Episode 40 | Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D. | Bone Broth and Collagen—Your Best Defense Against Aging

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Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is a board-certified naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition consultant. She’s also the author of the New York Times Best-Selling Book, Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet. She’s a sought-after celebrity doctor all across the United States and she’s appeared on Dr. Oz, The Doctors, and countless other television programs.

This 30-minute special kicks off with the EASIEST ways to incorporate collagen and bone broth into your everyday life, and how it can help you become a natural fat-burner! Listen to the real way to lose weight while you cook dinner, or are on the treadmill. Incredible information!

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Kathy Smith: Kellyann, welcome to the show.

Kellyann Petrucci: Thank you. It’s such a pleasure to be here. And it’s such a pleasure to be talking with you about this because, I want all the listeners to know that Ms. Kathy Smith, who is one of the foremost people in the world on fitness wrote the section in the book about fitness. So, I’m so happy to be here to talk about bone broth, to talk about the book and so happy that you were able to be such a major contributor to this movement.

Kathy Smith: Well, it was a privilege and honor. Thank you. I have so many questions and we’ve got Facebook questions that we’re going to ask you.  Since there’s a limited time–and I know you can talk forever about this–but it’s kind of exciting. I know I’ve heard you say that you started drinking bone broth around 10 years ago. What I want to know is how did you stumble upon this link between bone broth and its incredible benefits?

Kellyann Petrucci: Well, I’ll tell you. I always had a busy practice and that was always a busy practitioner. So, here I was. I turned 40, and I couldn’t get the results that I once did. It was really frustrating because here I was, again, helping so many other people and I wasn’t able to get results. So, I started doing research, I started playing around a little bit with different research models, different nutritional models and here it was as simple as can be – something as simple as soup. A simple soup but I call it soup plus. It goes a little beyond soup, and I’ll explain why in the program today.

But I found that when I started incorporating my fat-burning foods with the bone broth, everything started changing for me. I started testing it out on patients, and I found that the results were typical. When you’re a doctor and you see something that is typical – it results in typical results – it really gets your attention.

So, that’s when I started using it on myself, in my practice. I felt so much better and I mean this. This is something so simple and we often overlook what is the most simple and most accessible to us. I feel it’s the best anti-aging tool I’ve ever used. It’s great for fat burning. It’s great for erasing the wrinkles. If you look at the cover of my book, it’ll say right on there, “15 pounds, four inches and your wrinkles”. Let me tell you, when you’re with a major publisher, you can’t say stuff like that unless it is tested out frontwards, backwards, upside down. So, I am telling you what amazed me about this diet as opposed to any other that I’ve seen in using bone broth is that it really makes a huge difference with wrinkles. That’s one of the reasons why I love it.

Kathy Smith: It’s interesting, because there’s that saying that at a certain age, you have to choose between your butt and your face. I love it, because you’re kind of saying, “Well, maybe you don’t. Maybe you can have both.”

Kellyann Petrucci: Well, look. Here’s what I think. This is my rule. I think she who has a beautiful butt rules the world. I am the one that’s constantly doing squats and anything I can to keep my butt uplifted, because that’s a really good anti-aging tip. You’ve got to keep you butt up and firm.

That’s one of the things I love about bone broth, exactly what you said. I’m so glad you tied it in with this, because I couldn’t put it better. You’re always sacrificing one for the other or something for the other. “I’m putting muscle on, but you know what? I’m looking a little heavier. I can’t look as lean as I want.” The thing about bone broth is it’s got healthy fats, which we’re learning more and more in order to burn fat, you have to eat fat. It’s so important. To burn fat, you have to eat fat and they have to be the right fats. What do you know? Bone broth has the right kind of fat in there. So, you’re eating the right fats and it’s also filled with this collagen.

So, we know collagen, that’s like the glue that holds the body together. And if you think about your skin, they’re like bouncy balls. They’re bouncing all over the place. As you progress on in life, they start to deflate. Well, the bone broth provides that natural collagen that you start losing relatively early in life and it plumps your skin cells up. So, you see a lot people that are on diets and you think, “Well, they’re skinny, but they aren’t looking so good. The helmet’s not looking so good.” Well, guess what? This keeps your face plump and youthful and young. It keeps you full but full in a good way because that deflation or that deflated look, that’s one of the signs of aging.

