I had read Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Broth, and I was convinced about the benefits of marrow.
“Deep in the centre of bones is marrow, a creamy substance valued by our ancestors for it’s life-giving, reproduction-enhancing, and brain-building fat and cholesterol. As the seedbed of blood and stem cells, it’s prized as a sacred, energizing and regenerative food in native cultures all over the world.” Sally Fallon Morell~
My #1 kid loves marrow. She eats it with a spoon.
Matthew adores it, too.
After we make a batch of bone broth (which is every couple of days, thank you Instant Pot!) he slurps the marrow right out of the bones.
I still haven’t found the strategy for kidney, I admit.
My Bone Marrow Strategy
My first attempt at eating marrow was to scoop it into the container of bone broth. That way I’d consume it by default.
But I was still feeling squeamy about it, so I knew my strategy needed work.
I started to blend it with the bone broth before storing it in the fridge.
And then I began to use that rich gravy-like broth, hot, for dipping, au jus style.
From the first bite, I knew I’d found my bone marrow sweet spot.
Au Jus & Pot Roast
(Au jus, by the way, is pronounced Oh-zhoo~).
For the pot roast, you can use a tough cut from any ruminant: beef, lamb, bison, vension or elk.
The tougher the better.
For a cow, that’d be a chuck, brisket or bottom round roast.
But here’s the roast selection strategy I use: when I’m at my butcher (which only sources pastured meat, so I don’t need to worry about that criteria), I just pick the cheapest one.
And the last time we got half a cow from Ruby Slipper Ranch (which was just this week, thank you Tracy & Shayne!) we asked for more roasts and less ground beef. So we can eat Pot Roast with Bone Marrow Au Jus all fall…
Pot Roast with Bone Marrow Au Jus
This recipe takes almost no time at all over 2-3 days. You can do it in one day if you are one of those crazy cats who has an Instant Pot and a slow cooker (and you already have some bone broth ready~).
If you are starting from scratch, you first need to make some bone broth. I’m including a slow cooker recipe here (you can find Matthew’s Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe below and Eileen’s Instant Pot recipe here).
Then you need to cook your pot roast, which takes a day (or a night) in a slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Bone Broth
5 lbs marrow bones, ideally with some meat still on them
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Bay Leaves, optional
Brown the bones in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning them once or twice.
Place them in the slow cooker, cover with filtered Water, add the Vinegar and the Bay Leaves (if using).
Cook on low for 24 hours.
The stock should barely simmer. If it’s too hot, adjust the lid to cool everything down until the bubbles are just barely breaking the surface. Replace the water that evaporates, as required.
Remove the marrow bones with a slotted spoon. Once cool, scoop out the marrow from each bone with a knife and put it in a glass container. Cover with 1 cup of bone broth and refrigerate.
Refrigerate the rest of the bone broth in a separate glass container.
1 4-5 lb pot roast
Himalayan Salt (or similar)
2 tablespoons tallow or lard
3 cups bone broth
Generously Salt the Roast.
Heat the fat in a skillet on medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides.
Place the roast in the slow cooker.
Deglaze the pan with the bone broth, scraping any meaty bits up and pour it over the waiting Roast.
Turn it to low and walk away fro 7-8 hours (if it’s a little longer: no harm done).
Refrigerated bone marrow in bone broth
Bone broth from cooking the Pot Roast
1 teaspoon Savory
1 teaspoon Marjarom
Once cooked, let the Pot Roast rest while you heat the chilled bone marrow in bone broth with the extra-meaty broth from the slow cooker. Add the Herbs.
When piping hot, puree in a food processor. Serve immediately as a dipping sauce for the Pot Roast.
Matthew's Instant Pot Bone Broth
Matthew makes Bone Broth every 3-4 days, as he consumes 2-3 cups a day as part of his gut healing protocol. Here’s his recipe:
5 lbs marrow & cartilage-rich bones, ideally with some meat still on them
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350.
Brown the bones for 20 minutes, before turning them, switching on the broiler to 400 and broiling for an additional 10 minutes.
Place the bones in the Instant Pot.
Add water to 1/4″ below the maximum capacity line.
Add 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Press ‘SOUP’ and adjust the timer to 120 minutes.
Allow 40-60 Minutes to pass after that session expires, to depressurize the pot.
Press ‘SOUP’ again and adjust the timer to 90-120 minutes.
Allow at least 20 minutes to pass to partially depressurize the pot.
Turn the pressure switch to ‘VENTING’ and allow all the steam to escape.
Optional: Press ‘SLOW COOK’ and set timer for an additional 4-5 hours.
Strain broth through a colander. Remove & consume all the marrow from the bones.
Slowly, I’m recovering for my decades of vegetarianism.
Nowadays I can have a venison pot roast cooking inside, while contemplating the possibility of future venison pot roasts outside~.
Waking up in the morning to the heavenly smell of bacon.
That you didn’t have to cook.
