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7 Reasons I Have Kefir Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / January 11, 2020

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. […]

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My Kefir Is Too Sour!

By Donna Schwenk / January 4, 2020

Perhaps you’ve seen this happen, and it even happens to me from time to time: My kefir will get really sour. This can happen for several reasons. During your first ferment, you let your kefir ferment too long on your counter, or your house might be warmer than usual. […]

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Best of Cultured Food Life 2019: Our Top Articles!

By Donna Schwenk / December 28, 2019

I hope 2019 was a wonderful year for you. I hope you incorporated cultured foods into your life and saw the difference they can make. I’ve been making and eating these foods for almost two decades and they never cease to amaze and teach me. […]

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Why You Need Christmas Pickles

By Donna Schwenk / December 21, 2019

The Christmas pickle is not really a pickle at all. It is a pickle-shaped ornament that is the last one hung on the tree on Christmas Eve. The story goes something like this. […]

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Does Your Bacteria Whisper?

By Donna Schwenk / December 14, 2019

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 me I needed a Facebook page to help people find my blog and then quickly made me one before I could protest. […]

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How To Second Ferment Your Water Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / December 7, 2019

Water kefir tastes pretty plain unless you second ferment it. You can choose your favorite juice and make a delicious bubbly drink that is loaded with probiotics. Here is an easy recipe to give you an easy guideline to follow. […]

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Second Ferment Your Kefir – Your Taste Buds Will Thank You

By Donna Schwenk / November 27, 2019

Many years ago I discovered a way to make kefir not only taste better but also increase the nutrients in it. It is the only way that I make my kefir now because it is so delicious. The process is called second-fermenting. I have to admit that the reason I second fermented my kefir is that it tasted so much better. […]

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Cranberries Have Many Healing Powers

By Donna Schwenk / November 23, 2019

Cranberries are usually eaten only 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. I got all emotional when I discovered all the things cranberries can do for us. […]

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How To Make The Probiotic That Inhibits Candida

By Donna Schwenk / November 16, 2019

I love kombucha and not just because it tastes fantastic but because it has a special probiotic called Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii). It is an incredible probiotic and when you make kombucha you can get lots of this powerful probiotic yeast. […]

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Eczema and Probiotic Foods

By Donna Schwenk / November 9, 2019

Eczema is a skin condition that causes itchy, red patches on different locations of the body and affects over 30 million people and especially children between the ages of 1-5. […]

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Einkorn Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / November 2, 2019

A few years ago, I started hearing about the ancient species of wheat called einkorn. People who were gluten intolerant were writing me letters about it and saying it was allowing them to eat bread again without the problems regular wheat had caused them, and I wanted to know more. . .

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Reasons To Love Almond Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / October 26, 2019

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. […]

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Histamines and Fermented Foods

By Donna Schwenk / October 19, 2019

How to deal with Histamine flare-ups is a common question I get, and especially since fermented foods can either help or worsen symptoms. It occurs when there is a buildup of histamine in the body. […]

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The Thick and Thin of Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / October 12, 2019

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. […]

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Asthma and Fermented Foods

By Donna Schwenk / October 5, 2019

One of the first friends I ever told about cultured foods had a little boy with asthma. Making and drinking a kefir smoothie every day allowed him to get off his asthma inhaler and live a normal life. I was quite surprised and thrilled that it worked so rapidly. He had been taking kefir quite regularly and stopped needing his inhaler. […]

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The X Factor Vitamin In Cheese

By Donna Schwenk / September 28, 2019

The rewards of making your own cheese are by far worth the effort, and it’s easier than you may think. It is thought that cheese was first discovered around 8,000 BC. Milk curds were strained and salt was added to help with preservation. This gave birth to what we now know as “cheese.” […]

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The Healing Crisis and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / September 21, 2019

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. […]

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Fibromyalgia and Fermented Foods

By Donna Schwenk / September 14, 2019

Fibromyalgia is one of the fastest-growing disabling conditions. It affects 2-4 percent of the population and has no known cure. It seems to affect mostly women, and I see it cropping up everywhere. […]

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Probiotic Foods For Colds and Flus

By Donna Schwenk / September 7, 2019

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. […]

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Will Bacteria Keep You Young?

By Donna Schwenk / August 31, 2019

I remember the day I learned that the human gut held as much as six pounds of bacteria. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t known this and wanted to know more about my trillions of microbes. Could I help them grow and thrive, and in the process live a healthier, longer life? […]

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Which Are The Best Sweeteners?

