Prebiotics + Probiotics = Probiotic Powerhouse In the last few years I have been researching, and ingesting, a lot of prebiotics and what I have discovered is that prebiotics are just as important as probiotics. What is a prebiotic and why is this so important? Prebiotics are certain indigestible fibers that nourish the good bacteria…(Read More)

potato salad 2

Everybody knows we should eat more salads, but if you make probiotic salads you quadruple the benefits. The most powerful food combo you can have is prebiotics (food for bacteria) and probiotics (cultured foods) together in a meal. These salads will do just that. When you eat a probiotic salad, you’re getting billions of…(Read More)


Lots of articles are popping up about reasons you should have kefir, but few of the people writing the articles have actually drunk kefir every day for 14 years. This post is specifically talking about milk kefir and not water kefir.  My reasons for drinking kefir are very personal and specific to me. But here…(Read More)

Shelley's orignal recipe

You are under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago. You have the power to change whatever – whenever you want. What you allow is what will continue. It is enough to change yourself. It can actually change the world. What happens when you’re happy and overflowing? You give -…(Read More)


First time I heard about the power of the cultured vegetable kimchi was during the bird flu epidemic. It was a scary epidemic that hit Asia in 2005 – about 60% of those infected with this virus died. Scientists were searching frantically for ways to protect humans and poultry from this deadly virus. Koreans have…(Read More)


It astonishes me that everybody doesn’t know about Cultured Veggies – they are such powerful little scrub brushes for the colon and deliver such powerful anti-virus abilities. Over and over again I have seen these veggies knock out colds and flu and even work magic on food poisoning. The thing that most surprised me…(Read More)


Coconut water is my favorite water kefir. I love how it tastes, how easy it is to make, and how it makes me feel. In the early days of making cultured foods, coconut kefir was a huge part of my daughter Maci’s recovery from food allergies and IBS. It was something she really liked…(Read More)


The legend goes . . . in China, 2727 BC, the Emperor Shen Nong, who was known as “the divine healer,” was boiling his water to clean out impurities. The pot was underneath a tea bush and several leaves fell into the pot. The pot had such a wonderful fragrance, color, and taste that the…(Read More)

lemon kraut

The answer is YES! But you’ll need to know a couple of things before you do.   If you add a culture to your cultured vegetables, like Cutting Edge Cultures or another starter culture, then you’re going to have extra bacteria in your culture that are stronger than just using salt and no…(Read More)


This little guy in the picture is my puppy Scoby (pronounced like kombucha SCOBY) enjoying his kefir. Kefir is incredibly good for dogs and we hear many stories of how it helps them in so many ways. Did you know that your pets need probiotics, too? In fact, most vets and animal experts have known…(Read More)

Probiotic Skin Care

Hi everyone! My name is Maci Dierking, formerly Maci Schwenk. I am Donna’s eldest daughter and the one that encouraged my mom to start us off on this whole Cultured Food Journey! I wanted to share with you some wonderful new skin care uses for cultured foods and the extra benefits! So, let’s…(Read More)


I make Kefir. What’s your superpower? Kefir can be made with many different kinds of milk, be it non-dairy or dairy milk. It differs in calories and nutritional differences depending on which type of milk you use.  Kefir is far superior to regular milk. Fermentation is the alchemy of milk. It chemically breaks…(Read More)

basil smooothie

“Is it just a coincidence that as the portion of our income spent on food has declined, spending on health care has soared? In 1960, Americans spent 17.5 percent of their income on food and 5.2 percent of national income on health care. Since then, those numbers have flipped: Spending on food has…(Read More)


Many people wonder if probiotic pills provide the same benefit as probiotic foods since they seem to be marketed in the same way—healthy bacteria for our guts. However, probiotic foods work significantly better because of their construction. To get into the small intestine and colon, where they do the work of breaking down and…(Read More)


Flashing back to 2001 and my first few months of making kefir, my husband was really leery of it. “Milk sitting on a counter for 24 hours . . . are you sure about this?” he said. He always tries my crazy creations, but it takes him a little bit to wrap his head around…(Read More)

Peanut Butter Kefir Ice Cream

Somebody asked me the other day how I come up with recipes for cultured foods. Many times they come suddenly into my brain.  This will often make me miss my exits while driving on the highway because I am thinking about the specifics of how to make it. Another way they come is through a…(Read More)


Do you want to change your life and feel better? Here’s the truth. I have tons of resources to help you. You can find everything you need on my site to get started, and that information is free. I have other resources that I sell to expand and help you grow, but everything you…(Read More)


Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it but taste it? You can taste the beauty and energy of the earth in every bite. a bright orange liquid I was young, nine years old, and sitting in a classroom staring at my teacher’s desk. She had a thermos; and from…(Read More)

camp trilogy casa copy2

Sold OUT! Saturday, February 20th, 2016 Where: The Kitchen – located in the Santa Barbara, California Public Market   Have you heard about The Trilogy? Kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies are three cultured probiotic foods that can change your life and your body. These are three of the most powerful superfoods you can eat and…(Read More)


Sometimes food is more than food. That’s what I call  kefir. It’s cold and raining outside, and I perform one of my usual morning rituals. I throw together a cup of coconut kefir, a spoonful of cocoa powder, a few heaping spoonfuls of coconut flakes, a few cashews, a little stevia and stir…(Read More)

New Year New FoodNew you-2 copy

2015 has been a busy year at Cultured Food Life. We launched many new products in our store and shipped four tons of products last year. I started a weekly radio show on Hay House Radio. My new book came out: Cultured Food for Health and we expanded our Biotic Pro membership site with many…(Read More)


The holidays are coming to a close and a new year is starting. Do you want to set a new intention to eat better but always feel like you fall short?  Why is it so hard to change? Neurons and microbes You’re redefining who you are through your choices every day, and the hardest…(Read More)

peppermint kefir pie

Kefir Festive Pie


It was gloomy outside, and I was gloomy inside. I was having my own personal pity party, feeling overwhelmed, and discouraged. I decided I was going to take my daughter Christmas shopping and break the gloom that was following me around. I took Holli to one of our favorite places to get something to eat…(Read More)

sourdough brownies

 A sourdough starter has only two ingredients: flour and water. Combined with unseen organisms of bacteria and yeasts and its mysterious ability to transform food, you have a universe of possibilities. It’s Tuesday night and I usually make bread on Wednesdays. I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge to feed it. I…(Read More)


I really want a dragon for Christmas, it’s true. I was watching the animated short film “Gift of the Night Fury” based on the movie How to Train your Dragon and fell in love with the Viking characters’ holiday traditions and their dragons. I double dog dare you to watch that film on Netflix…(Read More)

kefir cranberry

I am thankful for foods like cranberries that most people take for granted. They show me their hidden treasures that keep me well. Cranberries are usually only eaten around the holidays. It’s really a shame we don’t eat them all year long as they are powerful foods that can work like preventative medicine…(Read More)


Sold Out! Saturday, February 6th, 2016   Have you heard about The Trilogy? Kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies are three cultured probiotic foods that can change your life and your body. These are three of the most powerful superfoods you can eat and Donna wants to teach you how to make them a part of…(Read More)

almond nut kefir

I love almonds and they make wonderful kefir. Some people call almonds the healthiest food in all the world and they have tons of health benefits. But I know a thing or two  about almonds that perhaps you do not know. Almonds Provide Protection Against Insulin and Blood Sugar Issues Researchers fed fifteen healthy subjects…(Read More)

easy kefir finished2

Foolproof Kefir


I love kefir grains, but I didn’t start my journey making kefir using kefir grains. I started with the powder kefir and was very glad I did. I was pretty much a wreck at that time in my life and I needed something easy and foolproof or it wasn’t going to happen. Making…(Read More)

Trilogy 3

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I felt off, kind of loopy in the head and couldn’t think straight, and not myself. I was tired and wanting to rest a lot and didn’t want to exercise. This was not like me, and it scared me. Then I got a…(Read More)

CFFH book

“Mom is blogging,” eyes rolling, as they snickered. This was in the early days when nobody thought much of me starting a blog. No one really believed that my writing would amount to anything, and rightly so. I didn’t even like writing and didn’t have any kind of special talent for it. Who…(Read More)

acai kombucha

Is kombucha good for you? Is it alcoholic? As of late, kombucha has been getting a lot of press. Kombucha has become a 0.6 billion dollar industry and is causing quite a stir in the beverage business. Its popularity has grown strictly by word of mouth and is growing at an incredible rate. Even…(Read More)

miracle kraut

I was struggling and I called my editor to say, “I’m having a really hard time writing this chapter in my book. I hate writing about sickness and disease. I so believe in wellness that writing about this is really hard for me and I’m having a hard time finishing it.” Laura, my…(Read More)

Cultured Food for Health Available Now

My New Book Could Change Your Life. These principals in this book have certainly changed my life in extraordinary ways, but are not well know, until now. For 14 years, I have witnessed miracles when people started consuming these probiotic foods, but I never had the studies or research to back it up . . .…(Read More)

pumpkin patch

Feeling sad that summer is over. Patiently waiting for pumpkin season to make it all better. I love, love pumpkin and so does my mom. When she came to visit, we went to get pumpkin ice cream. She says it’s her favorite and it inspired me to make a kefir version (click here). My…(Read More)

