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Never Give Up ~ Do Great Things ~ Eat Cultured Foods


You're never too old to change your life

It’s never too late to be who you might have been.George Elliot

Hard cover set copyLaura Ingalls Wilder – wrote her first book when she was 65. She was depleted of resources by the great depression and her stock market investments, and friends encouraged her to write down her experiences and stories. Her first book led to many others and would turn into the popular TV series Little House on the Prairie. The books have been continuously in print and have been translated into 40 other languages. Her first, and smallest, royalty check from Harper, in 1932, was for $500, equivalent to $8,780 in 2016. The royalties from the Little House books brought a steady and increasingly substantial income to the Wilders for the first time in their 50 years of marriage. Laura has inspired countless people with her stories and life, and one of those people just happens to be me.

sr_marion copySister Marion Irvine – started running at age 47 when she was overweight and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Irvine became the then-oldest person to participate in the United States Olympic Trials in track and field in 1984 when she was 54 years old. She regularly ran on the marathon circuit and the media nicknamed her “The Flying Nun.” She broke numerous age-group records in distance running events during her career and has been inducted into multiple running halls of fame.  

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses – began painting at 76 after arthritis forced her to give up embroidery. She continued painting until the age of 101 – long enough to see the canvases she had sold for $3 fetch prices north of $10,000. Her works have been shown and sold in the United States and abroad, and they have been marketed on greeting cards and other merchandise. In 1969, the U.S Postal Service made a postage stamp from one of her paintings.  Moses’ paintings were of rural life and called “old-timey,” and she said that she would “get an inspiration and start painting; then I’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.”

Louise Hay is the founder and owner of my publishing company, Hay House. She wrote her first book at 52 years of age and started the publishing company when she was 60. She’s been known as one of the founders of the self-help movement, and her book You Can Heal Your Life has sold over 40 million copies. Louise died recently at 90 years of age. I did get the chance to meet and talk with her before she did, and she personally told me that she has had kefir every day. She’s an inspiration and has inspired thousands of people; and she has published hundreds of authors, including me. She’s a cultured food fan and someone who inspires me to be my best. I love her.

My body was struggling

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. At first, I got sad because I wanted to feel better, but I also wanted to do something meaningful with this life that I had been given. However, I didn’t know where to turn. The medical community kept telling me that all my problems ran in my family and I was getting older and this is just what was bound to happen. Then they gave me a list of medications and that’s when I got really, REALLY mad. I hated being pigeonholed, given a label, and having somebody else telling me what my future was going to look like. My body was struggling, but I wasn’t down and out yet. I still had a fire in me and I was going to slay this dragon and find the life I wanted. And God help me – I was going to be one of those stories of triumph – or die trying.

This is when I found cultured foods; or rather, they found me. (Check out my story video) We were made for each other. They became my heroes and set my whole world on a new path. You can change your life as soon as today just by changing what you eat. What you eat is what your body is made out of, so it stands to reason that if you eat foods with good living microorganisms you will feel alive inside. But cultured foods are more than just simply foods. They’re teeming with life in the form of probiotics and this, my friends, is what you mostly are. Ten times the cells in your body, you’re 100 trillion bacteria. If someone loved you enough to give you life and place this inside of you, don’t you think you should pay attention to it?

Bacteria is mostly keeping you well

Bacteria digest your foods, fight foreign invaders, make vitamins, help you digest nutrients from your food, and they do this – and more – each and every minute of the day. With everything you do and everywhere you go, you spread your bacteria, leaving your unique signature of bacteria and your mark on this world. Bacteria can change your mood by making serotonin in the gut, and bacteria in your gut make you crave certain foods depending on the different strains you have. This can set you free from food cravings and addictions and make you crave the foods that love you back. By changing the foods that I ate and eating lots of cultured foods, I began to change. Not only did my body change, but my everyday life began to change, too. You see, when you become well it opens your heart and all you want to do is give back and help others. Most health and wellness experts were at one time sick themselves, and as they became well they couldn’t help but tell others. This is how you change your life – you change yourself. It can be as simple as changing what you eat and adding cultured foods. Then your 100 trillion helpers will start to grow and become strong and you will change from the inside out. This is what happened to me. This is how I went from laying on a couch to building a community of people who are getting well and helping others do the same. I am here to tell you, “CHANGING WHAT YOU EAT WORKS!” You will change your life and the lives of all those around you. You’ll spread your good bacteria here on planet earth, making this world a better place just because you eat healthy, life-giving cultured foods. It’s true, it matters what you eat. It affects everything.

