Tag Archives: leaky gut syndrome

Beating Sinus Congestion or Infection Naturally

Last weekend, I realized I had a sinus infection.  It caught me off guard because I had only had a bit of sinus congestion in the mornings – no cold or anything.  Saturday, it started off with this heavy pressure behind my eyes and ended with painful cheek bones, slight dizziness, and fatigue.

Because of my tendency toward Leaky Gut Syndrome, I avoid antibiotics as much as possible.  So I immediately turned to my arsenal of natural remedies.  Here is my list of simple things I incorporate into my day to bring relief and speed recovery by supporting my immune system anytime I have sinus congestion or infection:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great way to support our immune systems.  I choose sodium ascorbate over ascorbic acid since the latter is made from black mold, although some people prefer a whole food vitamin C.

I also like powder so I can have the option of putting it in capsules or mixing it with a drink.  Usually, I take about 1/2 teaspoon (which is about 4.5 grams sodium ascorbate) in grape juice twice daily.  I know that some people can take more, and they dose according to whatever amount causes loose stools then back down from that.  A friend was prescribed sodium ascorbate when she had whooping cough while pregnant, and she had great success with taking 16 grams daily!

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

In my vitamin C drink, I add 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar twice daily.  ACV is anti-bacterial, helps balance pH levels, and breaks up mucus.  It can also cause pretty significant yeast die-off symptoms in some, so I am sure to push lots of water and also take molybdenum and s. Boulardii to help ease the die-off symptoms.

Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2

I also take 10,000-20,000 IU Vitamin D3 plus 1 gram K2 per day.  I split this between 5 drops Thorne Vitamin D3 with K2 (because if you take D3, you need K2, too) and 15,000 IU Healthy Origins Vitamin D3.  By the way, if I hadn’t been slacking on taking my D, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place last weekend!  Optimal D levels are crucial to immunity and gut health.

Essential Oils

I start diffusing essential oils.  Well, even more than usual. 😉  Head Ease (a blend of Basil, Chamomile, Frankincense, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram and Wintergreen) helps ease sinus pressure and soothe irritated nasal passages and respiratory tract.  Four Thieves and Lemon to help support my immune system and detox my lymphatic system.  If I have congestion, I use peppermint and massage (see below).

Sinus Rinse

I begin using a sinus rinse mixture in my Neti Pot at least a few times a day.  This helps pull out mucus and prevent infection.  If my sinuses are dry, which was the case this weekend, it moisturizes.  The mixture I use contains Xylitol, which has been shown to help relieve sinusitis faster than saline alone.

Sinus Rinse Mixture Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spring water
  • 6 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t unrefined gray sea salt
  • 1 t Xylitol
  • 4 drops colloidal silver

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to water in a sterile container.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Mix in Neti pot with 3 tablespoons hot water; adjust temperature as needed.  Be careful not to burn your sinuses!
  4. Use as needed.

Pain Relief

If I have pain in my sinuses or if I need help loosening up congestion, a warm rice pack (a cotton tube filled with rice – a cotton sock also works great) applied to those areas gives me relief.

I also use White Willow Bark for pain relief since I avoid NSAIDs as much as possible due to leaky gut syndrome.

Sinus massage gives me a lot of relief, too.  If I have a lot of drainage, I do Lymphatic Massage, too.

Cough

If I have a cough, lemon and raw honey usually do the trick (helps with a sore throat, too).    Slippery Elm tablets help, too.

Let Food be Thy Medicine

Along with apple cider vinegar, I am sure to eat more garlic and beef stock.  Read here about the benefits of stock.  I try to keep a container in the freezer for just such occasions.  If you’re not keen on garlic breath, garlic comes in handy gel capsules, too.

Fluids

Be sure to keep flushing the toxins out with plenty of water and broth.

My husband and I swear by a good Hot Toddy (tea, whiskey, clove, lemon, raw honey).  The medicinal qualities behind each of the ingredients gives cold viruses a big punch – and it’s relaxing, too.  If you’re a teetotaler, just skip the whiskey.