Follow your Bliss

I had just started my blog in April of 2010 and was afraid that nobody would be interested in cultured foods. I decided to do it anyway. I believe we are all guided to do things but it comes in whispers, not loud sounding trumpets. One such whisper came from my daughter Maci. She told…(Read More)

coffee syrup

Do you love coffee or do you use coffee alternatives for breakfast? Well, we have a coffee flavored kombucha drink for you and a faux coffee as well. We’ve got you covered! I have always loved coffee, and with all the conflicting info on whether coffee is good or bad it kind of drove…(Read More)

Camp Trilogy Class

Meet the new Super foods that can heal you when nothing else works. I am excited to be going back to New York to teach – The Trilogy, three foods that changed my life and can change yours too. This is the most extensive class I teach. This is a crucial time in history when…(Read More)


It was the summer of 2003. A friend came into my kitchen and asked what was on my counters. I excitedly told her about my beloved cultures and I watched her face change expressions. “These jars have been brewing for days on your counters?” she said. I got that sick feeling in my stomach that…(Read More)


  I am excited to be a part of the The Home in Harmony Master Class. I was interviewed for this series with over 20 other Experts who share their Secrets about Health, Home, & Happiness! There is no more comforting place in the entire world than my home. It is a haven and as…(Read More)

kombucha mayo 2

We all eat condiments. They are easy to make, but most people just buy them.  Why don’t you let me help you make them in as little as 5 minutes? They will have billions of probiotics and are perfectly preserved for months. You will love them, your family won’t know they’re eating…(Read More)

pinnapple kefir smoothie

My grandparents knew. They knew the grandkids were eating badly. They fussed at our parents but nobody listened, because the foods we were eating were so addictive. We reasoned that they were the older generation and they were just being cranky. They didn’t like it when we ate sugar-laden cereals for breakfast or…(Read More)

claires cultured squash

What is a healing crisis? A “healing crisis” is something that happens when the body starts a detoxification process which is really a program of natural healing. This is a common occurrence among some individuals who start consuming cultured foods. When you start consuming cultured foods, your body is flooded with good bacteria. Then there…(Read More)


My daughter Maci moved to Mission Viejo, California, in April and I went to visit  a few months later. I was blown away with all the healthy food choices and health food stores on every corner. We would get up at 6 a.m. and spend our days going to the beach, farmers markets, and…(Read More)

strawberry kefir parfait

For years I’ve been trying to find something to naturally thicken kefir without heating it and adding gelatin. I wanted to make it thick like pudding, and adding chia seeds seemed to work well; but there was a better answer and it was a probiotic’s best friend.  The prebiotic psyllium husk makes the…(Read More)

Scoby treats 2

I get an overabundance of kombucha SCOBYs (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). Every time you make a pot of kombucha you get another SCOBY. So what to do with them?  I usually just put them in my garden. The plants love the B vitamins in the kombucha SCOBYs and they seem to nurture the…(Read More)

blueberry kraut spinach

Be grateful, ferment your vegetables, love others. I have been getting a lot of letters asking if you can ferment vegetables with water kefir or kombucha. You can ferment vegetables with these two different cultures, but the vegetables tend to get mushy and don’t last very long. You will get different bacteria and you…(Read More)

cherry kefir soda3

We have a cherry tree in our backyard. My husband is constantly telling me to get all the cherries before the birds do, but I seldom do. In the early hours of the mornings I hear the birds singing a sweeter song than normal as I watch them eat the cherries.  People ask me all…(Read More)

pb celery

Life changing events Each day, you’re headed down a certain path knowing for the most part how your day will unfold. Then suddenly an event takes place that rocks you to your core. A whole series of powerful events changes your trajectory and in the process can change the focus of your mind, your…(Read More)

kefir cow pies

I have always had an obsession with cows and goats. I’m not quite clear why, but when twelve goats wound up in our front yard on the 4th of July one year, I begged to keep them. They had knocked their fence down after being scared off by fireworks and they came to the…(Read More)

cabbage and fruits

Captain Cook was one of the first people to make cultured sauerkraut a healing modality. When he took his first vessel and crew on a long voyage in 1768, a violent storm arose. The waves tossed the ship about violently, and many crewmen were injured. To save the men from gangrene, the ship’s doctor…(Read More)

salad 2

When I was growing up, my mom had a huge garden. She grew lots of broccoli and we would pick it for her. Even though broccoli is one of the plants least affected by pests, it is not uncommon to find worms on broccoli heads. Without a doubt, I was always the one to find…(Read More)

Veggie recipe

I am very excited about the new veggie starter culture, Cutting Edge Cultures. I decided to make a video about it and share a fun recipe. Making cultured vegetables is easy and fun. People can be intimidated by making cultured veggies and are afraid they will do it wrong and get sick. This is the…(Read More)