Just pick one and start there

Start with one cultured food. A glass of kombucha, a few spoonfuls of cultured veggies with a meal, or perhaps a pickle. How about a kefir smoothie for breakfast? Just pick one and start there. Start changing the world inside of you and let those 100 trillion helpers you have inside of you work with you.  All I did was change what I put in my mouth, which in turn changed how I felt. And feeling good led to becoming an author, a speaker, having an online presence, developing a thriving store, and more. It is kind of blowing my mind all the things that are happening to me, but I’m not any more special than you.  I was a stay-at-home mom for years, homeschooling my children and teaching them to follow their own path, never realizing that I was leading the way by changing myself.  I just made the decision to do it. That was the hardest part.

Here is where I started

Here is where I started and the first cultured food I made – Kefir Made Easy

You can do it! I believe in you and your bacteria. You’re more powerful than you can imagine. Please don’t waste this precious life by not feeling good, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Listen to My Podcast

Use Your Body and Brain to Feel Younger and Stronger. Cultured foods are my secret weapon to staying young. Let me show you how easy it is to retrain your body, using your second brain – that resides in your gut!

21 Responses to "Never Give Up ~ Do Great Things ~ Eat Cultured Foods"
  1. I like what I read about cultured food’s,My wife and I have been doing cultured foods,kefir,and kombucha for about 2 months.and love it.We think it just may solve lot of health problems.

  2. My friend brings fermented food to our Bible study on Saturdays and sent me your Web page. Since I am into preventative health I thought I would give this a try.
    Kefir, Kombucha and Kim chi have a place on my grocery list but I would love to know how to make my own.

  3. Donna, I am on your site tonight to order a new batch of kefir grains because I fell off the wagon and let my grains go so that now when I tried to make some new kefir it was just awful! I tried make 2 or 3 batches without drinking them because just sampling them by dipping my finger in was soooo gross! But I know that kefir makes me feel much better so having learned my lesson I will not let these go bad on me. I just wish that I could get more of the family to drink the homemade stuff but my husband refuses because he is afraid of getting sick (we have a story from long ago about a “friendship cake” that was made with a starter and he has been leery of cultured type things ever since. He even tried culturing cabbage one time but could never get up enough courage to try it!) but now I have just too many aches and pains that went away when I was drinking the kefir that I must start over and stay with it even if I go it alone! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us! BTW, my husband will drink the store-bought kefir but not kombucha.

  4. Hi Donna, I bought your kefir grains about 1 1/2 years ago and everything has been fine as far as kefir making but I was wondering about the grains themselves. I’m kinda worried about them 🙁 A lot of them, most but not all, have changed into flat noodle like things and don’t have the “cauliflower” look anymore. I did change milks from pasteurized to raw, first whole and now skim). Is everything alright with them?

  5. Hello. Love your site! I’ve been obsessed with microbes for years. However, last year, after eating cabbage, sauerkraut and kale too often, I developed a sensitivity to all three. Now I can’t eat my sauerkraut or kale without getting a mega mega terrible stomach ache. Have you ever heard of this happening to someone? I reallllly miss my sauerkraut. 🙁

  6. Hi Donna,
    I started to read the response “I am overwhelmed, depressed, and burdened, ” and I thought…did I already respond? That person could have been me except, after 3 months of kombucha and 2 months of kefir and cultured veggies, I am now seeing the glimmer of hope. I was diagnosed with depression about 20 years ago and just recently, chronic fatigue syndrome. The medical community told me that CFS could last for years or the rest of my life because there is nothing they can do for it.
    Well, no way will I lay back and accept that diagnosis. My main ammunition is kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables. I found your website in November 2014, and I follow your teachings religiously.
    I am just now beginning to feel a glimmer of energy and I KNOW IT IS FROM FERMENTED FOODS! My diet previously consisted of too many processed foods, so I know that my gut was in bad shape. The good bacteria will win this war!
    Thanks so much for all of the information and encouragement that you give!

