Is BONE BROTH the key to a slim physique?
Is BONE BROTH the key to a slim physique? Food lover puts 'miracle' health fad beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek to the test - and sheds 10lbs in just three weeks
- Femail reporter Erica Tempesta, 31, followed Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet for three weeks and lost a total of 10lbs
- Nutritionist and author Dr. Kellyann Petrucci's promises that followers of her plan will lose up to 15 pounds and four inches in just 21 days
- Grains, processed oils, artificial sweeteners, dairy, sugars, beans, legumes, white potatoes, and alcohol are all forbidden on the plan
With Gwyneth Paltrow, Shailene Woodley, and Salma Hayek among the many celebrities touting the benefits of nutrient-rich bone broth, it was only a matter of time that the trendy new beverage would be transformed into a full-on diet plan.
In her new bestselling book, Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet, nutritionist and paleo lifestyle expert Dr. Kellyann Petrucci's promises that followers of her plan will lose up to 15 pounds and four inches - and their wrinkles - in just 21 days thanks a broth made primarily with animal bones and simmered for hours on end.
And after gorging - and inevitably putting on weight - around the holiday months, Femail reporter Erica Tempesta, 31, was ready to put the bone broth diet to the test.
Dr. Kellyann's plan is essentially a mix of paleo and the 5:2 diet. During two nonconsecutive days a week, followers will consume nothing but six cups of bone broth or five cups of bone broth and a 7pm snack. The other give days of the week, they are required to eat balanced meals made up of approved meats, vegetables, fats, and fruits.
For three weeks, grains, corn-based products, refined processed oils, artificial sweeteners, dairy, sugars, processed foods, beans, legumes, white potatoes, and alcohol are forbidden.
These are all ingredients that Gwyneth typically shuns in the annual detox plans featured on her lifestyle website Goop, and last year the 43-year-old actress' site published an entire article dedicated to the benefits of bone broth.
And she isn't the only celebrity who is a fan of what Dr. Kellyann describes as 'liquid gold'.
'I make a bone broth that you can look up on the internet,' Salma Hayek, 49, told Extra in 2015 of her beauty secret. 'It’s very good for all your health and it’s full of collagen, when you drink it, it’s like fat… I think people are afraid of fat, and fat is your friend.'
Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley, 24, drinks bone broth for breakfast, and was happy to tout the benefits of the miracle liquid while promoting her film Insurgent last March.
'Bone broth. I am telling you, it is the s**t. It is everything,' she told MTV News.
Although the consumption of bone broth may seem like a new diet fad, older generations have been using animal bones to make broth as a relatively inexpensive way to create a nutrient-rich meal for years.
With Gwyneth, Salma, and Shailene all fans of diets enhanced with bone broth, Erica was more than will to give it a go, and this is how she fared.
I have never completely finished reading a diet book or stuck with a restrictive eating regimen, despite my penchant for ordering the latest diet plans - only to leave the intimidating tomes sitting on my shelves after giving them a quick skim.
Last month, I was shocked to find myself at my heaviest weight of my life. At 5'5" my 'happy' weight has always been between 135 and 140lbs, but I hadn't seen that number in years, and now instead of being 15lbs heavier, I was somehow 30.
I honestly planned on joining Weight Watchers with my mother after New Years, even though I hated the idea of counting points. However, I was intrigued by Dr. Kellyann's book, and I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a shot to at least jump start my weight loss.
And while I don't have the best track record with diets, I knew this time was different. For one, I actually spent a week reading Dr. Kellyann's book. I also I knew that I would stick to this plan, mostly because I said I wanted to write about my experience for work. I may not take my body or health seriously, but I am committed to my job.
The Sunday before I started the diet, I headed to my local grocery store in the hopes of finding pink Himalayan salt and the other pantry staples that I needed to get me through the next three weeks. Like Gisele Bundchen, I too would avoids iodized salt for the sake of weight loss.
Besides for a few more expensive items such as the seemingly exotic salt and unrefined coconut oil, everything else on my grocery list was normally priced. During the first two weeks, I did spend a good amount of money at the grocery store buying spices and things I needed, but once I got into the groove of meal preparation, I significantly lowered the amount of money I was spending at the store.
As for the all important bone broth, I knew should try simmering my own, but my local supermarket doesn't even have a butcher. I decided to rely on six-pack of Dr. Kellyann's frozen bone broth to last me for three weeks. Plus, Brodo Broth Company is just a few blocks away from my office if I ran out.