This is a guest blog by – Shelley Hanna. Shelley came to one of my classes and found tremendous help from cultured foods. She has become one of my dearest friends and greatest supporters. She strongly encouraged me to write my first book when I didn’t think I could, made the graphic pots you see…(Read More)

apple kraut 2

Apple Kraut


The reason I like to add fruit to my cultured vegetables is that many of these are prebiotics. Prebiotics allow the bacteria to proliferate and make more probiotics. Lemon and orange peel, apples, and berries, along with many vegetables such as onions, carrots, and garlic are all prebiotics. The more cultured foods you eat along…(Read More)

kombucha 2

Here is one of the very first videos I ever made. The first half of the video explains why I started drinking kombucha and how much it helped my family and me. The second half shows the process of how to actually make kombucha. I hope you enjoy the video and you will learn not…(Read More)

Margarita Kombucha copy

Last year on my thirtieth wedding anniversary we took a cruise to the Caribbean and stopped in Cozumel, Mexico. We took a Salsa Salsa class where we made lots of salsa, guacamole, and Margaritas. We had so much fun and since I don’t really drink, but loved the taste of Margaritas, I wanted a…(Read More)

cutting edge cultures 4

To culture your own food you must love and respect microbes. Turning that love into a product puts you on the Cutting Edge. I am very excited to introduce you to Cutting Edge Cultures – Vegetable Starter. Several collaborators knowledgeable on  fermentation and probiotics joined together to make the strongest vegetable starter on the market today…(Read More)

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I’m excited to be a part of the Hay House World Summit 2015. Before I ever started my business, I spent several years learning from the many authors and teachers at Hay House. I did this by reading books and attending online courses like the Hay House Summit. This allowed me to write a…(Read More)

Thte Trilogy copy

People have the mistaken idea that I only eat cultured foods all day long. Although there are a lot of days that I do eat only cultured foods, this is not the norm. I mostly eat them because they’re easy for me to prepare and are what I call healthy fast food. You don…(Read More)

Have your coffee and make your gut happy-1 copy

When we were healing my daughter’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) many years ago, I didn’t realize that, along with cultured foods, we were including a powerful addition that made a huge difference in her recovery. I actually just discovered this in the past year, and it has opened an entirely new world for…(Read More)

date paste

Kefir grains love to eat the sugars (lactose) in milk. These sugars are the primary food for this culture. Fresh milk kefir is only 1% sugar and live kefir grains contain over 50 different types of yeast and bacteria existing in a symbiotic relationship. (Click to see which types) The powerful microbes in the kefir…(Read More)

raspberry kefir

Whenever I feel discouraged there is a special quote by JFK that my husband Ron repeats to me quite often. “A rising tide lifts all boats.” I want so much to uplift others that just saying the words will knock out any discouragement I am feeling. Ron has told me many times that as I…(Read More)


Ginger is powerful medicine! I have been consuming ginger every day and found it to be very effective in helping with any kind of inflammation – especially hay fever in the springtime. Ginger is anti-viral and anti-inflammatory as well as being a powerful antiseptic and antihistamine. They say it works powerfully on allergies to…(Read More)

camp trilogy casa copy2

True Confessions My childhood nickname was “Tiger.” I always hated that name and got teased about it quite often. Then this year on Valentine’s Day, my husband wrote me a sweet card and in it he told me that he tells everybody I am a force to be reckoned with. We had just come…(Read More)


I usually make sourdough bread twice a week. I make sourdough more than sprouted bread as my family likes it better and I enjoy making it so much. There is nothing as special as having a sourdough starter that has your own unique yeasts from your kitchen and hometown – that makes it uniquely your…(Read More)

orangeade kraut copy

Saturday May 16th, 2015 Have you heard about The Trilogy? Kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies are three cultured probiotic foods that can change you life and your body. These are three of the most powerful superfoods you can eat and Donna wants to teach you how to make them a part of your life. They…(Read More)

omega jucier copy

Have you heard of Dr. Max Gerson, the health pioneer ? His story is something straight out of a movie, but his treatment for disease is pretty impressive. Max Gerson (1881-1959) was a  German physician who fled to the United States during Hitler’s holocaust. Barely escaping, he came to the United states in 1936…(Read More)

