“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”Winnie the Pooh
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 dream about it . . . living on an island with a warmer climate and where fruit and veggies grow all year long. I just know that on an island, I could live to be over a hundred, sustained on kefir, yogurt, cultured veggies, and kombucha and little else.
I have discovered that in certain parts of the world, yogurt and kefir have been strongly linked with an unusually high number of centenarians. In the Caucasus mountains, Kefir (called the “Miracle Food“) is a staple food. Many have lived over 100 years, and some claim to have lived to be over 150. Kefir is much stronger than yogurt because of the different strains of bacteria and I don’t go many days without kefir. Since yogurt feeds the colonies that kefir provides, it’s always a good idea to add yogurt to your diet as it helps your gut microbes grow and thrive.
I have done a lot of research on yogurt. Many of the world’s centenarians have consumed yogurt daily and often as a dessert or meal. For instance, Bulgarian yogurt has a rich history surrounding it. It dates back to the Thracians, ancient inhabitants of the Bulgarian lands. Stock-breeders would place sheep’s milk in lambskin bags around their waists, and would create fermented yogurt using their own body heat. They credit themselves with inventing Bulgaria’s only source of yogurt. They also produced the healthiest yogurt in Europe, thanks to unique bacteria native to the country. Dr. Stamen Grigorov found the specific Lactobacillus bacteria responsible for Bulgarian yogurt fermentation. Grigorov went on to identify two more bacteria: Streptobacillus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which coexisted with Lactobacillus in perfect symbiosis. Interested in Dr. Grigorov’s discoveries, the Nobel prize-winning Russian scientist, Ilya Mechnikov, noted that more people lived to the age of 100 in Bulgaria than in any of the 36 other countries he studied. He directly linked this to Bulgaria’s consumption of yogurt.
Have you heard of the Blue Zones? Blue Zone is a concept used to identify a demographic and/or geographic area of the world where people live measurably longer lives, as described in Dan Buettner’s book, “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” At the cornerstone of Blue Zone living is a diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, red wine, and dairy, especially yogurt. Meat is reserved as a side dish. Red wine and yogurt are both cultured foods – they have discovered that it is the prebiotics in the wine that protect and help your heart and not just the antioxidants in the grapes.
The Mediterranean region has recently become an area of interest for nutritionists, doctors, and conscious living experts all over the world. There, several cultures exist in which an unusually high number of people live to the age of one hundred or more. Greek yogurt has become a huge market as people gobble it up. Higher in protein than regular yogurt, it is a a treat for me and I consider it a dessert food. Top it with some lemon zest, a fresh squeeze of lemon, some cherries, and a small dollop of honey and you have a treat for sure.
Over the last fifty years, much attention has been given to the Mediterranean diet, but what of the Nordic diet? Scandinavians are extremely healthy with very little obesity and heart disease.
Pima and Viili are cultured yogurts of Scandinavia. They are made much like kefir is made. You place a culture in milk, leave it on the counter, and after a day or two you have a creamy sustainable yogurt. You can use a little from this yogurt and make more yogurt again and again. I have so many different types of yogurt fermenting that I have been living on yogurt for days. It is the perfect breakfast and lunch for me and with summer here, I am adding all kinds of fruit to it, and Oh My! I love fresh summer peaches and cherries in yogurt with a splash of vanilla. Sometimes this yogurt will take longer to culture on your counter if your home is below 75. Mine didn’t look like it was doing much after a day, so I left it another day and then I discovered it turned into a creamy little tart delicious yogurt that I can’t get enough of.
I just thought I would share with you what has been fermenting on my counter. Little jars of yogurt, kefir, fruits, and veggies. I’m getting in practice for when I live on an island. Don’t be surprised if someday I really do this. You can come visit if you want to, and I will feed you exotic fruits, kefir, yogurts, and cultured veggies. I’ll give you a fresh glass of coconut kombucha and a hammock to enjoy the view. I will make my own Blue Zone and they will write about this woman who lived happily to 120 with her cultures on an island. Just you wait and see, to be continued . . .
I have all kinds of yogurts in my store. Don’t worry if you’re a vegan, I have one for you, too.
New videos for my Biotic Pro Members!
I will release one new video each month during the summer for my Biotic Pro members. This first video is about kefir.