natural health

Editorial – The Ant and Grasshopper

Published February 1st, 2019 in Alternative Perspective, Editorial, HN4U Blog

The Aesop Fable of the Ant and Grasshopper has been on my mind a lot the last few weeks as the Federal Furlough of over 800,000 individuals like my husband goes on. I reflected on this story:

“In a field one summer’s day, a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.  “Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “We have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came, the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger – while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need”.

 

First, let me say I am not one of the modern “Preppers,” If you must pace a label on me – the closest most days would be that of a “Traditionalist” who sees the value of wise counsel and wisdom from the past. This Aesop’s fable while short holds true wisdom, especially for members of the modern American world.

When I reflect on the young federal employees I know with babies and blossoming lives; I see the two veterans who served their country in the Marines, I see the Postal worker or crew foreman decorated for his or her service to our country. Granted many of the federal employees are not veterans, they may be single parents, or people just like you with responsibilities and dependents.

The fable of the ant and grasshopper and the lesson it shares, I can only hope has been taken to heart by not just those on furlough but also by you the readers of this column. We need more than money in the bank to get us through the storms and winters of life, and those who plan for the short payday, seasonal lay off or rock slide benefit from lower incidence of stress-induced illnesses.

Hypertension, type 2 diabetes, migraines, anxiety, insomnia, and cancer are all chronic illnesses that increase with stress. Food insecurity for the elderly and low-income members of our communities compounds stress and anxiety. Now I like many of you think stress gets a bad rap in today’s world to often the word “stress” is used as an excuse. Stress is a fact of life and necessary – the difference is how we cope and teach our youth to prepare for its inevitability. My Grandmother, Aunt, and Mother-in-Law all, by example, shared the importance of having a full pantry, and store of paper products – No one wants to be without toilet paper, trust me!

Taking advantage of local produce when it is in season is an excellent place to start. Canning fruit was one of the first things I learned. Glass jars are reusable, safe and easy to use for food storage. It was years before my parents were able to afford a freezer; canning allowed venison, fish, vegetables, and fruit to be available year around.  Home canned foods fill the gaps for when fresh produce is unavailable, poor quality or as to frequently the case today – recalled for contamination.

Dehydrating of fruit and nuts, at first was done with screen racks over the floor furnace vent or in the sun in the yard. Today we can purchase efficient food dryer/dehydrators for home use that can be used to make far more than apple slices. Dried foods are lightweight and easy to transport. Additionally, even if you live in a tiny house, apartment, dorm room or RV, a food dryer can be found to fit the space you have.

A small 7 cu. Ft freezer may be all you have room for, but it provides storage for extra meat, vegetables or fruit available from local farms, ranches or seasonal grocery sales.

Just like the ant of Aesops fable the effort we spend on storing food for the winter, yields security and peace of mind during those times of high stress and uncertainty. While money may come and go in our lives, I know the pantry is full, and we can make it to summer.

To Traditional Food and Wisdom of Old

E-Books

Lets Hear it for Real Fat!

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

Fats are hydrophobic. In other words, fats repel water. Even oil-based emulsions like mayonnaise rely on a third party to hold each tiny droplet of oil in suspension—egg yolk, mustard, or certain starches are common choices. Despite what some folks tell you, food fried at higher temperatures actually absorb more oil than those fried at cooler temperatures.  Natural oils and fats are traditional cooking mediums.  Today’s best options are cold pressed, extra virgin oils, and organic humanely raised animal fats.  The more filtered an oil, the lower the mineral and polyphenol content. Always buy oils that are solvent-free.

Fats conduct heat and can do so at higher temperatures than water. When you baste a roast in fatty pan drippings, that coating functions as a temperature buffer, allowing your food to heat evenly and preventing the exterior from drying out before the interior is fully cooked. Under normal conditions, water cannot be heated past its boiling point of 212° F at sea level, whereas fats can reach temperatures of 400-500° F.

Fats lubricate food preventing sticking to cookware surfaces.

