Archive for the ‘Probiotic Foods’ Category

How to get off bread and sugar….and by the way, it`s not your fault.

If you are like most people, you`ve probably sworn off bread or sugar at least once in your lifetime. The trouble is though, that at the best of times willpower often cowers in the face of a true physiological or bacterial craving.

The truth is, if you can`t stop yourself from bingeing on bread or overdoing sugar, it is not your fault.Here is why`s:
1) From a physiological perspective- if you have blatant or subtle nutrient deficiencies, your body is driving you to consume sugar and refined carbs to feel good (although only momentarily). Unfortunately, sugar itself keeps you both on a roller coaster and a hamster wheel! The dips and spikes of sugar ensure that you crave just one thing- more sugar!! And as far as the hamster wheel is concerned, sugar isn`t an empty calorie, it actually puts us in a nutrient defecit, thus perpetuating mineral deficiency and subsequent cravings!2) From a bacterial perspective- if you have sugar cravings, there is a very high chance that you also have a bacterial imbalance in your gut…sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria beasties actually send chemical messages to your brain that will cause you to crave sugar and refined carbohydrates!

So as you can see, people crave sugar, because they have to -in the age of nutrient deficient food!

While there are many ways to nourish ourselves to make cravings a thing of the past, I bet you would love to know about the single most potent food to permantly eliminate sugar cravings altogether, am I right?
How about discovering one food that can address both the body`s physiological craving for food AND the bacterial one?The food most ideally suited to stop your sugar and refined carb cravings is cultured foods!!
Culturing a food, means that you are infusing it with beneficial probiotic bacteria (you know, that good stuff inherently found in yogurt!).So just how DO cultured foods address the root causes of sugar and refined carb cravings?
1) Culturing your food increases the nutritional value of that food. For example, sauerkraut has 100 times the Vitamin C as its unfermented counterpart, cabbage. Eating some probiotic condiments with each meal also promotes better digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. That in itself is a 3 in 1 benefit of cultured foods in terms of meeting nutrient deficiences!2) Cultured food also feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut, therefore helping to crowd out the more harmful or pathogenic flora. In addition, cultured foods do not JUST add good probiotic bacteria to your gut, butthey also provide lactic acid which is not only food for the GOOD bacteria, but it makes your digestive tract inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria! That is a 4 in 1 benefit!and if that is not remarkable enough…..

1) Ancient chinese medicine has taken note that the unique flavour of cultured foods actually has a balancing effect that neutralizes or cancels out our cravings for sugar!
2) Finally, one Ka-RAZY Kool effect of eating fermented foods with your meals is that if you give into a sugar craving and immediately eat a cultured food, the beneficial bacteria will immediately begin eating up the sugar you just consumed, therefore minimizing the amount that you end up digesting and assimilating!Now if my math is correct, that is at least 9 reasons why cultured foods alone, can curb your sugar cravings!

So if cravings, are driving you crazy, and you want to immediately take action- you can purchase the following fermented foods and bubbly beverages at your local health food store:1) Bubbies Pickles
2) Sauerkraut
3) Kombucha

Just make sure they say unpasteurized, because otherwise they will be devoid of probiotics from the heat.

However, if you have a sneaking suspicion that you will eventually get bored of eating only 3 kinds of cultured foods, day in and day out, then you are going to want to get the skills you need, to make them at home (which is way yummier, simple and more affordable anyway)!!

In case you didn’t catch the newsletter that I sent out last Saturday AND for those of you who need a little friendly reminder- the early, EARLY BIRD investment for my online video e-course (co developed with Adrienne Percy): Cultured Kitchen “Learn how to turn simple, every day foods into probiotic condiments and bubbly beverages”ENDS tomorrow at midnight (September 23rd)!But don’t feel rushed to make a decision, it is beyond worth the value at the regular investment too!The minute you enroll, you will recieve the BONUS e-course How to Ferment Anything which will give you all the tools you need to pull pretty much any random fruit or veggie out of the fridge and ferment more economically and faster, than you could get to the store to purchase a commercially prepared version. Pretty cool, huh?

For more info or to register online visit: http://www.whatisfermentation.com/CulturedKitchen.html
Give fermented foods a try and then tell me your story about how cultured foods single handedly eliminated your sugar and refined carb cravings! I would love to hear about it!!
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Do you feel sad about how much of your food gets wasted?

Do you ever wonder what to do with those  “end of the fridge”  fruits and vegetables before it is too late?

You know, the ones that get away on you and end up going to waste. At the end of the day, not consuming the food we grow or buy becomes so much time, energy, money and precious resources down the drain!

