Plus, I ate chips with interesting ingredients, especially considering they were only "salt and pepper" chips. And last, I consumed MSG (monosodium glutamate) in several items (including the nugget which I didn't realize).
In case you didn't know, Chick-fil-A's nuggets are full of gluten, MSG, and all sorts of stuff that should not be in chicken nuggets. Check out The Domestic Man's recipe instead.
I made the choices to consume these foods I do not typically consume. I don't feel guilty. I don't believe in feeling guilty over food consumption, no matter what you eat. When it happens, I learn from it and move on. For me to feel my best, going that far off track is not a good idea. My skin broke out, my digestion suffered, and I felt very blah. Just blah. And then, there was my knee. I had a bad knee (maybe arthritis since it runs in the family) for as long as I can remember -- until I went paleo. With paleo there was no pain. This week it came back with a vengeance.
I went home -- after being unexpectedly away for several days -- and ate some of my gummy snacks (made with gelatin). Yes, I eat fruity gummy snacks. I'm an adult, with no kids, eating fruit snacks. I have no shame. Shortly after eating these delicious gummy snacks, my knee was fine. No lie. No more pain. So that is why I wanted to expand upon this post where I wrote about gelatin -- just in case you aren't convinced of the benefits of consuming gelatin (whether in broth or gummy snack form).
Benefits of Gelatin (including my experiences)
1. Strong hair and nails: Contains keratin to help improve strength and growth of nails and hair.
My hair has gotten crazy thick. Crazy, I tell you. My hair was always fairly thin. Lately though, it takes me twice as long to dry and style my hair. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I'm thinking my hair is thicker since consuming gelatin. My nail strength and growth has also improved. My nails broke easily and now I couldn't bite them off if I tried. I just tried. Can't do it. Seriously though, there has been definite improvement in my hair and nails since consuming gelatin for the past 8 months (more frequently for the past 3-4 months and when I have seen most changes.)
2. Supports collagen formation: High in the amino acid glycine, a component of collagen which improves the elasticity of skin, making it smoother with fewer wrinkles and stretch marks.
I'm sure you've heard of people injecting their faces with collagen in order to smooth out wrinkles. Or maybe you've even done it. Or maybe you bought the expensive collagen creams. I bought a collagen face powder (though never used it) in Japan where collagen is promoted, sold, and consumed regularly. But, guess what? Collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin so those expensive collagen creams aren't going work. While I'm still somewhat young, I've had a few wrinkles creeping up here and there. Most prominently, I've always had the "worry lines" as I call them. You know those two lines in between your eyes. I have them. Since I've been consuming gelatin, they have significantly decreased. You have to just take my word for it -- for now (I'll look for some pics).
3. Gut health: Aids digestion and is healing to the gastrointestinal track making gelatin helpful for healing digestive disorders (such as "leaky gut").
I've been doing a number of things to heal some gut issues for the past several months or so, including consuming bone broth and taking powdered gelatin, but also taking l-glutamine. So I can't say for certain what has been helping. However, if you read any site about gut healing or leaky gut, gelatin, specifically in the form of bone broth, is a main component. (Read more about this in the GAPS diet book.)
4. Joint and bone health: Reduces systemic inflammation, improving joint and bone health. Beneficial for treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and brittle bones (osteoporosis).
See my story at the beginning of the post. It was amazing. Truly. The knee pain was there for days. I consumed gelatin right away. The pain disappeared. Now, several days later, my knee feels great again. (I did of course get back on track with my eating after consuming the gelatin.) I convinced my mother to consume gelatin for her osteoarthritis which affects her hands, spine, and all over it seems, so I'll let you know if she sees improvement. Update 2/2014: My mom has seen major improvement in her arthritis; however, she also stopped eating gluten which she found affected her pain immensely.
And even more benefits...
- Reduces allergy risk
- Assists with wound healing
- Assists in detoxification
- Improves digestion by enhancing gastric acid secretion
- Supports thyroid and adrenal glands
- Promotes good sleep
- Helps build muscle
- Boosts metabolism
- Source of protein (not a complete source of protein)
Update February 2014: I've been consuming gelatin about a year (give or take) and all of my results above still stand. I'm not always consistent and I consume more gelatin some weeks over others. I also consume homemade bone broth when I can (when I can get some good bones). One of the main improvements has been in my skin, particularly the elasticity. My worry lines are much fainter than a year ago and (although I was blessed with great genes in this department) my skin still looks quite young. Note: I have also changed my skin care routine so I can't attribute all of the improvement to the gelatin. One thing I've recently noticed, my stretch marks (from sudden weight gain about 6-7 years ago) have faded. They are noticeably less pronounced. And this is without slathering them with cocoa butter like I always mean to do.
Ways to Consume Gelatin
- Bone broth (traditional method of consumption)
- Gelatinous cuts of meat such as lamb shanks and oxtail
- Jello and gummy snacks
- Pudding or popsicles
- Homemade French Onion Dip
- Egg Free No Bake Pumpkin Pies
- Homemade baby formula
- Mixed in coffee, tea, other drinks, or smoothies (use this one in the green can unless liquid is warm)
- Added to soups or sauces
- Find 60+ more recipes via The Paleo Parents here.
Which type do I use and where do I find this stuff?
I recommend (as do most sites) using gelatin from grass-fed cows. Gelatin from healthy animals provides the amino acids, glycine and proline and is free from antibiotics and artificial hormones. These are also minimally processed to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of free glutamic acids. I know it seems pricey but a container can last awhile (as long as you aren't over-consuming it) and the benefits are worth it. (The green bottle easily dissolves in cold liquids. Not to be used for jello and marshmallow making. Get one of the other two for that.)
1. Great Lakes Red/Orange Can (the one that gels!):
(Read Great Lakes FAQ about gelatin: HERE.)
- From grass-fed cows. Red/orange can. Used to make jello, gummies, and stuff. Bloom the gelatin in room temp or cool water first, then add to warm/hot liquid to completely dissolve. Beef or Porcine (pig) are both available with the only different being the animal parts used to produce it.
- Get porcine (orange) gelatin HERE (Amazon) or HERE (Vitacost) or HERE (Thrive Market)
- Get beef (red can) gelatin (the one I prefer) HERE (Amazon) or on Iherb HERE (use code JAC411 to save $10 on first order) or HERE (Thrive Market).
2. Great Lakes: Collagen Hydrolysate (Green Can) (supplement, no gel!):
- From grass-fed cows. Green can. Dissolves in cold liquids. Will not gel! Dissolves in hot or cold liquids. Not used for jello. Add to smoothies, coffee, tea, etc. as a supplement. Better for people with digestive issues.
- Get it HERE (Amazon) or HERE (Thrive Market).
3. Bernard Jensen: Can be used in jello and other recipes (similar to Great Lakes orange/red can). Recommended brand by Weston A. Price Foundation. Get it HERE (Amazon).
4. Vital Proteins: (Update: I recently started using this brand for supplement use.) The blue container, Collagen Peptides, is the one that doesn't gel. I use this for supplementing. I add to coffee or tea. The green container, Collagen Protein, is the one that will gel and can be used for gummies and such. I get this brand from Thrive Market HERE.
Find more products I like in My Paleo Pantry HERE.
If you're still not sure exactly what gelatin is...read here. Or more thorough explanations here and here.
And if you're concerned about MSG in gelatin, read here.
Are you tired of reading yet? Don't you want to go make some gummy snacks now? :)
Shared at: Make Your Own Mondays, Natural Living Monday
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or other healthcare professional. This is informational purposes only. The content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional regarding any medical condition or treatment and before making any dietary, health, or lifestyle changes.*
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