Fats add or enhance flavor and enhance textural nuances of foods. This is vital for “mouth feel.” Many of the flavor compounds that make herbs and aromatics such compelling seasonings are what we call fat-soluble, meaning they will actually spread and coat your tongue better when they are immersed in lipids. Using fat in anything from marinades to braises helps coax out, layer, and evenly distribute flavors.

Monounsaturated oils, specifically olive oil increase the nutrients available through digestion. The tradition of tomatoes and olive oil is well supported by research; the antioxidant content of the tomatoes increases when combined with olive oil.

Traditionally, oils are extracted from nuts and seeds through mechanical crushing and pressing. If bottled immediately, the oil is a cold-pressed “raw” or “virgin” oil, which tends to retain its natural flavor and color. Virgin in the case of olive oil also signifies only the perfect fruits were used. Unrefined oils have higher levels of minerals, enzymes, and other compounds highly sensitive to heat and tend to be susceptible to rancidity; these are the oils best-suited to drizzling, dressings, and lower temperature cooking.

To produce oil with a high smoke point, manufacturers use industrial-level refinement; bleaching, filtering, and high-temperature heating to extract and eliminate extraneous compounds. This produces a neutral-flavored oil with a long shelf life and a higher smoke point.

Clarified butter and ghee follow the same basic concept: a process designed to extract more heat-sensitive components; milk solids—from fat to raise its smoke point.    When heated past its smoke point, fat starts to break down, releasing free radicals.

 

Health Benefits of Traditional Fats

Fats speak to the integral health of our whole body. Without healthy fats, we would not exist. [1]

 

Olive Oil is not only one of the oldest oils still in use for cooking, but it also has some impressive science to support its use for health. The unrefined olive oil contains minerals, vitamins and compounds that serve as anti-inflammatories. This is especially important when it comes to brain health. [2], [3], [4]  The antioxidants in olive oil are essential for aiding the digestive system in absorbing nutrients found in vegetables. Especially those high in carotenoids; winter squash, carrots, tomatoes, lycopene: tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, kale and xanthine; dark greens, cruciferous vegetables, chard.

For a maximum flavor reach for extra virgin olive oil, you may want several types on hand providing a delicate fruity or strong peppery flavor.  For times when you don’t want a lot a pronounced flavor, you can use “Classic” olive oil or “Pure.”

How you plan to use each type of olive oil matters because the flavor is affected by cooking. Olive oils, especially extra-virgin, have a varying range of smoke points, this depends on the type of olive, where it was grown, and how it was produced.

The International Olive Council (IOC) in Madrid, Spain, sets the grades and standards for world olive oil trade, which members of the North American Olive Oil Association agree to follow. [5]

To Traditional Foods made with Care and Intention, Flavored with Love.

 

Our Journey With Food Cookery BookExcerpt from Our Journey with Food Cookery Book

[1] https://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/facts-on-fats-dietary-fats-and-health

[2] Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer’s;  June 21, 2017,  Temple University Health System: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170621103123.htm

[3] Extra‐virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553230/

[4] Mediterranean-type diet and brain structural change from 73 to 76 years in a Scottish cohort; http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2017/01/04/WNL.0000000000003559.short?sid=f6a60041-6b89-41fe-827d-49a0f92359fa

[5] Grades of Olive Oil; https://www.aboutoliveoil.org/grades-of-olive-oil-video?utm_campaign=olive%20oil%20videos&utm_content=77894857&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

 

Editorial – Defeating the Storm

Published January 25th, 2019 in Alternative Perspective, Editorial, Health Freedom, HN4U Blog
Healing Power of Foods and Herbs

For almost two decades I have proudly been a Holistic Nutritionist. In the early days, it never occurred to me, that I would need a professional organization, let alone organization dedicated to educating and protecting, my right to practice, and yours to use Holistic Nutrition (food, herbs, and nutrients….) for health.

In the late summer of 2018, I shared with an attorney; I believed food and nutrition, and the sharing of information on these topics an inalienable right. A right that predates any government or licensing bodies.

