My Kitchen Rules winners reveal how health woes led to their new venture
My Kitchen Rules winners Belinda MacDonald and Neena Truscott have revealed the health struggles that lead to the opening of their bone broth business.
Busy parents and best friends, the 2014 winning duo are specialising in bone broth after it benefited their health, helping MacDonald lose 35 kilograms and Trustcott to deal with her chronic pancreatitis.
They opened pop-up Broth Bar on Cambridge's Alpha St on Tuesday, serving broth alongside healthy tinctures and elixirs.
Before the pair embarked on their MKR winning journey, MacDonald was pushing 100 kilograms on the scales. Three back-to-back pregnancies, combined with a love of food, her body suffered.
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"You just end up getting pretty sluggish, heavy and in survival mode really. I was feeling pretty unwell," MacDonald says.
With "clicky hips", a lack of energy and trouble sleeping, it was the year before she joined Truscott on MKR she decided to do something.
"I said 'I'm out of that grey cloud from breast feeding and three back-to-back pregnancies, I'm coming out the other side. I want to be a mum that has heaps of energy and not sluggish'.
"It's not exercise related for me. It was all diet related. I see people on the internet, drinking broth, so I decided to give it a go.
"It's a free food. You can drink as much as you like of it per day without worrying about it," the now 39-year-old says.
The broth is not a substitute for meals in MacDonald's diet, but complements her low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and satiates the odd cravings.
"I bow down to the ketogenic lifestyle, I suppose. I'm a foodie too, so this has been a long journey, four years, to lose 35 kilos."
That's because she does not want to sacrifice enjoyment for "that extra five kilos".
"I want to be able to enjoy birthday cakes with kids, enjoying celebrations and party food."
She says seeing shots of her and Truscott on MKR together was a good motivator, because of her partner's slight stature.
However Truscott, 38, has her own health problem, pancreatitis, that she deals with everyday. It's something she has been dealing with since age 16.. It's usually associated with old age.
"I haven't had an acute attack in a while, but what I've got now is called chronic pancreatitis," Truscott says.
"At this point, I'm a bloody walking miracle. My doctor can't understand why I'm not doubling down in pain."
Essentially, her pancreas is "dying a slow death" and is sporadically producing insulin. She will be a Type 1 diabetic in the not-too-distant future, she says.
Her diet consists of whole foods and is low in insulin-demanding carbohydrates - there's a bit of broth too.
"It's a really great thing for diabetics. It's an excellent meal choice for stabilising your blood sugars," she says.
Since coming up with the idea for their business after their MKR win, bone broth has become increasingly popular and can be found in various supermarkets.
"Ours is more of an enriched vegetable herby number," she says.
The broths include several ingredients on top of organic bones, with things like apple cider vinegar, seaweed and spices, to help stave away colds or benefit gut health.
The bar offers several broth-based goods, including sweet "brothblocks", broth-based soups and vegan alternatives.
Truscott says she hopes New Zealand is ready for bone broth, because their Cambridge business is doing well already.