  7. Donna, out of all the posts on facebook, I look forward to yours the most each day. I am learning and gleaning so much from you. I have been making my own kefir for almost a year. I look forward to it each morning. I work at a health food store so right now I drink kombucha from there and also get fermented veggies. I plan to begin making my own veggies soon and then will eventually embark on making kombucha. I refer many of our customers to your site and share about making my own kefir and how simple it is and that the best place for grains are from you. I’ve been following your posts for over a year and you are such an inspiration to me. I’m 51 and this article encouraged me to not give up, keep chasing my dreams and I’m not too old to still do great things. Blessings upon you! And great favor for more doors to open before you. 🙂

  8. Hi Donna been on the trilogy about 8 month now . Just got really sick again for few days . Could this be another healing crisis as I have ms . Thanks

  9. You have inspired me to make kefir again! I have noticed such a difference in our health already. I’ve also been making kombucha for a couple months now, and am culturing cabbage this afternoon. Thank you so much for your awesome website! I have recommended it several times.

  10. Dear Donna,
    I am overwhelmed, depressed, and burdened. I feel like I have no control over what happens to me. I opened my email this morning and there was your email full of encouragement and reminders that it’s never too late. I’m 49. I’ve been feeling too old to change. And yet my grandma became a well known Alaskan artist at my age and a published author at 83. I feel like maybe your email is my last chance or maybe a life line. I’m going to try it. Just a kefir smoothie. Can it really be that small of an act? Please keep writing the encouragement. I have your cookbook.

  11. Thank you Donna! You and your site are inspiring and beautifully done! I hear “experts” attempting to convince us that fermented veggies and kefir are good but that Kombucha and sourdough are bad. These experts claim that “wild yeasts are bad.” We must be careful what we take in as knowledge, especially in this day and age, as unfortunately agendas and money are often factors in the information given out by “experts”. Thank you, Donna, for your beautiful, informative site and especially for your honesty and integrity.

  12. Donna, about what quantify of fermented foods do you eat daily? I don’t drink kombucha or kefir because, to be honest, I like them too much and end up drinking everything I have and feeling awful. I can drink the whole quart of kefir and more. So, I’m sticking to vegetables, and have a cup at least with each meal. I also drink fermented vegetable juice – about 6 ounces daily – which for me has been a miracle food. Any thoughts about amounts? Thanks so much for your wonderful posts!

    • You can eat as much as you want but in the beginning you have to let your body adjust as your probably having a detox reaction. I am going to put out a menu of what and how much to eat and a cup of kefir a day is a good place to start. It is really powerful and your doing great with the veggies and juice! Just back off a little till you adjust to the kefir.

  13. My 3 year old daughter is sitting in my lap as I read this post. She’s looking at the pictures. “Yum, Mom, it’s kombucha. Oh, look Mom, something good to eat; I love broccoli and pickles. Can we have kefir for breakfast?”

    Can you tell how we eat? I’m in my mid 40’s with four children ranging in age from 3 to 10 years old.. I was raised on processed food, Coco-Cola, and white bread. Both my parents were obese to morbidly obese and taking more medications than I realized until they died in their 60’s and 70’s. As I was getting older, I didn’t know if many of the things that were starting to happen to me were genetic or not, but I wasn’t going down without a fight. When I discovered your site, I had been making kefir for my family for a year. You gave me the courage to start making kombucha, cultured vegetables, and sourdough. Thank you for sharing you life with ours. Because of you, I am giving my children a healthier start in life than what I had. Because of you I have a chance to live a long and productive life and be able to enjoy my family. Thank you.

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