Kathy Smith: Yeah, I know. That’s why people are spending so much money on their fillers and their injectables and such. Yet, you’re saying the collagen is what you need to do it naturally.

Kellyann Petrucci: I am in my 50s and I’ve never used any kind of–you can look at my pictures and I don’t do a lot of brushing up and all of that. I don’t use any of that. I’ve never even had laser facials. I’ve had none of it because I started this stuff at the right time. I really did. I started at the right time.

I am not opposed to any of that. I just want everyone to know that. I am not taking a stance. Some people would take a stance and they say they would never ever, ever, “I’m against it.” That is not where I’m coming from. Because I know a lot of people who have really benefitted and they’re happier from these procedures. All I’m saying is that true beauty comes from the natural demeanor of the skin.

Wow, the Botox and the fillers, all of that, it serves its purpose on a surface area on a sectional portion of the skin. It’s not going to give you that overall luster and beauty that you want your skin to have that kind of demeanor. The bone broth does that.

So, to get that overall luster, I say bone broth is the best thing you can use. Then, re-assess. Is it something I want to do? There’s a lot of people that say, “You know what? I’m going to start using bone broth. I’m going to start doing some facial exercises,” because we know all those muscles, we can work those muscles in our face just like any other area in the body. I don’t need any of the other stuff. Some people say, “I love bone broth. It does make my skin plump and nice. You know what? This little mark right here, I just want to take care of that.” That’s fine too. My choice is that I don’t. I don’t do any of that, and it’s serving me really well.

So, what I say is it’s a personal choice. Do what you need to do, but I can tell you there are many people who are not on any fillers, and they’ve been on fillers and they no longer are because of the magic of this liquid gold I’m talking about.

Kathy Smith: Liquid gold, I love that. So, with this liquid gold, one of the things that I heard you talk about, but I want the audience to understand this relationship between weight gain and a sick gut, as you say. How does bone broth turn a sick gut into a healthy gut? Explain that relationship just about digestion in general and how, with improper digestion, we start to gain weight.

Kellyann Petrucci: I love this question. This is my favorite question, because I believe the biggest reason why people have stubborn weight loss – and if you are over 40, you know what I you mean. This stubborn weight loss, I believe, comes from inflammation. When someone is hitting a wall and they’re doing the right things and are not getting results, so much of it comes from inflammation, which can change all of the structures and functions of your body. We have good inflammation and there’s bad inflammation, and it’s really important to know the difference.

Good inflammation is when you have a sore throat, you hurt your elbow, you break a bone. Inflammation goes in there, it heals and it diminishes. So, it’s a short-term inflamed reaction that you get to heal the body. But what happens when that switch gets stuck in the on position, when those warrior cells go out to fight a battle and there’s no battle to fight? That’s what happens when you have a sick gut.

If you can shut your eyes and picture a long tube that’s 25 feet long, because that is in fact what’s coiled up inside of you. If you can picture those 25 feet, red and inflamed and how that affects everything from hormone modulation to digestion to every part of eating that you can possibly imagine or gaining nutrients from food, this is what happens. Because we may have 60 trillion cells in our body. We know that we’re made of cells. We know our organs are made of cells. But guess what? We have 100 trillion microbes in our bodies. These are bugs and we’re literally bags of bugs.

So many different cultures and so many countries understand this mechanism of healing better than we do. I studied in Europe. I studied the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland. I studied in London – CNM – College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. One of the things that I learned from studying with Europeans is that they so understood way before we did this whole idea of a microbiome, the fact that when you impact your bugs–we’re bags of bugs–when you positively impact this system, this microbiome that you have, you are thinner and you’re younger, period.

This whole French paradox, this whole, “Why can they eat this? Why can they have wine in the afternoon? Why can they do this?” It’s very simple. Because they do not have a sick gut like so many of us do. They understand this biological terrain or the fact that we are an ecosystem, and everything we put inside of this ecosystem, understand, there is a ripple effect. There is undoubtedly a ripple effect of everything that we do.

Kathy Smith: So, we shift the bacteria in our gut and that allows us to become these natural or more efficient fat burners. We become more efficient with our food. So, what’s throwing off the gut of most people? Is it just processed foods and all the sugars or what is the biggest culprit that’s throwing off the bacteria?

Kellyann Petrucci: The NSAIDS and a lot of the medications that we take. They really throw off the gut biome. So, anything that you buy over the counter, all of these things play a big role. We know that antibiotics–mainstream medicine is well-anchored in knowing how this really wipes your system out.

But here’s something interesting. I was just on a panel and we were speaking about this. I was speaking with the most sought-out authorities on gut health in the world, and here’s what’s interesting. What plays a bigger effect than we ever thought was stress. Stress can inadvertently affect your microbiome more than you can imagine. So, stress management–any way that you find–and everybody has a different mechanism to control stress, whether it’s meditation, whether it’s yoga, whether it’s family time, kid time, whatever it is. You have to find what that is, and you have to really be cognizant. Be very conscious. Be in consciousness about putting that in your life, because it affects your adrenals, and your adrenals affect your microbiome.

So, just food is not enough. You have to have the mindset. You create this mindset by being able to manage stress. So, things like the processed foods–sugar absolutely annihilates your microbiomes. We were wired for sugar. We’re wired for that taste. Just try to put sweets in your life that are not processed. It will make such a big difference. We all know–and I know, Kathy, you know this as well as any expert out there–sugar is really the culprit in causing premature aging. Again, it links back to that. So, just be aware of these things.

I am not of the school, “You can’t have sugar. Never have sugar.” But I think you need to re-educate yourselves. You can do that by incorporating a lot of nutrition, a lot of sweets that aren’t filled with the processed type of sweets. So, if you’re going out and you’re buying boxed cakes and cookies and all of that, I will tell you, you will wreak havoc in a way that’s unimaginable. So Delicious has a whipped cream out made from coconut that’s absolutely fantastic. So, you get some strawberries and you put some of this So Delicious coconut whipped cream on top. It really is good and your family will love it, and it does not destroy the microbiome in the same way. So, you just really have to re-educate yourself into sweets that are more natural and redefine what you once thought of as a sweet.

Kathy Smith: I know. I had to do that for myself. I talk about it all the time. I was a sweet junkie and, as you mentioned before, it’s not necessarily the weight you put on. Because I wasn’t putting on weight. It was my energy level. It’s the way that I looked. It was the skin quality. I had to find, as you just mentioned, these great substitutions that end up being so much better in the long run and what I love is you don’t the sugar crash afterwards. So, I would just say, have your treats but select them wisely. Then, learn how to find treats the more natural way.

Also, the other thing you mentioned about stress. I love that you put in your book the walking chapter. We worked on the walking chapter because that’s a simple way–people think they have to get out and workout so hard and push to the max, but this idea of putting more stress on your body where you get a good walking program going. In that walking program, you’re using you body and you’re starting to help it not only burn more calories and everything else that we know is good about exercise, but you help it destress.

Kellyann Petrucci: I’m such a firm believer in walking, I can’t even tell you. People ask me how I stay in shape with all the travel that I do. I say because I was gifted with two healthy legs. That’s why I can stay in shape, because there is so much power in walking from a primal perspective alone. Getting your feet rooted into that ground, walking, getting things moving and, as humans, we’re designed to move an hour a day. That’s been tested out. That’s been studied. There’s actually very prestigious journals that have come out with this conclusion: we need to move every day. That includes chasing your kids around, walking to the parking lot, going to the grocery store. It all matters.

So, instead of just saying to yourself, “You know what? I don’t have time today,” or “I can’t,” take a little walk. Just take a little walk. It adds up. At the end of the year, it adds up.

Kathy Smith: Ok. Whenever I talk to people about bone broth, there’s questions galore as you might imagine. They’re typically based on very practical questions like, “How do I start the process,” “Where do you get the bones,” and all that.

So, before you tell me, “Get into it,” I have to say about two years ago, a girlfriend and I started to make our bone broth. We go to the store, we make all the mistakes that you clarify in your book. But we buy the bones at the most expensive place. We buy too many bones. We don’t get them cut, so we have these long bones in a big pot. We start the boiling process. We start going through it and it is long, and by the next day, we finally have our bone broth and we’re going, “Yikes.” We said we will never ever, ever do this again.

What I love about what you’re preaching in your book, you help simplify the process as much as you can. But let’s get into kind of the basics. Starting from the beginning, where do you get your bones? How do you choose your bones? Give us some of the tricks of getting bone broth, the least expensive and the most efficient–not the most efficient way, the most healthful and efficient way.

