As a fitness professional, I have found homemade bone broth to be a great source of protein elements not found in the typical consumption of primarily “muscle meats” sought by most exercise enthusiasts. Many people seek to eat only boneless, skinless (and tasteless) chicken breasts while ignoring the rest of the animal.
Properly prepared stocks are extremely nutritious and beneficial to fitness goals as they contain copious minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is very easy for our body to assimilate.
We go to great lengths in our training efforts to perform intense weight lifting and metabolic conditioning. Logging our progress and tracking our successes is exciting, but when it comes to nutrition to maintain health for the long haul, many of us fall short.
We look to fulfill our nutritional needs with processed protein powders filled with chemicals and additives, packaged and processed foods or nutrients in a pill.
True nutrition is found in nature, not in a package. Why people keep trying to go against and defy this basic nutritional truth I have not figured out. There is no substitute for whole foods.
The wise fitness trainee uses gelatin-rich broth on a frequent basis to provide continuous protection from many health problems, better recuperative abilities and as an invaluable aid to the body in more fully utilizing the complete proteins taken in.
My mother made wonderful homemade chicken and beef soups which I enjoyed while growing up. I had gotten away from homemade stocks in my 20-40’s and started making them again about 5 years ago after finding the Weston A. Price Foundation and meeting Sarah.
The one stock I had never tried and some people seem to shy away from is fish stock. This has become one of my very favorites and my husband and I consume it almost on a weekly basis in many delicious chowders and sauces. The following excerpt is from Nourishing Traditions. . .
“Another traditional belief is that fish head broth contributes to virility. Fish stock, made from the carcasses and heads of fish is especially rich in minerals including all-important iodine. Even more important, stock made from the heads and therefore the thyroid glands of the fish, supplies thyroid hormone and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland.
According to some researchers, al least 40% of all Americans suffer from a deficiency of the thyroid gland with its accompanying symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, frequent colds and flu’s, inability to concentrate, depression and a lot of more serious complications like heart disease and cancer. We would do well to imitate our brothers from the Mediterranean and Asian regions by including fish broth in the diet.”
I find consuming foods with fish stock very rejuvenating, giving me more energy and restoring mental abilities. I have noticed after having fish chowder in the evening I sleep incredibly well that night. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
One of the secrets is to start with quality ingredients. Anyone living in coastal areas should be fortunate enough to have a friend or relative that fishes. Simply have them save you the heads and carcasses of the fish they catch and freeze until you are ready to use. If not, your local fish market should be willing to do the same.
One of my favorite recipes using fish stock is conch chowder, which I’ve shared below. You may substitute milder tasting shrimp stock or lobster broth if desired.
Hope you enjoy it!
Bahamian Style Conch Chowder Recipe
Nutritious, classic recipe for conch chowder blended with spices that add an island flare. Perfect as an appetizer but hearty enough to serve as a main meal. Makes fabulous leftovers for the lunchbox.
- 1 quart fish stock
- 1 lb conch ground or chopped
- 2 Tbl butter preferably grassfed
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 red pepper seeded, chopped
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 small sweet potato chopped
- 6 sprigs parsley chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 cups fresh tomatoes chopped
- 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
- sea salt to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Saute the onion, celery, carrots, pepper, potato, thyme, red pepper, allspice and bay leaver for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil; immediately lower to a simmer.
Blend in the conch and cook for 35 minutes, uncovered.
Add the vinegar, parsley, scallions, sea salt and cayenne and simmer for 5 more minutes.
If you find the conch too tough to pound with a meat mallet, then chop it up with a sharp knife instead.
I’ve just been wondering- when I’m making my broths and they’re simmering away for 20-24-40 etc hours, should I be refilling the stock pot to keep the bones covered?
I tried fish stock once and it wasn’t very good. Now, I want to try it again. It would be so good for my low functioning thyroid. Thanks for the encouragement. I will make it this week!
Love, love, love crawfish! This is a great time of year to do so 🙂 Thanks for the recipe, as I usually make mine with a roux and rice… very heavy on the tummy!
I have recently started making stock from Lamb bones and it seems to be working for my body. I live in MN, I was wondering what fish I should use for making stocks?
I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE SOAKED PASTA
PAULA-THANKS FOR SHOWING ME I CAN FREEZE IN MASON JARS
Does anyone worry about toxins even in wild fish as so many places are polluted. How do we know know our fish is clean? where is the best place to buy from?
Yes I do. I try to buy from sources with more sustainable practices and also shy away from foreign sources. In general I eat less seafood because this and that is sad.
Could you give some suggestions for pre/post workout foods? At my gym, the trainers are always talking about eating protein before and after working out, but, of course, they are pushing their whey shakes. I work out in the morning, so I usually come home and eat eggs for breakfast. Is it smart to eat before a early morning workout? Sometimes I’ll eat a banana before I go, but when we’re out of them I don’t know what to eat! Are you saying that broth would be a good option?
I find your posts on this blog to be inspiring and informative. Thank you.
Hi Nicole, everyone’s a little different on what suits them pre/post wod but you definitely want some protein at both. For early morning workouts some do better in a fasted state, others don’t. If I am going for a run I won’t eat anything; if I am using weights I like something in my stomach.
If I am working out early and I only have an hour prior I will have an egg and maybe a carrot or small piece of fruit. I don’t like too much in my stomach too soon before. If I have a couple of hours prior I will have bacon/eggs or chicken/veggies with a fat source. A regular meal giving me 2 to 3 hours to digest.
Post wod protein is important but from whole food sources. If you don’t feel like eating right away have a whey “protein shake.” My favorite post wod shake is a big class of raw milk. Hmmm, nature’s finest “protein shake” unless you have sensitivities to dairy. Depending upon the workout and your goals you may or may not want to add additional carbohydrates or fat. When I want more of a carb source post wod I blend my milk gently with a sweet potato (peel and all), add a little cinnamon–delicious. For a fat source, my fav is extra raw cream–yum!
and broth would be excellent pre wod or post for that matter!
Why remove the gills?
They tend to impart a bitter taste.
Wow, those recipes sound delicious! I’ve been too unadventurous to try anything but chicken stock but I may have to give fish stock a go.