Rest

Rest is one of the primary things we can do for illness.  I try to clear my schedule, take it easy physically and mentally, and get extra sleep.

My husband always gets Kimchi Stew to help clear his congestion, but it’s too spicy for me.

What helps you get through a cold?

Have you read my disclaimer

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Goitrogenic Vegetables: To Eat or Not to Eat?

A lot of people have asked me why I am not afraid to eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables, which can have a goitrogenic effect on the thyroid gland, even though I have Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease.  My answer?  Cruciferous vegetables won’t hurt my thyroid, they will help it. 

Liver Health and Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Cruciferous vegetables are chock-full of nutrients and vital for detoxing the liver, which plays a key role in the functioning of healthy thyroid hormones, particularly the conversion of the storage hormone T4 to the bioavailable hormone T3.  When this conversion doesn’t take place, the result is an increase in Reverse T3 which blocks Free T3 (the thyroid hormone that’s actively used in our cells) and the end effect is hypothyroid symptoms (fatigue, lack of motivation, depression, weight gain, hair loss, etc.).

This can be confusing to some doctors who are trained to by go TSH because TSH can be what they consider normal.  Even Free T3 levels can be normal, while Reverse T3 levels are building up, blocking all the Free T3 that is there.

Estrogen Metabolism Helps Thyroid Hormone Health

Cruciferous veggies are crucial for healthy estrogen metabolism (those of you taking DIM supplements know this!), which is important for both men and women and positively impacts thyroid hormone health.

Fermented Veggies Help Everything

Many of cruciferous vegetables make great ferments which are rich in healthy bacteria for our gutsA healthy gut helps protect thyroid function.  Fermented garlic sauerkraut in particular is loaded with probiotics, especially s. Boulardii, a good yeast strain; really, the benefits are infinite.

Crucifers are Anti-Inflammatory

Crucifers contain sulforaphane, which stimulates the release of antioxidant enzymes, i.e. crucifers are anti-inflammatory.

Crucifers are Anti-cancer

Crucifers reduce the risks of cancer, even thyroid cancer. (See links below.)

Want to Eat Crucifers?  Keep Iodine Levels Optimal

Unless you’re low in iodine, affects on your thyroid gland are likely not a concern.  The Paleo Mom explains the science behind cruciferous vegetables and iodine health:

“Importantly, the evidence linking human consumption of isothiocyanates or thiocyanates with thyroid pathologies in the absence of iodine deficiency is lacking. This means that these substances have only been shown to interfere with thyroid function in people who are also not consuming adequate amounts of iodine (if you are severely deficient in iodine or selenium, addressing those deficiencies before consuming large amounts of cruciferous vegetables is a good idea; see page ##). In fact, the consumption of cruciferous vegetables correlates with diverse health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer (even thyroid cancer!). In a recent clinical trial evaluating the safety of isothiocyanatesisolated from broccoli sprouts, no adverse effects were reported (including no reported reductions in thyroid function).”  http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/04/teaser-excerpt-from-the-paleo-approach-what-about-the-goitrogens-in-cruciferous-veggies.html

Frankly, we should be far more worried about the environmental toxins that are causing our thyroid issues (anti-thyroid and mood depressing fluoride in our tap water, for one) than about such nutrient-dense, anti-cancer, gut health-helping foods.

Dr. Mark Hyman also has a wonderful, clear article on goitrogens:

“There is a lot of chatter in the pop-nutrition culture saying that these vegetables have an ill effect on the thyroid because they contain goitrogens. . . .

The truth is, you would need to consume a large amount of these vegetables for their goitrogenic constituents to have an impact on your thyroid. Even more important is that you would have to consume them raw [emphasis mine]. When was the last time you ate 10 cups of raw Brussels sprouts or blended up 5 cups of raw kale in your Dr. Hyman’s Whole Foods Protein Smoothie and consumed it every day?