Kellyann Petrucci:  It’s interesting because a lot of the grocery stores actually have bones set aside, because dogs eat them. I don’t want to gross anyone out, but seriously, if you go to your local grocery store and you say, “Do you have frozen bones anywhere,” a lot of times they do. I’ve tested this out. I’ve gone to tons of grocery stores to see how easy is this really?

So, they’re available. Farmer’s markets are my favorite, because they’re the healthiest. In terms of the health of the bones, it’s of no surprise to anyone to that the healthier animal that you have, it will make a big difference in the health of you. Those transfer. The health level transfers over. Here’s what I also know. I know the power of bone broth and what it can do, and if you are incorporating bone broth in your diet, even if it’s not pasteurized, the best, all of that, I know that you’re still going to get a lot of value from it.

So, what I say in terms of the money that you spend and, really, it’s very inexpensive. It’s about $4.00 a pound in most places. I have to tell you, it’s well worth your time and the money if you can go to a farmer’s market or if you’re involved in any kind of CSA or anywhere you can buy bones. There’s tons of places online. There really isn’t any excuse anymore for not being able to get bones. My favorite place online is U.S. Wellness Meats. I have a relationship with them and, so, I know what they put into to get good bones. Your local farmers almost always have bones left over they’re more than happy to sell you.

So, the terms of having it be difficult to get bones, that really isn’t the case especially since it’s so popular now. The only time you run into problems is when they have sold them all out. Your only issue with getting bones is, oh my gosh, they’re sold out everywhere. But they’re very readily available provided they have them in stock.

So, online I would say U.S. Wellness Meats. Whole Foods always has them. They’re higher in price. Costco has them. Your local grocery store, I would bet they have them. So, it’s very easy to find.

There are two kinds of roads if you can think about how to buy bones. Number one, I will give you what I call the easy button, easy street. That is just a chicken carcass is so easy. It’s just so easy. You can even make bone broth by throwing the whole carcass in. You really can. You can either take the meat off, you can throw the carcass in and take the meat off and use it for dinner or set it aside for something else. Or if you get an uncooked carcass, you can put that whole chicken with the meat still on it, you can put the whole thing in there and cook it as is and take the meat off. It really is the easiest way to do chicken.

It’s super simple and all you do is if you want a little flavor in there, you put celery, onions, carrots and you put some spices in there – whatever spice you like. My favorite is lemon grass. I love to add lemon grass. It gives it a really wonderful kind of feel to it, taste to it. It’s really amazing. It makes a huge difference. Here’s how simple it is. You don’t even have to cut anything. All you do is you fold away the onion, you throw that in. The celery and the carrots, you just break them in half, throw them in. You put water about one inch over everything and you either put it in a stock pot or you put it in a slow cooker, which is my favorite way.

You just let it simmer for a long period of time – 12 to 18 hours depending on what you’re cooking. You can even use a pressure cooker, which we’ve been testing out. We want to make sure that’s still gelatinous. One of my friends who’s a well-known paleo chef, she’s been making a lot of bone broth in a pressure cooker and we had a conversation about this, and I started using the pressure cooker. Even a pressure cooker, which will cook it very quickly, it still makes a healthy, gelatinous broth.

So, shank is a really nice one. Short rib is great. Oxtail is great. If you want to use any of those beef bones, it adds some meat, it adds some flavor and you simmer that. It’s really a matter of just getting those bones in a pot, simmering them for about 18 hours if it’s beef and about 12 hours–you can do less–but six to 12 hours, I would say, if it’s chicken. It really does make a beautiful gelatinous broth and it’s super simple.

I have had really busy people able to pull this off. I’ve done this. You can also buy broth online if you want to buy broth online. It’s inexpensive and readily available and actually really simple to make if you just follow those simple steps.

Kathy Smith: We’re not to confuse this with the stuff you see in the carton.

Kellyann Petrucci: No, that’s totally different. There is a brand that’s being sold right now that’s in a carton and it’s in all the local supermarkets. There’s one that they sell in Thrive Market that I like. That one is good. I’ve met them and I know what they sell and I know it’s a good product. But the one that you can buy in all of the grocery stores, there’s nothing gelatinous about that, Kathy.

Kathy Smith: So, you need the gelatinous nature of it and that’s where the collagen is. So, if you don’t have that, then pass on it.

