Browsing Tag

Great Lakes Gelatin

Gelatin Is My Favorite + Berry Cherry Lemon Fruit Snack Recipe

March 29, 2015

The beautiful pictures in this post are the work of my talented friends Christie Russert and Marta Wlodkowska. For more work from Christie, visit 

The beautiful pictures in this post are the work of my talented friends Christie Russert and Marta Wlodkowska. For more work from Christie, visit 


The way I see it, food has amazing powers. For your taste buds, for your body and for your mind.  And every once in a while, one of those foods comes along, and I wonder to myself –

How did I ever live without this stuff?

This is how I feel about gelatin.

I’m not talking about Bill Cosby’s J-E-L-L-O gelatin (it’s weird how everything attached to him suddenly sounds creepy, right?). I’m talking about grass-fed, pasture-grazing gelatin.

I first mentioned this gem in a smoothie recipe a couple months back and later on my Instagram post. I was looking for a protein powder that was void of additives and sweeteners and was having a really hard time finding one. Even the organic, non-GMO ones had a lot of added crap I couldn’t pronounce. 

That’s when I discovered Great Lakes Gelatin. What is it exactly? 

IN A NUTSHELL: It’s made of crushed up bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals.

I know. It sounds a little scary. But it’s no different than having beef or chicken broth. Except for this stuff is much more versatile than that. You can introduce the crazy benefits of bone broth into your morning smoothie, your nighttime tea, or your afternoon Gummy Snacks  (yeah, GUMMY snacks with benefits). You ready for this list?


  • Skin Health
  • Hair Health
  • Nail Health
  • Balanced Hormones
  • Bone and Joint Health
  • Digestion and Satiety
  • Allergy Suppression


Now, I won’t do my usual and go into scientific detail of each of these benefits. But I can say – with absolute confidence – that I have seen and felt these benefits first-hand.

After about 3 months of adding gelatin to my morning smoothies, I’ve experienced the following…


Skin. It’s clearer and plumper (that sounds weird, but you get what I mean). More importantly, my skin tends to hang on to scars for quite a while. Something to do with the melatonin in my skin, I’m told. Ever since I started eating gelatin, I’ve noticed those scars fading for a much brighter, more even complexion.

Hair. I have A LOT of course, dry and sometimes brittle hair. It’s a chore to take care of it. And I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find the most moisturizing conditioners, oils and creams to maintain this mane. It honestly never occurred to me to work from the inside-out to improve it (DUH, Healthy Stacey). Since I’ve started eating gelatin, it’s growing faster and shining more. When I blow dry my hair, the amount of tiny broken hairs is almost non-existent. A BIG plus for me (and my poor boyfriend who has to share a bathroom with me). 

Nails. I’ve never had too much trouble growing my nails. But with all of the cooking and dish-washing I do, I am always breaking them. Now? They’re tough as nails. Haha. That’s funny. But seriously, they are.

Hormones. This one’s tough for me to rate. I am by no means immune from mood swings, ugly days and crazy chocolate cravings before my period (when hormones are their most volatile). As a psych major, I am very cognizant, however, of the placebo effect. I kind of feel like my mood swings have decreased and I feel better about myself at that time of the month. But I’m honestly not sure if this is because I was expecting these results or because they actually happened. Hormones = complicated. I’m not messing with this one.

Bone and Joint Health. YES, YES, YES. This is probably my favorite feature of my new miracle food. You may remember from past posts, my workout involves a lot of lifting heavy things. I love it. It’s done mirarcles for my body. But man, the soreness I experience in the days after is ROUGH. I can say with 100% confidence that ever since I’ve started taking gelatin, the soreness is 90% gone. Just enough for me to know that I’m still getting a good workout, but not enough to disrupt my work day. My workouts, in turn, have improved because I’m not going into the gym with robot-stiff arms and legs. Cannot say enough about this stuff for fitness enthusiasts. 

Digestion and Satiety. Ahhh digestion. One of my favorite topics. Anything that helps our digestion gets a BIG GOLD STAR in my book. And this does it. Not about to go into detail on this one because you get my point. But yeah. It works.