By Donna Schwenk / August 24, 2019

It’s been quite a journey for me trying to find the right sweeteners for me and my family. It was always really important to me to find ones that wouldn’t spike my blood sugar but also wouldn’t harm my gut flora. […]

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Enzymes and Your Gut — You Aren’t Just What You Eat, You’re What You Digest and Absorb

By Donna Schwenk / August 17, 2019

Eating cultured foods have not only supplied my body with billions of probiotics but also tons of digestive enzymes. This is one of the many reasons I eat them so often. Having plenty of digestion enzymes is one of the keys to optional health. Digestion when you put something in your mouth. […]

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The Many Ways Cultured Foods Detoxify Your Body

By Donna Schwenk / August 10, 2019

I love my microbes and all they do for me. Not a week goes by that I don’t discover something new that my 100 trillion microbes are doing just for me. […]

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My Favorite Vitamin — and Why You Should Have It Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / August 3, 2019

This life is a journey and a fun one but understanding the workings of the body is really important. What if there was a nutrient that your body cries for all day long and you didn’t know it? […]

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The FODMAP Diet for SIBO, IBS, and Probiotic Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 27, 2019

We all know that food choices can drastically impact health symptoms. So, it’s no surprise that diets are continuously developed for different health conditions or symptoms. IBS and SIBO sufferers have a difficult time finding things to eat that don’t flare symptoms. […]

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Help! My Kombucha Is Too Sour

By Donna Schwenk / July 20, 2019

In the early days of making kombucha, I would often let my kombucha go too long and it would lose its bubbliness. There were a few times it turned so sour that it made me squint and gasp. I honestly thought I had killed my uvula. You know that little thing that hangs down the back of your throat. […]

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Yogurt Versus Kefir – Which Is Better?

By Donna Schwenk / July 13, 2019

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! […]

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Chai Spice Kombucha with Blackberries Video

By Donna Schwenk / July 6, 2019

Kombucha is a wonder drink and for good reason. I drink it every day and let me explain to you how it all works. Just as yeast makes bread rise, the good yeasts in kombucha make your tea bubbly. One certain probiotic yeast found in kombucha is called Saccharomyces boulardii. […]

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Low-Carb Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / June 29, 2019

Low carb and keto diets are very popular right now. I think we’re all different and what works for one doesn’t always work for another which is why I love cultured foods. They fit into any diet be it keto, vegan, low carb, vegetarian, paleo, or raw food diet. These foods can be mostly condiments; or some of these foods, such as a kefir smoothie, can be a whole meal. You can always find a way to add cultured foods to your diet and sometimes you only need a spoonful to flood your body with billions of probiotics that change your microbiome in a powerful way.

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Did Kombucha Heal My Husband’s Eyes?

By Donna Schwenk / June 22, 2019

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 was the first food he really grasped on to, and here is why. […]

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This is the Summer You Start Making Kefir Cheese

By Donna Schwenk / June 15, 2019

If you love cheese then you really need to learn to make kefir cheese. It’s crazy easy, filled with probiotics, and you can use it in a million different ways. I make kefir cheese in big and small batches and I want to show you how you can do it too. […]

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Fermented Jalapenos and Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / June 8, 2019

It’s summertime and this is my sourdough starters favorite time of year. I love making bread in the summertime as my bread and sourdough starter will always rise higher due to the warmer temperatures. Even though many don’t like heating up their homes with the oven in the summertime, I have ways to do this that has minimal effects. […]

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Ginger Kombucha – The Anti-Inflammatory Drink

By Donna Schwenk / June 1, 2019

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.

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Get Cultured at The Green Dragon 🐉

By Donna Schwenk / June 1, 2019

Spend a day and immerse yourself into the world of making and eating cultured foods. Donna combines an inspiring day of information with lessons on how to make our trio, The Trilogy: kefir, kombucha, cultured vegetables, and extra info on sourdough bread, and water kefir. You’ll receive a delicious lunch and you’ll be taking home your own jar of cultured vegetables that will give you a starter for many more vegetables to come. . .

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Need Crunchy Pickles?

By Donna Schwenk / May 25, 2019

Pickles are a huge part of my life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used them to help someone in need. If someone feels a bug coming on, I give them a pickle or a spoonful of pickle juice. […]

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The Mineral That Saved My Life

By Donna Schwenk / May 18, 2019

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 to know why I had a tendency for this and what was happening inside of me that was causing all of this. […]

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Probiotic Tomatoes

By Donna Schwenk / May 11, 2019

I have a diverse group of people who subscribe and are members of my site. They have very different diets but all are adding cultured foods to enhance what they’re doing. I’ve discovered that consuming cultured foods is one of the keys to living an incredibly healthy life. Not only have I experienced this, but others are recognizing this as well. […]

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Fermented Vegetables Are Safer Than Raw Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / May 4, 2019

Cultured foods have become an exciting frontier in health and wellness. We take so much for granted and just as this earth spins on its axis and hurls us through space, so does our body contain billions upon trillions of microbes that compose our bodies and were put there to help us live a fulfilling and healthy life. […]

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How Microbes and Your Brain Work Together

By Donna Schwenk / April 27, 2019

A healthy body isn’t the only result of consuming good bacteria – having a healthy gut also leads to a healthier emotional state. Before I found cultured foods, I was a different person – physically and emotionally. As a young woman, and all the way into my late thirties, I would get upset easily. . .

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Thoughts and Habits That Changed Everything

By Donna Schwenk / April 20, 2019

In March 2010 I was turning fifty years old and facing down demons in my life. Our home was going on the auction block on my birthday. I was fighting fear and had two voices in my head. One was filled with hope, the other with panic and fear. Looking back on this time, I remember it so vividly. Months of fear slowly began to turn to hope and for no other reason than I stopped listening to the voice of fear and started to believe that no matter what, I was guided and loved and it would be ok. . .