“I will heighten my life by helping copy copy

My husband was called for jury duty this week and found himself in jury selection for a case involving a very popular restaurant. The complainant was a woman who said she got carpal tunnel syndrome on the job, was treated, and then six months later was fired. My husband was picked as Juror Number Two…(Read More)

cultured veggies

Laura Ingalls Wilder – wrote her first book when she was 65. She was depleted of resources by the great depression and friends encouraged her to write down her experiences and stories. That first book led to many others and would turn into the popular TV series, “Little House on the Prairie.” Sister Marion Irvine –…(Read More)

sourdough 1copy

This is the bread I make at least two or three times a week. As my business has been growing and I found myself with less time, this bread recipe has become the bread I make most often. It only has four ingredients and takes about 5 minutes to throw together. Then I let it…(Read More)

kefir grains

A few weeks ago I had a dream about kefir. I was watching TV in my dream and heard a newscaster say that kefir had swept the world and there was now kefir in every kitchen. I woke up and carried that dream with me for weeks. If everybody drank kefir, the world would be…(Read More)


Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe. My husband is used to my crazy new ideas and has become accustomed to my enthusiasm for whatever happens to be my latest discovery. He goes along for the ride but never jumps in with both feet until coaxed. Kombucha…(Read More)

louis copy

My husband was the last one in my family to try cultured foods. I experimented on my children first. My kids were sick and I wanted them to be well, so we all ate cultured food and miracles occurred. Everybody got better and as the cultured foods began to take over my kitchen counters my…(Read More)

miso soup3

It’s January and it’s cold here in the Midwest. All I want is hot tea and soup. It’s hard for me to want a cold smoothie when I am craving warmth and comfort, but high heat kills the probiotics in my cultured foods. Well, not all is lost because I have found…(Read More)

scoby maci copy

Kombucha, pronounced kôm-bo͞o-CHA, is a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. The good bacteria and yeasts eat the sugar out of the tea and make probiotics and then produce a naturally-occurring carbonation. You don’t get tons of sugar because the bacteria eats…(Read More)

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I made a series of videos for my Biotic Pro Members called The 12 Days of Kefir. These 12 videos are all about making holiday Christmas recipes with kefir. It was super fun (and crazy) trying to film it all in a couple of days. It was so intense filming these videos that my video…(Read More)

I can do it Denver

The Miracle in the I Can Do It Conference Three years ago I went to an I Can Do It conference and it changed my entire life. At the time I was a new self-published author and sat in the back and listened to many of the wonderful speakers, but one in particular stood…(Read More)

Peppermint frosting

18 Holiday Recipes


These are recipes that I make and create during the holidays. Eat probiotic foods during the holiday and they will help you stay in balance. Remember – the probiotics in cultured foods eat the sugars in the food. Then they eat them in you when you consume them. This creates more balance in the body…(Read More)

Camp Trilogy

SOLD OUT!! Saturday February 7th, 2015 Have you heard about The Trilogy? Kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies are three cultured probiotic foods that can change you life and your body. These are three of the most powerful superfoods you can eat and Donna wants to teach you how to make them a part of your…(Read More)

eggnog glass

Several years ago I taught a Cultured Food Christmas Class where we had all kinds of cultured food Christmas dishes. One of them was Coconut Kefir Eggnog. We had tons of samples, but when we passed around the samples of Coconut Kefir Eggnog people began to moan and ask for more. Eggnog was an early…(Read More)

IMG_2156Sourdough Date & Flax bread

Dear past, thank you for all the lessons. Dear future, I am ready. ~Donna I was twelve years old and taking a school field trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, took place. Little did I know that…(Read More)

19.Cultured Foods Speak

Years ago when I was young and raising my kids, I was often influenced by well meaning friends and family. They scared me to death with the latest news they had heard and would say, “Don’t eat this and don’t let your kids do this and did you read that story about how…(Read More)

cashew 2

Cashew Kefir


The tallest tree in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground. This is a cashew apple tree. Cashew nuts are actually the kidney-shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple grown mostly in Brazil. Interesting, isn’t it? Cashews are all the rage these days and…(Read More)

kefir grains in jar

Try to understand your kefir. If you pay really close attention, the billions of organisms will transform your food and then transform you. Is your kefir separating into whey and curds? Is your kefir thin and runny? Most of the time this is because it is over fermenting and you need to add more milk…(Read More)

Camp Trilogy

Sold Out! When? Saturday January, 24th 2015 Have you heard about the Trilogy? Kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies are three foods that can change you life and your body. These are three of the most powerful super foods you can eat and I want to teach you how to make them a part of your…(Read More)