Allergy Suppression. Since Bone and Joint Health was my favorite benefit, this is my second favorite. I like to refer to my sinus allergies as Chinese Water Torture. They’re not big outbursts of irritation. More like small, annoying, irritating drips throughout my day.  In the past, almost every morning, I would wake up with a sore throat and dry mouth. Then, it would fade out as the morning went on. And then come back around 2:00 at work and just linger there for the rest of the day. No amount of liquid would make it feel better. Allergies are the result of inflammation in the nose and throat. And gelatin helps deflate that inflammation. Ever since I started taking gelatin, my allergies are gone. Absolutely gone. No joke. Now, I have to do my due diligence here and admit that I have also started incorporating turmeric into my morning smoothies around the same time as I started taking gelatin. And since turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory powers, it’s quite likely that this has been a big help too. But together – they could be an allergy powerhouse. Either way, life is SO much better without my Chinese Water Torture sinus issues and I’m positive this is a result of improving my nutrition. 

Phew. That was a lot. You see what I mean now by life-changing? I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without it. And how come nobody ever told me about this stuff? It’s such an under-the-radar health food. Am I right?

Okay, so you’re probably thinking, okay Crazy Stacey. I’ll try this crushed up animal bones thing if you really really think I should (I do). Now where do I get this miracle powder and when I do, how do I eat it? Great question guys.


I hesitated to try gelatin at first because it is not easily available. As in, you cannot go to the neighborhood grocery store (even Whole Foods!) and just pick up the kind of gelatin I am talking about. Sure. You could go to the baking aisle and easily find gelatin that is used to make Jello. But I beg you – do NOT incorporate this stuff into your daily diet. It’s not the same.

Where the gelatin comes from is just as important as getting it into your diet. Unfortunately, the only way I have found to get trustworthy gelatin from grass-fed, well-treated animals is by ordering it online.

This is the brand I use: Great Lakes Gelatin 

Warning: their website is hideous, but it’s good stuff, promise.

But I’ve also heard great things about this one too: Vital Proteins 

Much prettier, more user-friendly website; this is the new cool kid on the gelatin block, but I can’t speak to using it personally.


There are two different forms of gelatin.

  1. Collagen Hydrolysate (Vital Proteins calls it Collagen Peptides)
  2. Gelatin (Vital Proteins calls it Collagen Protein)

Collagen Hydrolysate. This one is cold water soluble so you can put it in pretty much anything. A glass of water, a cup of juice, even a nice vodka pasta sauce if you wanted. But the way I like to use it is in smoothies. It’s absolutely perfect for a post workout smoothie so you can combat sore muscles and joints and have a great source of protein.

Color Code: 

Great Lakes = Green Container 

Vital Proteins = Blue Lid

For a delicious post-workout smoothie recipe, refer to this post for the orange monster smoothie or this post for the carrot ginger smoothie. 

Gelatin. This one will gel (get clumpy) in cold liquids so it is best to use in hot beverages such as tea, coffee, soups or – my favorite – gummy bears! (if you have a bear mold, that is). See below for my recipe. 

Color Code: 

Great Lakes = Orange Container 

Vital Proteins = Green Lid



  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries (you can of course use fresh too)
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of cherry juice (I used this brand)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of honey (depending on your sweet tooth)
  • 4 Tablespoons gelatin


  1. Put frozen berries in a blender with lemon juice, cherry juice and honey and blend.
  2. Pour vibrant concoction into a saucepan.
  3. Mix in gelatin powder.
  4. Turn the heat on medium and whisk away until the powder dissolves (it gets lumpy so just keep at it until you’ve gotten it as smooth as possible).
  5. Pour liquid into a glass dish and set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Cut out into fun shapes (I used the small round cap on a bottle of olive oil).

DISCLAIMER: This goes without saying (I hope). But please consult your doctor before you go crazy and start eating gelatin by the spoonful. I am no doctor and I don’t know what health implications it could have for certain people.


I’d like to thank Christie Russert and Marta Wlodkowska for the breathtaking pictures in this post. I am so lucky to have such talented friends who love good food and pretty things just as much as I do. For more from Christie, please visit

COMMENT TIME! What do you guys think? Would you be willing to try it? I know a few of you have already contacted me about it. Have you tried it yet? What do you think? Any other crazy creative ways we could make stuff with this miracle powder? You know the drill, comment below…

Healthy Body

The Proper Post Workout Meal + Orange Monster Smoothie

January 30, 2015

Working out is hard to do. I’ve been doing it since I was in the 7th grade (6 am volleyball practice!) and I still question my routine.

Is it long enough? Too long? What is the best ratio of cardio to strength? Can I work the same muscle two days in a row? How many crunches DOES IT TAKE to get a six pack?