Looking back, I would have considered buying rotisserie chicken and freezing those bones until I had enough, but at the time I was a bit too overwhelmed to try simmering my own miracle liquid.
Dr. Kellyann recommends bulk cooking for people like myself who can't stand trying to prepare a full meal from scratch when they get home from work, so I spent most of the day on Sunday in the kitchen, which was exhausting.
For my week of meals, I planned to have two hard boiled eggs with the avocado dressing and a handful of berries, and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the avocado dressing recipe was delicious.
For lunched I opted for a salad with chicken, carrots, and tomatoes topped with the same avocado dressing. Dr Kellyann's recipe for chicken was juicy and just as good as the avocado dressing, so I started to feel even more optimistic, maybe even a little delusional, picturing myself the size of Gwyneth when it was all said and done.
I also liked how Dr, Kellyann advises readers to try and buy organic meats but doesn't demand it. I couldn't afford to go that route, so her acknowledgement that $15 chicken isn't always possible was comforting. I felt less guilty about using the chicken that has been sitting in my freezer for months.
Finally, for my week's worth of dinners, I made Dr. Kellyann's creamy chicken curry in my new best friend - my crock-pot. The curry smelled delicious, and even attracted the attention of my boyfriend who asked to sample some. I foolishly thought this was going to be the easiest diet I have ever tried.
On Monday, the first day of my new eating plan, I kicked of the morning with my eggs and berries, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, my coffee topped with only coconut milk tasted bitter to me, which wasn't surprising considering I used use tons of flavored creamer or at least two packets of artificial sweetener in each cup.
When it was lunch time, I quickly realized the salad I packed was quite bland, and I felt hungry after eating, although I am not sure hungry is necessarily the right word. I really missed crunchy carbs and reaching for a midday snack. It was in this moment that I realized how much I relied on food to perk me during the work day.
I was ravenous when I got home, but I found that the meal I had chosen for my week of dinners was the wrong one because it was far too sweet for my taste. In defense of the recipe, my boyfriend Chris thought it was great, but I had never had creamy curry before, and this was not the time to start testing my taste buds. I doused the bowl in hot sauce and gummed it down because I was starving, but I went to bed feeling mildly depressed.
The next morning I woke up sick, with a stuffy nose, and my immediate thought was: 'Great, now I have to do this diet and battle an illness'. Dr. Kellyann warned that I would experience the 'carb flu' during withdrawal, but I scoffed that I couldn't possibly be showing symptoms that early in the game.
Luckily for me, I had decided to make Tuesday my fasting day, so I felt remarkably better after having a cup of bone broth. I was starting to buy into the idea that bone broth is a 'miracle' health food (drink?), but it didn't make me any less miserable when it came to my cravings.
I was convinced that I smelled mashed potatoes in the office, and my co-workers looked at me like I had gone off the deep end. In a more optimistic state, I vowed to do fasting Plan 1, where I consumed nothing but broth, but I needed Plan 2's 7pm 'snack' as Dr. Kellyann calls it, and relished in eating two hard boiled eggs with avocado dressing for dinner.
By Wednesday I realized my 'illness' was indeed the carb flu I was told to watch out for, and weirdly enough I felt better because it must be a sign that I was on the right track diet wise.
I had the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the other day, however, I couldn't stand the idea of eating the chicken curry again, so I tried to make it into soup, adding tomato paste and water to thin it out before throwing it in a blender. And that was a big mistake. It literally tasted like baby food, and considering that it was pureed chicken and veggies, I am not sure what I expected it to taste like.
The next day was another fast day, so I had bone broth for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, only to come home to some hard boiled eggs topped with avocado dressing for my snack. Fasting wasn't unbearable by any means, but it certainly wasn't easy to drink liquids all day when you have a small bladder and everyone around you seems to be eating chocolate.
I found myself craving things I didn't even used to eat normally. I stared at people in the office kitchen who were enjoying peanut butter on toast. I learned that peanuts are not allowed on the program because they are actually legumes, not nuts. I also desperately wanted whole grain waffles, an item I hadn't purchased in at least a year.
After having my standard breakfast and unfulfilling salad on Friday, I left work and headed to the grocery store to get me through the weekend. I picked up a rotisserie chicken and frozen broccoli to roast.
I also buckled and bought some bacon for Saturday morning. I noticed that it was cured with sugar and I went back and forth about buying it, until I finally realized this tiny indulgence was something I needed.
