Would You Try Brothing?

Not willing to try brothing?  What is your favorite meal of the day?

I am not good at not eating. I have been known to regress into a pouty, ill-tempered two-year-old if I miss a snack. Recently, though, I drank a bone broth from Chef Marco Canora’s Brodo for lunch and didn’t even think about food until 8PM that same night. This is noteworthy because I tried juicing for the sake of experimentation last spring and it was torture — it made me feel like the walking dead. I stared blankly at walls, couldn’t make out what people were saying when they spoke to me and my brain felt so achey that I had trouble following an episode of The Real Housewives. I quit after 10 hours, ordered Indian food, and never looked back.

Because of my success with the broth, though, I set out on a three-day challenge wherein I would substitute lunch for a broth for three consecutive days without sacrificing…everything else. The idea of “brodo-ing” 24/7 for 3 days didn’t feel realistic to me (nor do I believe that liquid diets are good for you), but substituting one meal a day felt like a decent experiment that wouldn’t damage to my health.

Canora’s Brodo is not a restaurant or a café, but a small window on East 12th street. He serves only three kinds of (organic and grass fed) bone broths and two kinds of soup out of to-go coffee cups. Marco also offers optional “toppings” for your brodo like fresh grated turmeric, beet kvass, organic garlic, ginger juice, or Calabrian Chili Oil.

The brodos are excellent; savory, satisfying, and hugely comforting. And because they are broths and not stocks, they are more concentrated, complex, and rich in flavor.

I went into this challenge with trepidation because I expected to encounter the feelings I endured when I attempted juicing (see: lethargic, unfocused, cranky), but none of that happened. In fact, I felt really good. Of course, there were sparing, late afternoon moments when I felt like chewing something, but I never wanted to eat my own hand and I never had a precipitous energy drop that made me feel like crying in a corner. My mind felt sharp and my mood was steady.

Consuming the broths and experimenting with toppings was fun but that presented the question of why? What was so different about juicing vs. brothing? To find out precisely, I called nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot of F-Factor.

Firstly, she confirmed my suspicion that the purported benefits of juicing (like detoxing and weight loss) are largely falsified. She also explained to me that bone broths are different from juicing “because you have all the benefits of the veggies, plus the collagen, gelatin, and amino acids.” The “healing compounds” in the broths (collagen, gelatin, glutamine, glycine, and arginine) do incredible things for the human body such as:

Fill out wrinkles and cellulite (say whaaa?!)

Help sooth lining of the digestive tract

Promote probiotic growth

Help regenerate cartilage and heal joints

Improve metabolism and muscle building

Are great for immune system

Help regenerate damaged liver cells

They might even help your fella generate sperm

Additionally, bone broths are — wait for it — lower in calories than juices. When I asked her why I was able to maintain mental focus and energy with brothing and not juicing, she explained that juices usually are high in sugar from the fruit and I was likely becoming hypoglycemic. Bone broths, on the other hand, are low in sugar and carbohydratess and that is why I did not experience that same drop in energy despite the lower calorie count. Zuckerbrot also made clear that, while bone broths are really good for you, they should not be substituted for regular meals. Think of brodo as your winter elixir, not your new diet plan and let us know: would you try it?

Read more from Elettra Wiedemann’s Impatient Foodie here.

Not into brothing but wondering what you should be snacking on?  Ask our nutritionist, here, or check out healthy desk snacks, here

  • Michelle

    Criminal prices. Make your own broth.

  • Yeah this bone broth thing sounded really cool until I clicked over to Impatient Foodie and saw that grilled cheese with melted onion.

  • Amelia Diamond

    I really want to try this, 4 real.

