bone broth

How to Heal a Broken Bone 95% Faster than the Doctors' Orders

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Last Friday, I broke my elbow. The doctors said six weeks to heal. I gave myself two, and I think we’re going to make it. Here’s how: (But before any of this, a caveat that simply, I’m thankful: That the break wasn’t worse, or anything other than my elbow; that this is the first hard hit in the years I’ve been biking aggressively in NYC; and for everything I've learned that’s allowed me to give this body what it needs to heal – fast.)

7/24: I took the day off of work to tend to life. Hopped on my bike and ran the rounds, as is standard weekend practice. 20 miles later, en route home, feeling the love, I reflected on the appreciable fact that I’d not had a regrettable wreck yet. Rounded a Williamsburg corner casually and life said, get down.

Some combination of swinging right to avoid a car, and hitting a pothole I had seen clearly, laid me out. I remember palm and road, I believe there was a roll involved, and I ride in clips so the bike was along for that part of the ride too. A couple of pedestrians helped me up, I assessed damage, calmed the shakes, and then with what seemed like full right-body road-rash but nothing, heh, broken, I rode home.

And swore pretty much the entire way back as my right palm was partly missing, there was definitely dual wrist damage, and my left arm was starting to seize.

All said, here's what the route looked like:

By the time I got home, I could barely open the front door, couldn't rotate wrists to wash my hands, nor reach one elbow to the other to clean myself up.

I’ve never broken a bone before so had no pain reference. What I thought was, “This feels deep, and cold.”

Your fiercely independent woman who praises singledom and dreams about monkhood was damn glad to have a boyfriend this week.

-

7/25: I’m determined that we’re still hiking Bear Mountain today. Buy me a sling and lets go. (At this point, I’ve lost nearly all mobility in my arm – it’s pretty well locked at 90 degrees, and hurts.) By the time we get to Grand Central it’s clear that I can’t walk quickly without arm seizures that cause me to curse, and stop, and nearly cry. So instead of the hike, we go to urgent care.

Xrays, pain meds, a tetanus shot, a doctor’s visit prescription and total disapproval of my having chosen to dress the road rash with raw honey. :)

The rest of the day, we stroll around the city, stopping so I can swear every couple of blocks, and despite getting into the vicodin (it was that bad) I excuse myself to cry more than once. I’ve not experienced that consistent a severe pain ever. But, bodies heal. So that became the game.

7/26: I strap the arm on, boyfriend dresses me and ties my shoes, and we go to the gym. Running on the stairmaster was heaven – my ego was elated. At least the rest of me could move. And then I have to get a blowout because washing my own hair is out of the question. So is opening pretty much anything – the right side far from 100% as well, I’m … dependent. Also pick up some bone broth from Chelsea Market to start the process.

7/27: Stumble on the subway steps heading to work, layer some wounds on top of the colorful right knee and wrist and think that I am absolutely positively totally and completely receptive to whatever it is the world wants me to learn from this.

Thereafter, my days were full of the following, which appear to have worked wonders. Note that starting from a strong healthy place helps – but I’ll be saving this first-aid 101 for the next broken bone that crosses our paths:

(*Update: It should (MUST) be noted that all of this is supplemental to a diet which deserves the majority – by far – of the credit for recovery. That diet is, as you likely know by now: plant-based, mostly raw, very vegan, grain-free, alkaline, without processed food, sugar, alcohol or caffeine. Without that, these additions are nothing. And had we to choose one over the other, the vegetables would win, always.)

  • Arnica: oral and topical. All day everyday.

  

  • Acupuncture: trigger point (deeper – needles into your muscles)
  • Bone broth: daily

  • Vitamin D: I was taking this daily already but if you’re not, do.
  • Minerals: Calcium/magnesium daily – also something I was already doing.

  • Turmeric (anti-inflammatory): Added a supplement on top of my fresh-juiced. And ginger.

  • Blue-green algae: I was daily but tripled my dose
  • Serious greens (as in chlorella, wheatgrass, spirulina): again a regular for me but doubled up.
  • Dragon’s blood (acupuncturist recommendation, topical) “for stagnant blood due to trauma”. That would be me.
  • Heat, ice, heat ice, heat. A lot of self-wrap jobs and no shame.

