{Giveaway is closed}

One of the very first things I did when I began my journey to resolving my Rheumatoid Arthritis was to consume collagen on a daily basis.  I did so through homemade bone broth and adding collagen to my morning coffee.  After not much time, I started to notice improvements not only in my joint pain, but also in the health of my skin, hair, and nails.  To this day, consumption of nutrient rich bone broth and collagen supplementation are high on my list of recommendations.

Today, I’m sharing my new favorite collagen from Vital Proteins!  Before we get too involved here, there’s an important difference between the two major collagen products that Vital Proteins offers.

The Collagen Peptides (blue lid) do not gel in cold liquid.  This is great for adding to any beverage, hot or cold.  Just be sure to remember – this is not the one to use if your recipe calls for gelatin!

The Beef Gelatin (green lid) gels in cold liquid.  Think jello, but oh so much better for you!  This one works great for those gummy snacks you’ve probably seen all over the internet, and even on this blog with my Gut Healing Key Lime Bites and my Cranberry-Orange Gummies.

Now that we’re clear on that, let’s move on to how great collagen is for your health!

Pssst!!  Make sure you scroll all the way down to enter the GIVEAWAY sponsored by Vital Proteins!


Promotes Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

Collagen is a vital component of our skin.  70% of the protein that makes up our skin, comes from collagen.  Collagen has been known to improve skin elasticity, smoothness and moisture, as well as improve signs of cellulite.  From taking collagen on a daily basis, I’ve also seen improvements in the strength of my hair and nails.  My nails used to break often, but these days they are stronger than ever.  It’s important to note that brittle nails may also be due to poor stomach acid production, but we’ll talk about that more another time.

Promotes Healthy Bones & Joints

90% of our bone mass consists of collagen.  Studies suggest that daily intake of collagen peptides may increase bone mass density.  While conventional wisdom points mainly to calcium for promoting healthy bones, collagen is likely more beneficial.   I personally do not recommend high, prolonged supplementation of calcium, and prefer to obtain calcium from whole food sources.  This is because necessary co-factors, such as magnesium, K2, and vitamin D are present in many whole food sources of calcium.

Collagen is a major component of cartilage and provides strength to the tissue.  As we know, joint degeneration can be extremely debilitating.  Collagen peptides have been found to significantly improve joint comfort for those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Promotes Healthy Digestion

The amino acids found in collagen can sooth and repair the digestive tract.  I believe my daily intake of collagen was key to healing my gut.  The amino acid, glycine, stimulates acid production in the stomach, aiding in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food.  20% of the protein content in collagen peptides consists of glycine, making it a dense source of this amino acid.

Why I use Vital Proteins

For the last few years, I had been using and recommending Great Lakes brand gelatin and collagen.  When I began hearing more about Vital Proteins, naturally I wanted to find out what made their products different.  Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to talk with the folks at Vital Proteins while at the Nutritional Therapy Association’s annual conference and at Paleo f(x).  Here’s what I learned:

  • Vital Proteins sources from pasture raised and grass-finished bovine hide from Brazil, where the cattle industry is based on perennial tropical grass pasture systems.  Other brands, sourced from Argentina, are typically grain-finished.  As a company, Vital Proteins has taken special care to ensure that each cow has at least 2.67 acres of pasture.  This is in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-step Animal Welfare Rating Standards.
  • Their containers are made from non-BPA materials, and are air-tight to prevent exposure to moisture.  Collagen is very hygroscopic and absorbs water quite easily.  By hermetically sealing the containers before shipping, they prevent exposure to air and moisture that could lead to degradation of the collagen.
  • Their products are virtually odor-less and taste-less. Although other brands are marked as such, I still have noticed much less flavor from Vital Proteins when adding collagen to my beverages or using in gummy snacks.

If you’d like to see the nutritional values of Great Lakes and Vital Proteins side by side, Paleo Parents did a great post earlier this year showing just that.

How I use Vital Proteins

One of the most simple ways I use collagen is by mixing it into my morning coffee.  I drink my coffee black most of the time, and there is no noticeable flavor from the collagen.  Lately I’ve been treating myself to a glorious cup of creamy, frothy goodness.  In a large mason jar, I’ll drop in 1 tsp of ghee (Omghee is my favorite), a scoop of Vital Proteins beef gelatin, and a bit of maple syrup.  I pour in my coffee and then hit it with the immersion blender until it is fully blended.  LOVE IT.  The gelatin makes it super creamy, just be sure to drink up before it gets cold or you’ll end up with coffee jello!

Collagen is great to add to teas, smoothies, soups, and baked goods.  Basically anything you want to up the protein content on!  Just 2 scoops of collagen peptides equals 18g of protein!

New! – Beef Liver Capsules

Let’s face it.  Most of us are not going to eat beef liver very often, if at all.  We all should, but it’s not always the most appetizing.  Liver is truly a nutritional powerhouse!  It’s a rich source of Vitamin A, B12, Folate, Copper, Choline, and many other nutrients not commonly found elsewhere.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m still a bit of a wimp when it comes to staring that raw beef liver in the, er… liver.  Thankfully, Vital Proteins Beef Liver Capsules have come to the rescue!  Their beef liver is sourced from pasture raised cattle in New Zealand.    Since I started using the beef liver capsules from Vital Proteins, I’ve noticed my energy to be so much greater throughout the day.  No doubt this is due in part to the abundance of Vitamin B12.  230% the RDA per serving, to be exact!

Pumpkin Spice Gummies

Now that it’s the season for pumpkin spicing all the things, I thought it was rather fitting to pumpkin spice up some gummies!  Folks, these are GOOD.  They’re like little nuggets of fall flavored goodness.  You’ve gotta try them!


Pumpkin Spice Gummies

Cook Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Snack
Author: Suzie Bauer


  • 1 can (13.5oz) Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 5 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 3/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Gelatin


  • In a small sauce pan combine the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice over medium low heat. Stir until smooth and heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Whisking constantly, slowly add the gelatin into the pan, 1 Tbsp at a time.
  • Pour into silicon molds or a greased 9x9 dish and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.


  1. Fills approximately 24 small molds.
  2. To make it easier to pour into silicon molds, I like to transfer the liquid to a pyrex measuring glass first.

Giveaway Time!

This post is kindly sponsored by the good folks at Vital Proteins!

This giveaway is open until Friday, October 9th at 8pm PST.  The giveaway is only open to residence of US and Canada.  The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on this post within 48 hours.  We will email the winner and if they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway