Fermented Foods For The Holidays

Your Body Will Thank You

"Before you heal someone, ask him if he is willing to give up the things that made him sick." Hippocrates

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. They see me as an anomaly and will say, "Well, Donna can eat like that, but that's not me." A few listen and I watch them as they quietly go about eating healthy and including their cultured foods, and I continue to quietly pray for those who are struggling. If people aren't seeking answers, they won't be able to hear me even if I did offer help. I've always had a deep desire to be well and I will seek it with all my heart, my actions, and turn my mind to thoughts of the things I seek. But it wasn't always this way. I had to get really sick and scared before I was ready to change, and then the answers rushed to me. I never, ever want to feel that way again; and with a grateful heart, I've never looked back.

It's not an easy thing to change and usually people have to experience a crisis to actually change some of their habits. But I'm here to tell you it's not as hard as you think. The cells of your body want to be well but they can't override the harmful habits that most people engage in every day. Here is what I do know. If you decide to change, even just a little bit, your body will help you. It wants to be well! If you start to feed your body what it needs and change your thoughts about it being hard, you'll begin to move it in the direction of health. I see this every day - people find wellness when they never thought they could.

I've had one such email from a woman and I could go on and on about this, but I think you should read it in her own words.

Hi Donna,

Four to five years ago I stumbled upon your website and followed you by receiving your email updates. I had previously read about cultured and fermented foods in Nourishing Traditions but at the time I wasn't sure what direction to go with regard to diet (more raw, Paleo, less fat, etc.). Unfortunately, my putting the culturing and fermenting on the back burner turned into a long 2-year lesson.

At that time, it seemed like I caught anything that was blowing in the wind. Horrible and worsening seasonal allergies, colds, flu, and for the first time in my life a 3-week sinus infection. The worst part for me was how this season of sickness eroded my self-confidence when it came to my health. I grew up in California with a health nut mother (I say this with all due respect) who gave me an alternative perspective on the body's ability to heal itself. During this time I started to second guess myself and wonder if I should start seeing a traditional MD.

Fast forward a couple of years and a number of failed diets when I saw your recipe for Fermented Vegetables for Flu Prevention. I ordered some supplies, your video, and your first book. Within just a few short weeks I had no allergies. Zero, zilch, nada! It was truly amazing and exciting. Knowing that you teach, I checked your site to see if you would be teaching anywhere nearby but saw nothing posted. When I placed my supply order, I asked if you would be coming to Tampa Bay, Florida anytime soon and your office responded saying you were going to be in Clearwater, FL in February! I bought my ticket and invited a couple of friends but shortly after found out my father wasn't doing well and I would need to take a trip to California. Something made me think to ask my husband to attend and although he gave me a bit of a look, he agreed.

You taught the class attended by my husband, Rob, and my friends, Yvette and Lisa. Rob was so excited that he kept texting me during the class saying, "We have to do this, this is so awesome." And the rest is history. We have been making fermented vegetables, Kefir and Kombucha ever since. I can't believe the change in my health, and health confidence and only wish I had started making these foods earlier. Now I know why you speak of them with such fondness!

Thank you for being an inspiration and for all that you do!


Carol Crisp

If you’re new to cultured foods, then let me help you understand how epic these foods are and especially during the holidays. Cultured foods are foods such as kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables, water kefir, and sourdough bread. These foods are loaded with probiotics, extra vitamins, and enzymes. They help your body heal by adding billions of probiotics to your gut. They rebuild your microbiome and this helps you digest your food, reduces inflammation, helps your blood sugar, and boosts your immune system. They even help add the bacteria your body needs to heal the digestive issues and even food allergies. These microbes help reduce cholesterol by using it as a food source and also do this in the kidneys as well. They do so many things that I've dedicated my life to helping others understand how crucial it is to feed and take care of our 10 trillion microbes. It's important!

Probiotics contained in cultured foods consume sugars

One of the wonderful things about cultured probiotic foods is how fun it is to make them a part of your everyday life, and especially around the holidays. The good microbes contained in cultured foods consume sugars, and when you ingest them they help bring balance to the body. For instance, let's say you have them as a condiment at your holiday table, be it a glass of kombucha, a spoonful of cranberry kefir relish, or some cultured veggies such as Christmas Kraut. These foods will help you digest all the food you eat with them. They can keep you from overeating since they are so nutrient dense, and they also keep your blood sugar more balanced. I just love them and appreciate how they work in my body when I need them to. I wish I could tell you how often I reach for these foods when I need extra help. Let's say you eat too much. One of the best things you can do is to drink some kombucha. The liver gets stressed when we overeat, and kombucha helps bring it back into balance. Kefir will soothe the gut, help remove harmful pathogens, and calm your central nervous system. A glass loads you with extra vitamin B12, minerals such as zinc, and lots of vitamin C. These are just a few of the many nutrients you will receive. They will flood your gut with billions of helpers that know exactly what to do to help you stay healthy. So take a look at some of the cultured recipes (see below) you can serve around the holidays. They’re all fun and easy to make. If you haven’t jumped in and started making these foods yet, at least grab a bottle of kombucha, kefir, or some cultured veggies at your health food store and eat them as a condiment. Cold and flu season is a comin' and these foods can help you navigate through it with ease. Your immune system will thank you!

Probiotic Holiday Recipes

Cultured Gingerbread Recipes

Cultured Cranberries Recipes

More Cultured Christmas Recipes

Out December 1st

Listen To My Podcast

If you're not eating cultured foods during the holidays, you're missing out! It's the new, old way to take care of your body when decadent food is everywhere. You don't have to give up your favorite foods, just include some of these options and watch what happens.

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