Getting into Fermented Foods

Fermented foods or cultured foods are a great way to increase your digestive health by delivering beneficial bacteria into your gut.  The effect of fermented foods on each member of our family has been significant even over a very short time period.  I’m looking forward to observing the cumulative effects over the coming years.  Come on, let's give it a go together! 


Discovering Fermented Foods/Cultured Foods ...


I started an unexpected journey earlier this year.  My girlfriend is starting a new career as a life coach and, I might add, she’s perfect for it!  As part of her journey she needed some pro-bono clients so of course I put up my hand.  I didn’t really think I was in need of personal development, but I have recently taken on a new role leading a team of 10-15 business analysts and thought this could be a good focus for the sessions.  Of course, what I ended up working on was very much myself :)

Early in our sessions she brought the Hay House World Summit to my attention.  I’d heard of Hay House of course, but hadn’t heard of the annual world summit held in May each year.  I was intrigued so I registered (it’s actually free for the month) and started listening to talks on a wide range topics including wellness, spirituality, meditation and personal development. 

It was impossible for me to choose a speaker, so thankfully the ‘ask the universe’ button took all the pressure off :).  Phew!!  Well wouldn’t you know it, the very first talk I listened to was Donna Schwenke and her journey into her 'trilogy' of Cultured or Fermented Foods. 

There were also other great talks on the gut/brain link and micro biome, which is gaining more mainstream momentum and reinforcing what I instinctively suspected to be true.  Here's an interesting easy read article from the New York Times.  All part of the larger picture on why what we eat is so important!

For now though, let’s get back on-topic.  Historically fermentation was a very happy accident and used before refrigeration to preserve food.   Let's take a look at 3 types of fermented foods:

  • Kombucha;
  • Kefir; and
  • Cultured Vegetables.


Kombucha



I started drinking Kombucha over 12 months ago as a wine substitute ... my very first journey into cultured foods!    Kombucha is a fermented tea that has a light fizz to it and is available in a multitude of different flavours.  Full of beneficial bacteria, I love the thought of sipping something so good for me.   One of my lovely work colleagues recommended her favourite brand and flavour and I branched out from there. 

I still have wine every now and then, but usually on occasions.  Most of the time I prefer a kombucha in my favourite wine glass :)  

Learn more about Kombucha ...





Kefir




After listening to Donna, I couldn’t wait to race down to my favourite Organic Fruit and Vegetable Store to buy 2 cartons of Kefir.  I chose a dairy milk kefir with coconut milk and started with just ¼ cup morning and night and gradually built up to 1 cup daily.  I couldn’t believe the difference within just a couple of weeks.  

Within a month, I had the rest of the family looking for it in the fridge.  I even got a text message from my son about the inner workings of his digestive track :)  Seriously, it really happened!  We all noticed a big difference - quickly.  

Learn more about Kefir ...



Fermented Vegetables/Cultured Vegetables


So we were on the Kefir train and I was on a roll!  Fermented vegetables or cultured vegetables have been another revelation in our home over the last few months.  I tentatively bought a jar of organic fermented vegetables from my Organic Fruit and Vegetable store shortly after starting the kefir.  I found quite a wide variety of options ranging from the more traditional Sauerkraut and Kim-chi versions to other more modern combinations and tastes. I took my first tentatively taste and was very hooked from then on :)

In no time at all we were going through a 750ml jar inside a week.  It's great to help jazz up our work day salads or just a small pot on its own.  

Learn more about Fermented Vegetables ...


Happy Healthy Eating!


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