. . . So, my advice is not to worry about eating moderate servings of raw or cooked cruciferous veggies and to actually make a point of consuming 1 to 2 servings of them daily because they are so fundamentally crucial to disease prevention (especially cancer), as well as normal metabolic function (such as detoxification).”  http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/06/10/food-bites-with-dr-hyman-crucifers-and-thyroid/#close

If you do have concerns about consuming goitrogenic foods, cook them a little before consuming.  Just remember: the more you cook them, the more the nutrients are lost.

More good info on the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables:

References

  1. Higdon J, Delage B, Williams D, et al: Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res 2007;55:224-236.
  2. Wu QJ, Yang Y, Vogtmann E, et al: Cruciferous vegetables intake and the risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Ann Oncol 2012.
  3. Liu X, Lv K: Cruciferous vegetables intake is inversely associated with risk of breast cancer: A meta-analysis. Breast 2012.
  4. Liu B, Mao Q, Lin Y, et al: The association of cruciferous vegetables intake and risk of bladder cancer: a meta-analysis. World J Urol 2012.
  5. Liu B, Mao Q, Cao M, et al: Cruciferous vegetables intake and risk of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis. Int J Urol 2012;19:134-141.
  6. Lam TK, Gallicchio L, Lindsley K, et al: Cruciferous vegetable consumption and lung cancer risk: a systematic review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18:184-195.
  7. Bosetti C, Negri E, Kolonel L, et al: A pooled analysis of case-control studies of thyroid cancer. VII. Cruciferous and other vegetables (International). Cancer Causes Control 2002;13:765-775.
  8. Dal Maso L, Bosetti C, La Vecchia C, et al: Risk factors for thyroid cancer: an epidemiological review focused on nutritional factors. Cancer Causes Control 2009;20:75-86.
  9. Higdon J, Drake VJ: Cruciferous Vegetables. In An Evidence-based Approach to Phytochemicals and Other Dietary Factors 2nd edition: Thieme; 2013
  10. Krajcovicova-Kudlackova M, Buckova K, Klimes I, et al: Iodine deficiency in vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab 2003;47:183-185.
  11. Leung AM, Lamar A, He X, et al: Iodine status and thyroid function of Boston-area vegetarians and vegans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011;96:E1303-1307.
  12. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Iodine.
  13. Tonstad S, Nathan E, Oda K, et al: Vegan diets and hypothyroidism. Nutrients 2013;5:4642-4652.
  14. McMillan M, Spinks EA, Fenwick GR: Preliminary observations on the effect of dietary brussels sprouts on thyroid function. Hum Toxicol 1986;5:15-19.
  15. Chu M, Seltzer TF: Myxedema coma induced by ingestion of raw bok choy. N Engl J Med 2010;362:1945-1946.
  16. Zhang X, Shu XO, Xiang YB, et al: Cruciferous vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:240-246.
  17. Hooper LV: You AhR What You Eat: Linking Diet and Immunity. Cell 2011;147:489-491.
  18. Zimmermann, M.B. & Köhrle, J., The impact of iron and selenium deficiencies on iodine and thyroid metabolism: biochemistry and relevance to public health, Thyroid. 2002 Oct;12(10):867-78
  19. Barrera, L.N., et al., TrxR1 and GPx2 are potently induced by isothiocyanates and selenium, and mutually cooperate to protect Caco-2 cells against free radical-mediated cell death, Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Oct;1823(10):1914-24
  20. Bonfig, W., et al., Selenium supplementation does not decrease thyroid peroxidase antibody concentration in children and adolescents with autoimmune thyroiditis, ScientificWorldJournal. 2010 Jun 1;10:990-6
  21. Chandler, J.D. & Day, B.J., Thiocyanate: a potentially useful therapeutic agent with host defense and antioxidant properties, Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 Dec 1;84(11):1381-7
  22. Ertek, S., et al., Relationship between serum zinc levels, thyroid hormones and thyroid volume following successful iodine supplementation, Hormones 2010, 9(3):263-268
  23. Hodkinson, C.F., et al., Preliminary evidence of immune function modulation by thyroid hormones in healthy men and women aged 55-70 years, J Endocrinol. 2009 Jul;202(1):55-63
  24. Jakubíková, J., et al., Effect of isothiocyanates on nuclear accumulation of NF-kappaB, Nrf2, and thioredoxin in caco-2 cells, J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 8;54(5):1656-62
  25.  Magnusson, R.P., et al., Mechanism of iodide-dependent catalatic activity of thyroid peroxidase and lactoperoxidase, J Biol Chem. 1984 Jan 10;259(1):197-205
  26. McDanell, R., et al., Chemical and biological properties of indole glucosinolates (glucobrassicins): A review, Food and Chemical Toxicology. 1988; 26(1):59-70
  27. Shapiro, T.A., et al., Safety, tolerance, and metabolism of broccoli sprout glucosinolates and isothiocyanates: a clinical phase I study, Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(1):53-62
  28. van Bakel, M.M., et al., Antioxidant and thyroid hormone status in selenium-deficient phenylketonuric and hyperphenylalaninemic patients, Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Oct;72(4):976-81
  29. Virion, A., et al., Opposite effects of thiocyanate on tyrosine iodination and thyroid hormone synthesis, Eur J Biochem. 1980 Nov;112(1):1-7
  30. Zimmermann, M.B. & Köhrle, J., The impact of iron and selenium deficiencies on iodine and thyroid metabolism: biochemistry and relevance to public health, Thyroid. 2002 Oct;12(10):867-78