Kellyann Petrucci: I would pass on it, yeah. Here’s where the thought comes, though. In any soups or broths that you incorporate into your diet–Penn State did a study recently, and you are shown to weigh 10 pounds less a year if you incorporate soups and broths. So, if you’re just getting a soup and it’s not a soup or gelatinous, great. It’s still going to help you in some ways. But if you really want to get the pow, the magic, again, that liquid gold is what you need.

Kathy Smith: Well, I’ll tell you. Everything that you’ve talked about is so impressive. But I think the thing that really pushed me over when it comes to bone broth is the idea of what it does for your joints. I know so many people are, after the certain age–the age is getting younger and younger by the way–but they’re complaining about achy joints and achy back. So, explain what the magic is in bone broth as it relates to joints.

Kellyann Petrucci: There’s chondroitin and glucosamine naturally found in the broth. It has been found that the number one pain complaint in anyone’s office, no matter what kind of doctor they are, is joint pain. What I love about bone broth, again, is that it soothes and heals joint pain which is why Kobe Bryant started this whole big campaign about bone broth. The L.A. Lakers are on bone broth and they have a doctor. I met the doctor that is actually the L.A. Lakers doctor who treats them with bone broth. That’s how she treats them.

It’s really something extraordinary for joints. If you have joint pain, don’t wait another minute. I mean this. This could be your answer. Don’t wait because it’s very anti-inflammatory. Understand that. You can either live a pro-inflammatory life or an anti-inflammatory life, and it really does have to do with the kinds of foods and your lifestyle. You really choose one or the other all of the time, and incorporating bone broth into your diet is one of the best ways that you can choose to live an anti-inflammatory diet. Because, let me tell you, that is the name of the game. You want your insulin levels to drop, you want to be anti-inflammatory, you want to heal your gut.

Let me just say this, if I may. After all the years in practice, if you were to put everyone I’ve ever seen onto a big football field and I were to dial down or dilute out what makes a difference in people’s lives, what really gets people better, what really keeps people young, what really keeps people healthy, it’s this. You have to have a healthy gut. You have to have that inflammation down and you have to teach your body to become a natural fat burner, which you, Kathy, you’re the queen of that.

So, those three things are what make the biggest difference in patients’ lives. When you really have your body functioning like that, there is no stopping you. You wake up every day and you bounce out of bed. There’s a big difference between living and really living.

Kathy Smith: I love that. That’s so, so true. You summed it up so well. That is so true. I just get little chills running up my spine, because it really comes down to some simple premises that might seem hard to do at first, but they’re not. As you start to gain the vitality and you get reinvigorated, it just becomes this fun process every day.

Listen, I do have to wrap it up. You know I’m such a fan.

Kellyann Petrucci: Thank you.

Kathy Smith: So, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming projects. If people want to find out more about what you’re up to and where they can get your fabulous book, where should they go?

Kellyann Petrucci: My website is DrKellyann.com. I have a bunch of products and books. My book is Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet, which can be found anywhere. My new book coming out is Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet Cookbook. So, there’s lots of good stuff in there.

Kathy Smith: I can’t wait. Thank you so much, Kellyann. I can’t wait to see you next time.

Kellyann Petrucci: It’s an honor. Take care, Kathy.

Kathy Smith: I have to say, if you’re thinking to yourself, “How am I going to incorporate bone broth into my daily eating plan?” No worries, because there are so many different ways to do it. For instance, you can do the obvious where you wake up in the morning and just have a big mug of hot bone broth, sprinkle some seasonings in there and just use it as a way to wake up, especially if it’s cold, and it’s winter time.

You can also use broth instead of water when you’re cooking rice, veggies, casseroles. You can also try adding it to your mashed potatoes instead of your regular milk. You might want to think about using it for a reduction sauce and using it any time you need to make a dish, adding that extra flavor, some seasonings. It can be used in just about anything. I, sometimes, put it in my scrambled eggs in the morning if I want to flavor them up and get a little of that bone broth. So, get creative and once again, you can try making your own.

If that feels like too much work and you’re too lazy, like I am, to do that, there’s a couple of places that will ship to you. You can go to www.PetesPaleo.com. Of course, I’m not getting paid for making any of these recommendations, but sometimes it’s just nice to know that if you want to just try it, you can have it shipped to you.

So, with that, I am going to sign off. Before I do, just a quick reminder that you go to iTunes and leave a question for me, leave a review while you’re there. Remember I read them all, and I love staying in touch. So, until next time, this is Kathy Smith.