About Me

Donna Trilogy copy

Donna Schwenk is a best selling author of Cultured Food for Life and her latest book Cultured Food for Health. She is the founder of www.culturedfoodlife.com, and has a weekly radio show Cultured Food Life with Donna Schwenk on www.hayhouseradio.com/. She served for 10 years as the Kansas City Chapter leader for Weston Price Foundation, a worldwide organization made up of people dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense food to the human diet through education, research, and activism. Donna teaches classes around the country to open people’s eyes to the power of cultured foods, which dramatically changed her health and the health of her family when she began making and eating them in 2002. She and her work have been featured on radio and television—including two PBS specials, Daily Mail, and in magazines including Energy Times, Vegetarian Times, Mother Earth News, and Mind Body Green.

34 Responses to "About Me"
  1. How long does this take to see an change in your body once you start. And how many times a day do you drink kefir or kombucha

  2. Where can I get replacement plastic lids for my old glass gallon pickle jars? My old metal lids are getting too rusty to use anymore but the glass jars are just fine.

  3. Donna

    We make many kinds of cultured Veggies. We also make Milk Kefir, Water Kefir and Kombucha.

    The last time I bottled my Water Kefir I found 2 (cute) Scobies. One one top of each Fig in the Gallon Jar. I have spoken to many people. Some are quick to say my Water Kefir is contaminated by the Kombucha. Other say they have had this happen and they don’t make Kombucha. It’s just a colony and Kefir that has been established for a long time can grow one,

    What’s your opinion?

    Thanks so much
    respectfully
    Robin

  4. Hi Donna, your website is full of great information and has given me hope. I live in The Netherlands but wish I could just be back home where I’m sure I would be able to find all these products much easier. I’ve gone from being a super healthy mom to a very sick one in 3 short months. All because of antibiotics for a bladder infection. I was given the wrong ones apparently. I’ve had many intestinal problems but mostly interstitial cystitis like symptoms that won’t go away. When I read your website it gives me some glimmer that my body could use these cultured products. Have you ever come across other women with similar problems? I’m getting no help here and feel quite desperate. Hoping your experience might shine some light into healing this issue. Love from Holland. Julie

  5. Donna,

    My son was diagnosed with tics. Have you done any research to find out if kerif or other femented foods can help can tics or any other neurological disorder. Please help.

    • Many neurological issues including tics have a common denominator which, in many cases, is ammonia. Ammonia is a normal byproduct of protein metabolism, with protein conversion into nitrogen which will then break down into ammonia. Microorganisms also produce nitrogen which convert into ammonia as part of their metabolism. It is the ammonia or, waste products, that often cause the symptomatology characteristic of neuroimmune flare-ups in patients. A quick search on lyme and ammonia, candida and ammonia, or, als and ammonia will depict the aforementioned theorization.

      Clearing ammonia, provided it is the true culprit, will greatly assist in detoxifying the body and thus lessening discomfort. In order for candida to flourish it must have an environment that it finds hospitable. Ammonia has a ph of 11.6 which is basic. The large intestine should range in number between 5.5 and 7, or, slightly acidic. An acidic environment is not hospitable to overgrowth. A great example of this is the use of lactobacillic strains such as DDS-1. They are much more acidic than the bifidobacterium counterparts and may thus go a long way towards eradicating the yeast. While it is important to kill the yeast, it is also critical to change the terrain of the body.

      Provided that the liver and kidneys are in good working order and can breakdown the ammonia into urea to be excreted via the urea cycle, supplementation with the amino acid ornithine can be one of many tools to be used. Arginine is often used as well, but in the morning rather than ornithine being used before retiring.

      Hopefully this has given another angle to consider. Also, I’m sure the author of this blog, who has been so helpful as to create such a wonderful source of information, may be able to share which cultured foods may have the best bacterial composition.

  6. Hi, I am trying to buy your fermenting lids wide mouth, but there’s no “Add to Cart” on the listing, and I can’t find a contact anywhere on your site. Please help.

  7. Oh Miss Donna! I just watched your amazing video and shed a tear or two (of joy). Your story completely moved me and your joy radiated through my screen! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us and for this amazing resource. I am just starting my cultured foods journey (I too got my milk and kefir grains from Dom in Adelaide – we live in the same city!) and will be using some of your second ferment recipes to start introducing kefir to my toddler son. We started with FCLO and BO, with a traditional/sacred foods diet, but I know we can do so much better because he still gets ear infections and other colds from time to time. I think using your wonderful, life giving recipes will get us started in the best way. Thank you thank you thank you!