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

For nearly three years, I ran a support group for gut health issues sufferers.  There were over 12,300 members in the end.  The following is a list of symptoms many of those group members reported from having food sensitivities/allergies:

  • aching feet
  • acne
  • adrenal stress with unstable temperatures
  • allergy “shiners” (dark circles under eyes)
  • anxiety
  • autoimmune flare, including Hashimoto’s
  • bloating
  • brain fog
  • brittle nails
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • digestive upset/stomach ache
  • ears, itching
  • ears, drainage
  • eczema
  • eye pain
  • fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • gas, belching
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • heart burn/acid reflux/GERD
  • heart palpitations/tachycardia
  • hives
  • inflammation including back pain, carpal tunnel flare
  • itching internally
  • itchy skin
  • itchy throat
  • joint pain
  • low B12
  • malabsorption
  • migraines
  • rashes
  • runny nose
  • sinus congestion
  • sneezing
  • stomach cramping
  • swallowing issues
  • vomiting
  • water retention
  • weakness
  • weight gain/weight loss struggles

All About Gluten

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a binding protein found in certain grains – all wheat (durum, semolina, faro, kamut, einkorn, graham, spelt), rye and barley.  (It’s also in triticale which is a mixture of wheat and rye.)  Gluten is what gives elasticity to dough that give it it’s shape. 

A Word About Oats

Oats do not naturally contain gluten.  (http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/do-oats-contain-gluten)  However, there can be two problems with oats.  First, some, especially those who have Celiac, may have sensitivity to oats due to the protein avenin found in them, although not all with Celiac will have issues with oats.  (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat_sensitivity.)  Second, oats can also be a problem for those due to cross-contamination.

Those who are not sensitive to oats may prefer to buy certified gluten-free oats, which are processed in a facility where no gluten-containing grains are processed.  In addition, some like to soak their oats before cooking and consuming to reduce phytates (see Information on Soaking Grains, Nuts, Legumes to Reduce Phytates). 

Symptoms of Gluten Issues

Symptoms of gluten issues can be delayed.  Some people report having delayed symptoms around three days after consuming gluten, lasting days or even months.  Symptoms of gluten issues can include:

  • stomach ache
  • gas
  • bloating
  •  constipation
  • diarrhea
  •  leaky gut syndrome
  •  brain fog
  •  joint pain
  • tingling in fingers or feet
  •  headaches/migraines
  • chronic fatigue
  • infertility
  • hypothyroidism
  • ADHD Autistic behavior
  • and more

Note that not all people who have gluten issues have gastrointestinal symptoms.  I didn’t.

