April 22, 2017

Smarty Mom: Joanna Reule

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend Joanna Reule. Since my love of movies has been pretty established at this point, I have a great story about the power of film. Many people are touched by important stories, but Joanna went one step further and took action when she was inspired. Here’s her terrific story:

I am married to Dave and we have four adorable and rambunctious children. We have lived in Charlotte for our whole 13 years of marriage. Disclaimer- he is the most wonderful man on the planet, and would probably be a monk and/or canonized saint if I hadn’t seduced him with my charm and wit, after we met at UNC Chapel Hill while volunteering for Young Life… is ‘seduce’ too strong of word to use in article about homemade bone broth and alongside a reference to volunteering for a Christian organization? You tell me. Either way, I think you get my point, I basically hit the marriage jackpot with one lucky pull. 2016 Christmas card photo

And without Dave believing in me and Brave Bone Broth, this whole thing wouldn’t have happened, hence the disclaimer.

Tell me how a night at the movies sparked your amazing new idea:

After an inconspicuous girls night to go see the movie “Lion” (and escaping putting all four kids to bed!), I came home a sobbing wreck with a broken heart. As I tried to tell my poor, confused husband what had just happened to me, I could barely put it into words.

The film portrays the amazing journey of Saroo, a lost little boy in Calcutta India who became separated from his family after falling asleep on a train and traveling for two days alone. The horrors that he faced both on the streets and in the orphanage, were PG-13 appropriate, but still told the awful story very clearly. Little children, defenseless, and innocent are being taken and sold like property on the internet. Human trafficking is a clean word to describe the abuse they are suffering, and the shells of lives they will have if they survive to adulthood.

After going online and donating to the film’s campaign #LionHeart and learning about the 80,000 children that go missing in India alone each year, I also learned that this tragedy is taking place here in our own city as well. This is both shocking and hard to believe as we look at our gorgeous tree lined streets and all the happy, healthy prettily smocked children at our preschools and playdates.


As I learned more, my heart continued to break and a question began to form. “What will you do?”, it whispered. “In the face of so much evil, will you not fight for these little ones? Will you not make a stand?”

“But what can I do?” I thought. “I am a just stay at home mom of four young children, what power do I have?” And then there was the answer, as simple as a cloud moving past the sun. “You love to cook good healthy food for others, so do that. Make bone broth and sell it. Give the money to organizations that fight and restore. Talk to people. Tell your story.” So that is how Brave Bone Broth began, coming from the verse in 1 Corinthians “Be Brave. Be Strong. Let all you do be done with Love.” We give 20% of proceeds to International Justice Mission which fights human trafficking globally, and On Eagles Wings, which helps restore and rehabilitate victims locally.

I’ve tasted your Brave Bone Broth and it’s delicious! For those who haven’t heard about bone broth, what exactly is it?

If you’re wondering what in the world is bone broth, and thinking that it sounds like something a cave woman would drink for happy hour, you would be like me. When Dave first bought some this winter I was wary. He’s always on the cutting edge of health trends, like kombucha or green juice and I like to jump on the bandwagon too (greens in the morning, wine at night, am I right?), but this one sounded a little…well… meaty.

The only problem was that I didn’t like the taste of what we bought at the store, and couldn’t really imagine my mood improving if I was choking down a nasty meaty, health potion every day. The solution, make it from scratch. My german grandmother Oma started her first successful restaurant at 34, and I think I inherited her fearlessness and zest in the kitchen. The resulting recipe was DELICIOUS and I love to eat (ask all my friends!) so this was pretty much top priority achieved. It is made with beef marrow bones, turkey and chicken bones, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, peppercorns, and a pinch of sea salt which are all simmered for 12 hours, resulting in a gelatin-like substance that is best enjoyed piping hot in your favorite mug. The gelatin-like texture when refrigerated is the result of the bones releasing all of the cartilage, gelatin and the magic one that we all love after turning 30, Collagen! These along, with GEC’s, a cool amino acid that helps your body absorb protein and acts like cement to seal the holes in a leaky guy, are why the stuff is so great for your body.

What are the health benefits of drinking bone broth?

The main benefits of adding bone broth to your diet are: it reduces inflammation and eases arthritis symptoms, heals and seals a leaky gut, supports brain health and your immune system, improves your mood, promotes healthy detoxification (it’s a great meal replacement with roughly 40 calories and 10 grams of protein per cup) and gives you healthy, smooth skin, hair and nails. After learning about all of this, it was a no brainer. Smoother skin, a thinner bod and extra brain cells? Yes please, sign me up!

So you just jumped right in and started cooking!

After I told my friend the butcher Bucky at Reid’s what I was up to and asked him where to source my bones, he very kindly told me that he’d like to help with this project and gave me a standing bone order. Hooray for Bucky! So now Fridays are bone days, and after ballet at the Harris Y, you can now find me rolling up to the South Park Reid’s with my two preschoolers, instead of leaving the mall with Anthropologie bags like I used to, I’m hauling out 20 pounds of bones to my car instead. (Speaking of the kids, they all love it and beg for it, and I have to hold the little wild vultures off with a stick, or I would never have enough to sell!)

So how can we get your delicious Brave Bone Broth?

Right now, you can join our growing list of clients for in town Charlotte delivery by signing up at BraveBoneBroth@gmail.com. Our clients receive 6 pints of bone broth every other week, on Mondays for a total of 12 pints per month. The cost is $150 and paid in full upon initial delivery. Try it out for a month and see what you think!

Give us a few more details about life at the Reule house:

I love to read, and do it every night to lull me to sleep like a baby. I intentionally gave up my iPhone this fall and now have an old school flip phone! Despite being teased mercilessly, I think I’m a lot happier and more present. Lest I sound like a total self righteous nerd, you should know that I love debauchery and sometimes leave my kids at Sunday school while I go to Starbucks. I love having parties, and have happy hour with anyone who walks by our street every night of the week, (be careful if you come around to pick up your child anytime after five, we will kidnap you and ply you with cocktails and snacks on the back porch!) Also we would probably be able to send our kids to Duke for college with the amount of money we spend on going out to eat. However, after some thought on the matter and some number crunching, we decided that a Chapel Hill education would allow for both regularly eating out at Bricktops and Barrington’s while simultaneously ensuring the sanctity of our children’s souls. Again, a no brainer.

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