  • Physical therapy.
  • Other than weight-bearing exercises, I continued the gym, and as soon as I got permission, moving my hand and arm. Knowing the difference between good pain (muscle, nerve) and bad (bone, which I’m reminding myself is still broken) meant I could start working it out. This foot grab is a victory:

A week later, I’m not wearing my sling, have nearly full mobility back (meaning I can straighten my arm – almost, and rotate my hand – almost), can tie my shoes and even washed my own hair tonight. There are overambitious moments (like when I attempted to climb onto the roof today and realized I can’t hoist myself through the hatch -_-) but those are better had than ‘woe-is-me’s. (Not that I wasn’t desperate to tears to get my clothes off and hair up on any one of the recent 90+ degree days.)

As for that breeze of life that chose now to flick me off my feet, and the world’s lesson through this humbling bout, I believe it’s that:

We’re human. We’re breakable, and we’re mendable. So often our default is to indulge injury sickness or discomfort, rather than to right it. Because my situation is incomparable to the severity of illness possible though, I’ll leave it at that – and delicately.

Also, independence is dependent.

Love,

Rachelle

Bone Broth! (Caveat: This Isn't Going to Sit Well With the Vegans)

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bone_broth This week, New York got a bone broth takeout window.

I love this. Love. I may very well walk out of the door and over to Brodo now.

I first learned about bone broth from a doctor – a traditional one (on paper) whom I saw for basic blood-work and to ensure that my raw-vegan-greenish diet wasn’t depleting me of anything important (wasn’t – quite the opposite, actually) only to happily discover that we were kindred nat-med spirits. (My slang.) She skipped the nutrition counseling and we got straight to alternative modalities. One of which was bone broth, and while not vegan, is something I’ve been wanting to try since. It’s crossed my path several times now, along with ideas about making it with fish instead of chicken, if you’re not game for game, say.

I haven’t ever made it, as I’m rarely at home for 20 hours straight, which is the ideal simmer-time.

Thanks to the ever forward NYC for bringing it to market and with the convenience of a walk-up window and to-go cup.

Is it criminal that I already want delivery?

Adapted from well+GOOD:

This winter, if you see a vibrant woman full of energy, with glowing skin, strolling through the East Village sipping a steaming, hot beverage, it may not be coffee. It could be grass-fed beef broth, made with bones and infused with ginger.

On Monday, renowned chef and Hearth owner Marco Canora introduced Brodo, New York City’s first take-out window devoted to sippable broths—and he’s betting on the fact that people will be intrigued by both the health benefits and the taste. “I want to create a new hot beverage—a whole new category,” he says.

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In the wellness world, at least, bone broth is having a serious moment. More and more health coaches, nutritionists, and beauty gurus are recommending it for its many benefits, from boosting gut health and fighting inflammation to providing a dose nutrients like magnesium, potassium, calcium, amino acids, and collagen.

At Brodo, Canora is currently offering three broths: Grass-Fed Beef (infused with ginger), Organic Chicken, and the Hearth Broth, all of which are served in small ($4), medium ($5.50), or large ($6.75) coffee cups, just like your Starbucks order. And you can choose from add-ins that boost both flavor and nutrition, like fermented beet kvass, spicy Calabrian chili oil, and fresh grated turmeric. He says he’ll add a vegetarian broth next, made with veggies, seaweed, and dried mushrooms, and possibly a seafood broth later, and he’s experimenting with other add-ins like parsnip juice and coconut milk. When he discusses the endless possibilities, you can feel the excitement in his voice and expressions.

Brodo (at Hearth), 403 E. 12th St., window on First Ave., East Village, @brodonyc

Benefits of bone broth, adapted from Mercola.com

According to an old South American proverb, "good broth will resurrect the dead."

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  • Heals and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion.
  • Inhibits infectioncaused by cold and flu viruses: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection.
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage.
  • Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
  • Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better.
  • Promotes strong, healthy bones: As mentioned above, bone broth contains high amounts ofcalcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation.
  • Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth.