Fall Preservation…one baby step at a time!

food-prep

I have to admit…I love warm weather and with that said…I love some parts of the change in seasons too. I thought it was a good time to look at Fall Preservation…one baby step at a time!

Have you every canned, frozen, fermented or dehydrated foods? If not, don’t freak out, let’s make it super simple?

What do you buy and use the most? Is it tomatoes, green beans, corn, etc.? Maybe it’s soup, broth, or even berries for that smoothie or yogurt topper.

Now’s the time to think through what you think you could tackle and undertake. My husband’s family is Italian, you might guess that we use a lot of tomatoes and tomato products, like juice, sauce, etc.

Canning tomatoes is really pretty easy and basic directions can be obtained from trusted canning books, online or a friend or family member.

The idea is to keep it simple and to proceed forward, one baby step at a time.

When our children were young, my husband and I loved to make them fruit leathers (or rollups). This is done by using fresh fruit when in season and then dehydrating. A basic dehydrator can be purchased rather cheaply or buy a used one from a garage sale.

By doing this, we provided fresh fruit, no chemicals or hidden toxins, we saved tons of money AND the kids loved them. If you’ve never had homemade fruit leathers, you’re missing out.

Maybe it’s freezing green beans or corn because you seem to use a lot of those items. Or even berries. I love to take advantage of the seasonal bounty and then I save money later and I also supported a local grower if I wasn’t able to grow myself.

We do have a garden, but we don’t grow everything we need. Farmer’s markets are a great source, local growers or even taking advantage of friends and families extra bounty.

Even making homemade soups and broth are so much healthier, tastier and cheaper to make yourself.

Think you don’t have the time. What if when making supper, you put on an extra pan, toss in some tomatoes as an example and let them cook, and then can them.

Another favorite, gather friends or family, make some freezer meals ahead of time and while you are prepping, make some fruit leathers for lunches and snacks.

The idea is to find one thing that you are interested in or use a lot of a master that one thing. Keep it simple. Don’t make it hard, don’t overthink it. Just decide and then do.

Guess what will happen then? Celebration and joy at what you were able to do. And, if you get the family involved, just think what you all learn together and what I also know is this…gratitude is over the top. You get to appreciate your efforts and the fresh foods you have prepared and enjoy throughout the winter.

I hope that I’ve inspired you to at least think about something you could start with. Then, I’d like you to share your stories and the journey. I’d also like you to share any questions you have about starting. Let’s do this together!

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Wellness Mentor

Gluten Free or not to be….that is the question!

go-ahead-its-gluten-free

I have so many conversations with many of you about Gluten. It seems that our current state is “Gluten Free.”

Do you find yourself perusing the grocery store shelves for anything that says it’s Gluten Free or just plain avoiding anything you think might have gluten in it?

If so, you’re not alone. The statistics say that as many as 30% of American adults are actively trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets.

One search even found me face to face with a Gluten Free dating site. The objective, from what I could tell was to help match up gluten-free dieters with others that share the same thoughts or situations.

It’s everywhere, the FDA’s involved, with their labeling standards of course.

Have you ever noticed that when “new” fads arrive, bandwagons get started and people either are head over heal in love with it or they hate it?

Stand around any lunchroom or be at a dinner party, and chances are the conversation will lead to a new diet and today, gluten is the hot topic.

I’m not even saying that continuing on today’s modern diet, you shouldn’t watch the amount you are consuming, but come on…really labeling such foods like potato chips as Gluten free, is that really necessary? They are potatoes the last time I checked…no grains!

In my opinion, if you are in fact looking to reduce gluten in your diet, it’s not necessarily a bad thing if done in the right context. Meaning you aren’t eliminating nutrient dense, naturally gluten-free foods like meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts rather than the so-called gluten-free junk food.

Do people that lower gluten or eliminate gluten for a time feel better? Absolutely and I believe it’s because our bodies need a break for the barrage that’s being dumped in.

All things in moderation are really what this is all about. We live in a culture and society that likes to overdo and over indulge.

I don’t think that eliminating grains from your diet is the answer. Grains provide valuable nutrients that you can’t otherwise get.

I do feel however, that for a time, while you’re following a good, sound protocol to allow your body to heal, diagnose and treat your specific allergies, the key goal…..are to you ready for this?…IS TO BECOME GLUTEN TOLERANT!

I’m sure this might not be a popular answer….but I feel strongly that we should be wise, smart, buying consumers.

Many are giving up good sourdough breads because they have shunned “gluten”. If you don’t know the benefits of sourdough, read this!

Like I said prior, elimination for a time might be necessary. The intent is to heal and introduce some back in!

Again, when we practice everything in moderation, we’re happier and healthier. The choice is yours!

I will leave you with a little checklist if you will. Something that will at least give you a roadmap to follow and getting the help you need and deserve.