Do you ever wonder if there is a quick solution to this problem (besides managing your kitchen, your meal planning and food purchasing better)?

Or maybe you can’t keep up with all the bounty if you belong to a local CSA (community supported agriculture)! You might be feeling terrible having to compost so much of the delicious food that your local farmer worked so hard to grow for you!!

If you are a gardener, you might be scrambling last minute to finish harvesting your garden and you wish there was an easier, simpler way than slaving over the stove canning?!

At one time or another, like most people, I bet you can see yourself in one or more of these scenarios!

If there was a simple, accessible and affordable solution that actually saves you $ and prevents food waste and spoilage, and at the same time boosts your health, would you want to know about it?

Want to discover how you can turn simple, every day foods into probiotic condiments and bubbly beverages?

If you said YES! Then I would love to share with you how you can learn to do this from the comfort of your own home in my NEW online course Cultured Kitchen (co developed with Adrienne Percy, food journalist, foodie and Domestic Diva extraordinaire)!

It is the perfect solution for when you don’t have a lot of time to harvest your garden, or when you notice those fruits and veggies on their last leg in your fridge or root cellar!

Click here to learn more about how you can use the ancient art of lactic acid fermentation to eliminate waste and to harvest your garden in a hurry!

Or maybe you’ve known for a while that you want to learn the lost art of lactic acid fermentation and you are SUPER excited to discover how you can learn to turn simple, every day foods into probiotic condiments and bubbly beverages online from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Click here then to learn all about this exciting new course that includes not only Video Demonstrations,  but online Nutrition Classes, Monthly Q & A calls (where you can get your fermentation and digestive health questions answered) and so much more!!

In addition you’ll be excited to discover that we have created an online forum where you can connect with other health conscious and like-minded men and women who are making probiotic foods a part of their everyday meals! It will become a special place to house the probiotics revolution, where you can share the joy of fermentation with others and we can all
Fermentation Forward!

Looking forward to sharing my love of probiotics and digestive wellness with you!

Warmly,

Sherry

p.s. FYI I am offering an incredibly reduced Pre Launch Investment for my
“Whole Foods Family” readers and private clients, but it ends  Sept.23rd at midnight!

Transforming Your Juice into a Probiotic Pop!

© Sherry Rothwell www.wholefoodsfamily.com

Do you have a few little (or not so little!) juice addicts in your family and you wish you could get them to drink something else? Or, do you withhold juice and pop from your kids and wish that you had a healthy substitution so that they don’t have to feel deprived or left out at family gatherings and birthday parties?

If this is you, then you will want to know about Kefir Juice! Kefir juice could be your answer, not only in terms of slowly introducing kefir to your family in a way that they enjoy, but also to wean them off empty calories and blood sugar induced emotional meltdowns and behavioural problems!

While boxed juice is purported to be healthy, I am going to suggest that commercial juices are in fact more like junk food than health food and here is why:
1) Few people know that 1 cup of juice has 3 Tbsp of sugar in it!! Without the fibre, this sugar is absorbed at the same rate as it would be if you ate 3 Tbsp of sugar right off the spoon!
2) Commercial juices are pasteurized, thus destroying the life giving enzymes that are naturally found in fruit.
3) Water soluable vitamins, such as Vit.C and B-Vitamins are easily destroyed by heat. So while you may be eating the juice of more than one fruit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting more nutritional value.
4) Pasteurized juice is a processed food and we want to be moving toward a diet made of real food if we want strong healthy bodies with strong immune resiliency.
5) Naturally prepared juice is:
fresh- not stored
raw-not pasteurized
living-not dead
real-not processed, pasteurized or deaerated (eliminating oxygen to make it shelf stable).

When you kefir “ize” your juice, you essentially take a denatured food product and make it a living probiotic health giving drink!

Now I know that it is not easy to take juice away from a juice addict (concentrated sugar is an addictive substance!), so I am not suggesting that you do that to your hubby or children. What I am suggesting is, that you make an addition to the diet before a subtraction, by serving Kefir Juice, as well.

Then you can slowly substitute more and more of it until the cravings for pasteurized juice subside. Eventually, you can substitute Kefir Water in for Kefir Juice (once your family aquires a taste for Kefir it won’t be hard). In our family, the kids call Kefir Water “pop” because to them it IS pop (it is sweet, tasty and bubbly)! I serve Kefir Juice, every once in a while as a treat because it is typically sweeter and more flavourful than Kefir Water (the fruity taste of Kefir Water is typically more subtle). I am soooooo glad that I can finally say YES to my kids when they ask for “pop” night or day!