To my dismay, the attorney said freedom of choice for food and health had no rights or allowances in the constitution and was not deemed an inalienable right of citizenship.

The attorney went on to say: While we have the right to the freedom of speech, and can write on the topic of food as medicine, it is not viewed as an inalienable right to educate or practice with clients these ancient healing traditions and modalities.

I still inwardly rebel at those words, it is inconceivable to me that the one single ingredient necessary for life is also the one we have to fight the hardest to educate on in America – FOOD.

As individuals, we all have windmills we tilt at, that fire our blood and passion, some are essential others distractions, diverting our attention away from the real war.  When it comes to Natural Health, Holistic Nursing, Functional and Holistic Nutrition, I can not stress enough, the importance of being united in keep draconian legislation and restrictions on nutrition education and practice from happening. We can be a kaleidoscope of unique modalities, helping clients, family members and ourselves, only if we come together as a cohesive, unified voice, demanding the freedom to practice.

I am very proud of the work being done by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and the Council of Holistic Health Educators – – the voice of one is lost in the lightest breeze, the voice of many can call a ship home safely through a storm. We are facing a storm in many areas of America, where the freedom to educate and practice the modalities of nutrition and natural health are threatened by special internists, not public safety.

Together we can change the storm into a safe harbor.

Please read this thought-provoking and challenging editorial from NANP President Miriam Grumet Zacharias​, I hope it ignites a fire and passion in you as it has me.

To Traditional Foods, Health, and Freedom to Choose

Tammera Karr, Ph.D., BSHN™

Founder of Holistic Nutrition for the Whole You

 

Citrus an Imported Fall Food

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

Many of us grew up with citrus foods being part of the holiday season. I remember not only getting tangerines, pomegranates, and oranges in my stocking but also nuts in their original packaging. Today we wouldn’t dream of putting nuts in their shells and a hammer in the hands of most children.

Grapefruit was another fruit that seemed to be reserved for the fall, and today I know that new crop grapefruit from Florida and Texas are harvested in the fall like apples in the Northwest.

Grapefruit’s bitterness can make it hard to love. Folks cover it in sugar or mix it with other fruits just to get it down.  History tells us Americans were once urged to sweeten grapefruit with salt. Oh, the horror! Ad campaigns from WWI and WWII tried to convince Americans “Grapefruit Tastes Sweeter With Salt!” as a 1946 ad for Morton’s in Life magazine proclaimed.  The pairing, these ads swore, enhanced the flavor.

So does salt make grapefruit taste sweeter?

Grapefruit and salt do have a history – But, it was more publicity to boost revenues then science in 1946.  Today there’s science to back this anecdotal claim.

Grapefruits are relatively new – a hybrid formed from the spontaneous union of two foreign transplants — the Javanese pummelo and the East Asian sweet orange — in Barbados in the middle

of the 18th century. First grown commercially in Florida at the end of the 19th century, grapefruit quickly went from being a novelty to being a daily necessity and made fortunes for farmers.

Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals that of the ever popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits. Although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring.

Grapefruits usually range in diameter from four to six inches and include both seed and seedless and pink and white varieties. The wonderful flavor of a grapefruit is like a paradise as is expressed by its Latin name, Citrus paradisi.

Early 20th century cookbooks and recipes in magazines offered an abundance of ways to use grapefruits in sweet confections, as well as in savory-sweet salads. But the most common option was the one still familiar today — at breakfast, chilled, sliced in half, sprinkled with sugar.

The salted grapefruit had its fans. In 1911, an Iowa woman calling herself “Gude Wife” wrote into the “The Housemother’s Exchange,” a national advice column, to recommend salting grapefruits. “Salt neutralizes the bitter taste as well as the acidity,” she advised. Others wrote in to back up this endorsement. “I think you will find that many Southerners always salt their grapefruit,” wrote “M.B.L.” from Philadelphia. “I am sure that if you once try it you will agree with me that it is good.” Salting citrus fruit remains a practice in the Southwest and Southeast.

