Winter Wellness: Healing Foods

Photo: Ingredients for bone broth.

Photo: Ingredients for bone broth.

Happy New Year! January is an exciting time of fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to refocus on health and well-being. We have included sustainable, good-for-you suggestions to make 2019 your healthiest year yet. Follow the dietary guidelines below to support your immune system and nourish your body through the winter months. 

Dietary Guidelines

Gluten-free, paleo, vegan, pescatarian, flexitarian, SCD, GAPS, low-FODMAP, ketogenic, low-histamine, low salicylate… whatever diet you follow, we recommend the following guidelines. 

  • Eat organic, non-GMO foods that are as locally sourced as possible. The Portland area has several year-round farmer’s markets; find out more here.  

  • Include sources of fat, fiber, and protein at every meal. 

  • Eat the rainbow! Colorful foods are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants. 

  • No matter what you consume, practice mindful eating. Take several deep breaths before eating to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system to “rest and digest.” Chew your food thoroughly and slowly, savoring the flavors.

Medicinal Mushrooms

Mushrooms have immune enhancing and antiviral effects. They increase the activity of macrophages and natural killer cells, so your body can more efficiently fight off infections. Incorporate mushrooms such as maitake, reishi, lion’s mane, and shiitake into soups, stews, and stir-fry. Host Defense “Comprehensive Immune Support” is a wonderful product containing a blend of 17 different mushroom species. It’s available at our medicinary or can be found in most natural grocery stores.

Bone Broth 

Bone broth is a nutrient and mineral-dense superfood made by cooking high-quality animal bones and organic vegetables over low heat for up to 72 hours. Bone broth is supportive to digestive, immune, adrenal, and skeletal health. Gelatin helps heal and seal “leaky gut,” the spaces in between intestinal cells caused by inflammation and toxins. Bone broth can strengthen the immune system by increasing white blood cell counts. The rich mineral content supports the adrenal glands during periods of physical and emotional stress. Calcium, magnesium, and other minerals promote strong bones, while constituents such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can reduce joint pain and inflammation. It’s important to use the best quality bones possible to avoid contamination with pesticides, antibiotics, etc. Using apple cider vinegar allows for more nutrients and minerals to leech from the bones, creating a healthier broth. Check with your local farmer’s market for the best options.    

*If you know you have high histamine levels, discuss this with your doctor first* 


  • 4 lb bones (knuckle and marrow are great)

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 onion, chopped into large pieces

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled 

  • Handful of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano…)

  • 2-3 1” knobs of fresh ginger

  • 2-3 1” knobs of fresh turmeric 

  • 12 cups filtered water 

  • Sea salt 


  • Place bones at bottom of pot. Pour apple cider vinegar directly over the bones. Add remainder of ingredients (besides the salt) 

  • Pressure cooker: 

    • Cook on high-pressure for 2 hours. 

  • Slow cooker or stovetop:

    • Cook over low heat for 18-72 hours. The longer, the better!

  • Strain broth and cool. 

  • If there is a good fat layer on the top of the broth, it will keep in the refrigerator in air-tight containers for 2 weeks. If there isn’t a good fat layer, it will keep for 3-4 days. Freeze the rest.  

  • To enjoy: 

    • Warm the broth and add high-quality sea salt to taste. 

If you do not consume animal products, Bieler Broth is a nutrient-dense, vegan-friendly option. 

Bieler Broth (Vegan)

Makes 2-3 bowls 


  • 2 medium zucchinis

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 1 cup green beans

  • Chopped parsley

  • 2 garlic cloves (optional, depending on sulfur sensitivity and/or SIBO)

  • Sea salt, to taste


  • Chop zucchini, celery, and green beans

  • Steam until soft, about 10 minutes

  • Blend steamed veggies, 3 cups of steaming water, and a handful of chopped parsley until smooth

  • Add garlic as you blend. Season with high-quality sea salt.

If you are looking for additional dietary support, schedule a nutrition consult with our resident, Dr. Kat. She will work with you to create an individualized plan to fit your needs. She can provide nutritional information, shopping lists, meal plans, and recipe ideas.

Our newest provider, Dusty Bodeen, LMT LAc focuses on treating pain, anxiety and stress in patients with chronic illness. He uses a wide variety of tools and treatments to nourish the mind and support patients on their protocols from their primary care physicians. His treatment experience focuses on bringing continued deep relaxation to strengthen the immune system. 

In addition to these conditions, he also has experience treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Parkinson Disease, digestive issues, asthma and lung conditions, gynecological issues and thyroid issues.  He has extensive experience as a Massage Therapist treating musculoskeletal conditions as well as experience with motor vehicle accidents and worker’s compensation claims.   

Both Dusty and Dr. Kat are currently accepting new patients. Call our office to schedule. 

From all of us at Alder Family Medicine, we wish you a happy and healthy 2019!

Kat Boddennutrition, recipe