Good news is I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough this year. I think I’ve finally figured out the answer to what works best for me.

My success story? Weight lifting. Yeah, I said it. Metal-bar-bell-strict-lifting-low-squating weight lifting. I absolutely love it. I've never been so strong in my life. And never been happier with my body. My thighs and butt are toned (without being bulky), my butt actually exists (it used to just be a flattened extension of my upper thigh), my abs are tighter than they ever have been (in all my years of endless crunching), and my energy is as high as a kite (I actually look forward to my morning workout). Insert proud beach picture here –>

But enough about my workout. This is a food blog. Which is why I just had to tell you that one of the best adjustments I have made to my workout has been in my Post Workout Meal. No matter how hard you workout, what you eat matters more than anything. ESPECIALLY AFTER YOUR WORKOUT.

Here are the three things I’ve come to know about post workout meals through lots and lots of research, my personal trainer’s advice, and my own experience and success with it.

  1. Timing Matters.
  2. What you eat (and don’t eat) matters.
  3. Where it came from matters.

Let me explain.

1. TIMING: I eat immediately after my workout (i.e. 30 minutes or less).
I am trying to build muscle. Not lose weight. Because of this, I try to eat immediately after my workout. You want to take advantage of absorbing the nutrients immediately to repair muscle tissue.

2. WHAT I EAT: I eat a combination of high protein and little carb.
You need protein to restore muscle tissue. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash and plantains replenish your glycogen stores for muscle growth and increased energy. Although you need carbs, too many will cause an insulin spike so don't go overboard on the sweet potatoes.

I eat VERY LITTLE fat and sugar.
Fat slows down your digestion and inhibits the absorption of protein. Sugar (even the natural kind in fruit), can only be metabolized by your liver. You didn't workout your liver silly; you worked out your muscles. Muscle tissue eats glycogen (that's where those carbs come in).

3. WHERE IT CAME FROM: I eat a whole protein source (or as close as I can get to one).
Protein powder is convenient. But where the protein in your powder came from matters just as much as where the chicken in your dinner came from. Ideally, you want a whole protein source so that you are absorbing as many nutrients as possible and as little hormones and chemicals as possible. There are a handful of protein powders that have gone out of their way to produce antibiotic-free, grass-fed and low in sugar products that I have tried and loved (Tera’s Whey, Amazing Meal, RAW protein).

But I’ve recently discovered an even better source of whole protein that is just as convenient as protein powder: Gelatin.

But this isn’t Bill Cosby’s gelatin (weird how that reference has a creepy meaning now). This is real, unprocessed gelatin from grass-fed cows. It comes in powder form just like protein powder. But its benefits are much greater. Gelatin helps your body repair quicker, helps repair small tears in cartilage, eases stiff joints and helps build muscle. Because I have so much to say about this stuff, I am already working on a follow up post, starring gelatin. So I'll explain more about this super nutrient later (also great for hair, skin and nails). 

Now, for what you've been waiting for… 

What exactly fits into this perfect formula??

THE ORANGE MONSTER SMOOTHIE. Gelatin to build and repair muscles. Sweet potato or pumpkin to restore glycogen. And cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and TURMERIC are all anti-inflammatory spices that will relieve muscle and joint pain and keep your stomach flat. BOOM. It's all there.



  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree OR 1 cup of cooked sweet potato
  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • ½ cup of ice
  • 2 tablespoons gelatin – I strongly recommend Great Lakes OR serving of your favorite vanilla protein powder (try to stick to hormone-free and grassfed)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Splash of coconut milk (for taste)
  • Drizzle of honey (if you really need a sweetener, but try to refrain from adding sugar)
  • Spices*

    • 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger/pre-chopped ginger/real ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (see this post for why it's awesome)
    • Dash of nutmeg

*Note: Substitute pumpkin pie spice for all of the above spices to save a little time


  1. Have an awesome workout and imagine the delicious smoothie waiting at the end of the tunnel.
  2. Immediately after, toss all above ingredients in a NutriBullet or your blender of choice and power up until it’s smooth as cream.
  3. Stick a straw in it and drink immediately.
  4. Do a happy dance.

As always, thanks for listening to me rave and rant. Keep in mind, this workout and this Post Workout Meal is what works FOR ME. If you're not doing a lot of strength training, it may not work for you. Either way though, it's all good stuff.