Grapefruit does the kidneys good.

Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink grapefruit juice. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found when women drank 1/2 to 1 liter of grapefruit, apple or orange juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.

In a 2006 study, participants added either red grapefruit, blond grapefruit or no grapefruit to their daily diet. The results indicated that both types of grapefruit appeared to lower LDL cholesterol in 30 days: total cholesterol by 15.5% in those eating red grapefruit and 7.6% in those eating blond grapefruit; LDL cholesterol by 20.3% and 10.7% respectively; and triglycerides by 17.2% and 5.6% respectively. No changes were seen in the control group that didn’t eat any grapefruit.

So push the pie and sweets to the side and grab some of those wonderful citrus fruits we used to enjoy as kids instead. You know back when we were full of energy and stuff!

To your good health in the holiday season.

 

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/11/14/491376510/grapefruit-and-salt-the…

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=25

 

CLEANING HOUSE – BY REGULARLY DETOXIFYING

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

An effective detoxification program will not ask you to make any dramatic lifestyle and dietary changes. Healthier food and lifestyle choices are generally made on a subconscious level. Once the body begins to eliminate toxins, it will naturally start craving foods that will nourish it at an optimum level. That said, there are undoubtedly many things you can do to maximize the benefits of the cleanse you’re on from day one, and certain foods will help maintain the benefits of the detox for much longer.

A detox diet is a short-term diet, often 3- to 21 days, focused on removing toxins from the body. Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which eventually affects our health. A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing, with the goal being to raise energy levels, stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, avoid getting allergies, regain our natural ability to ward off colds and flu and prevent premature aging and disease.

In natural health writings from the 1900’s, it was common to see articles on digestive cleansing with tonics, enemas, fasting, and herbs. Detoxification has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

The sad but undeniable truth is many are living in an environment toxic to their bodies, take a look at the following information:

How does detoxification work?

Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. It does this by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered, and every cell in the body is adversely affected.

Many health ailments–headaches, exhaustion, and muscle cramps–are coming from toxicity. Toxins have been implicated in everything from increased risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease to mental retardation and cancer.

A detox program can help the body’s natural cleaning process by:

  1. Resting organs through fasting;
  2. Stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins;
  3. Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin;
  4. Improving circulation;
  5. Refuel the body.

10 ways to detoxify

  1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed.
  2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking dandelion root, burdock, milk thistle, and drinking green tea.
  3. Vitamin C helps produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
  4. Drink at least two quarts of filtered water daily.
  5. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
  6. Think positive thoughts.
  7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
  8. Sweat in a sauna to eliminate wastes through perspiration.
  9. Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores.
  10. Exercise, yoga, qigong, mini-tramps or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.

Don’t forget

Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined and artificial sugars, fake fats found in margarine, and unfiltered tap water all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to detoxifying. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants, and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.

Stress triggers your body to release stress hormones into your body affecting every metabolic pathway necessary for detoxification. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts, they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Consider cutting out the news at dinner and bedtime add music that is around 60 beats per minute to calm the central nervous system throughout the day, all these are simple and effective ways to relieve stress.

People who are exhausted with low blood pressure may have adrenal weakness or fatigue. A detox diet is usually done after the adrenal glands have been replenished.

 

Holistic Nutrition News

Published January 31st, 2017 in HN4U Blog

Edition 20 -Vol1 2017

What are Lectins and are they bad for me?

What are “lectins” and why should you pay attention to them? Lectins are a protein that can bind to cell membranes. Lectins offer a way for molecules especially sugars, to stick together without getting the immune system involved, which can influence cell-cell interaction.

“In 1988 a hospital launched a “healthy eating day” in its staff canteen at lunchtime. One dish contained red kidney beans, and 31 portions were served. At 3 pm one of the customers, a surgical registrar, vomited in theater. Over the next four hours, 10 more customers suffered profuse vomiting, some with diarrhea. All had recovered by next day. No pathogens were isolated from the food, but the beans contained an abnormally high concentration of the lectin phytohaemagglutinin.”