While trying to roast my frozen veggies with the recommended amount of coconut oil when I got home, I made the rookie mistake of not cooking the broccoli first. As soon as the coconut oil hit the frozen florets, it hardened into a clump on a select few pieces of broccoli. At this point, I was starving and tearing at chicken skin, so I added some olive oil and said the hell with it. The meal was the best dinner I had all week, so I didn't regret it one bit.
The next morning I had two scrambled eggs, two pieces of bacon, and a handful of berries, and it was the happiest moment I had all week. My friend, who happened to be doing the Whole30 plan at the time, later told me the only acceptable nitrate free bacon on her plan was at Whole Foods.
Despite the lies I was telling myself, I was definitely breaking the rules by having my nitrate-filled bacon, but I kept it as an act of defiance on the weekends because it made me so happy. I told myself if this is the only 'cheat' I have throughout the process, I would be fine. I truly believed losing my weekend breakfast battles would help me win the weight loss war.
That weekend my boyfriend was mildly irritated with me because I told him to go ahead and buy a Groupon for a burger and beer deal the week before, forgetting that I wouldn't be able to really eat or drink anything on menu.
DR. KELLYANN'S CHICKEN BONE BROTH RECIPE
When we got to the restaurant, I ordered a burger with guacamole and jalapeno peppers minus the cheese. I also asked for a side salad, despite the waitress warning me they are awful.
'I just need some lettuce,' I told her with a sense of desperation. I sipped on seltzer while Chris attempted to drink 64 ounces of beer himself, and when our meals came I gave him my bun and made a hamburger and guacamole salad that was pretty good - albeit probably not as good as the barbecue-inspired burger concoction that Chris was enjoying.
Dr. Kellyann doesn't recommend weighing yourself during the diet, but if you must, she said to only do it once a week. For documentation purposes, I felt it was important to weigh myself, and on Sunday morning I stripped down and hopped on the scale to find that I had already lost five pounds.
Once again my Sunday was dedicated to recipe lists, a trip to the grocery store, and a few hours cooking everything I needed for the week. Celebrities definitely have an advantage when it comes to dieting because they can bypass the labor of meal planning and cooking if they want.
This time for breakfast I opted to make a version of Dr. Kellyann's shake recipe minus the protein powder because I didn't have any. I had one hard boiled egg on the side instead.
For lunch, I followed her chili recipe, but made it in the crockpot with chicken instead of turkey or beef. But for whatever reason, I didn't want the chili to be chunky so before shredding the chicken I pureed it, which probably wasn't the best idea. The plan was to make a Chipotle-inspired salad topped with pico de gallo and the avocado dressing I liked so much, but it would later prove to be another disappointing lunch. Finally, for dinner I made a pork roast, cauliflower 'mashed potatoes, and lemon roasted asparagus.
When I arrived at my office on Monday, my already weakened state was tested yet again thanks to the abundance of chocolates from London that were up for grabs, however, I stuck to my plan. Although my lunch was bland, I enjoyed my breakfast and the pork roast was a nice switch from all the chicken I had been consuming.
Tuesday was a fasting day, and once again I drank broth for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and ended the day with a snack of hard-boiled eggs.
In her book, Dr. Kellyann explained that around this point people start having dreams about the carb-laden foods they are craving, which I found weird. I remembered wondering how she could possibly predict that this would happen, but she must have seen this phenomenon with enough of her clients to know it is a thing. And surely enough, that night I dreamed that I was eating a bagel in all of its doughy glory.
By Wednesday I noticed that my cravings were at least healthier. Instead of wanting chips and chocolate, I was craving acai bowls with granola and almond butter. After having a smoothie and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, I couldn't stand the idea of having another one of my boring salads. For lunch, I headed to a deli and ordered a salad made with chicken, sesame seeds, tomatoes, and cucumbers and a little balsamic vinegar and oil. At this point, my new favorite hobby was staring at food and recipes on Pinterest, and counting down the days until my three weeks were up.
Thursday was my second broth day of the week, and by Friday I was looking for something more exciting to eat. After my new standard breakfast, I decided to have a burrito bowl from Chipotle minus the beans, rice, cheese, and sour cream. I basically ordered a bowl filled with barbacoa and topped with pico de gallo, medium salsa, lettuce, and guacamole, but to me it was delicious.
