Struggling with her son's chronic infections led Sharon Brown to cut out all processed food from her family's diet and incorporating bone broth into every meal. Realizing her son was becoming healthier each day after this diet change, Sharon wanted to share this discovery and help people heal themselves. She became a certified clinical nutritionist, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, GAPS practitioner, and opened her practice in Del Mar, California.
Within a year she had a waitlist of thousands of people across North America eager to heal themselves with real food. Bone broth was the cornerstone of her healing protocol. But, unfortunately, traditional bone broth is hard to make and even harder to buy. She convinced her husband, Reb, who is a professionally-trained chef, to create a recipe she can stand behind and share with her clients. In 2011, they launched Bonafide Provisions with the mission of making traditionally-prepared bone broth available to all those who need it.
Oola had the opportunity to ask Sharon some questions about herself and the world of nutrition. We touched on the effects of bone broth in a healthy diet, the various fads and trends in diets that come and go, and why you should avoid stevia. Read on to learn from a real nutritional expert!
Sharon: In 2006 I was a mother at her wit's end. I had a six-year-old son who had been on and off antibiotics since birth, suffering from chronic sinus infections, ear infections, and respiratory infections. After a particularly upsetting meeting with his first-grade teacher, who was recommending ADD medication -- on top of everything else -- I knew there had to be another way. I began searching for alternative solutions, but information was hard to come by -- this was before you could find the answer to everything online. I even went so far as to dig through the stacks at my local, public library.
Finally, I came across the concept that bone broth could help strengthen the gut lining, and, therefore, heal the immune system. I had nothing to lose, so I told my husband, Reb, to go find some bones. I removed all processed foods from my family's diet and incorporated bone broth into every meal we made. After three months my son had not needed antibiotics once. Six months went by. Then nine. Then a year. Blake hadn't gone to the doctor's office once. We knew we were on to something. I had to do something with this knowledge and experience, so I shared with everyone that would listen -- including random strangers standing in line at the grocery store. But that wasn't enough. I wanted to really help heal people, not just pass on advice. I became a certified clinical nutritionist, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and GAPS practitioner. I opened my practice in Del Mar, California, and within a year I had a four-month waitlist. Thousands of people across the United States, and some in Canada and Mexico were desperate to heal their bodies with real food.
Hippocrates, the father of all medicine stated "All disease begins in the gut"
Sharon: I like to refer to the bone broth as a 1,000-year-old tradition, not a trend. Cultures all over the world have been using bone broth for centuries to heal the body from the inside out and support overall wellness. Asian cultures drink broth for breakfast in soups loaded with meats and vegetables. The real Bone broth is made by slow simmering the bones with apple cider vinegar for 18-48 hours. The apple cider vinegar acts like a magnet and pulls the nutrients, collagen and amino acids from the bones of the animal and into the broth. This liquid gold has a healing effect on the mucosal lining of the gut.
Since up to 85% of your immune system lives in your gut, when you heal the gut using bone broth, you heal the rest of the body. Hippocrates, the father of all medicine stated: "All disease begins in the gut". Bone broth was always a mainstay in my protocol in reversing symptoms of the disease, as the gut is the foundation of health. The fast track to wellness in my practice was always copious amounts of bone broth. However, bone broth is difficult to make and buying a real bone broth is next to impossible. So I enlisted my chef husband to make healing broth for my clients that is fresh-frozen, just like we made at home. Today, you can find our traditionally-made frozen bone broth in retailers all over the nation. It's made just like we did at home, first for my son and then for my clients.
Sharon: The biggest misconception about working with a nutritionist is that you are going to have to eat food that is bland, boring and limited. This is simply not the case. Working with a qualified nutritionist will introduce you to a new world of food preparation, and creative ways to make healing foods incredibly delicious. Once you learn to prepare food correctly, you will no longer feel deprived by your food choices and instead see your food as fuel to heal the amazing machine called your body, while enjoying what you eat.
Common sense is lacking when it comes to what is good for us and bad for us.
Sharon: Common sense is lacking when it comes to what is good for us and bad for us. We have to have a paradigm shift when we are approaching wellness as health is pretty simple and is very natural. Allow me to explain. Your body is designed to stay alive through food. Mother nature has provided the perfect fuel for your body to sustain life and be well and it's called food. Walk into any grocery store and hang out in the meat, produce, and frozen aisles (for fresh-frozen options like frozen fruits, veggies and bone broth) and you will find every vitamin, nutrient, and source of nourishment to fuel your body, and heal your body completely. I like to explain it as eating the way we did 100 years ago on a farm. Rotating in a variety of pasture-raised meats & proteins, vegetables and fruits will ensure you are getting every nutrient needed to sustain life. Using the entire animal (such as the bones for bone broth) allows us to reap the benefits of our entire food system. Fads will always come and go because we love to be on trend and try new things. Always ask yourself, is this how we ate 100 years ago on a farm when we were free of the modern diseases we are plagued with today.
Sharon: Stevia. Food companies will hate me for saying this, however, Stevia is no better than sugar for your body. You cannot trick your body into thinking a sugar substitute is a substitute. Your body recognizes stevia as sugar and will go through the same biological process that it takes to digest sugar. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar spikes, your body's response is to release insulin, then blood sugar drops, and you will then crave the sugar again. And this is the vicious cycle that will continue with any sugar or any sugar substitute. When your blood sugar drops, your body sees it as a state of imbalance and will crave sugar to fix this imbalance. That is why when you eat sugar, you crave it more, similar to how a drug addict craves his drug. All sugar substitutes are bad, and you should eliminate them in your diet for true wellness. I always know a sugar attic when I tell them they have to get rid of their stevia, maple syrup, and honey and they act like I have given them a death sentence. Those are the people whose health is most at risk.
Sharon: Can I choose a coffee and bacon flavored ice-cream? Hmmm, that might be a new Bonafide item in the freezer set!
Just eat real food as that is the simplest way of giving your body the nourishment it needs
Sharon: Just eat real food as that is the simplest way of giving your body the nourishment it needs to be healthy while not depriving yourself. If you focus on eating whole foods as Mother Nature intended, and again think about eating the way we did on farms hundreds of years ago, you can both enjoy the foods you eat and fuel your health.
Name: Sharon Brown
Company: Bonafide Provisions
Designations: certified clinical nutritionist, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and GAPS practitioner.