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12 Reasons to Eat Cucumber Kimchi

By Donna Schwenk / April 13, 2019

I love cultured veggies, but mostly I love the bacteria that make these cultured veggies Super Veggies. Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) has been found in experiments to help you feel less anxiety and depression. It does this by working on the hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor. . .

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You Are What Your Bacteria Eat

By Donna Schwenk / April 6, 2019

You are what your bacteria eat. It sounds like a science fiction movie, that deep within our gut is an entire ecosystem which is affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want. . .

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How To Make Kefir Donut Holes

By Donna Schwenk / March 30, 2019

I’m always looking for recipes that give us healthy foods that are fun to eat and also help feed our good bacteria. It’s also important that the recipe be easy to make and not time-consuming. These donut holes are gluten-free and have lots of healthy fiber-rich ingredients. Not only do these treats have probiotics from the kefir, but they have lots of prebiotics too. You’ll be changing your microbiome with every bite. . .

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Sugar Drops Your Immune System By 75%

By Donna Schwenk / March 23, 2019

Boosting your immune system is one of my favorite things that cultured foods do. Your gut is responsible for 80 percent of your immune system. The more good bacteria you have, the better your immune system will function. Viruses run around looking for a human host to inhabit. When it finds one, your body has special helpers designed to seek and destroy this invader.

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UTIs, Yeast Infections, and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / March 16, 2019

We know that more than half of all women will experience the burning urgency of a urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Although men also suffer from these infections, the occurrence is much less frequent due to anatomical differences. If you experience discomfort when you urinate, you may have an infection. There are two types of infections that commonly affect these areas. . .

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Two Women Who Convinced Me to Make My Own Bread

By Donna Schwenk / March 9, 2019

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 this particular trip would have a tremendous impact on my young life and set things into motion that my future self would be doing on a regular basis. . .

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10 Natural Miracles I Found To Lower Stress

By Donna Schwenk / March 2, 2019

Stress is an alarm clock. It’s your body trying to communicate with you, sending you alert notices; but so few of us listen and I am no different from you. This is a very personal subject for me. Stress made its presence known to me in 2016, but I didn’t listen. I just ignored the signs. I was working like crazy for years and adding more and more pressure to myself. . .

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7 Reasons I Eat Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / February 23, 2019

So as I write, I’m waiting for my starter to become bubbly. Sourdough bread is only flour, water, and salt. It’s hard to believe it […]

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Personal Reasons My Family Eats Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / February 16, 2019

Everybody I know leads busy lives, but did you know there is always help for you? My family had a lot of big changes in 2017, but a constant through it all was the way each member of my family used and ate cultured foods. Maybe this could be the answer for you, too. But first, the journey. . .

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Microbes – If You Don’t Feed Them They Can Eat You!

By Donna Schwenk / February 9, 2019

The microbes that have made your body their home are quite impressive, and most people are unaware of the magnitude of microbes that reside within them. One hundred trillion microbes is a tremendous amount, and let me better explain just how much this is. . .

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Camp Trilogy Class

New York Class – The Trilogy! 4-27-19

By Donna Schwenk / February 7, 2019

Spend a day and immerse yourself into the world of making and eating cultured foods. Donna combines an inspiring day of information with lessons on how to make our trio, The Trilogy: kefir, kombucha, cultured vegetables, and extra info on sourdough bread, and water kefir.  You’ll get to make and take home your own jar of cultured vegetables that will give you a starter for many more vegetables to come. . .

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Easy Ways To Heal Your Microbiome

By Donna Schwenk / February 2, 2019

I talk a lot about your body and what your body is made out of. Those 100 trillion microbes (which is more than ten times the cells in the body) that call you home are your constant companions. Most of you don’t even know your microbes because you can’t see them, but they know you and work their darndest to keep you alive each day. . .

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Kombucha – Healing My Addiction

By Donna Schwenk / January 26, 2019

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’t stop drinking it. It would call my name, so I knew it was an addictive substance. . .

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Can Your Gut Heal Your Joints?

By Donna Schwenk / January 19, 2019

When I first started with cultured foods almost two decades ago, one of the first things I noticed was the relief of joint pain in my knee. This was in the very beginning of drinking and making kefir every day. If I quit drinking kefir, it only took about three to four days before the pain would return, so I kept drinking my kefir. . .

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Can Sourdough Change the Gluten-Free Diet?

By Donna Schwenk / January 12, 2019

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 without the side effects created by regular bread. I had heard that sourdough bread achieved similar results to the sprouted bread, and I wanted to try it. What I learned shocked me. . .

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7 Reasons I Drink Coconut Water Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / December 29, 2018

Coconut water is one of my favorite drinks! It is fast and super easy to make and wow is it good for you. Water Kefir Crystals make fantastic coconut water kefir. It’s bubbly, tangy, and delicious! All you need are water kefir crystals (which are different from milk kefir grains) and some coconut water and 24 hours. . .

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My Personal Christmas Story – That Changed Everything

By Donna Schwenk / December 22, 2018

This is one of the most personal blogs I have ever written. I wrote it several years ago, but what I didn’t know was that the pain was the catalyst that changed everything in my life. I hope it will help you, inspire you, and encourage you to never give up, even when things look like they are going in the wrong direction. . .

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Overeating During the Holidays? Cultured Foods Can Help

By Donna Schwenk / December 15, 2018

One of the most important things I’ve learned about health and wellness is that overeating can be just as stressful on your hardworking liver as drinking too much, but most people don’t know this. Overeating or having too much fatty food on your plate can make it difficult for the liver to function smoothly. . .

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Reasons to Have Fermented Foods During the Holidays

By Donna Schwenk / December 8, 2018

As the holiday season hits, we spend more time with friends and family. One thing I have noticed is that there is more and more talk about the health issues that so many are struggling with. Extended family whom I don’t talk with often mostly talk about how sick they are and all the medications they’re on. . .

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History of Kefir, Kombucha, and Fermented Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / December 1, 2018

We all have trials and struggles throughout our lives and often these struggles have brought me to my knees. But without fail, each and every one of them has been a blessing in disguise. The pain turned to wisdom and I found myself so grateful for the struggle that brought me so much pain. . .

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A Cold You Can Beat After A Holiday Treat

By Donna Schwenk / November 24, 2018

For many years, and way before I found cultured foods, we would travel to my mom’s house in Virginia for Christmas. It was a twenty-hour car ride from my home in Kansas City and we would often drive all night to get there so the kids would sleep. We would always be exhausted by the time we arrived at my mom’s home. . .

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Probiotics and the Autoimmune Epidemic

By Donna Schwenk / November 17, 2018

I’m going to introduce you to your microbiome. These trillions of microbial organisms, which normally inhabit a healthy small and large intestine, are your friends. They’ve been co-creating with humans since the beginning of time, but it is likely you know very little about them. . .

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The 12 Days of Kefir 🎄

By Donna Schwenk / November 11, 2018

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 guys nicknamed it “The Beast”! It was an adventure for sure. . .

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Got an Acidic Stomach? The Surprising Remedy

By Donna Schwenk / November 10, 2018

In 2017, we moved across the country from Kansas City to Southern California to be closer to our two older children. Our family – Ron, me and our three kids and our son-in-law – are thick as thieves. I’ve always lived far away from my mom and dad and sisters who mostly reside on the east coast. […]

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Symptoms of an Unbalanced Gut

By Donna Schwenk / November 3, 2018

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. Symptoms of disease struck my life almost two decades ago and it broke me. Those symptoms shook me to my core and I didn’t know that my body was desperately trying to get my attention to help me heal. And heal I did. With a grateful heart, I’m here trying with all I know to help you too. . .

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How Gut Microbes Tell Your Hormones What to Do

By Donna Schwenk / October 27, 2018

Female hormones are complex and beautifully made. But take those hormones and ignore them, and they will get your attention through symptoms of discomfort that can lead to disease and believe you me, they can wreak havoc on your life. There is no giant step that accomplishes this, just a lot of little steps that can make all the difference.

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Probiotic Foods for Different Ailments

By Donna Schwenk / October 20, 2018

Probiotics have become an exciting frontier in health and wellness. Most people only think about probiotic supplements in a bottle, but today we’re talking about foods that have probiotics in them. These probiotic foods have billions more probiotics than supplements. . .

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How Your Gut Affects Your Entire Body

By Donna Schwenk / October 13, 2018

Let me tell you about Mary. She sat on the front row of one of my classes and cried throughout my class while I talked. Right after class, she came up to me and explained how much these probiotic foods I teach about had changed her life. Sick with digestion and depression and feeling hopeless, she found encouragement and hope from my books to give these foods a try. . .

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Does Your Gut Help Control Food Cravings?

By Donna Schwenk / October 6, 2018

Food cravings — why do you have them? We tend to think food cravings are normal and there is not much we can do about them, but there is much more to it than this. This is a time of change. A time to look at the way we function in this world and do it differently than ever before. . .

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The Flu Shot in a Jar

By Donna Schwenk / September 29, 2018

Fall through winter is the time of year they call “flu season.” People are really afraid of it but I have often said, “The flu should be afraid of me!” When you build up the good bacteria in your body, you create an army that goes with you everywhere you go and touches every person you come in contact with. . .

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Are Probiotic Foods Stronger Than Supplements?

By Donna Schwenk / September 22, 2018

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 […]

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Sleep Problems and Your Gut

By Donna Schwenk / September 15, 2018

Sleeping is fundamental to our wellbeing and health, and I have my own experiences with sleep and health. In 2001 when my daughter Holli was born eight weeks early and weighed in at four pounds, I was a woman on a mission to help her. Babies born this early don’t get the mom’s immunities and Holli was no exception. . .

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Earl Grey Probiotic Pickles 📹

By Donna Schwenk / September 8, 2018

Fermented pickles are the best pickles. Cultured pickles are super powerful, but so is the brine they are made in. The powerful bacteria in cultured veggies is called Lactobacillus plantarum. It is a powerful weapon against pathogens that try to invade the body. It will steal nutrients from pathogens and they will die unable to survive while Lactobacillus plantarum is around. . .