However, Friday presented another food challenge. I had to go to a work happy hour - without drinking. I sipped on seltzer, but it felt uncomfortable not enjoying a drink with everyone else. I ended up leaving shortly to head to the grocery store of all places because the East Coast was expecting a blizzard, and I knew I wouldn't be able to sit on my couch and order Domino's like other people.
At the store, I grabbed eggs, my nitrate-filled bacon, frozen fruit for smoothies, almond milk, chicken, hot sauce, and raw cashews because for whatever reason I was dying for nuts.
The next morning when Storm Juno hit, I was making buffalo chicken in my crock-pot and snacking on cashews, which quickly became my new favorite food. Not being able to kick back with junk food or a beer during a winter storm was a bit difficult, and I will be the first to admit that I pigged out on cashews in defiance.
For dinner, my boyfriend and I enjoyed the shredded buffalo chicken I made along with roasted broccoli, and for dessert I made strawberries sauteed in balsamic vinegar.
However, on Sunday when I weighed myself I learned that I only lost two more pounds. I blamed the cashews, but I didn't regret them one bit.
Like Dr. Kellyann predicted, I really found my groove during the third week of the plan. I was experimenting with smoothie recipes for breakfast, and for lunch I was having my leftover buffalo chicken on a bed of lettuce.
This was also the week that I found a go-to dinner recipe that was cheap and easy to make. I created my own pasta sauce by combining tomato sauce, spices, and sauteed chicken sausage. I served it over sauteed zucchini or roasted spaghetti squash, and it truly tasted like comfort food to me. I ate it every day before dinner except for Tuesday and Thursday, when I was fasting.
For whatever reason, Thursday was my most difficult fasting day, even though it was my last one. I was famished, and I couldn't figure out why. My 31st birthday was on Sunday, my last day on the plan, and I couldn't stop thinking about what I was going to eat that day. I could only deduce that the anticipation of eating whatever I wanted was making fasting more a more arduous process.
By Friday I made the decision that I was going to end the diet 12 hours early so I could eat some celebratory pizza after going to the movies with my friend and boyfriend. However, I was terrified that once I ate sugar or flour I would go on a binge, and everything I did would have been a waste. I ate healthy during the day, so I opted for raw cashews instead of popcorn at the movies.
During dinner, I had a little bit of wine, and the oven-roasted pizza tasted like absolute heaven. I left some crust on my plate, but that was about it. The next day, I celebrated my actual birthday with chicken wings and nachos. And while it wasn't the healthiest meal, I told myself that at the very least it was probably gluten-free.
On Monday, I went back to a moderate version of the diet, however, I was surprised with belated birthday cookies by my co-workers who knew I was able to eat again. I had one cookie and it was delicious, but I felt extremely guilty after I had a second only an hour later. At this point, I would usually say the hell with it an have more, but this time I just vowed to eat a little healthier the next day.
After the three weeks, I lost a total of 10lbs and almost inches off of my stomach. It wasn't the 15lbs and four inches that I hoped for, but I blame myself and my bacon and cashews for that. What was really amazing about the plan was the fact that it completely reset my cravings and taste buds.
I was really concerned that if I incorporated any sugar or gluten back into my diet, I would end up back exactly where I started, but that wasn't the case.
I surprised myself by sticking with having my coffee with almond milk only during the week, and when I do indulge in my favorite Coffee-mate creamer, it is on Saturday and Sunday morning. I also limit myself to one or two tablespoons, compared to the large amount I used to use.
As for looking younger, I don't think I had too many wrinkles to begin with, but I will say that I found myself to have fewer breakouts, so that has to count for something.
Unsurprisingly, I was concerned that I would put all the weight I lost back on, but that hasn't seemed to be an issue in the week following the diet. I now loosely follow Dr. Kelly Ann's 80/20 plan, which means I am trying to avoid gluten, grains, and added sugar from Sunday to Friday afternoon, so I can eat what I want 'within reason' on Fright night and Saturday as she explains in her book.
While I am more mindful of my eating now, I don't feel like I am limiting myself. For example, when I wanted a chicken kale Caesar salad for lunch, I swapped sesame seeds for croutons, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I no longer needed what I thought was my favorite part of the salad.
The two pounds I had put on following my birthday meals also came off. I hope to lose more weight, so I am thinking about going back to fasting one or two days a week. Aside from the weight loss, I would recommend this eating plan because it helped me break a reliance on sugar that I didn't even realize I had.