Gluten:

What to Look for on Labels

The following items contain gluten:

  • barley
  • barley malt
  • barley starch
  • breading and coating mixes or packets
  • communion wafers (see here for info on very low gluten-communion hosts)
  • couscous
  • croutons
  • flour
  • malt
  • matzo meal
  • natural or artificial flavoring or coloring
  • Panko
  • soy sauce
  • sprouted wheat
  • tabouli
  • wheat (durum, wheat germ, wheat bran, wheat meal, wheat stabilizers, wheat starch, white flour, whole wheat, einkorn)

Cross-Contamination in the Farmer’s Fields?

Beans and Buckwheat flour don’t naturally contain gluten, but cross-contamination in the farmer’s fields may be an issue if you’re really sensitive to gluten.  Educate yourself and use your judgment.

Also, additives can sometimes mean gluten:

  • dextrinhydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • starch or modified food starch (can be corn or other starches, too)
  • caramel color

Obvious gluten-containing foods like bread and crackers are easy to avoid.  But some “hidden” gluten-containing foods include:

  • beer
  • bouillon cubes
  • broth
  • brown rice syrup
  • candy
  • corn tortillas
  • dressings, like ranch
  • energy bars or protein bars
  • french fries (not just from cross-contamination in the fryer, some have wheat in the ingredient list)
  • imitation seafood like fake crab meat
  • lunch meat
  • marinades
  • oat bran or oat germ
  • pasta
  • rice like box mixes
  • spices and spice mixes
  • sauces, such as ketchup, honey mustard, barbecue sauce
  • soups

More info on gluten-containing grains and ingredients and contaminated ingredients from Celiac.com: http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

Besides food, what else do I need to make sure is GF?

  • Beauty Products
  • Cleaning Products
  • Dental Products including dental glue, paste, etc.
  • lipstick, lip gloss
  • Make-up
  • Medications
  • Supplements
  • Play-doh
  • Vitamins and other Supplements

Worried about your beauty products?  Check out my list. 

Prepared Gluten-Free Foods

Be careful with prepared gluten-free foods.  Even though they might be gluten-free, they are often heavily processed and loaded with preservatives or sugar, which are not good for achieving or maintaining a healthy gut.  A good rule of thumb is to try to get foods as “whole” as they can get: meat, veggies, fruit, dairy, eggs, gains (if you can have them), avoiding allergens or sensitivities, of course.

Gluten Issues and Dairy

Some people with gluten issues have issues with dairy, at least until they heal their gut.  For those with Celiac, the villi that are damaged with Celiac Disease can’t produce the lactase enzyme, so depending on the extent of the damage, they may need to avoid lactose until the villi are healed enough to properly digest lactose.

Soaking Grains, Nuts, Legumes to Reduce Phytates

Many people, especially those who have gut issues, prefer to soak their oats overnight in luke-warm water, which helps reduce the phytates, which are difficult to digest.  The following links contain useful information about soaking grains, nuts, and legumes.

Fermented Sourdough Grains can be Gluten-free

Fermented grains can have health benefits for those with gut issues.  Read: http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/gluten-free-sourdough-starter/

Flours, Starches, etc.

Eliminating gluten from your diet doesn’t mean you will have to miss the foods you enjoy, but you will have to find alternatives, if your gut health allows them.  Flours and starches that you can experiment with include:

  • Almond
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Brown Rice or White Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Garbanzo
  • Coconut Garbanzo
  • Guar Gum
  • Millet
  • Nut Flours such as almond, hazelnut
  • Oats (certified gluten-free)
  • Potato Starch
  • Quinoa
  • Seeds such as Chia, Flax, Hemp
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Teff
  • Xanthan Gum

Note that Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum are binding agents which add elasticity, but they can become quite gummy when too much is used.