It’s almost like having one of those mythological ever-happy 1950’s housewives doing magical things in your kitchen while you sleep.
But way less weird.
In the morning, you just throw a handful or two of radishes into the slow cooker while you putter about getting ready. And then sit down for a weekday breakfast that will make every single person you know drool.
Even the vegetarians~.
Preparing this breakfast takes 5 minutes the night before.
Slice the pork belly (re-purpose your old bread knife to slice it up quick). Top & tail the radishes & pop them in a container in the fridge. Then go to sleep.
In the morning, all you have to do is dump the radishes in the slow cooker & turn the heat to high.
Keep in mind, this here is rich. Adding a side of sauerkraut or another fermented vegetable is a nice way to balance out the glorious full-fat intensity.
Heavenly Slow-Cooker Pork Belly with Radish Hash (AIP)
1 lb Pork Belly
1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt (or similar)
2 bunches radishes
Slice the Pork Belly into thicker-than-bacon strips and lay them in the bottom of a slow cooker.
Sprinkle the salt over top.
Put to the lid, set on low and cook for 8-9 hours.
Turn the slow cooker on high while you trim the radishes and cut them in halves & quarters (unless they are very small) and add to the slow cooker.
Give the contents a little stir to coat the radishes in the liquid fat. Replace the lid and cook for another 40 minutes.
Serve with cold raw sauerkraut or sliced cucumber.
Note:You’ll have a lovely bit of rendered lard left in the pot. Pour it in a small glass container and pop it in the fridge~.
If you open a container of Honeybush tea & breathe deep… you’ll get it~.
It smells like the most delicious summertime Iced Tea you can imagine.
Lemon~Honeybush Iced Tea
This isn’t so much a recipe as a summertime lifestyle:
Boil water & pour it over loose Honeybush each night.
In the morning, strain & refrigerate.
Introduce this pattern & you’ll always have portable iced tea at the ready: for anyone who drops by; or to take with you to any social occasion where AIP-friendly party drinks might be difficult to find.
And of course, it is also excellent when enjoyed luxuriantly on a long summer evening, all by yourself.
I created these muffins a year ago as a way to overcome my squeamishness about eating organ meat. Since then, Victorious Muffins have become an absolute staple at our house, because:
They freeze beautifully & reheat quickly (even from frozen) in the oven, making them a perfect AIP ‘fast food’;
They provide a regular dosage of organ meat without ever having to decide ‘today is the day I am going to prepare & eat a weeks worth of liver’ (because that day might never come);
They make me feel GREAT~! I specifically plan to have one for breakfast on days when I have to facilitate a challenging meeting or make an important presentation at work.
Over the past year we’ve tried all kinds:
Ground elk, venison, water buffalo & lamb;
Liver from ducks, lambs, cows, chickens & bison;
Wild boar bacon, pork belly & wild boar belly;
Various vegetable & herb combinations.
At the moment, Matthew is on an extreme gut-healing protocol that omits cured meats (no bacon~!) and allows very limited carbohydrates. Therefore, this version of the Victorious Offal Muffin recipe is the ‘Uncured Remix’. Unlike the original recipe, this remix is low-FODMAP & is also compliant with Matthew’s current protocol (as outlined by Aglaée Jacob in her book Digestive Health with Real Food).
Victorious Offal Muffins: the uncured remix (AIP & low-FODMAP)
This salad only gets better as it marinates, so you can make it on a Sunday night and have salad to go (or ready & waiting for you at home) for the workweek ahead.
This is a bulk recipe. It makes 7 (seven!) big meal-sized salads. If your household isn’t likely to work it’s way though that much salad in 4 or 5 days, feel free to halve or quarter the recipe.
I’ve been adding dandelion greens. I pick a big handful of them in my yard & stuff them in the jar on top of the marinated vegetables before I go to work.
It feels subversive and wild to eat dandelion greens for lunch at work. Like I’m introducing a vital primordial antidote into an environment that is stressful and virtual.
I suppose that is because I am.
According to Eileen at Phoenix Helix, dandelion greens have “twice the calcium, 3 times the vitamin A, 5 times the vitamins K and E, and 8 times more antioxidants” than spinach.
Plus, they’re fresh. And free.
This salad covers all 3 vegetable categories for the Wahls Protocol:
Sulfur-rich: broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, red cabbage and daikon radish;
Coloured: celery & red cabbage;
Through my n=1 experimentation, I know that I’m optimized when I hit all three categories each day.
Mason Jar salads are my new scheme for work. With a Victorious Offal Muffin (which I make with pureed parsley instead of caramelized onion these days) & an avocado or a Hot Woman Shake, I’m one of the luckiest people on the planet at midday.
Dice the Cabbage, Broccoli (including the stem ~peel it if tough), Cauliflower, Daikon, Onion and Celery and place in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
Pour half (or a little more) of the jar of salad dressing over the diced vegetables and toss until thoroughly coated.
Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between seven wide mouthed mason jars.