    • I do too, actually. I would love to try to make my own. #chefcourt

      • Leandra Medine

        Hard for vegetarianos, I think

        • good thing I love #meat

        • C.Lebowski

          Actually not! I am not a vegetarian, but I do make veggie “broth” quite often. All the throw outs that you usually have when you are cooking veggies? You know, the last pieces of onions, parsley, carrots etc. Instead of throwing it out, put it in a zip lock bag in your freezer. After a couple of meals prepared, you have a full bag of different veggies that you put in a pot with water (aaaaaand a lil’bit’ of the red wine) and then let it stand boiling for a couple of hours. It will make your apartment smell amazing and it will taste like Charlie Hunnam is hugging you from the inside!

  • Lua Jane

    It’s basically a meat soup with flavors, that most grandmas are expert in making. I admit it’s not my favorite thing in the world, because I’m not a meat lover by nature, and I don’t like the taste of bone broth, but I’ve spent biggest part of childhood listening how those soups are great for me and It turns out to be sort of truth.
    On the other note, Elettra looks adorable in that hat.

  • Not sure if I could do this.


  • andrea raymer

    this sounds interesting, but i have like a fundamental problem with soup, so I don’t know where broth would stand in my mind. Is it soup, or is it a beverage? If I have to use a spoon its a no go, but I think the drinking out of cup makes all the difference. I could get on board with this. I just really don’t like liquid foods.

    • tunie

      You drink it in a sippy cup instead of tea.

  • Elly

    One day I will open my own broth shop and name it the broth hole – my business will rely solely on confused customers.

    • Liese

      That is hilarious!

  • Bev

    I went cold turkey on coffee last winter and replaced it with broth in the morning. My hair has grown like crazy, my skin is clearer and I sleep better. I’m a convert! Make it yourself though, it’s super expensive to buy and very easy to make.

    • Audrey

      What goes into your broth? I’m super curious to experiment with this!

      • Frances

        Should put in carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, ACV (cannot skip this step since it’s what draws out the minerals from the bones). Then if you want chicken go with chicken necks. Beef, mix up with knuckle and marrow and oxtail.

  • Jamie Leland

    I crave soups and broths all the time and I just got a crockpot, so this may have to happen.

  • Never thought about doing that, but it’s a great idea to try at least!


  • bumblejeaniepie

    I think that actually a stock is more concentrated than broth, just unseasoned. I may be wrong but my understanding is that broth is, essentially, seasoned, and often diluted, stock. A stock is simply the water that the meat and bones were simmered in, and can be cooked down to be as concentrated as you like. Feel free to enlighten me if you have a differing understanding.

  • I’m scared!!



  • Lauren Ann Long

    I never intentionally tried the broth diet. But when I had my tonsils taken out last summer (I was the oldest person in the clinic by 15 years easily), all I could have for two weeks was broth, and I lost 15 pounds and didn’t totally feel like I was dying. Despite having two holes in my throat. Pro-Brothing.

  • Love anything soupy/brothy (probably my Cantonese background), and this sounds like a delish idea to try out!


  • Jennifer

    Perhaps a miso broth fast may have some of the same benefits.

  • Anna Mae

    I first read the title as “Would You Try Bothering?” and thought it was a classic snarky MR read. I was pretty intrigued because I normally don’t bother.

  • I totally would try this, but I’d have to make my own (since I don’t think Seattle is that “on top” of things like this…though they should be).

    It sounds like the perfect way to balance out all the indulging I’ll be doing this week!

  • Christine Cannon

    Try vegetable juice… Not fruit juice. Green juice is

    • Josie

      I read a scientific article that plants consciously feel when theyre stripped off of their leaves or branches or any plant body which then they send their form of protective weapons into action.
      So what you think about murdering plants?

      • Christine Cannon

        Sure, plants release chemicals in response to stress, but I think you’re mistaken to equate this to the pain and fear experienced by animals and humans.

        • Josie

          Stress? Theyre ‘body’ is stripped off.
          Pain is still there. Fear? The plant knows something is nibbling his body and is throwing his weapon into action like I said.
          It does not want to be destroyed or eaten, yet only animals are ‘murdered’.
          Is it only you can imagine the pain more cause it is an animal then with a plant?