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Fermented Sauerkraut and Breast Cancer

By Donna Schwenk / September 1, 2018

Sauerkraut is an incredible food. I teach people to make it at all my classes. It can be life changing along with kefir and kombucha and I’m pretty intense about it. It changed my life and I have watched it change thousands of other people too. . .

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Healing From Food Allergies

By Donna Schwenk / August 25, 2018

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 any more mom. I feel bad all the time. My stomach hurts after everything I eat. . .

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Is Kombucha Good For You?

By Donna Schwenk / August 18, 2018

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 expected to reach 1.8 by 2020. It 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. . .

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The Many Reasons You Should Eat Fermented Salads and Dressings

By Donna Schwenk / August 11, 2018

There are many reasons you should eat salads. They are one of nature’s perfect foods – they work like medicine. The benefits are many and they’re delicious too! Having fermented dressings is a mainstay in my house and is one of the many ways I add cultured foods to my family’s diet. . .

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Which is Better – Water Kefir or Milk Kefir?

By Donna Schwenk / August 4, 2018

People often ask me about water kefir and milk kefir and which type of kefir I think is more beneficial. Water kefir is a non-dairy 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 non-dairy option. . .

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My Kombucha’s Not Bubbly?

By Donna Schwenk / July 21, 2018

Bubbly, fizzy kombucha is one of my favorite things. Understanding the science behind how it works can help you create the carbonation that most people are looking for. Let me explain to you how it all works. When making kombucha, the fermenting tea will form a SCOBY on top. . .

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Fermenting Tip: Put a Lid on It?

By Donna Schwenk / July 18, 2018

When making milk kefir, many people have been taught to use a cloth and rubber band over the jar. This is one of the most common things that cause problems. When a cloth is used to cover a vessel for kefir, there is a risk of cross-contamination with wild yeasts in the air or even from other cultures, or foods nearby. . .

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Kefir for Breakfast ~ My Favorite Four

By Donna Schwenk / July 14, 2018

I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to feel good, I had to have kefir every day. It seems to work best for me to have kefir in the morning, but sometimes I have it other times too. I’ve kind of played around with different ways to have it and found these four breakfasts give me lots of energy. . .

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7 Tips for Summer Kombucha ☀

By Maci / July 7, 2018

Kombucha is a must-have in the summertime! When the body is exposed to excessive heat, the liver can become stressed and kombucha can help! Drinking kombucha can keep you cool and hydrated in the summertime. It can also help your liver which is one of the organs most vulnerable to excessive heat. . .

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Summer Cultured Vegetables ☀

By Donna Schwenk / June 30, 2018

There is no better time to make cultured veggies than in the summertime! The fruits and veggies are abundant and when you ferment them they’ll last nine months in your fridge! Culturing, or what can also be called fermenting, is a no-sweat endeavor. . .

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7 Tips for Summer Kefir ☀

By Maci / June 23, 2018

Kefir is a living food that tends to have a mind of its own. It ferments differently in the winter than the summer, so understanding the process can make a huge difference. I’m sharing seven tips to help you make great summer kefir. . .

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Summer Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / June 16, 2018

When I walk into my kitchen each day, I see the bread knife and cutting board scattered with crumbs. It is a daily occurrence; and although I like a clean kitchen, this is one thing I tolerate with pleasure. . .

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Fermented Asian Salad Video! 📹

By Donna Schwenk / June 9, 2018

This salad is one of my very favorite cultured meals. It’s perfect for summertime and a wonderful way to change your microbiome from the inside out. I try to eat fruits and veggies at every meal. It is one of the best ways to stay balanced and it’s fantastic for lowering inflammation, balancing your hormones, and keeping those little microbes in your gut fed and happy. . .

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Kefir And Your Blood Pressure

By Donna Schwenk / June 2, 2018

In 2001, I was battling hypertension and diabetes. It was then that I started drinking kefir and I noticed an interesting occurrence. It seemed that when I drank a glass of kefir every day my blood pressure would go down; and not just a little, but quite a bit. It would put me in the normal range. . .

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Cocoa Kefir Krunch Puff Breakfast Video! 📹

By Donna Schwenk / May 19, 2018

This is my daughter Holli’s favorite breakfast. I make extra servings of the crunch topping and store it in a jar for her to use whenever she makes her morning smoothie. This was the recipe that really changed her more than any other recipe. My family is like everybody else. . .

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Probiotic Kefir Nut Butter Video! 📹

By Donna Schwenk / May 12, 2018

This recipe is in my new book Cultured Food in a Jar. I only make recipes that are easily incorporated into my life because I’m crazy busy and I want recipes to care for my body and busy microbes. This recipe fits the bill. It has only two ingredients and it’s so easy to make. […]

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Seven Probiotic Foods to Always Keep in Your Fridge

By Maci / May 5, 2018

When it comes to cultured/probiotic and fermented foods, I am officially obsessed. Not everyone is going to make as many of these foods as I do; but once you get started, it’s an exciting journey! Here are the top seven probiotic foods I ALWAYS have on hand, and why. . .

