I’ve been eating cultured foods for almost twenty years. I eat them almost 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. These foods were the answer to my cries for help, but never did I think the answers would come in the form of food that was filled with invisible microbes. These special helpers filled my body with microbes that help lower inflammation, thus reducing my blood pressure and normalizing my blood sugars. It shocked me that these foods could be so powerful and it filled me with gratefulness. I then went on a mission to find the wisdom they could impart. Fast forward fifteen years later, and the journey has continued to amaze me. Each of these foods helps me in a myriad of ways, and as the years have piled up I have found new ways they help me such as seasonal allergies, stress, menopause, candida, digestion, colds and flu, stomach distress, and the list continues to grow. I love microbes and every day I walk by the jars on my kitchen counter excited that soon they will become a part of me. It’s amazing that our bodies are mostly made of trillions of microbes that have the power to keep us well . . . so I decided to test them.
No Cultured Foods
I decided to stop eating cultured foods for two months. I have developed such a habit of having kefir in the morning I can’t tell you how many times I reached for the jar and had to put it back in the fridge. So the first few weeks I didn’t notice much and then . . . I got the worst heartburn! It was awful and it started coming on and off every few days. Lots of people have told me that kefir helped them get off their prescription meds for acid reflux and heartburn and now I know why. Heartburn is the worst!! After about a month and a half of no cultured foods, I started getting bloating after I ate, and then I noticed I was gaining weight and the final straw was I got the flu. That was it! I was done – experiment over! I also had a few hot flashes which I don’t get and I concluded that all these symptoms might be made worse since I was probably going through menopause and this can cause a lot of upsets all by itself. The beautiful thing about cultured foods is they help with detoxification since 50% of your detoxification is done through your gut. So I highly recommend kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies if you’re having menopause symptoms. They’ve helped me sail through menopause.
The flu made me feel like I was going to die and it was not fun. I drank nothing but kefir with a little kombucha and swigs of cultured veggie juice because I didn't feel like eating and I knew they would help me through it. Check out this article on why your immune system needs cultured foods. After I resumed eating cultured foods again, all my symptoms went away along with the weight gain. Each of the foods is powerful in so many ways, but all of them have some strains of bacteria that are transient bacteria. These transient bacteria don't last in the body but for a few days. Kefir has many strains that are permanent occupants in your body but some of the 50+ strains are transient ones bacteria.
I was really surprised that my body reacted in the way that it did. I thought these symptoms were a little severe, and for goodness sakes, I didn't expect it to be this bad. Good grief! The older I get, the more guidance I experience about what is the right path for me. I already knew I was going to always eat cultured foods for life and it was just an experiment, but Katie bar the door . . . this felt like someone pulled the rug out from under me. Message received . . . never again. I believe! My body is now accustomed to these foods and without them, I'm not all I can be. Your body wants to keep you well and when you find wellness and then stray from it, your body will give you symptoms and warning signs that not all is well.
Lessons are for learning, not repeating.
Cultured Foods I Eat In A Day
Here are the cultured foods I eat in a day, on average. Sometimes I add a little more or less depending on what I'm doing. You don't need a ton of cultured foods. A little will do you, but you'll need to experiment and find out for yourself what's best for you.
I have one to two cups of kefir, either in a smoothie or breakfast pudding or in one of a gazillion other recipes I have. I usually have kefir in the morning but it can also be at other times of the day too.
I usually have some veggies in the afternoon and this is usually a pickle or a few spoonfuls of veggies with a meal or snack. Kombucha is usually enjoyed at sunset with my daughter and husband by the firepit while we watch the sun go down and I count my blessings. We have a really beautiful view in our backyard. I do drink kombucha sometimes in the afternoon if needed. Like right now, it's 4:00 and I'm having a bottle while writing this blog. I usually drink about 16 ounces a day, sometimes more.
So that's pretty much it. I'll also make desserts and treats with kefir, and my condiments have cultured foods in them so we get our probiotics in many different ways. It's a lifestyle and one I love. I am forever in debt to these invisible microbes who keep me well. No matter who tries to share their knowledge, you won't understand it till you go through it yourself. Life experience is the best teacher and like it or not, you're a host to ten trillion microbes. Don't you think it's time you got to know them? It could change everything. I'm a believer in our body's ability to keep us well. Believing in wellness is life changing.