  8. Hi Donna.

    I want to thank you for a nice, practical and useful site. I appreciate your products and recipes; I can see that you know what you’re doing when it comes to cultured food. I’ve been consuming fermented food since childhood and been preparing my own fermented vegetables, yogurt and kefir for years so I know a knowledgeable person when I see one.

    Keep up your good work, it’s inspiring!

  9. Donna,

    I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease in March 2011. There is no cure and the medication that I am on has slowed the progression, but the only other is a double lung transplant. I have been taking many different supplements to keep my immune system built up. The only medications that seem to help are steroids, and antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, which will destroy my lungs more. I have been taking a liquid probiotic, but a friend told me about making my own kefir and kombucha. I know that the kefir is very easy to make, and my first batch of kombucha is in my crock.
    I have had 2 lung surgeries, and both my lungs are adhered to my chest wall. I do wear oxygen for exertion and exercise, and at night when I sleep. The weather plays a big factor in my breathing. Heat and humidity are killers, and in the winter the very cold air is a hindrance. I would like to spread awareness the disease, lymphangioleiomyomatosis or LAM for short. The web site to learn more about it is thelamfoundation.org. It only affects women in their reproductive years and is believed to be estrogen driven. The only way they can diagnosis it is with as CT scan. The scan will show the holes or cysts that are on the lungs. It is a very devastating disease to say the least. I can no longer work, and am dependent on my husband and daughters. I am improving as I have been walking over 1 mile a day when possible. Walking helps to improve the lung capacity and stamina. I do go to NIH in Bethesda, MD for the research program they have in place for this disease every 6 months, and to Dallas, TX every 6 months to see my LAM specialist. I will be going the end of this month to Dallas.
    I just wanted to give you my story and background to see if you thought (which I know I will) from making my own probiotics? I do know I can’t hardly quit drinking the kefir. It is so GOOD! I have pre-ordered your new book through Amazon, and can’t wait for the release date. Thanks for all you do to bring healthy information to us for helping our families. I will like you on Facebook.

    Warm Regards,
    Janet

    • Hi Janet,
      All these foods should greatly help you. especially the kefir for your lungs. They help with all kinds of different aliments and I have seen them work great for asthma and And other lung problems as well.

      • This is very encouraging. I have struggled all my life with bronchitis and last 10 yrs have had walking pneumonia about 5 times. I look forward to learning about this and have for some time now. I am choosing you to be my teacher. I am very aware of Weston Price Foundation and that really impresses me that you are a part of it. Your credibility is through the roof!!! You took a bad situation and turned it to good. Thank you Donna!!

  10. I cant stop telling you how proud I am of you! I try to tell people when I work with them to follow their heart. Nobody can get in your way if you truly come from a helpful place. Like Wayne says: ” Dont die with the music still inside of you”. You are an inspiration to me and believe it or not you validate why i love this working with authors. Keep an open mind and have a heart of service and you’ve proven once again it works! Thanks for being an inspiration Donna <3

  11. I am a new author . I am wanting to know how your experience was with the conference ‘I Can Do it”
    I am offered a chance to go to one in 2013.
    CONGRATS FOR GETTING PICKED UP BY HAY HOUSE.

    • Hi Pat,
      Did you watch my Balboa video on this page? It was a huge turning point for me. without it I don’t think I would have gotten published. They said that in the article. Best thing I ever did. Thank you. Wishing the best for you and your success.

    • I am not a vegan but I do really love that cultured foods can be added to any diet. I think that our own bodies can guide us to the things that work best for us. It is the thing I am most passionate about. It is nice that after so many years my body is my best friend and teacher, giving me constant feedback as to how I am doing, body mind and soul. It’s a sweet way to live your life.

  12. Donna,

    Thanks you for your swift response and great link. Chris is an intrepid researcher.

    A vegan friend of mine used Kombucha in combination with other things and is now completely cancer-free-a marathoner, in fact.

    I run a holistic cancer program that works every time. Always looking for more good things to offer my clients.

    Your site is most helpful.
    Jacquelyn

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