I think as I become more and more into gardening for healthy edible foods, I become more and more intrigued by fermentation. Composting itself is the use of decaying organic material to better our soil and growing conditions. What does this methodology lead to within our own bodies?
Pre and probiotics are no longer foreign words these days. There's plenty of commercials touting yogurt with "active cultures" for gut health. A healthy gut boosts your immunity, can help you maintain a healthy weight, and can even be tired to your mental/emotional health. Ummm hello? Sign me up for a healthy gut challenge.
I'm no stranger to an angry tummy. Reaching my peak 30's (where I'm closer to 40 than 30) I know I can no longer eat the way I used to. No more binge drinking followed by In N Out or Jack in the Box without loosing a beat. Nowadays almost any meal (especially in the evening) can through my entire system off. I've been avoiding heavy dinners with meat and even pasta for over a year now.
I don't have the willpower at the moment for a complete detox. It's summer, we love to BBQ and drink rose colored wine while the kids play in the pool. I figured a 14 day fermented food challenge is totes doable!
If I can improve my tummy issues, while feeling lighter and healthier and improving my skin than count me in!
For the past few days I've been reading the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz and have been totally enamored by the diversity of foods one can create with fermentation. It truly is a global phenomenon. Every culture participated at some point in fermented foods from Korean Kimchi to German Sauerkraut. How have we lost our way in modern society?
I've been a big fan of probiotics with so-so results. I usually take a combination digestive enzyme with probiotic when I remember to take it or before (or after) a heavy meal. The one I usually purchase has been on backorder for a while. FYI I am a distributor of the product as well so if you make a purchase I get a small commission. Once again I sometimes forget to take it, so I vary from feeling amazing to awful when I eat something heavy and have to rely on my brain to remember. Supplements are great. I take several, but it is always better to get your nutrients from actual food.
So I ran to the grocery store and got all the ingredients to create my own sauerkraut based on a recipe from Wild Fermentation. You can also google recipes on Youtube. I made a version a few weeks ago that did not turn out well. So I'm trying it out again with less salt and adding a few peeled and cored apples for a new flavor.
In the meantime, I also purchased store-bought sauerkraut. It's very important that you purchase it raw. It should say "raw" on the packaging and can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocer. Any jarred or canned and not refrigerated has been pasteurized. And while flavorful, all the good little, tummy satisfying bacteria have been killed during the pasteurization process.
I like things loosey-goosey in the summertime so here’s a fun challenge that won’t make you crazy.
Take a 14 day Fermented Foods challenge.
Run to your nearest grocer and buy raw sauerkraut, kimchi or whatever food fits your fancy. Just make sure it is raw and full of those wonderful little bacteria that’ll make your stomach sing (in a good way).
I haven’t quite figured out a proper dosage yet, but considering my inconsistency with diets lately, at least ONE serving a day should make a huge difference in how I look and feel.
Are you in? If so then repeat after me: I VOW to at least one serving of fermented food a day for 14 days .
How you get that serving is up to you! I like a little sauerkraut pre-meal as a digestive starter but it can easily be added to a salad or sandwich (think Reubens!) or simply eaten with grilled steak or lamb.
In 14 days, tell me how you’re feeling by commenting or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org