Collagen...What's it To You?
Updated: May 21, 2021
Bone broth and collagen in my coffee? Six months ago I would've had that same look on my face that's on yours right now. Struggling with lipedema has made me research, which has led me to better understand connective tissue, which in turn made me begin investigating how to make my connective tissue (also called fascia) healthier. And that led me to bone broth and collagen. But not all at once, and certainly not in my coffee!
I see many women in the lipedema community from all over the world struggling to do it all. They are overwhelmed and don't know where to begin, but they KNOW that what they MUST do is everything right now. That is absolutely not true, and attempting to tackle every suggestion that has ever been tried by someone else who has this disease most likely won't work for you and will leave you feeling defeated and frustrated.
Lipedema involves the lymph system, adipose (fat) tissue, veins, and connective tissue. It is classified in the US as a loose connective tissue disorder. When I learned that, and began to investigate how I could stop feeling like crap, I came across the benefits of bone broth, and later collagen. They are great for digestive health, contain tons of minerals and vitamins, are rich in amino acids that help decrease inflammation and rebuild connective tissue, and are good sources of protein (just to name a few benefits). But, could these ancient remedies help ME?
I found that the answer was a resounding YES! I decided to mostly consume bone broth for a week or so to reset my body and get the most benefit it has to offer. At the end of that miserable week, I realized that drinking a nice cup of steaming bone broth with a few veggies thrown in is not for me. Ever. My pain was significantly lower, though. My inflammation had decreased. I had less brain fog and my joints weren't as stiff. More research ensued.
After several hours, I found a product that promised it was "no taste" and could be added to recipes or drinks without tasting like dirt, but I was extremely skeptical. I ordered it and added it to my favorite smoothie recipe and...I couldn't taste it! There was also no chalky aftertaste. I began drinking my smoothie almost every day and if I skipped too many days in a row, that achy feeling would return. As summer turned to fall and then winter, I just didn't want a cold smoothie. I began skipping the smoothie more and more often and I realized this great solution wasn't going to work for me anymore. I briefly thought of my morning coffee, but dismissed it because powder in coffee just didn't sound like it would work.
One morning I woke up and painfully walked to my kitchen. I put my empty coffee mug on the counter, looked at my Vitamix, glanced again at the abandoned bone broth and collagen powder, and asked my husband if he would make me some more coffee if this experiment turned out as badly as I thought it would. With his assurance, I added my grassfed butter to the blender with the coffee and powder and blended. Longer than I've ever blended before. And it worked. The coffee tasted like, well, coffee!
The moral of my story is that you CAN figure out what will work for you! You can do research. You can take chances. You can trust your instincts. You can feel better. Some days you will eat all the right things and exercise and rest and have these little victories. And some days, you will look at that container of nutrition that you forgot about all day long and decide to mix some into your gelato. When that day comes, give yourself a high five for that baby step at the end of a difficult day that almost won.
Further reading about collagen: