You're in Control
“I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable; I am an original. I'm not falling behind or running late. I'm not standing still: I am lying in wait.” Lin-Manuel Miranda - Hamilton the Musical
As the year, 2020 comes to an end, it has been a year of strong emotions and circumstances. I'm surprised to say that I've lived a long time (60 years) and now have some life experience that really serves me in times of uncertainty and when things feel fearful.
I have an arsenal of things I do whenever I feel afraid and I know my imposter self is taking over and filling me with thoughts that don't serve me. I cannot control the outside world but I can control me, including my thoughts, how I act, and how I take care of my body. It's truly the only thing you can control and once you master this, you're free no matter what happens around you. It's taken me years to learn this and believe you me, I still work on it. We all have default settings in our brains when adversity happens and I had to train my default response's settings to respond with faith instead of despair when things around me get crazy. This includes times when we thought we were losing our home during a financial crisis, deaths in the family, sickness, disease that seemed to change the body in a negative way, and life changes that upset the normal way of life.
One of the first things I learned to do was to focus on what I was good at and what would serve others. This was one of the biggest turning points for me and was one of the reasons I started my blog. In 2010 our house was getting ready to be on the auction block on my 50th birthday. In desperation to do anything to keep my mind from panic, I started my blog. It worked and calmed the panic inside of me and filled me with hope for a new tomorrow. I believe that miracles should be normal everyday occurrences and through a series of events we didn't lose our house. Suddenly I had a new focus and business that otherwise I would have never done. Check out my story here.
Losing Someone You Love
The death of loved ones has taught me some of my biggest life lessons. In 2008 I was standing in a bookstore when I got a phone call from my sister that my dad had unexpectedly died. I remember quite vividly that the store started to spin in 360 degrees in slow motion and I felt like I was in an alternate universe. Next thing I knew we were driving to my parent's home in Virginia and then the most unusual thing happened. I heard my dad's voice in my head and I was filled with the most incredible joy I have ever felt in my life. I believe I was feeling what he was feeling as he had released all the resistance from his struggles on planet earth, and as he told me the joy of now understanding everything he had ever wanted to know. I didn't know how to explain this to my sisters and mom who were in terrible grief, so I would go to the grocery store for them and sing at the top of my lungs and talk to my dad and that joy has never left me. It is my belief that we don't really die but are eternal and our loved ones are by our side interested in our lives and helping us whether we know it or not. And I would have never had this life-changing experience had I not gone through the experience of losing a loved one. I can't tell you how much it means to me that he is constantly with me in spite of leaving this human plane.
I love you Dad💓 and thanks for the joy, I needed it!
Health and Mental Changes
My life feels dramatically different than it did many years ago, and I cannot wait for each and every day, but I did not always feel that way. Twenty years ago I was living in despair and I started chasing hope like there was no tomorrow. Desperate to find help for my body and help for my family, I was a woman on a mission to find hope in any way possible; and then life turned around dramatically. I trained myself to find the things that would make me feel good physically and this website is the result of that journey. I don't just feel good, I feel fantastic most of the time and I am loving it. I never felt like this in my twenties or thirties and I think it is the only way to live. It is not just the food I am eating that makes me feel this way, but this is where it all started. I started to feel better physically, and then I connected to my mind and soul in a way I had never connected before. My life's purpose started unfolding before my eyes. When you're struggling emotionally you need to take care of your body and give it extra things to combat the stress it's under. Let me explain to you some of the things that I believe changed my inner world, and as a consequence changed my mental state, my body, and my spirit.
The Happy Vitamins
I call B vitamins the happy vitamins. They make you feel great when you have enough of them. And guess what helps you absorb them? You got it - good gut flora. You can't absorb what you need without lots of the right microbes in your gut. When you lack the right microbes, the results are emotions that run amuck and an overall feeling of despair or anxiety. Your adrenal glands manufacture a number of hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, aldosterone, estrogen, and testosterone that regulate body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions and help your body cope with stress. Each of the B vitamins is essential when you have any kind of stress, be it physical or emotional. It helps with everything from mood to DNA synthesis to energy production. Strong emotions cause the adrenals to release extra reserves of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. And, because the production of these hormones requires a lot of nutrients, including B vitamins and magnesium, excessive emotional demands will exhaust the adrenals. A "nervous breakdown" is actually adrenal fatigue, or when the adrenal glands can't deal with the amount of stress they're experiencing. Adrenaline is closely connected with the sympathetic nervous system. Perhaps the very reason you are having these strong emotions is because of things going on in your gut as well.