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How To Fix Your Seasonal Allergies

By Donna Schwenk / April 28, 2018

I have had seasonal allergies since I was twelve or thirteen years old. For months in the springtime, I locked myself inside the house and turned to drugs and steroids that harmed my immune system. This seemed to be what everybody did and I did the same because I had nowhere else to look. . .

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What to Do With Your Cultures While You’re on Vacation

By Donna Schwenk / April 21, 2018

Your cultures (kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and water kefir) are all living organisms and need to be cared for just like a pet. I love them like family, and have found ways to take care of them when I go on vacation. . .

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Is Kefir the Answer for Acid Reflux?

By Donna Schwenk / April 14, 2018

One of the first things I noticed when we started drinking kefir was the help my husband received with eliminating his acid reflux. It was quite surprising to me since he popped antacids like they were candy. . .

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Learn How To Make Water Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / April 7, 2018

Water kefir grains, or we call them kefir crystals, are unlike milk kefir grains as they thrive on sugars and not lactose. These special probiotic yeasts and beneficial bacteria in the water kefir crystals consume the sugar in the sugar water, and they produce probiotics, new enzymes, vitamins, and help repopulate your gut flora. . .

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The Tale of the Disappearing Kefir Grains

By Donna Schwenk / March 31, 2018

We make a lot of kefir. We drink it every day along with making kefir cheese and kefir sodas, so we make it daily. As usual, my husband and kids were helping me make kefir on April 1st, 2014. As I poured out the jugs into the strainer, no kefir grains appeared. . .

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43 Ways to Use Kefir Cheese

By Donna Schwenk / March 17, 2018

I make a lot of kefir cheese. I use kefir cheese in place of any recipe that calls for cream cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. It’s very versatile, and the length of time you strain it will determine how thick it becomes. . .

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Overnight Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / March 10, 2018

I think fermentation is essential to bread making. If you don’t use the help of microbes to make the bread, you won’t get the nutrients out of the bread and gluten will become a problem. I’ve made a lot of sourdough bread and I have a new method that is working spectacularly. . .

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Probiotic Foods for Food Poisoning and Stomach Virus

By Donna Schwenk / March 3, 2018

Of all the health ailments cultured foods can help with, the one I hear the most about is either food poisoning or stomach virus (Gastroenteritis). I’ve seen it work personally on my family many times […]

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Make Your Condiments – Probiotic!

By Donna Schwenk / February 24, 2018

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 five minutes? They will have billions of probiotics and are perfectly preserved for months. . .

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Your Kidneys Might Need Some Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / February 17, 2018

I’ve received several emails from people who have been greatly helped by cultured foods in regards to kidney health. More and more medical research is showing great benefits to using probiotics for kidney health […]

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I Stopped Eating Cultured Foods ~ Here’s What Happened!

By Donna Schwenk / February 10, 2018

I’ve been eating cultured foods for almost sixteen years. I eat them most every day with very few exceptions. When I first started eating cultured foods, I had diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, and felt discouraged and depressed […]

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I Am Having Difficulty Straining My Kefir 📹

By Donna Schwenk / February 3, 2018

I love kefir that is thick like yogurt. However, it can sometimes be difficult to strain out the kefir grains. There is a super easy remedy for this. Enjoy the benefits of kefir and find an easy and quick way to strain it. Check out the video for tips. […]

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7 Reasons to Make Goat Milk Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / January 27, 2018

Goat milk was a godsend for my tiny daughter, Holli. She was born eight weeks premature and this little one rocked my world. I became a woman on a mission to help her be well. Nursing this tiny infant was a challenge […]

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What’s This On My Cultured Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / January 21, 2018

Cultured vegetables are so easy to make with just a few exceptions. First of all, this is one of the safest ways to preserve your vegetables. It is scientifically impossible to get botulism from cultured vegetables. […]

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Winter Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / January 20, 2018

I love winter kefir! It’s often creamier and thicker than summer kefir. Kefir acts differently in the winter than in the warmer months of the year, due to cooler temperatures that make it ferment more slowly. […]

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How to Make Bubbly Fruit Flavored Kombucha

By Donna Schwenk / January 13, 2018

There’s nothing better than bubbly fruit flavored kombucha. For those of you who don’t want to spend the money to buy it, you can make it. Many years ago, a friend of mine was in a bad car wreck. He actually broke the steering wheel off with his chest. […]

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Buffalo Kraut ~ You Simply Must Try

By Donna Schwenk / January 6, 2018

I’m always trying to find ways to help you eat more cultured foods. Taste is important as well as ease, and this recipe captures both. You will love this Buffalo Kraut created by my daughter Maci. It’s crazy good and just a spoonful is going to give you billions of probiotics. […]

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Best of Cultured Food Life 2017: Our Top Articles and Videos!

