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September 12, 2012 / amberwoodterracechiro

Do you Take a Supplement for Joint/Soft Tissue Support? Ditch it for JELLO!

As a chiropractor, I obviously see tons of people walk through my office with joint or soft tissue pain.  I may even venture to say that it is the MAJORITY of people that I see from a chiropractic standpoint.  So, it’s only natural that many of them will ask me for my recommendation on supplementation.  Those of you that have heard me speak, know that I DO NOT LIKE SUPPLEMENTATION for anything that you can get from food.  That means that I may, on occasion, recommend a soft tissue support supplement to those with a very acute injury that need to resume their sport immediately, etc. but I NEVER recommend a supplement that someone would have to take forever because “their knees are shot,” or “arthritis runs in the family.”  There are several factors that contribute to poor joint health and, once again, it comes down to lifestyle.  Exercise and movement are HUGE players here, but I would say that diet plays an even bigger role.  Bone density, inflammation levels, and joint lubrication all depend on WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH.  Therefore, I never hesitate to tell a chiropractic patient that we need to have a dietary discussion.  Many people don’t associate the two!

As many of you know from this blog, I make my own homemade stocks.  My favorite (because it’s easy) is chicken stock.  I make this for several reasons:

1. I can control the ingredients, amount of salt, quality of chickens, etc.

2. It is way cheaper than buying it in the store.

3. I end up with a ton of leftover chicken to eat.

4. I can turn on the crockpot and forget about it for 3 days.

5. It contains key things that store bought does not….one of them is gelatin.

Gelatin is that substance that makes jello.  It comes from the joint and tendinous material in an animal carcass. Therefore, when you slowly heat bones and joints over a period of time, gelatin goes into the liquid, which you ultimately render for broths, stocks, and soups.  When someone isolates this stuff and dehydrates it, they are making gelatin that you can find on a shelf.  This is the very stuff that makes JELLO.  This substance is amazing for tissue healing, joint health, and intestinal lining integrity.  I have never purchased any until recently because I get gelatin in my stocks, and I am always skeptical of anything that is processed.  Many gelatins are flavored, come from grain fed cows, and are terribly unhealthy.  However, I have been searching for an alternative for patients that will support their joint and soft tissue health WITHOUT taking a glucosamine supplement.  Ideally, they would all make their own stocks at home and consume them daily. 😉  I’m trying to be realistic here.  So, I found a gelatin on amazon (Great Lakes brand) that is unflavored, comes from grassfed cows, and is completely safe to consume.  When I got it in the mail, I began experimenting with it because I had never used it before.  I made sour patch kids-ish gummy treats that were quite tasty!  I used this blog post to create them, and if I had kids, I’d be making these all the time!

These were nice because I used a tiny ice cube tray, so they were the size of a gummy bear.  AND, they were able to sit out at room temperature.  My future children will totally be sneaking these into the movie theater.

Last weekend, I was hosting Cockocerveza and got to talking to friends that were stalking my food logs…you know who you are.  They mentioned the whole gummy bear thing..paleo?  really?  I was telling them about this gelatin, and somehow, the conversation led to me making Paleo Jello Shots!  Thanks Holly.  I have yet to make them, so I have no recipe currently, but I did make some watermelon jello yesterday to experiment.  It is simply freshly juiced watermelon and gelatin…that’s it.  You can use any flavor you like, but my CSA has been giving me huge watermelon that are slightly faint in flavor.  This means that no one is super excited to eat watermelon that is watery.  Therefore, it sits in the fridge until I can come up with some innovative thing to do with it.  When I do it in the future, I will probably go back to lemon or lime simply because then I don’t have to clean the juicer…see how lazy I’ve become!  There is rumor that there may be Paleo lime/tequila jello shots at the next Cockopalooza workout, but nothing is confirmed. 😉

Back to the subject.   I have researched extensively and truly believe that this makes an awesome alternative to popping those glucosamine supplements that can cost you a fortune!  Ideally, you would make homemade stocks and get “jello” out of those…which I have to say is quite amazing to witness.  You can pop chicken in the oven (bone in, skin on), drain the fat left in the pan into a container, put it in the fridge, and before you know it, you have tons of yellow fat that came to the top that you can use to sautee things.  Then you have a layer on bottom is that is truly jello! …without the food coloring and sugar. 😉  The more I describe it, the worse it sounds.  I’ll stop now.

However, if you are battling injury, have leaky gut issues, want improved skin elasticity, or just want the health benefits of broth gelatin without making the broth, this is the way to go.  It is slightly processed, which is why it is not my ideal recommendation.  However, it is a food.  It comes from food.  You eat it like food.  That makes it better than even more highly processed, chemical concoctions that you take for joint health already.

Make jello. 😉  Make sure you get the Great Lakes unflavored gelatin…that’s the only kind I have found that I will support at this point.  Stay tuned for the first ever PALEO JELLO SHOT post.  I bet when that post goes up, I get like 1,000 hits….kinda funny if you think about it.  Crossfitters…lol….



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