Lots of B12 In Kefir
Most B vitamins act as co-enzymes, which means that they help form enzymes to become catalysts in biochemical transformations throughout your body. When you have enough, you can feel it. Your mood will shift and I believe it is one of the big reasons I feel happy most of the time. All the cultured foods have B vitamins in them and having good flora in your gut helps you absorb and use these critical vitamins. One cup of milk kefir has half of the B12 you need in a day. I always have two cups of kefir for this very reason. B12 keeps me calm and feeling good. B12 keeps the body's nerves and blood cells healthy, helps make DNA, and prevents anemia.
Look At What's In Eight Ounces Of Kombucha
One of the probiotics found in kombucha called Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) is actually a good yeast. S. boulardii has digestive benefits that support the immune system. When you support the immune system, your body is in a calm and relaxed state. Kombucha is also loaded with B vitamins and other compounds that have helped me immensely and especially during times of stress.
Daily Minimum Allowance
Folic Acid 25%
Vitamin B2 20%
Vitamin B6 20%
Vitamin B1 20%
Vitamin B3 20%
Vitamin B12 20%
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086: 1 billion organisms
S. boulardii: 1 billion organisms
Antioxidants and Organic Acids
Glucuronic Acid 10mg
L(+) Lactic Acid 25mg
Acetic Acid 30 mg
One Cup Of Kraut Gives You 700 Milligrams Of Vitamin C
Another key vitamin that is abundant in cultured foods is vitamin C, which is also key in helping support your adrenals and a myriad of other processes in the body as well. Vitamin C is absolutely essential for adrenal function. Vitamin C will allow you to respond properly to life’s stressors and recover more quickly from them. Cultured foods not only supply you with a ton of vitamin C (one cup is 700 milligrams of vitamin C) but they also allow you to better absorb it throughout the body. Good microbes heal the gut and allow better absorption and digestion from all your foods. Cultured vegetables and kefir are abundant in vitamins C and B. Vitamin C has many, many functions in the body and since it is water-soluble (meaning it is not stored by the body) and is eliminated in the urine, we require a continuous daily supply in our diet. Check out my favorite veggie recipe.
Let me share with you J's testimony that she submitted on my lives touched page. These uplifting stories are why I keep doing what I do. Let her story give you hope. It is heartwarming and inspiring and if you think you can't change, then let me encourage you that you can.
Hi Donna, two years ago I almost lost my life to heavy metal toxicity. I had served in the US military for 9 years and over the course of these years my body had reached it’s maximum toxic capacity. Between several deployments, the 27+ vaccinations required by my job, 7 amalgam fillings, many rounds of antibiotics and a severely permeated gut, my body began shutting down in August 2018. I suffered heavy metal toxicity, kidney stones, gallbladder/liver stones, periodontitis, night-shade/gluten/dairy allergies, chronic fatigue, anxiety/depression, muscle/weight loss, vitamin deficiency, hair loss, SIBO, parasites, chronic pink eye, severe joint pain, pneumonia and symptoms of MS just to name a few. Doctors did not know what was wrong with me or why my immune system was so weak. Did I mention I was only 36 at the time?
I came across your book, Cultured Food in a Jar, and decided to jump in with both feet. I was desperate. I had tried every cleanse, diet and supplement I could find and while I felt slightly better at times, I still didn’t feel well. I ordered everything from your website (kefir/sourdough/kombucha/cultured vegetables starters). I also ordered your prebiotic powder and went and found Teccino tea. I was so excited the day everything showed up. My husband and I ate as much fermented food as a we could with every meal and in between meals. It all tasted so good and I craved it all the time. I didn’t realize how devoid my body was of pro/prebiotic foods or the amount of heavy metals that my body had stored in an attempt to protect me. Over the course of 2 months, each day a symptom would lessen or disappear, and my energy began to come back. Feeling so much better in 2 months was a miracle to me after being sick for almost 2 years. Fermented foods are hands down the way to go, but the biggest difference I noticed was when I did a rectal kefir implant (I used coconut kefir, which also helped heal my Candida). There is research supporting the use of kefir grain implants (this would be an awesome podcast topic!!!). This is what truly healed my gut the quickest. I used about 2-3 Tablespoons, 1-2 times per day. After 2 days, all symptoms were COMPLETELY gone, not to mention the sense of true peace I felt in my heart . . . finally! My husband even does them with me and has seen remarkable results. We will forever continue to use fermented foods. Thank you, Donna, for being such a brave pioneer and leading the way for so many others to follow. God bless you! May you and your gut bugs be filled with happiness, peace, love, joy and success!