If there is dressing left in the bottom of the bowl, pour it over the first two jars.
There should be a nice gap between the marinating vegetables and the top of each jar.
Next, use scissors to remove the tough kale stems and to cut the leaves into small pieces. Push these into the tops of 3-4 jars.
Refrigerate. Each day, reverse the jars (heads, tails & back again) so that the marinade gets to bathe all the vegetables.
Eat the kale topped salads first.
For the jars without kale, press as many dandelion greens or spinach as you can into the top of the jar on your way out the door. Before serving, give the jar a shake to cover the greens with dressing before you pour your beautiful salad on a plate.
Infinitely Expandable Salad Variation
If you have a friend you want to feed, chop a head of lettuce into a salad bowl. Add your jar of marinated vegetables. Add more dressing from your mason jar, or squeeze a lemon or two over top. Toss & share.
For 11 months I have been experimenting with ketogenic versions of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
11 months: 10 of them ketogenic.
Last April I started the Wahls Paleo Plus. I tweaked it to be compliant with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
I loved being ketogenic~.
I did that for 3½ months & then experimented with a super low-carb ketogenic version of the AIP for 3½ months. I wanted to find out how low I could get my carbohydrate levels, and what that would do to me.
In between those two protocols, I did a regular AIP for a month, to remember what running on glucose feels like.
Both times it took me 40 days to get keto-adapted.
Since December, I’ve been experimenting with my third ketogenic protocol, the Bulletproof Diet. It’s naturally compliant with the AIP except in one respect: Bulletproof Coffee is a core part of the protocol, so I’m including low-toxin coffee & grass-fed butter in my diet, neither of which are AIP.
Wahls Paleo Plus
The WahlsPaleo+ was developed for nutrient density to promote cellular health, particularly brain health, as it was designed to reverse multiple sclerosis.
It includes coconut oil at every meal to maintain ketosis at higher carbohydrate levels, as it relies heavily on the nutrients available in vegetables. For more information I highly recommend The Wahls Protocol (2014).
I read this book when it came out last Spring & immediately decided to try the WahlsPaleo+. Not just for my own health, but also as a way to address my concerns about paleo economics & nutritional ethics.
I integrated fat as my primary food group & found ways to include liver and heart in my diet on a regular basis.
Dr Wahls is formulaic about carbohydrates: both quantities and types of vegetables. I tracked my food & found that I had better energy & clarity on the days I followed her vegetable recommendations strictly: if I included colourful, sulfur-rich and dark green leafy vegetables, not just every day but in each of my two meals.
Through experimentation, I found my way to a semi-ketogenic version of the Wahlspaleo+ (which I was pleased to later find as a component of the Bulletproof Diet).
Super Low-Carb Ketogenic Experiment
Going in, I knew that a super low-carb ketogenic diet was rumored to cause hormonal imbalances, disrupted sleep and weight gain.
Particularly in women.
And especially in women over 40.
But after reading Jimmy Moore’s Keto-Clarity, which advocates a super low-carb ketogenic diet, and even goes so far as to say that achieving ketosis through the use of MCT oil might be ‘cheating’, I decided to try it for myself.
I wanted to find out what happened to my performance and energy levels when I reduced carbohydrates substantially. I ate carbs in high fat foods like avocados, olives & coconut, as well as small servings of sauerkraut, cucumber, and greens. I kept the MCT oil in.
I can totally surviove on a super low carb diet, but I don’t thrive. As predicted, a super low-carb ketogenic diet seems to cause hormonal imbalances, disrupted sleep and weight gain~.
I pulled off the most auspicious & intense season of my career ever while on this variation, but without the superhuman benefits I experienced on the WahlsPaleo+;
It’s a semi-ketogenic protocol that, like the WahlsPaleo+, is aligned with the AIP. But with some important variations.
The following are the changes I’ve made in going bulletproof:
Getting strict about a 6-hour eating window, which means getting back in the habit of bringing food to work (which I loved being emancipated from). In the Fall I was eating 2 meals a day, with a long overnight fast but I wasn’t strict about the window, except on weekends. On weekdays I’d eat just before I left for work & as soon as I got home. When I could, I’d arrange to work from home in the morning or late afternoon to shorten the window, but that wasn’t always possible.
Increasing vegetables (I was eating minimal vegetables on my super low-carb diet).
Putting starches (root vegetables) back in. At present I’m eating starches thrice a week or so, but I’ll tinker with that until I find the perfect level.
I’m moving berry fudge from my midday to my evening meal. Likewise, keeping starches in my evening meal.
Removing mushrooms, which I am rather fond of.
Instituting Bulletproof Coffee daily. As mentioned, coffee is not part of the AIP: I was off coffee entirely when I went Bulletproof. Previously, I’d just fast between my 2 meals, but Bulletproof Coffee is a third (the first) meal on the bulletproof protocol.
Something I want to do regularly but haven’t been religious about yet (because I’ve felt that I’ve needed adrenal recovery time after my super low carb protocol):