like crazy as everyone is trying to get themselves back on track after the holidays. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of the crazy strict cleanses. I believe in getting back on track and cutting out the bad stuff, but a full cleanse where you need to follow a program, drink juice at every meal, or shakes three times a day is usually too tough on your body and does more harm than good. In saying that, I'll let you guys in on the little secrets I do to get myself back on track after indulging in too many desserts and sugary drinks. These are all little tweaks you can make to your diet and lifestyle for the long term, which will benefit your body and overall health way more than a 3 day juice cleanse would. 

  1. Start your day with warm water and fresh squeezed lemon. I will usually make a detox tea in the morning (I like this one and this one), and will just add fresh lemon to the tea. I also include some Chlorella and collagen powder, both of which add a bunch of protein, help to detoxify the body, and aid in digestion. This is my favorite drink to start the day with. Super nutritious and filling!
  2.  Oil pulling is another super beneficial detox method. I do this a couple times a week, but try to do it more during times like this when I'm needing the extra help. You want to do this as soon as you wake up, and for about 15 minutes. For more info, check out my oil pulling post here.
  3. Sweat it out as often as possible. I HIGHLY recommend using an infrared sauna if you have one available to you. If you live in NYC, there is Higher Dose (a bit pricey), or I go to UWS Yoga and Wellness (super cheap!), and you can also go to yoga that is heated with infrared heat at Y7, which is incredible. Kill two birds with one stone and get a workout and sauna session in one!
  4. On the same sweaty note, get a workout in. It doesn't matter if it's just a brisk walk around the block... Just move your body. I love to mix is up with some good hard cardio, hot yoga, pilates and weight lifting. Anything that makes me feel good I'll do. Don't force workouts that make you miserable or drain you. You'll just kill your adrenals, especially if you're already stressed in work and life.
  5. This is a given, but drink a TON of water. I carry a water bottle with me at all times. Buy yourself a cute bottle that makes you want to use it! I own this one, this one (that keeps liquids cold/hot for up to 24 hours!), and also just picked up one of these which is my new favorite! You can also amp up your water with some aloe (only add a bit as it doesn't taste great), or chlorophyll, which I love, because it tastes minty fresh!
  6. Eat whole, organic foods. Don't touch anything in a package. Load up on veggies, high quality protein, and good fats. If you're really into it, try the Whole30 challenge. I did it last year, and it's life changing. 
  7. And on that note, you guys will not like this one, but to really fix things, you should be cutting out gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. This is SUPER important. Removing these from your diet will help improve almost anything. You'll have more energy (none of that brain fog/sluggish feeling), you'll feel lighter, you'll most likely lose weight (if you stay consistent), you'll sleep better, you'll be in a better mood, and the list goes on. As you know, sugar is just terrible for you, so if you want to pick one of the three things to cut out, I'd do that first.
  8. While we're at it, I'll add caffeine to the list because that really is another trigger food you should eliminate (I did it almost a year ago now, and haven't looked back!!). Swap it out with the detox tea I mentioned above, or try a Matcha tea latte, which is another favorite of mine.
  9. Meditate at least once a day, even if only for 5 minutes. I love this app and this app to help you start if you've never done it before. A guided meditation is a great way to learn how to do so!
  10. Take activated charcoal. This is especially great to help cure a hangover. Activated charcoal binds to toxins in your body, but be careful, because it'll also bind to any supplements you take so don't take it within a couple hours of taking supplements or eating healthy. You can read more about all the different benefits here.
  11. Dry brushing is the best for skin exfoliation and detoxification. It boosts circulation, stimulates the lymph nodes, improves digestion and the appearance of cellulite, and more. To do it, you should always brush towards your heart, so I start at my feet and work my way up using long strokes. This is the brush I use, which works great.
  12. Try intermittent fasting. This one isn't for everyone, especially if you have issues with blood sugar, but for a lot of people, it is a great way to give your body a break. You can do two different types: one 24 hour period every week, or two 16 hour periods a week. Obviously, I'd chose the later because I'm a hungry hippo most of the time and 24 hours sounds extremely challenging.
  13. Go green with your household products as well as beauty products. I've swapped out pretty much all of my toxic household cleaners, hair sprays, face cleansers, nail polishes, make up, you name it, for eco-friendly, non-toxic, and natural products. And to tell you the truth, I haven't looked back once. Not gonna lie, the amount of compliments I've gotten on my skin since I've made the switch is ridiculous. Some of my favorites include Leahlani, Acure, and Tata Harper for skin care, and Honest Company for household products.
  14. Get a massage! I know, these are pretty pricey and something most people don't consider doing on the regular, but getting one of these as frequently as possible is a really good idea.
  15. Take magnesium and/or a cleansing supplement, as LONG as it is from a certifiable company and has ingredients you can recognize. I'd be very careful about this one, as there are so SO many things on the market that can be harmful to you. To be safe, I'd stick with a magnesium supplement (especially if you are feeling a little "blocked", it'll help move things along - if you catch my drift). I take this one whenever I'm feeling a little backed up and it's incredible. It utilizes the amazing properties of bentonite clay, which absorbs toxins, and magnesium, which helps you to eliminate them immediately! I take this on a daily basis, and also use a magnesium lotion. You really can't overdose on magnesium - it's one of the nutrients that people are the most deficient in too! Some other reputable companies I'd recommend are Metagenics and Be Well (by Dr. Lipman). I cannot stress ENOUGH to not buy supplements from a grocery store or GNC. Don't do it!!!
  16. SLEEP. At least 8 hours a day. This is so important. Your body will not repair and reset itself if you are not getting enough sleep! By the way, the magnesium supplements mentioned above will help to improve your sleep also.

If you're not a member already, you can purchase all of the above at a discount at Thrive Market (my favorite health website EVER).

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple & Parmesan

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It was one of those Sundays where I hadn't gone grocery shopping for the upcoming week, I didn't feel like doing so really, and yet I also didn't want to order out. I had a butternut squash sitting on my counter for over a week, so I decided I was going to do something with that for dinner. I did a little digging around my fridge to see what else I could scrape up... an onion, some garlic, apples, carrots... sounded like soup would be the answer! I looked at a couple recipes online, but in the end decided to go with my own.

This turned out even better than I could have expected. It's rich in flavor, filling, and quite healthy. The recipe below is the best estimate of all the measurements I used, since I just kind of threw things in a pot. Luckily, you don't need to have exact measurements for soup, as you would if you were baking something. Feel free to use what I used, or sub in your own ingredients - anything goes!

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Some of the ingredients below are entirely optional... I like to add collagen to everything possible to give my recipes a little health boost. If you haven't read my post about collagen, check it out here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 small red onion
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 1 tbsp ghee 
  • 2 tsp truffle oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 scoops of collagen peptides powder (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut into small chunks. Throw on a baking tray with 6-8 whole cloves of garlic mixed in and bake for about 20 minutes or until soft.
  3. While the squash is cooking, chop up the onion, apple, and carrot.
  4. Heat the olive oil and ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and apple and cook for about 10 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the bone broth and cook on low for another few minutes until the butternut squash is done roasting.
  5. Add the butternut squash and garlic to the pot and cook for another 5-10 minutes on low heat. Add the cinnamon (and whatever other spices you want), truffle oil, salt & pepper, and collagen, and stir.
  6. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend thoroughly until liquified.
  7. Top with parmesan cheese (unless you want to keep this vegan), and serve!