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The Cabbages That Rocked Florida


True Confessions

picture copyMy childhood nickname was “Tiger.” I always hated that name and got teased about it quite often. Then this year on Valentine’s Day, my husband wrote me a sweet card and in it he told me that he tells everybody I am a force to be reckoned with. We had just come back from teaching a class in Florida and in light of certain events, I couldn’t argue with his conclusions.

When I taught my class in Florida, I went to the store to pick up my 30 cabbages, 50 apples, and 50 oranges for class. Everybody was going to make cultured vegetables and I went to pick up the groceries I had ordered days before. The store assured me they would have them ready for me.

These are not just cabbages!

When I got there they told me they didn’t have any cabbages, or couldn’t find them, and kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, “Sorry.” Well, this did not sit well with me, and like a one-woman army I marched to the produce section of the store and blasted through the doors that were labeled in red, “EMPLOYEES ONLY.” There I found several young employees looking at me with wide eyes, telling me that I wasn’t allowed back there and sorry, but there were no cabbages – they just forgot, or it was a mistake, nobody knew.

classes copyI looked those young men straight in the eyes and said, “You don’t realize what you have just done. I have over 50 people flying in from all over the country to make these special foods. These cabbages will make a cultured food that can transform a life and not only have you let me down but 50 other people who are counting on me to help them. Your job is IMPORTANT even if it’s “just” working with fruits and vegetables, so don’t take it lightly! Now find me my cabbages and make this right! YOU COULD CHANGE SOMEBODY’S LIFE!” Then I marched out the door to find my husband and did my best to calm down. He was talking to the manager who started calling all over town looking for cabbages. The next thing I knew, I had all my cabbages and fruit and they sent me out the door and didn’t charge me for any of the produce. Those boys who handle the produce apologized profusely and I am sure they will either write me off as a crazy person or hopefully realize how important their jobs actually are.

camp trilogy casa copy2Oh dear . . . people shouldn’t mess with me and my cabbages or the people I love who I’m here to help. I take this seriously, and I will teach everybody that cabbages can change your life and they’re not just fruits and vegetables, they’re powerful medicine. Okay, I’m going to stop now since this is starting to sound like a sermon. The really funny thing is that every health food store in that part of Florida started following me on Twitter and Facebook. I think I caused a ruckus and cabbages will hopefully be plentiful when I return to do more classes. I really do love these foods and I love what I do.

Let me tell you why it’s so important to eat sauerkraut

In 2005, a team of researchers from Poland and the United states observed a higher rate of breast cancer among Polish women who immigrated to the United States. They found the Polish women who moved here from Poland had been used to eating 30 pounds of fermented sauerkraut each year, but once they moved to the U.S. they averaged 10 pounds a year.

Dorothy Rybaczyk-Pathak from the University of New Mexico studied these effects and found that sauerkraut contains high levels of glucosinolates.  Glucosinolates have been shown to have anti-cancer activity in laboratory research. “The observed pattern of risk reduction indicates that the breakdown products of glucosinolates in cabbage may affect both the initiation phase of carcinogenesis – by decreasing the amount of DNA damage and cell mutation – and the promotion phase, by blocking the processes that inhibit programmed cell death and stimulate unregulated cell growth,” said Dorothy Rybaczyk-Pathak.

KrautAnother study, published in 2012 in the journal Nutrition Cancer, also shows that consuming fermented sauerkraut is connected with a reduction in breast cancers. Their research supported the effect of cabbage and sauerkraut juices on key enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism.

Many health benefits

florida 1These are just a few of the things cultured vegetables can do, and I have a lot of new research stories and studies coming out in my new book this fall. It’s so exciting to see the research flooding in about all the things these foods can do. For years, I have watched it bring about so many health benefits but never had the research or data to prove it, and now it’s showing up everywhere!

camp trilogyAt the classes I teach, 50 people go home with 50 jars of cultured vegetables that they have made, and with that jar they can make many more batches. This will give them the skill and means to change the microbiome world inside of them. It thrills me to know that I help so many do this.

Here are just a few of my kraut recipes that I consume on a daily basis. I  have new classes posted, see the sidebar to the right for more details!

florida class2 Sauerkraut Without a Culture


Blueberry Spinach Kraut

Flu Prevention: Cultured Veggies 

Shelley’s Cultured Veggies Original Recipe

Wisdom Kraut

7 Responses to "The Cabbages That Rocked Florida"
  1. I was one of the Florida participants that day and enjoyed hearing this story the first time … And you were still fired up! Thanks for what you did for us in Florida and everywhere. I loved meeting you!

  2. Ha! OMG – I have a similar story, Donna! I make a recipe of Dr. Richard Schulze’s – the “SuperTonic” anti-plague recipe, that I follow to the ‘letter’, although I allow mine to ferment for at least three months. For the most part, I sell to family and friends. I try to get the very best quality ingredients and will usually place an order for them ahead of time. If you follow the instructions as they have done for centuries, you begin the recipe on the New Moon, so the timing was very important. I ordered the ingredients from the grocery store and they told me the day and time for pickup. I was livid when the items were not there. I asked to speak to the manager and gave him all the details of whom I spoke with, who helped me; who assured me along the way; who called and promised. I told him what this was for and the orders I was filling; and the timing and the importance of it all.
    Like you, they got my ingredients for me as soon as possible, for a discounted price!
    The part that bothers me, unlike you, is that when I go there, they look at me like the lady who ’caused trouble’ rather than understanding that they dropped the ball; promised something; even called me and told me it was there to pick up; and it had never even been ordered!

  3. the “your 99% microbial…” message above, I’d love to see that as a poster.
    Have you considered (or maybe you already do) offering a calendar?
    I work w 40 some women, each w their own calendar. I felt ill when I had to walk
    past one with a message encouraging colonoscopy!! it would be great to have your information and encouraging words displayed.

  4. Dear Donna,
    I have received your kefir grain one year ago and have been addicted to making kefir and eating it. I have given the grain to friends who got interested in kefir. Feeling good is really contagious…thanks to you!
    Now I know a friend who just had a baby one month ago. The baby is fussy even after eating the mother’s milk. I want to introduce a cultured veggie to the mother so she could try to give the baby a tiny bit of the juice before nursing him. I wonder if you could recommend a recipe that is easier for baby to accept. I really hope this would help the baby because they have been to the doctors several times and it did not seem to solve the problem.
    Thanks and best wishes.
    Wei Wycoff

  5. Fantastic article, Donna! You started it all for me, and my increased energy – only change in my life/diet was fermented cabbage juice – is still a miracle to me. And I just heard from the doctor’s office that my latest blood work is showing lowered cholesterol – which I literally don’t believe, because my cholesterol is just always high no matter what, and it doesn’t even concern me. I’m convinced they mixed my blood work up with someone else’s. Thank you!

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