Flu prevention cultured veggies

  All the forces in the world are not so powerful as wisdom that has been discovered by someone who needs it. I had no idea just exactly what I was making when I created this recipe several years ago. I just thought the combination tasted good and seemed to give me spectacular results during…(Read More)

dirt road copy

This last summer has been crazy hectic for me. With my daughter getting married and a deadline for my new book looming, not to mention the fact that both my husband and I have our own businesses . . . it’s been intense at our house. I started feeling the pressure and found myself in…(Read More)

kiwi and blackerry kefir

People often ask me about water kefir and milk kefir and which type of kefir I think is more beneficial. Water kefir is a nondairy kefir that is gaining in popularity. Many people start with this method of making kefir because it’s so easy and fun and they want a nondairy option. It…(Read More)

apple kombucha 2

The bubbly kombucha wasn’t opened yet. But there was an audience to watch I assure you. This is the process at my house. My daughter Maci got married and moved to a farm with her husband. She has a couple apple trees and she’s making tons of recipes with apples in them. Before…(Read More)

trilogy 3

Last Tuesday morning I woke up hearing voices in the hall. It was my husband and daughter Holli, and I could hear Holli crying. She was throwing up and having diarrhea and was very upset about it. In our family we are so accustomed to wellness that when someone gets sick it feels like the…(Read More)

cheese and whey 2

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her kefir and whey. Along came a spider who ate alongside her, and happily digested all day. In the summertime I receive many letters from people who have trouble with their kefir separating into whey and curds. Part of this is the warmer temperatures and also the…(Read More)


  Meet the new Superfoods that can heal you when nothing else works. I am excited to be going back to New York to teach – The Trilogy, three foods that changed my life and can change yours too. This will be the most extensive class I have ever taught. This is a crucial time…(Read More)

How to heal

It was early 2002 and my sixteen year old daughter climbed out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen. “How do you feel this morning?” I asked. Her response broke me. “I never feel good anymore mom. I feel bad all the time. My stomach hurts after everything I eat.” What had happened to my…(Read More)

pickles sweet

Every year I plant my garden, anxious for my fruits and veggies. But each year I don’t plant cucumbers because each year they come back anyway. They will sprout in different places in my garden, always in a place where they can have lots of room. It just makes me laugh and excites me…(Read More)

black bean kombucha salsa

It was 12:30 am and once again I found myself wide awake. It is an interesting phenomenon that has been happening to me this summer. It seems that I am needing less and less sleep. The older I get, the younger I feel. “What is up with this?” I said to myself that particular…(Read More)

bears veggies

Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Donna. She lived at the edge of the Cultured Food Forest with her family. One morning, Donna went deep into the forest to gather berries for her Kefir Breakfast Pudding. It wasn’t long before she lost her way. Donna wasn’t scared though, and…(Read More)


Many years ago I was addicted to diet cola. I know, I know. It is terrible for you. But still, I couldn’t stop drinking it. I had drunk it for years and when I first started eating cultured foods they made me want to conquer my addiction.  But try as I might, I couldn…(Read More)

Lemon basil kefir

Do you feel alive each day? When your feet hit the ground in the morning are you pumped about the day? Do you feel appreciation and love for others? Do you have energy that will last all day? Did you know that you are supposed to feel this way? It is not something that is…(Read More)


I am pretty sure that owning a frozen ice cream machine has solved 90% of all my problems. I’m always looking for ways to enjoy my kefir.  I make mine with stevia, and kefir ice cream can be enjoyed anytime – even for breakfast! This is made with kefir and lemons. It is creamy, light…(Read More)

cultured squash

Happiness often sneaks in a door you did not think was open. One of my favorite things about summertime is the farmers markets and fresh veggies. Turing fresh produce into perfectly preserved cultured veggies makes me so happy, but it wasn’t always that way. When I was growing up, every summer my mom and…(Read More)


Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. This is a favorite summertime salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions that are abundant in the summertime. The taste is so light and fresh that I can eat gallons of this salad. I have had this…(Read More)


  Every day I receive many emails from people who are new to fermenting and want to do a good job. They are afraid they are going to do it wrong, mess it up, or make themselves sick. I know from their letters how hard they are trying. Fermenting foods feels so different from anything…(Read More)

kefir starters

I love to eat and make different types of yogurts in the summertime. I’ve been having lots of fun making these yogurts made famous in different parts of the world. I have been telling my husband for months that I want to move to an island where it is summertime all year long. I…(Read More)

hobbit house-jpg copy

I often make fermented vegetables using a canning jar with a lid, but there are many methods and vessels you can use to make cultured vegetables. Some say you should only use an airlock jar to culture vegetables. They claim that the canning jar method doesn’t seal well enough to remove the oxygen (removing…(Read More)

orangeade kraut copy

It’s almost summer and that means it’s almost “Delicious Cultured Veggies” season. People ask me all the time what I use and how I culture my veggies. DO YOU NEED A STARTER CULTURE TO MAKE CULTURED VEGGIES? No, you do not need a starter culture to make cultured veggies. However, by using a…(Read More)