Gluten-free may not be enough for those with Leaky Gut Syndrome (consider fermented grains, at least):

 

Information on Soaking Grains, Nuts, and Legumes to Reduce Phytates

Soaking Grains, Nuts, Legumes to Reduce Phytates

Beans, beans, the magical fruit.  You know the rest of the rhyme.

Soaking beans (and grains and nuts) can help reduce the phytates in them, making them easier to digest.  This is particularly helpful for those with Leaky Gut Syndrome, Celiac Disease, and more.

Many people prefer to soak their oats overnight in luke-warm water.  The following links contain useful information about soaking grains, nuts, and legumes.

Up in the air about beans?  This article has good information that can help you make your decision, along with simply eating them (properly soaked of course), about whether or not you should be eating beans as part of your diet.

Benefits of Bone Broth

Our ancestors knew that broth was vital to health.  It’s true that everyone can benefit from bone broth, but for those with gut health issues, it’s absolutely crucial for healing.

Check out my easy, delicious Beef Stock recipe.

Read more about the benefits of bone broth here:

Some people will do better on meat broth at first:

What’s the difference between stock, broth, and bone broth?

Learn how to make bone broth here:

Looking for ways to use your bone broth?

These Vitamin C gummies are a great way to boost your immune system – and your kids’ too! 

Can there be side effects to bone broth/gelatin/collagen?  Yes!  It means your body is healing.

This is an interesting article by Jenny McGruther on a taste test done for both home made and commercial broths.  You might be surprised to see the list!

Beef Stock Recipe

I have two recipes for beef stock to share with you today.  The first is my own recipe, which is my favorite.  It makes divine French Onion Soup!

Mary’s Beef Stock

Ingredients

  • beef bones or ox tail
  • 1/2 c. white wine or 3 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • water (about 1-1.5 gallons, depending on the size of your crock or pot)
  • 3 carrots cut into large pieces
  • 3 celery sticks with leaves, cut into pieces
  • 2 onions, cut into quarters – you can leave the skins on
  • 1 bay leaf, broken in two
  • 20 whole peppercorns
  • salt
  • 1 small can tomato paste

Instructions

  1. Roast beef bones (my favorite is ox tail) in an oven on 425 F for 25 minutes or so, until it’s getting nicely browned.
  2. De-glaze the brown bits in the pan with dry white wine or raw apple cider vinegar, and pour into the stock pot or crock pot. These brown bits are what make the stock so good!
  3. In the stock pot, add the remaining ingredients.  If you can’t have nightshades, leave out the bay leaf, peppercorns, and tomato paste.  It won’t be nearly as good, but if you can’t have them, you can’t have them.
  4. Cook for about two days, then strain with a fine mesh strainer. Be sure to press those veggies, bones, and meat to get out all that goodness!
  5. Let cool and refrigerate or freeze.

I haven’t tried this yet with a pressure cooker, but I bet it would be great!

Beef Stock – Recipe courtesy of Nourishing Traditions, pg 122-123
Ingredients
  • about 4 pounds beef femur bones
  • 1 calf’s foot, cut into pieces (optional)
  • 3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
  • 4 or more quarts cold filtered water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
  • 1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 bunch parsley

Instructions

Good beef stock must be made with several sorts of bones: knuckle bones and feet impart large quantities of gelatin to the broth; marrow bones impart flavor and the particular nutrients of bone marrow; and meaty rib or neck bones add color and flavor. Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for one hour. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven. When well browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables.

Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add cold water to the pan, set over a high flame and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices. Add this liquid to the pot. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones; but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking. Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme and crushed peppercorns. Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes.

You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn’t even smell particularly good. But don’t despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many other recipes in this book. Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top.

Confused about the difference between stocks vs. broth?  Alton Brown explains.

Want to learn more about the benefits of Beef stock?  Read here.