1. Eat organic (avoid foods with added chemicals)

2. Eat only pastured or grass-fed meat and drink raw milk

3. Avoid Genetically Modified Foods – go to www.nongmoshoppingguide.com

4. Avoid corn sugars and beet sugars

5. Avoid vegetable oils (corn, canola, soy and processed foods that contain them)

6. Get Blood testing for Vitamin D and B12 levels and food allergies

8. Avoid antibacterial soaps

9. Make or buy and then eat homemade non-pasteurized lacto-fermented foods and drinks

10. Drink filtered and re-mineralized water (add mineralized salt)

11. Eat sulfur containing foods (cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, garlic, onions, chives, eggs, etc.)

12. Avoid glyphosates (associated with food intolerances, autism, leaky gut, etc.)

13. Use unprocessed salt, avoid commercial salt

14. Expose yourself to the sun, no sunburns and do not use sunglasses

15. Know your farmer and buy locally produced foods

While this list isn’t all inclusive, it certainly is a great start!

Where do you see yourself falling short or what do you need help with? Share below in the comments section or anytime on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LiveLifeYearsYounger

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Was there something surprising or confusing about the list I shared with you? Want to talk more about it and see how these things mesh into your lifestyle? Click here and let’s talk further!

 

Photo courtesy of www.exposingtruth.com

 

Life Giving Foods vs. Life Robbing Foods!

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? You might be asking how I distinguish between life giving foods and life robbing foods.

This past week I had the great pleasure to listen to a very wise woman share her plight into traditional eating and the reason was her sick young daughter.

You see, most mothers (and fathers) become fierce momma or papa bears when our young are sick or ill, don’t we?

We want to find out what exactly is wrong and then do everything in our power to make them better.

I know I’ve done this over the years with my own daughters and now with my grandchildren. When they don’t feel well, we’re digging and fixing!

If you’re shopping for and consuming prepackaged and commercialized food products from your local grocery, you are consuming life robbing foods.

There is a list of 10 major life robbing foods that I’d like to share that you should NEVER eat and then I’ll share the list of life giving foods.

Foods you should NEVER EVER eat….

1. GMO Foods

(Corn, Soy, Sugar, Aspartame, Papaya, Canola Oil, Cotton Oil, Commercial Dairy, Zucchini, Yellow Squash)

2. Processed Meats

(Lunch meats, hotdogs, sausages, bacon)

3. Microwave Popcorn

4. Soft Drinks

5. Diet Beverages

6. Refined White Flours

7. Refined Sugars

8. Conventional “Dirty” Produce (see EWG’s Dirty Dozen listing here)

9. Farmed Salmon

10. Hydrogenated Oils (canola, shortening, vegetable oils)

(Most baked goods use these oils)

Whew….that’s a list isn’t it?

Now would you like the list of foods that are living giving and good for you? It’s my pleasure to present them!

1. Bone Broths

2. Raw Milk

3. Yogurt

4. Kefir

5. Grass-fed Beef, Pork, Lamb

6. Pastured poultry (chicken, turkey)

7. Sourdough Bread

8. Pastured Eggs

9. Fresh fruits and veggies (preferably organic)

10. Soaked grains, nuts, seeds, beans

11. Fermented veggies, fruits and teas

Yum!!! This is the food items that I adore! When foods are properly grown, prepared and eaten, they give life and they taste absolutely delicious!

Often times in conversations, it comes about that “healthy” doesn’t taste good. Well, have I got news for you. When you eat the “life giving” foods I outlined above, your whole body sings, including your mouth!

Every cell is awakened and having a party and rejoicing! One of my clients recently shared how she’s feeling just after two weeks of consuming Kombucha (fermented tea) and Bone broths. The results are amazing and she’s seeing the proof.

Guess what else is amazing? She’s telling everyone that will listen. Why? Because when you’ve struggled with something like IBS for so long and you don’t have control over what your body does, and all of a sudden you are given a glimpse of normal and vibrant living, you feel fabulous, you look fabulous, people notice and you sing!

Isn’t it time to take back your health and your life? Do you feel doomed to just suffer through? Or perhaps you’ve tried so many things and nothing seems to work.

It really isn’t your fault. You just need a fresh start, some sound guidance, a good roadmap to follow to your destination, which is great health, energy, sound sleep, vibrant vitality and the feelings of being youthful and sexy again.

I really don’t believe we were put on this planet to suffer. We are created of a higher power and image and that image isn’t one of a broken down body that suffers needlessly.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the “Life Robbing” and “Life Giving” foods list? Share your comments below.

To Your Health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Are you ready for your personal roadmap to health and vibrancy? Click here to talk and make a plan! Isn’t it time to take your life back?

Healthy Gut and Clear Skin – They go hand in hand!

Before and after makeup

Are you constantly plagued with acne or other skin disorders and it doesn’t seem to get better? Or….it gets better for a second and then flairs back up?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone.

What triggered this article; was this. Earlier this week, we (my sister-in-law Kathy and I) did a Fermenting class and demo. After the class, while speaking to so many, one particular lady asked me about my skincare use.

She approached the subject like this…”Since you’re the healthy and organic girl, it would make sense that you probably use good quality organic skincare products too, right?”

While this isn’t the first time people have commented on my skin, it’s the first time in the context of a food class.

Now remember, I’m an experimenter and researcher, so my logical brain went into the correlation between our gut health, our brain and our skin.

You see, they really all do work systematically together. I’ve always instinctively known that what you put in shows up on the outside, via your skin, your weight, your mood, etc.