To learn more about making delicious kid-friendly probiotic drinks check out our NEW online video e-course Cultured Kitchen: Learn how to turn simple every day foods into probiotic condiments and bubbly beverages!
http://www.whatisfermentation.com/CulturedKitchen.html

Probiotic “Diet” Immersion Weekend Workshop!

A little video about what we do at the Probiotic “Diet”  Immersion Weekend Workshop! 

Discover just some of the surprising nutritional and practical benefits of learning the skill of lactic acid fermentation! Find out why fermentation is not only more affordable, but also more sustainable than probiotic pills and how learning this skill has the potential to be life saving in the event of a power outage!

The Top 5 Reasons that I Love Making Ferments!

#1 Delicious, Healthy and Satisfying!
Fermented foods are so freakin’ good for us!!  Our microflora serve both as the frontline of our immune system AND they optimize our digestion….problems with our digestion and our immunity are at the root of many chronic conditions. Digestion is said to be the root of good health, while death is said to begin in the colon. Two sides of the same coin my friends! In addition, as we feed ourselves the sour flavour, our cravings to consume excessive amounts of sweets begins to dimish…no willpower necessary!

#2 Simple, Affordable, Accessible
Ferments are cheaper, more effective and more nutritious than probiotic pills. Eating fermented condiments is one of the ways that our ancestors cultivated and sustained proper microflora ratios! Ferments are not just a source of good bacteria, but they are also a source of lactic acid (which creates ideal living conditions for our good bacteria and is antagonistic to harmful bacteria). Finally, probiotic pills are just good bacteria- they don’t come with added nutritional value that ferments do! Ferments are simple, accessible and sustainable, compared to probiotic pills, which require scientific formulation, manufacturing and transport. 

#3 Making the Fruit of our Work Visible
Work hard once, but eat for months! 1 quart of fermented vegetables will take me no longer to make,  than the time it takes to bake cookies, yet the cookies disappear overnight! Momma, how more satisfying could it be to spend a little time in the kitchen and have lots to show for it, for months? Finally ladies, some work in the kitchen that isn’t invisible!

#4 Life Saving Skill
Learning the simple skill of preparing lacto fermented foods has provided me with a skill that enables me to store food without the need for sterilization (sure you could slave and sweat for hours over those canned tomatoes, but why bother when you could ferment and store them as a living food!). In the unfortunate event of a power outage in summer or in the dead of winter, I can preserve the fruits and vegetables that I do have from freezing or going rotten, through fermentation! Having this skill that could be life saving, not to mention empowering!

#5 Domestic Goddess “ness”
Another reason that I love making ferments, is because they look so darn pretty sitting on my counterop! Not to mention how much I enjoy feeling like a domestic mother  goddess while the whole house comes alive with my little bacteria babies! Making ferments is such a lovely way to bring nature inside, all year round!

Check out my probiotic website for more details about making ferments, to register for your “probiotic diet immersion”  in Winnipeg, MB or to start envisioning  how you can bring my family to yours, for a probiotic immersion in your community!
http://probioticfoods.homestead.com/

How to Make Kefir Water-Video Demo


Why
: Kefir water is super potent and medicinal

What: Kefir Grains that culture water and infuse it with the following beneficial bacteria: “Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus , Lactobacillus alactosus, Lactobacillus casei casei, Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus lactis, Streptococcus cremeris, Leuconostoc mesenteroide, Saccharomyces florentinus, Saccharomyces pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica, Candida valida.” http://www.weim.net/homeovet/Docs/water%20kefir.pdf

How to Do it: Simply put 1 tbsp of grains in a quart of water (leaving 1 inch of air space on top), with 1 quarter of a slice of  a citrus fruit, plus 3 Tbsp unrefined sugar. Put the lid on loosely (or snug for more bubbles) and let sit on your countertop for 48 hours. Pour liquid off into another glass jar and refrigerate.

What  kind of RESULTS can you expect
: Heal yeast and other infections, heal Candida, improve digestion etc.


Tips and Tricks

1) I forgot to mention in this video, that it is often discouraged to use metal strainers and utensils when using kefir grains, as metal is seen as harmful to the grains. Truth be told, I haven’t had a prob with using metal….but who knows, maybe my baby grains are just extra hardy!

2) Keeping your grains clean– ferment with them inside a nut milk bag or other breathable bag so that you don’t have to pick fruit fragments out after each batch (I am sooo relieved to have discovered this…..as if we busy mama’s need more babies to clean up after!!

3) When I first got my grains, I was told to leave a little kefir water from the first batch and add it to the new batch to kick start the fermentation process. I don’t usually do this…we drink it all!! I was also told to put a few pieces of dried fruit in addition to the fresh fruit….I don’t bother to add the dry fruit unless I’m making an apple/raisin kefir….don’t be afraid to experiment.