How did I get here?  I was a new mother at 41 years old, falling apart, and paralyzed with fear. I was sick with diabetes and suffered from high blood pressure. I also had a brand new premature baby girl in my lap. I knew that I was in trouble and I desperately needed help…(Read More)

cruise ship

This last month my husband and I had our 30th wedding anniversary. Ron and I and our three kids are a tribe and we’ve always done everything together. This was the first vacation we have had alone since our honeymoon which we spent on a houseboat in Lake Powell, Utah. So it seemed only…(Read More)

pb kefir cakes

My daughter Maci asked if I would make her chocolate, peanut butter, probiotic, sugar-free birthday cupcakes . . . my word, that’s a lot of words. This is what I came up with. They are gluten free and sugar free. Made out of walnuts, they taste like brownies. My younger daughter, Holli, had one for…(Read More)

My and my flying buddy Cal

My dad had his pilot’s license and would take me flying with him. I remember the very first time he took me flying. I was pretty little and as we took off to the skies I watched the houses and trees get smaller and smaller. I squealed and told my dad it looked like…(Read More)

happiness blend

“How do I apply all this cultured food stuff to my life? Where and how do I get started?” This is something that I hear quite often. People want to change their life and feel better but don’t know where to start. What makes people change their lives while others stay stuck in old…(Read More)

thick kefir

Are you ready to master kefir and eat it every day? Most diseases begin in your digestive system, including physical and mental disease. Once you heal your gut, your digestive system will begin to work properly again and disease symptoms will begin to resolve. Kefir is a great place to start. I have had my…(Read More)

Celtic sea salt

My family has a history of high blood pressure. I struggled with high blood pressure on and off for years and was told to just expect to take medication for it. This made me fighting mad, and I didn’t want to accept it as predetermined destiny that I had no choice over. I wanted…(Read More)

ferments in my kitchen

Do you believe that healing requires a miracle, or do you believe that our trillions of cells govern themselves and create the bodies that we have?  So how does the eye know how to focus or the muscle know how much energy it will need during your walk today? These are the unseen workings of…(Read More)


As a kid I spent many summer vacations in Nova Scotia on a small island (Cape Sable) where my grandparents lived. Their home was right on the water and it was over 100 years old (see pictures above). My great grandpa, Captain Horatio Brannen, was a sea captain and built the home there. He was…(Read More)


When? Saturday April 19- 2014. Sold Out! Have you heard about the Trilogy? Kefir, kombucha and cultured veggies, are three of the most powerful super foods you can eat and I want to teach you how to make them a part of your life. It is the one thing I have found most effective in…(Read More)

always brewing kombucha

Kombucha is growing in popularity and for good reason. The detoxifying  power of kombucha is enormous.  It has been recognized for its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity. As you drink kombucha, you will notice a flushing of toxins from your body as it filters toxins through the kidneys and the bowels. It purges you…(Read More)

46-Strawberry scones

Five Reasons to Eat Sprouted Flour. 1. Sprouting changes everything in the bread. It puts vitamin C, B, B2, B5, B6. and carotene, which are converted to vitamin A. The nutrients increases dramatically, sometimes eight-fold when the bread is sprouted. 2. It deactivates Phytic acid, which is a known mineral blocker that inhibits the…(Read More)

frozen lemons

Support Bacteria – they’re the only culture some people have. So, what is the difference between kefir and yogurt? Which is better?  Kefir is far superior, but yogurt has its benefits too. I read once that yogurt is like wine and kefir is more like champagne. It has more pizazz! To state it simply, yogurt…(Read More)

kale salad2

Fairest and best adorned is the salad whose dressing is cultured. I have been making this salad a lot lately. Last week I had my nephew, his girlfriend, and my older kids spend a few days with me due to a snow storm.  I watched these five young people devour this salad and ask for…(Read More)


A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. ~Hippocrates I found cultured veggies in the most unlikely way, but really it was the veggies who found me. They opened a door to a world that was made…(Read More)

greek yogurt smoothie

Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World with it’s Incredible Properties. I love, love, love coconut oil for a myriad of reasons that relate to many different aspects of my health and wellness. First of all, coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid. This is a saturated fat that’s…(Read More)

lemon Breakfast

“Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.” ~Albert Schweitzer I get hundreds of emails about the subject of Candida and a lot of them are asking me why so many health care practitioners don’t recommend the consumption of fermented foods if you have candida. Most physicians and well meaning practitioners only know…(Read More)

peaches & kefir

A habit is something you may not know you are doing; but once you realize you are doing it, you can stop doing it or keep it going. So why don’t we stop doing things that bring negative consequences into our life when we do them? Perplexing, isn’t it? You just know somewhere…(Read More)

digital-christmas-tree copy

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day [sc_embed_player autoplay=”true” loops=”true” fileurl=”″] This is one of the most personal blogs I have ever written. I wrote it several years ago but never published it. What…(Read More)

candy cane kombucha2

Christmas at our house is a huge celebration. My daughter, Maci, has been labeled “Christmas Maci” because she wants to celebrate it in July, so it was no surprise when she came up with this recipe for “Candy Cane Kombucha.” It is delicious, festive, and full of peppermint. I love it, and so will you…(Read More)