          • Christine Cannon

            Oh come on…. I’m pretty sure you’re just mocking yourself at this point. So when you mow your lawn you’re committing genocide? Would you like me to actually explain to you why plants and animals are not the same?

          • Josie

            I want you to accept that when you want to live something else dies, be it plants, animals or humans by your choice or the decisions you make.
            Dont go and insult me just because you think it is justified to think that murdering animals is not the same as murdering plants.
            Since all is connected, eating plants also kills animals and even in the long run kills us humans.

            Now go and think about that.

          • Christine Cannon

            None of what you just said is related to our previous conversation…. Mass slaughter on a factory farm is not the same as harvesting a crop of vegetables. We KNOW animals can experience fear and pain. I think you should do some real research and you’ll understand.

          • sarahsparkle

            I’m pretty sure most grass-fed beef isn’t from a factory farm. And, the menu says he uses Amish chicken. Do Amish people run factory farms, too? Don’t worry, I used to be a vegan, so I get what you’re saying. But I grew out of it. And I actually agree with Josie, you seem to think that only beings that communicate on human terms seem to matter. The point is, we should be connected to everything we consume, and we should thank it for its contribution and sacrifice for us to survive. We all need to be more conscious…. I would NEVER support a factory farm, but I personally know people who eat grass-fed, farm-raised animals that they humanely slaughter after gratitude ceremonies (not even exaggerating),, and i also know vegans who eat oreos because they don’t contain animal products. Who is more connected to their food/life chain in this scenario?

          • sarahsparkle

            what if your green juice, for instance, contains kale or spinach from farms in Mexico paying low
            (if any) wages and being controlled by drug cartel? Is that not supporting “murder” as well? Now, I love me some green juice (i source my greens from our local farmers), but sourcing is everything. Know your source, know your food.

          • Christine Cannon

            I agree with everything you said, except for that I seem think only humans matter. You think because I eat plants that I must not have respect for the environment? That’s WHY I eat plants, because animal agriculture is awful for the planet.

          • Christine Cannon

            And also, Oreos are disgusting.

          • Christine Cannon

            I try not to eat/buy/use animal products and not participate in things that exploit and harm animals. I don’t see how this excludes me from caring about people, the environment, whatever. Its about compassion and responsibility.

  • tunie

    I make quart jars of vegan vegetable broths to drink like tea – so warming and much more satisfying than tea alone and easier and lighter to eat than soup. Mental clarity is %110! No need for caffeine. Too bad he doesn’t offer those alongside the meat broths – he’d double his profit!

  • Ali Bamford

    If you only juiced fruit, I’m not surprised it sent you into hypos. A good juice, or preferably smoothie should be made with mostly vegetables with a little fruit to add sweetness, an apple, say, or a handful of grapes.

    If you get that hungry you want to eat your hand, you are probably eating too much carbs and sugar. They elicit huge insulin spikes and troughs. It’s the trough or hypo that triggers intense hunger and cravings. Radically lowering the carbs and eating more fat (preferably butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) helps to level out the insulin response, prevent the spikes, and is far more satisfying. It keeps you satiated longer and lowers the urge to snack, too.

  • Alice Roberts

    Making your own is cheaper. But picking up a cup on the go will sustain you better than a latte, which people routinely pay similar prices for. His prices are actually low in comparison to some excellent online vendors.

  • Frances

    The reason why I bought my first slow cooker last year. To make my own grass finished beef bone broth! To have it for breakfast is seriously…so delicious.

  • kduck

    I have a few friends that are high on the broth. It seems to make sense, so I’d give it a go. Especially in the winter. However, as with any trend, I’m wondering at what point Tanya will confirm your suspicion that the purported benefits of brothing (like filing out wrinkles and improving metabolism) are largely falsified.

  • I went to Brodo last month and it was absolutely out of this world good. I make my own broth at home every week but somehow it never turned out as tasty as Brodo’s. I just picked up his book for the recipe. Love “broth-ing”- so good for you. Not sure why more people haven’t jumped on it yet!