4) Rinsing the Grains- hmm…I don’t as a rule rinse my grains as is commonly recommended…however occasionally I get “a feeling” that they need a rinse….I think it is a scent that alerts me….kind of like an extra vinegary scent. I am pretty intuitive about the process…..I recommend just feeling into it. Go ahead and have a relationship with your kefir grains….after all, they are your little living beneficial bacteria babies now after all!!!

5) To Preserve the Bubbly-At 48hrs pour the kefir water off into a new container (glass of course, as we certainly don’t want plastic leaching into our kefir!). Tighten the lid well and leave another 8 hours at room temp before transferring to the fridge. If you prefer your kefir to be more “flat” refrigerate right away and drink the next day.

6) How Do I know It is Right?- Taste your brew when you first mix in all the ingredients. It will taste like sweet water. Taste it in 48 hours and it will taste “tart” and bubbly. If your Kefir is still sweet, something isn’t right.

7) The Phases it Goes Through– If you leave kefir past the 48 hours without transferring and tightening the lid….the bubbly will start to reduce and it will go to a slightly alcoholic phases (very low alcohol) and then it will start to taste more like vinegar, until it becomes vinegar (go ahead and use instead of vinegar to make salad dressings for example).

Storing: Store your Kefir baby grains in a glass jar in the fridge and make sure to feed them some sugar at least once a week when you are not using them! You can put the lid on snug while storing them in the fridge.

Like I said in the video, I will be doing a few more videos on this subject, so stay tuned! Please feel free to ask for clarification of any missing details!

Enjoy!

Beet Kvass the Moontime Elixir

Beet Kvass is an excellent tonic for the childbearing years.

With it’s affinity to support the liver, Beet Kvass not only helps prevent potential morning sickness in woman of childbearing age, but it also eases premenstrual tension. 

If you find yourself feeling that throbbing, “empty pulling” sensation as you are about to begin your moontime (or during your heaviest bleeding days), it could be a sign that your body is aching  for more minerals!

With beets having the “blood signature”, as indicated by their bright red colour, they are a fantastic tonic for rebuilding the blood.

So why not take a some time each month to consciously restore some of  the nutrients you’ve lost through your menstrual blood?

I personally find that taking the time to make a couple of quarts of beet kvass a few days before I am “scheduled” to bleed, is not only nourishing to the body, but nourishing to the soul as well. Rather than feel depleted during this sacred time of letting go, why not consciously slow down and cultivate some extra self care?

In addition, beet kvass, by its nourishing quality, also promotes regularity and aids in digestion. Thus, making for a great overall tonic for anytime of the month!

Making Beet Kvass is a very simple  ritual that you can incorporate into your monthly self care rhythm.

Keep reading for the recipe and picture tutorial!

You will need:
1) 2 quart glass container of sorts with lid
2) 2 large beets
3) 1 Tbsp unrefined sea salt
4) 1/4 cup whey  *This is made simply by pouring plain yogurt through a clean dishtowel, which is then tied with string and hung over a bowl. Over night, the whey will strain from your cloth into the bowl.. leaving you with yogurt cream cheese! Yummy! Store the whey and “cream cheese” in separate containers in the fridge.
5) chlorine free water

Simply chop the beets into bite sized pieces.

 

Place them in a 2 quart glass container (maybe you have  an old pickle jar in the cupboard?)

Pour 1/4 cup of  whey over the beets.

Next, pour your 1 Tbsp of unrefined salt over top of the beets.

Then pour your filtered water on top, ensuring that the beets are fully submerged…. yet leave about an inch of air space in the top of the jar.

Finally, stir well and put your lid on tightly.

Keep at room temperature for 48 hours before straining and transferring to the fridge. 

Rather than discard the beets, you can make a second batch by reserving some of the kvass (about 1/2 inch including the beets and fill the jar again with filtered water). Leave at room temperature for another 2 days! Second batch won’t be quite as potent, but will still be very nourishing.

After the 2nd batch, you will want to compost your beets. But if you prefer to make a vegan batch of kvass or if you don’t always have whey on hand, you can omit the whey and use 1/4 cup of beet kvass from a prior brew to make your next fresh batch.

Enjoy, and please take a moment to comment on how beet kvass, or simply how taking the time out to make special preparations to honour and nourish your body, is impacting your moontime experience!

References:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon w/Mary Enig
Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

This post is inspired in part by http://nourishedkitchen.com/keep-the-bounty-week-2/ which is a “Harvest Challenge” by Nourished Kitchen….check it out and stay tuned!