By Donna Schwenk / December 30, 2017

I hope 2017 was a wonderful year for you. I hope you incorporated cultured foods into your life and saw the difference they can make. I’ve been making and eating these foods for over fifteen years and they never cease to amaze and teach me. […]

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🎄 Twas the Night They Made Kefir — 📹 Video 🎄 🥛

By Donna Schwenk / December 23, 2017

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
no creature was stirring not even a mouse. When out from the kitchen there came such a clatter, a bubbling, and hissing . . . and even a splatter. […]

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Cultured Foods for the Cholesterol Conscious

By Donna Schwenk / December 16, 2017

One of my good friends told me her cholesterol had gone up since drinking kefir, and then she said, “That’s my good cholesterol! It went through the roof and my doctor is very pleased.” I got a few emails this week from people expressing to me that since they’ve been consuming kefir […]

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The Power of Peppermint That Changed a Holiday

By Donna Schwenk / December 9, 2017

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. […]

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Microbes That Change Your Home in 24 Hours

By Donna Schwenk / December 2, 2017

When you and I find the courage and strength to be better in any regard we help everyone around us. This goes for every area of our lives and even what we eat – and it includes our bacteria. You have trillions of hitchhikers that live in and on you, and they play a huge role in keeping you healthy. […]

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Autism and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / November 25, 2017

Her name was Mary and she changed my life the day I met her. It was the very beginning of my journey with cultured foods, and I was in hiding with my newfound knowledge. People didn’t understand what I was doing, and the thought of letting food ferment on your counter […]

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Jicama if You’re Sicka-ma! 📹 Video

By Donna Schwenk / November 18, 2017

If you are looking for an easy cultured veggie that your family will love, then you have to try Jicama if You’re Sicka-ma. […]

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Probiotic Foods and Cancer

By Donna Schwenk / November 11, 2017

In 2010, I had just started my blog and Facebook page, and the second person to post on my page was a man named Chris asking me How to Make Kombucha. He was a friend of my older kids and what I didn’t know at the time was Chris had just been diagnosed with […]

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Kefir and Diabetes

By Donna Schwenk / November 4, 2017

I remember that day quite vividly. It was over fifteen years ago. It was February and bitter cold outside. I made myself a breakfast that I thought was healthy – high-fiber cereal and skim milk. Thirty minutes later a terrible feeling came over me […]

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Gluten Pain: The Best Teacher

By Donna Schwenk / October 28, 2017

I have met hundreds of people who are now on gluten-free diets. My daughter used to be one of them. Gluten pain can make life difficult and become a heavy load to bear. How can this grain that has been around since time began suddenly wreak such havoc on […]

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Life Changing – 20 Second Kombucha Mayo

By Donna Schwenk / October 21, 2017

Mayonnaise is a common condiment that so many of us use regularly. Mayo was said to be the invention of one of the great chefs of France. Marie-Antoine Carême was the personal chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756. […]

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Kefir Blueberry Pecan Pancakes

By Donna Schwenk / October 14, 2017

We love pancakes at our house. I mostly make sourdough pancakes, but I made a new pancake recipe this week, and switched out my sourdough starter (which I love) and replaced it with kefir. Oh my, they were wonderful, fluffy pancakes. […]

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Spanish Kimchi

By Donna Schwenk / October 7, 2017

You really must eat kimchi. Kimchi has a special probiotic that can keep a virus at bay. It can also help with any kind of stomach distress. Just ask the thousands of people in Korea how kimchi protected them from the bird flu epidemic. […]

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Mr. Picky and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / September 30, 2017

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) he ate nothing green. […]

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I Want to Get Cultured —Where Do I Start?

By Donna Schwenk / September 16, 2017

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 […]

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Cultured Veggies ~ Saving Lives

By Donna Schwenk / September 9, 2017

Forget everything you think you know about vegetables and let me tell you what happens when you culture them. Grow your own probiotics in a jar of vegetables, and you’ll be shocked and amazed at all they can do. […]

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Can You Make Happiness in Your Gut?

By Donna Schwenk / September 2, 2017

Emotions are my best friends. They help me not only understand my present state but also how my body is doing. Researchers are discovering that an imbalance in your gut can cause mental symptoms. They call the gut the second brain, and boy are they right. […]

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How to Share Good Bacteria with Your Friends

By Donna Schwenk / August 26, 2017

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?” […]

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My New Book “Cultured Food in a Jar”!

By Donna Schwenk / August 22, 2017

Cookbooks — I have a lot of them, 229 to be exact, and as you can see from the picture of the bookcase in my living room, I have quite a collection. My daughter Maci said to me, “I have a lot of cookbooks too, but you know which one I use the most?” […]

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Nut Milk Kefir That Looks and Tastes Like Thick Yogurt

By Donna Schwenk / August 12, 2017

We went to a nut farm this weekend and found just about every kind of nut you could imagine. Nuts are prebiotic foods and your gut loves them. I love my kefir, but nut milks don’t always make thick and creamy kefir as much as cow’s milk — until now. […]

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Never Give Up ~ Do Great Things ~ Eat Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 29, 2017

I was 41 when I first found cultured foods. I felt old, discouraged, and sick. I remember resting on the couch and watching documentaries about people who had changed their lives and done extraordinary things. […]

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Kefir is Your Ally Against Toenail Fungus

By Donna Schwenk / July 15, 2017

So, do you want to know why you have certain persistent problems with things like ringworm, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot? All of these are caused by a fungus that can spread and grow like crazy and last for years and years. […]

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Candida and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 4, 2017

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. […]

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You’ll Never Think of Fruit Salad the Same Way Again 🍓🍎

By Donna Schwenk / July 1, 2017

It was a warm summer day and I needed a salad, and a fruit salad was just the ticket. When I said I needed a salad this is not just because I think that it’s good for me, but rather because I needed certain nutrients that only these special foods could provide. […]

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19 Ways To Use Fermented Garlic!