Lectins are abundant in raw legumes (beans, peas, alfalfa, peanut, and lentils) grains, and most commonly found in the seed part which becomes the leaves when planted. Lectins are additionally found in dairy products and some vegetables. While lectin content in food is relatively constant, genetic modification has created level fluctuations in many legumes such as soy, alfalfa, wheat, corn, and rice.
A National Institutes of Health report published in the British Medical Journal April 1999 provides valuable information on the validity of reducing lectins in your diet. “Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins present in most plants, especially seeds and tubers like cereals, potatoes, and beans. Until recently their main use was as histology and blood transfusion reagents, but in the past two decades we have realized that many lectins are (a) toxic, inflammatory, or both; (b) resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes, and (c) present in much of our food. It is thus no surprise that they sometimes cause “food poisoning.” However, the really disturbing finding came with the discovery in 1989 that some food lectins get past the gut wall and deposit themselves in distant organs.”

In plants, lectins are a defense against microorganisms, pests, and insects. The evolution of lectin formation in plants serves as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems. Lectins are resistant to human digestion also especially in today’s world of compromised digestive microbiome, and they enter the blood unchanged. Any food component that passes through the digestive lining unaltered into the blood stream compromises our whole health. Current research has irrefutably linked the “Leaky Gut.” process with brain health.

With winter well upon us the levels of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), reduced immunity, and chronic inflammation are on the increase. This is the time of year we are most likely to feel our worst both mentally and physically and tempted by comfort food. A review published in Nutrients March 2013 describes lectins as “anti-nutrients” and a leading contributor to many health challenges.…. “Inflammation is the response of the innate immune system triggered by noxious stimuli, microbial pathogens, and injury. When a trigger remains, or when immune cells are continuously activated, an inflammatory response may become self-sustainable and chronic. Chronic inflammation has been associated with many medical and psychiatric disorders, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, autoimmune diseases, schizophrenia, and depression.”

I encourage you to take control of your health in 2017 through change – if what you have been eating is making you less then your best – grab the bull by the horns and take it down and out of your life.

To Your Good Health in 2017

Sources
1. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-lectins
2. http://www.unexplainedinfertilityinfo.com/autoimmune-causes/
3. Gilbert RJ. Healthy eating day. Communicable Disease Report. 1988;33:3–4.
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115436/#B1
5. http://www.bmj.com/content/318/7190/1023
6. Nutrients 2013, 5, 771-787; doi:10.3390/nu5030771
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705319/

 

Oh so easy Buckwheat Pancakes
This recipe comes from a longtime friend and mentor – Norm Michaels.

1 cup Bobs Red Mill Buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 organic egg
1 ¼ cups raw milk, or milk substitute

Mix dry ingredients together
Lightly beat egg and milk together then add to dry ingredients, stir till mixed well.
Cook pancakes on a cast iron griddle or skillet – oil griddle with lard, bacon grease, olive oil or organic butter.
Serve with fruit compote or maple syrup.

If you have never made pancakes before I suggest you read the cooking step by step directions from a standard recipe before beginning.

 

Attention Clients
Effective October 4, 2016, all INNATE Response™ direct sales business will be fulfilled by Emerson Ecologic.
This means we are not able to provide these supplements to you through the Natural Partners virtual dispensary. Please note Innate Response is still Tammera’s Primary Product Line of Choice. Clinically this product line has outperformed, across the board, as a generalized support, for 85% of our clients.

Our amazing web team will be looking into setting up an Emerson Dispensary for your convenience.

Look for an update in your next Newsletter, or call the office 541-430-1078 to place your order with Tammera in person.