Orangeade Kraut and Cream

This is a guest blog by Annabelle, a California Country Gal with a great blog and yummy recipes. I love her recipes and her new book on Real Food Cupcakes made with whole real foods. She made a super easy cultured food recipe, and I’ve been making it several different ways. It’s…(Read More)

rejuvelac 2

Have you heard of the fermented probiotic drink called Rejuvelac? The first time I heard of it I was just beginning with all things fermented and this drink intrigued me. I was fermenting so many things and I wanted to try this drink that so many raved about. What is Rejuvelac? A drink made from…(Read More)

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I am very privilege to be a part of a great seminar with 24 top experts that share their secrets to Elevated Living. Twelve years ago my life was very different. I felt horrible, discouraged, and sad and I wanted to change but didn’t know where to start. That was when I found cultured…(Read More)


“As the crust of a sourdough boule protects the tenderness within, so it is with the artisanal baker” Sourdough was one of the last cultured foods I tried. I found it had more of a learning curve than the other cultured foods but wasn’t hard, just new. I didn’t have anyone to help…(Read More)


“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” ~ Joseph Campbell The summer of 2012 I was sitting at home reading emails when I got a new one in my inbox. It looked like an ordinary email, but this particular email was one that…(Read More)

bad seed market

When:  October 25th 2013 Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm EST Where: Quest Bookstore 242 East 53rd St. Manhattan, NY 10022 Located between 2nd and 3rd Avenue.Take the “E” or “M” train to 53 St/Lex.Ave Take the “6” train to Lex./51 St. I am excited to be going to New York…(Read More)


 “You say that the world doesn’t need a hero, yet every day I hear people crying out for one.” ~ Superman When I was a kid, I loved Superman comic books. Yes, I grew up in the days when comic books were very popular, and I am proud of that! At first, it was just…(Read More)

I have a lot of people who ask me about weight loss, so I thought I would share with you somebody who has made a big impact on my life and diet mentality. I love Jon Gabriel and his book The Gabriel Method. Jon is a biochemical researcher who lost 226 lbs and wrote an…(Read More)

rons veggies

“About eighty percent of the food on shelves of supermarkets today didn’t exist 100 years ago.” ~ Larry McCleary Do you have picky eaters at your house? Do your friends and family scoff at eating cultured foods? Well, let me tell you about Mister Picky Eater, my husband. When I married him (30 years ago…(Read More)

Sourdough Bread

With gluten allergies on the rise, does it make you wonder why suddenly so many are struggling to digest wheat? For thousands of years our bread was prepared and made differently. Find out how to prepare bread with ease and special cultures that not only make the bread digestible, but also sky rocket the nutrients…(Read More)

Cultured Holiday Class in Pasadena California When: Sunday November 10th 2013 Time: 3:00 – 4:30 Where: Unity Church of Pasadena 3053 Del Mar Blvd Pasadena, CA 91107 I am excited to be going to Pasadena, California, to teach a cultured food class. It will have a special holiday theme. Learn…(Read More)

How do I know that a spoonful of this dish has 65,000,000+ probiotics in it? There is a cultured Green Tomato dish on the market, made by Bubbies pickles, that is fermented. They had it analyzed for probiotics and they sent the results (65,000,000+) to me when I asked. They don…(Read More)

Refrigerated Sourdough Bread

“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.  We give it orders which make no sense.”~ Henry Miller About ten years ago I went to a class on “How to Make Sourdough Bread.”  My daughter had gluten intolerance and we found that she could eat sprouted bread…(Read More)


Learn how to make Probiotic Cultured Vegetables. These are super foods loaded with powerful probiotics and enzymes. They help you digest your food and remove pathogens and toxins. They also deliver more minerals and nutrients to your cells – all in one spoonful of cultured veggies. Everybody knows that vegetables are good for you, but…(Read More)

bad seed market

I’m excited to be adding more events on cultured foods! Getting out and attending live events is one of the most important secrets to my success in all areas of my life. When I attended classes and events, I found myself immersed with others who were living the principles I desired. I was then…(Read More)

ask & it is given

Everyone needs reminders that the fact of their being on this earth is important and that each life changes everything. ~Marge Kennedy I get a lot of emails telling me how cultured foods have touched and changed people’s lives. Often, well almost always,  they will make me tear up as I read them. You…(Read More)

trilogy picture

Trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. Fermentation is an art form and each individual cultured food is, in and of itself, unique. These three foods each provide different good bacteria and yeasts that enhance…(Read More)

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