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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…

Breakfast Rut: Unique Ideas for a Gluten-Free Breakfast

December 30, 2014

I am always surprised and happy to hear when I find that people actually read my blog (besides the ones I beg to read it). The other day, I got an email from my friend Leslie. Not only does she read my blog (woohoo), she has switched over to a grain-free diet and is looking for some ideas (from me!). The problem? A breakfast rut. She has grown tired of eating the same “lame eggs” every morning.  She wanted to know how she can spice it up a little.

That’s a great frickin question. And not an easy one when you’ve gone grain or gluten-free.

I bet I can safely say that most of you have been eating grains for breakfast all your life. At a young age, you were taught to eat a “breakfast of champions” (i.e. Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Corn Flakes, {Fill in the blank with your favorite}). If your mom really loved you, you’d get to chow down on a toaster treat of some kind – a Pop Tart, a Toaster Strudel, an Eggo. 

When you got a little bit older and more mature, you respectably ate your bowl of Total, Kashi, Smart Start OR Special K if you were on a diet. Or you happily microwaved a bowl of instant oatmeal to eat at your desk alongside your coffee. Or if you were REALLY lucky, your office brought in bagels and cream cheese (free breakfast, heck yeah).

So once you go grain-free, there is seemingly only one other option. The incredible edible egg. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE eggs. They are nutrient-dense, high in protein, Omega-3s and good fat (please eat the yolks!). But yes, just like any of my food obsessions (I once ate almonds every day for a year straight – Eck), they can get old. 

Let’s spice things up a little and think outside the shell. 

Super Human Smoothies  

For the longest time, I was against succumbing to the smoothie craze. I’m not quite sure why, but it just seemed like a lot of work and a whole lot of noise. Then my mom got me a NutriBullet and I crossed over to the dark side. Soon I realized that it’s the opposite of a lot of work; it’s actually way quicker and easier than any other breakfast I make. And yes, it is loud, but it goes by fast.

The trick is, I don’t just stick to fruits. As good as it can be, fruit alone is not going to keep you going for the rest of the morning. Plus, it can be pretty high in sugar. So I’ve gotten adventurous with my smoothies. I’ve embraced greens, proteins and fat, pulverized into one delicious glass. And I’ve added what I call my boosters for extra flavor and nutrients. I love to play around with different combinations, and I highly recommend you do the same until you find what suits you best. The following are ingredients that will take your average fruit smoothie, and transform it into a protein-packed, energy-sustaining, grain-free super human breakfast.

Greens: Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Romaine

Good Fats: Avocado, Coconut oil, Coconut butter, Coconut flakes or shreds (unsweetened), Coconut milk, Almond butter, Sunflower seed butter

Protein: Protein powder (I love RAW protein and Tera’s Whey), Brazil Nuts, Macadmamia Nuts, Cashews, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds

Boosters: Flax seed, Chia seed, Cacao powder, Goji berries

Fruits: Beets, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries

Here is one of my favorite combos of late:


  • 1 cup of greens
  • 1 beet
  • ½ cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cacao powder
  • 1 cup coconut water + add more water for desired consistency

    Tip: I don’t like my smoothies too sweet, but if you do, try adding 1-2 dates for a natural sweetener


  1. Throw all ingredients (in order) into your blender or Bullet.
  2. Blend for about a minute.
  3. Stick a straw in it and drink it right away or throw it in a to-go cup and drink it on the way to work.

Buckwheat Breakfast

Contrary to what you may think, Buckwheat actually has no wheat in it. Buckwheat is a seed. It’s related to rhubarb and sorrel and is so very good for you. I wrote about this baby awhile back and I still have a lot of love for it. You do have to prep it ahead of time, but once you’ve made a big batch, it’s very little work in the morning. 

Here is the recipe for my Buckwheat Breakfast.

Sweet Potato Porridge

I always keep a batch of cooked sweet potato rounds in my refrigerator so, for me, this was a quick breakfast idea. I love having them on hand because they keep me from snacking on chips and they are sosatisfying. Awhile back, when I was craving something gooey and buttery, I invented this crazy combination for a snack. But it occurred to me recently that there is no reason that this couldn’t be a perfectly nutritious start to your day. This recipe is very flexible so don’t feel chained to my ingredients below. Anything warm, savory and winter-like would be a great addition. I have a feeling butternut squash would be awesome, but I haven’t tried it yet.


  • 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree 
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • Toasted pecans


  1. Sweet Potato Rounds: Wash 2-3 sweet potatoes. Slice them into 1/2 inch rounds (I leave the skins on for the extra nutrients), brush with coconut oil, add a dash of cinnamon, turmeric, S&P, cook at 425 for 12 minutes, flip over rounds and cook for 12 more minutes.

    *I strongly encourage you make these ahead of time*
  2. Mash together sweet potato rounds with remaining ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and a bit more cinnamon.
  4. Dig in with a spoon.

Breakfast Salad

So I know I said I’d give you an alternative to eggs. But I almost guarantee that you’ve never had your morning eggs like this. Eggs are good. But they’re even better when you add greens and good fat.

I ran out of lettuce so this is just the avos and the 'matoes, but you get the idea. 


I ran out of lettuce so this is just the avos and the ‘matoes, but you get the idea. 


  • A plate of spinach or greens of your choice
  • 2 fried eggs
  • ½ avocado, chopped into pieces
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Dash of Italian herbs (or fresh chopped herbs if you have the time)
  • Dash of Hot sauce (Some like it hot J)


  1. Fry your eggs – I do them over-easy because I love puncturing them so that the yolk spills out on to the other ingredients.
  2. Plate your greens – I like to chop mine up so that I can put together the perfect bite of greens, egg, avocado and tomato on my fork.
  3. Slice your avocado in half. While it’s still in the skin, make cuts going vertical and horizontal until you have an avocado grid. You can easily scoop it out of the shell from there and spread out the pieces onto your salad.
  4. Chop up your cherry tomatoes and throw those on top of your plate.
  5. Drizzle your olive oil and add your dash of herbs and hot sauce.
  6. Pierce the fried eggs so that the yolk spills over the salad and mix everything together for one ridiculously good bite.


My dearest Leslie – I hope this helps! Please let me know if you give any of them a try. Also, if anybody else has any ideas for Leslie please comment below.

Cheerio! (not the cereal)