 

Up Coming Events

 

National Association Of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) 2017 Conference

May 4-7, 2017 Portland Waterfront Marriott Hotel

Tammera will be presenting on May 5

 

 

Fermenting Adventures in an RV

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

Recently my husband and I decided late summer was a good time to learn how to ferment drinks and vegetables. A little background: Naturally fermented beverage products called Kombucha, Ginger Beer, and water Kefir are all the rage. Even general purpose markets are now carrying some form of fermented drink. The internet is awash with fermenting kings and queens sharing  pictures of their newest delivery, or gadget that aids in your fermenting of kimchee or beet kraut. These predigested or live foods are perfect for the Pacific Northwest, especially Oregon with it’s “Do it Your Self” culture.  Don’t confuse pickling with fermenting – they are not the same and do not yield the same health benefits. Fermenting is far older, found in almost every culture and as a live food, the health properties are greater than eating raw, organic or minimally processed foods. Many traditional cured types of meat from Europe are fermented – and not allowed into America by the FDA.

We Oregonians seem to like our independence in several areas but most assuredly in the food department. Part of that comes from the immigrants who built the strong farming and ranching history, of many parts of our state. The Willamette Valley has been producing hops for beer making sense the 1890’s. These same fields also are home to produce, grapes, nut and fruit trees and berries.

In the Oregon Historical Society resides a photo of men in 1950 circ, with their sleeves rolled up shredding cabbage and salting it for fermentation, right in the fields, for sauerkraut. So if they can do it, we thought,  so can we…. Not wanting to take on the job of sauerkraut or fist time out, especially as we are working and living in our 29’ RV; we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to save some money on our food budget and learn the art of fermented probiotic drinks.  After all, a half gallon glass jar doesn’t take up much room, or require as much space when packed for moving camp to the next job site right?  If you haven’t tried any of the fizzy, tangy, and yummy drinks from Dr. Kombucha of Portland or the dozens of others, I encourage you to, and once you see the price on them,  you will know why we are learning to make our own.

From past experience we knew sourdough starter could turn into an RV monster, crawling out of the jar, oozing across surfaces, seeping into drains and vents; from the agitation of the RV going down the road. We still have a sleeping bag with white butterfly patterns from sourdough starter escaping a sealed jar,  on our pack horse 20  years ago!  So surely with our gained knowledge and experience we could contain this next alien life form.

We went to Amazon and ordered a pack of water Kefir grains, assuming all we would need to know would come included with them. Well not really. It seems Kefir does not tolerate metal utensils, likes it between 60 and 70 degrees and takes up to 3 weeks for the grains to become happy in their production of the fizzy electrolyte-rich drink; you had your heart set on. But it is worth it, for the fun, nutrition, and health to be gained by the adventure.

By week 2,  we could taste fermentation, but it wasn’t as much as we had hoped for; I went to Amazon again and ordered a book: Delicious Probiotic Drinks by Julia Mueller, a nylon strainer, cheesecloth and more grains.  As I write this, I now have 3, half gallon jars at various stages lined up on my tiny RV galley counter – the baby won’t is tasted like we did before, Julia suggests pouring it out as the grains are just beginning to activate. The second jar is our 3-week old grains which are working much faster, and the water kefir is ready to strain and add fruit to after 24 hours. And that is the very bubbly, yummy strawberry lemonade in jar 3. It will be gone by tomorrow afternoon, which is when jar 2 will need to be strained and put on for its second fermentation with fresh fruit. So far we have not had any exploding glass jars, but this adventure is in its early days yet.

Naturally, fermented drinks are cost efficient and beneficial  when compared to supplements.  They are a simple and tasty way to rebuild your digestive tract from years of eating processed foods, antibiotic and prescription drug use, chlorinated water and stress. AND can be done in an RV galley. If you have IBS, Crohns, or Leaky Gut; these naturally fermented foods are a must, if you expect to heal. The era of eating processed food, using anti-bacterial soaps, and destroying our body’s ability to heal through the wonderful microbiome in our digestive system, is hopefully coming to an end. Traditional foods like these are safe and efficient ways to rebuild the immune function of the body potentially preventing chronic illness and debilitation age-related dementia. As so many knowledgeable natural health care and integrative providers are learning – “all illness begins in the digestive tract.” Sage words from the past.

To fizzy fun and probiotic health

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