By Maci / June 24, 2017

There are certainly many ways to enjoy garlic, but having a jar of fermented garlic in your fridge is easy and convenient to use. You can use this in so many ways, and it is even great to hand on hand for heated recipes. […]

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The Real Reason Men Need Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / June 14, 2017

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 much to my surprise, everybody got better. […]

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Does Your Body Need a Miracle?

By Donna Schwenk / June 10, 2017

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? […]

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The Probiotic Superstar in Cultured Veggies

By Donna Schwenk / June 3, 2017

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. […]

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9 Ways to Use Extra Kefir Whey!

By Maci / May 27, 2017

If you’re making kefir, and especially kefir cheese, you’re going to wind up with a lot of whey. Whey has been called liquid gold, and it has been used throughout history to help with many diseases. In fact, Hippocrates and Galen, two founding fathers of medicine, frequently recommended whey to their patients to heal them. […]

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Day 1 (side view)

Eight Days With Kombucha

By Donna Schwenk / May 20, 2017

Watching tea turn into kombucha is quite a thing to behold. You give it the ingredients and let it work its magic. Billions of microbes and yeasts transform the tea into a bubbly probiotic tea that you will love. […]

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Don’t Be Afraid of Your Ferments — They Know How to Do This

By Donna Schwenk / May 2, 2017

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. […]

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7 Reasons I Eat Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / April 29, 2017

Cultured vegetables have special powers that go far beyond regular vegetables. I love them and reach for them day after day and in times of special need. They can be powerful food – like medicine – and so I always have several jars in my refrigerator. […]

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Time-Lapse Video – Kombucha SCOBY Forming

By Donna Schwenk / April 22, 2017

This is a time-lapse video I did to show you how a SCOBY forms in your kombucha. It’s quite a beautiful thing to behold with all the bacteria and yeasts dancing around in the jar. I hope you enjoy it. […]

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Carrot Cake in a Jar – Culture Your Carrots! 🥕

By Donna Schwenk / April 15, 2017

I have glass jars everywhere in my house, and I have lots of cultured foods in many of them. I’m always looking for new recipes and jars to make my cultured foods in. This is an unusual recipe as it combines fruit and veggies in my favorite jar that looks like a pot. […]

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What Are Cultured Foods? Restorative Foods for the Body

By Maci / April 8, 2017

Cultured Foods and LACTO-Fermented Foods are the same thing. The “lacto” in “lacto-fermentation” comes from the bacteria “lactobacillus.” Many strains of lacto-bacteria and yeasts are involved in culturing or fermenting foods. […]

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Why I Drink Kombucha Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / April 1, 2017

Kombucha is an amazing drink. Sales have grown to be over 600 million dollars, and this was all done strictly by word of mouth. […]

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Six Easy Ways To Store Your Cultured Foods

By Maci / March 25, 2017

Having lots of fermented foods in your fridge is the same as having a medicine cabinet stocked with natural remedies. We reach for these foods not only to keep us healthy and disease free but also when we find ourselves struggling with a virus, stomach ache, or any other kind of ailment that requires extra body support. […]

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When Are My Kefir, Kombucha, and Veggies Done Culturing?

By Donna Schwenk / March 18, 2017

Do you wonder when your kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables are done fermenting? I have a few tips to help you understand how and when they’re at the perfect place with lots of probiotics and will taste the best. […]

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Your Microbes Love Coffee Just As Much As You Do

By Donna Schwenk / March 11, 2017

I love coffee, and I drink a cup every day. Some believe it’s not good for you, but I’ve gotten so many benefits from it that I just knew this couldn’t possibly be true. I have a philosophy about the foods I eat. If I eat or drink something that I know is bad for me, I can never get a positive result from it. […]

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Tips That Nobody Else Talks About

By Donna Schwenk / March 4, 2017

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 bad this is for you?” […]

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10 Ways to Use Your Over-Fermented Kombucha!

By Maci / February 25, 2017

Kombucha is a wonder drink. This fermented tea has been around for centuries and is legend in many countries such as China, Russia, and Korea. There are even stories that Genghis Khan drank it often and gave it to the men in his armies. […]

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6 Ginger Sodas That Can Do Amazing Things

By Donna Schwenk / February 18, 2017

Pain touches everyone in some way; and when this happens, all of us reach for something that we believe will help us. The older I get, the more I find that every ounce of pain is here to teach me something. […]

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Can I Eat Probiotic Foods While Taking Antibiotics?

By Donna Schwenk / February 11, 2017

I routinely talk about each member of The Trilogy (Kefir, Kombucha, and Cultured Vegetables) and how each member has specific things your body needs to help you change your life. But here is even more good news about this trio. […]

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