In my clinic I often recommend clients try a ‘Kick Starter’—a bone broth-fuelled cleanse, detox and body-and-mind reset rolled into one, designed to help them begin embracing new foods and change their lives! The motivation is entirely individual: it may be weight loss, digestive issues, inflammation, or a need to rebalance energy and mood.
One patient in my clinic said she felt ‘ten years younger’ after doing the Kick Starter. Another said her energy ‘skyrocketed’, and others felt they’d kicked unhealthy habits. Giving your gastro-intestinal tract a break from digesting wholefoods can be a respite for the body. Digesting food, especially protein and fibrous vegetables, takes a lot of effort. Drinking only bone broth over a two or three day period is a great relief. This is not a crash diet, as you’re actually consuming a great volume of easily-digested protein amino acids in each mug of broth. It gives the lining of the gastro-intestinal tract a chance to rest for a few days, meaning any inflammation present can be potentially reduced. That can make you feel less bloated and so much better. The amino acids in bone broth support this gastro-intestinal healing, plus the herbs and spices
I recommend supply additional healing nutrients with anti-inflammatory and detoxifying benefits (see recipe ideas here). The organs that support digestion, such as the pancreas which produces some of our digestive enzymes, can also experience some relief: although some digestion still goes on, it is a great deal less taxing.
The glycine amino acid in bone broth helps support detoxification of the liver. Adding the suggested herbs and spices to your mug of bone broth will further enhance this, as well as making the broth taste even better. By avoiding regular food for the period of the Bone Broth Kick Starter, you’re effectively resetting your body. It halts cravings you may have for certain foods, and helps the mind and body break habits that you’ve formed for unhealthy foods, or for foods of one type that you tend to over-consume.
Perhaps you feel some foods have an unwanted emotional effect on you. Or some foods affect the quality of your sleep. Doing the Bone Broth Kick Starter can make these choices clearer in your head; you might see more of what it is that causes your poor food choices or that feeling of tiredness after eating certain foods.
Worried about not feeling full while you’re on the Kick Starter? Try this little test: make a bone broth—any kind—and drink a mug of it. Notice how satisfied you feel. It’s nourishing and comforting all at once. You’ll be doing this six times throughout the day. Trust me, it’s great! You may even want to do the Bone Broth Kick Starter with a friend and share your experiences. And if you’re still not ready to make the leap, try drinking bone broth as a meal replacement. It makes great, warming, easy-to-digest breakfast. It’s also a healthy substitute for those snacks we’re all guilty of sneaking occasionally.
BONE BROTH KICK STARTER TO-DO LIST
The best way to approach the Kick Starter is to be thoroughly prepared. Check with your medical practitioner to ensure it’s safe for you to do, and avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Find a friend to do the Kick Starter with you.
Decide how many days you’re going to do it: three days is best, but even one day will have positive effects—whatever suits you to begin with.
Make the bone broth ahead and have it ready to go in your fridge or freezer.
Make different flavours if you feel you’ll need variety—beef, fish, chicken, etc. Buy the ingredients for the Kick Starter cleansing and detox seasonings. Most can be made in advance.
Decide when to begin—and commit to it!
THE KICK STARTER DAYS
Each day have six mugs of bone broth (each about 101⁄2 fl oz (300 ml). Space out the time between them to cover your day, e.g., on waking, mid-morning, at lunch, mid-afternoon, late afternoon and dinnertime. If you feel hungry between broth times, increase the serving size by another 31⁄2 fl oz (100 ml). Try not to over-season the broth with salt— this will make you extra thirsty.
The detox and cleansing add-ins give a little extra zing, although the flavour of bone broth is, of course, delicious! Drink extra water or caffeine-free herbal teas throughout the day—the bone broth is not enough to hydrate you. To calculate how much fluid is enough for your needs, the Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013 suggests men have 88 fl oz (2.6 L) and women 71 fl oz (2.1 L) per day, more if the weather is hot or you’re doing increased physical activity.
SEASONING SECRET WEAPONS
To enhance the benefits of the Kick Starter, I like to add extra seasonings to my mug of bone broth. These quick blends of herbs, vinegar and other fresh, flavoursome ingredients have been chosen for their detoxifying, cleansing or antimicrobial properties. Try them individually, or combine a couple if you like. My favourite is freshly grated ginger. Keep these seasonings in mind for non-Kick Starter days. Parsley Cleanser is great swirled into soups, and the Garlic Antimicrobial gives risottos a punch.
Try our favourite bone broth recipe here.