Diet Changes and Supplements to Help Our Mom Fix her Bad KneeOct 07, 2023
Momma Strong (our mom) had knee surgery a few weeks ago and now she has NO cartilage between her knee bones. The doctors told her it was 'inevitable' that she will need a knee replacement down the line.
But I am determined to help her rebuild that cartilage lining in her knee so that she will NOT need the surgery. (Deets on what changes we are helping her with below).
Have I ever done this before? No!
But do I think it is possible for humans to regrow cartilage in joints? HECK YES I DO!
Given the right tools, I truly believe the body can heal. And this includes collagen tissue regeneration!
"We do have a 'salamander-like' ability to regrow damaged cartilage, a new study has found. The study... in the journal Science Advances, found that 'cartilage in human joints can repair itself through a process similar to that used by creatures such as salamanders and zebrafish to regenerate limbs,' according to the press release by Duke Health" (ref)
HOW COOL IS THAT! Of course mainstream doesn't want you to believe this, since medical interventions are a lot more profitable.
So here are my thoughts for Momma Strong: we need to give her body the tools (nutrients) and ENERGY it needs to heal.
You can't just give micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), you need energy as well. That's like providing logs for a log cabin, but not having a crew of workers to build the cabin itself.
And this goes back to Dr. Ray Peat's main principle - "the key idea was that energy and structure are interdependent, at every level."
Essentially, maintenance of proper structure requires proper energy production! The better your body is at producing energy (the better your 'metabolism'), the better your body can function, maintain and rebuild structures, and thus, heal. (Improving metabolism is the main focus of our course, Rooted in Resilience)
Energy production is impacted by the food you eat daily, your level of muscle mass, sun exposure, stress levels, sleep, circadian health, and more.
Which is why we are considering all of those components for Momma Strong.
1. PROPER NUTRITION to provide her body the nutrients and energy it needs to heal and rebuild, while minimizing gut irritants in order to reduce systemic inflammation.
Every meal will contain...
- Animal protein since it is a complete and bioavailable protein, easily digested, full of vitamins, minerals & healthy fats. (Honestly, ground meat is one of my favorites as it is not only convenient and easy to cook, but it also contains a decent amount of those anti-inflammatory amino acids present in collagen)
- In season fruit, squashes, raw honey, and maple syrup - all easy to digest carbs, that provide the body the energy needed to repair (plus more Vitamins and Minerals).
- Raw A2A2 dairy for calcium, healthy fats, fat soluble vitamins, enzymes & more. A2 to avoid any potential systemic inflammation she may get from A1 dairy. (Our new Farm CoOp, ships tested A2 dairy directly to your door!)
- No alcohol, grains, nuts, or seed oils for at least 30 days (grains, like sourdough, aren't "bad", we just want to simplify things right now and will reintroduce properly prepared starches down the line).
--> Essentially - simplifying the diet, and taking away some potentially inflammatory and gut disrupting compounds to reduce systemic inflammation.
2. SUNLIGHT AND GROUNDING in order to reduce inflammation, improve energy production, and increase vitamin D. Which means sitting or standing outside, barefoot, every day!
3. SUPPLEMENTS that can help boost the amount of tools we provide her body as building blocks and necessary co factors for healing and tissue regeneration.
- Topical progesterone directly to the knee (Dr. Peat's Progest-E product). The issue likely started as a result of unopposed estrogen, cortisol and/or chronic inflammation at the site. So progesterone can improve the steroid hormone imbalance and inflammation directly at the site. (Frogs regrew amputated limbs with application of progesterone to the site of injury (ref), suggesting progesterone as a potent regenerative factor).
4. REST & REJUVENATION. She needs to prioritize sleep, reduce life stress, and perform gentle movement/walking. Momma Strong is a very busy 71 year old, which I think is good! But we also need her to get more sleep <3
To make item #1 (proper nutrition) easier for her, we are helping her meal prep. So for week 1, I kept it super simple - I cooked her some ground beef patties, chicken breasts, roasted squash, and homemade apple sauce.
For breakfast she had eggs from her chickens with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, maple syrup or raw honey and some in season fruit
For lunch, she heated up a burger patty, added a thick raw A2 cheese hat from Nourish to it, and enjoyed it with some homemade chunky applesauce (stewed apple slices mixed with cinnamon and maple syrup).
For dinner, she heated up some chicken, again topped it with a thick cheese hat, and enjoyed it with some meal prepped roasted squash, heated and mashed with raw honey 🍯 and raw butter 🧈
Here are a few items I am meal prepping her for Week 2:
- Orange Juice Gummies (Vitamin C is a cofactor in collagen formation. So it is beneficial to eat fruit or OJ with collagen, since it significantly increases collagen synthesis! (ref)) So we are using Organic Orange Juice, and sprinkling on Perfect Supplements Gelatin Powder (STRONG10 for 10% off). Let that bloom for 5 minutes, then lightly heat on the stove, and let sit in fridge overnight to cool. She can add these gummies to her yogurt bowls, or eat them along side her eggs and fruit in the morning.
- Beef Roast Stew. Simply browning a big Chuck Roast, then adding bone broth, herbs, squash chunks, and apple slices. Let it cook low and slow. So warm and cozy for the fall!
Future changes, when she has healed a bit and mastered the above changes, will involve physical therapy and muscle-building strength training to build more muscle around the knee to better support the joint!
Will certainly keep everyone updated with how Momma Strong is doing - hoping to see some collagen regrowth between those knee bones!
LOVE YOU MOMMA STRONG!