When you are stressed what happens? You tend to eat and/or drink more caffeinated foods/drinks and you sleep less. You also tend to pick up more of the junk or comfort foods than you might normally.

So imagine a life like this. We’re constantly barraged with stress, toxins, processed foods and a body that’s stressed more and more and more!

What happens? We might start noticing symptoms of indigestion, acid reflux, autoimmune diseases, skin disorders, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression, anxiety, or other issues.

What if you haven’t noticed any of these things, other than the “normal” stresses? You’ve had hardly any real signs of gut disorders that would lead the face breaking out and/or the dry patches of skin.

There are many studies that link gut health to skin health. Vitamin A and D are essential to good skin. If you suffer from “leaky gut”, your body isn’t utilizing the nutrients that you are taking in and these toxic antibodies are floating into your bloodstream and causing havoc on the outside as well as the inside.

Since the skin covers a large percentage of our bodies, and it does absorb a lot of what’s put on it, it does warrant some thought about what happens from the inside out and vice versa.

Going back to the ladies question about my skincare, yes I do take care of what I put on the outside. As I just mentioned, our skin is a giant sponge and if it gets clogged up with toxic overload from so called good skincare, we are just overloading our system with more junk.

The big named cosmetics don’t want you to know that the more you use their toxic products, they more you are reliant on using them, as they continually will make your skin worse.

Same goes for the overload on the inside. If you don’t deal with these issues and go through a healing process, you’ll never have the health or skin that you desire.

I know, balloon buster here! The good news is this….there is hope and healing to be had. I keep saying this! At some point, I hope that you believe it internally and take the necessary steps to do what you have to!

Acne is a big problem for many and it almost always can and is linked to gut health. Clean up your gut and clean up your skin. Let’s face it. We all have some vanity or we’d not be human.

Who wants to truly live with a face, neck, scalp or body marked by acne or other major skin disorders? Let’s face it….we all need to take care of our inside so our bodies can take care of us, which includes the outside.

What experiences have you had with skin disorders and cleaning up your diet and gut health?

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Do you have severe skin disorders and have tried everything and nothing is working? Click here and let’s make a plan to turn this around and reveal the absolute health and beauty of you!

What’s a Belly to do?

Ferments

On Tuesday night, my sister-in-law, Kathy and I did our Fermentation presentation and Demo class in front of a room full of novices and veterans alike.

Wow, what an awesome experience. We showcased this class last year for a large group and had much success and were graciously invited to teach this year to a new group of amazing folks.

Something we noticed is that the room had quite a few experienced fermenters and they had some great comments and questions, which we love.

The base or foundation of the class is to look at the “science” behind fermentation, which is Kathy’s forte, as she’s a Science teacher by day and a great presenter by night J. She also shared her plight with Diabetes and the amazing healing journey that has unfolded over the last year or so! Yes, eating and drinking fermented foods can help with Diabetes…hmmm! Ask me how!

By incorporating the why and how, we feel it helps us truly understand why bacteria is good for us and to learn that consuming “fermented” foods isn’t bad for us or going to “kill” us, as many would have you believe.

One of the points of discussion was on fermenting in the typical fashion, which is to properly prepare and then allow to sit and ferment for several days and then some would have you can or process with heat to store.

There were those in the room who have family members that practice this method. If this is you, can I share that if you are fermenting for the benefits of healthy probiotics, bacteria and enzymes, when you heat it after the fermenting period in a hot water bath or pressure cooker, you now have a very dead food?

Why is this important to distinguish? The art of fermentation is for several reasons, namely to take food sources in their raw state, allow them to lacto-ferment and they become powerhouse foods. They are now inoculated with more vitamins and minerals than their original state.

They also are now loaded with probiotics to help our gut system, which plays the role of being 75-80% of our immune system health and it puts in good healthy bacteria to populate all that which is killed throughout our normal living.

Implanting good bacteria also helps to offset the bad guys running around too. Because our society is so heavily abused by antibiotic use, antibacterial soaps, and chlorinated water, there is no distinction between good and bad bacteria, they all get wiped out.

What most don’t understand is that we have to either put in a good probiotic or eat good fermented foods daily. Not occasionally, but daily.

Our bodies are under constant attack by our environment, our foods, our toxic Ag products and acres and even our homes. Do you realize that the beloved cleaning products you bring in to “scrub away” the grime; make the inside of your home more caustic than the outside, in many cases? Another topic for another day!

If you’re interested in diving into the world of fermentation deeper, there are many great sources, including a previous article I wrote here.

Fermentation is a godsend in my family’s home. There are at least 5 jars of different ferments as well as Kombucha at any given time. You will also find sourdough bread too!

Why? Pure health benefits….plus they taste wonderful! It’s truly a party in your mouth and your gut (belly).

If you need to heal your body, fermented foods will be a great addition. We talked about introducing these foods to young children, as the sooner you do, the easier it will be.

Have you noticed how young our children and grandchildren that are being diagnosed with horrendous illness and diseases? Is it a fluke? I don’t think so. We have to wake up and take charge of our health or you won’t be enjoying good health.

Got questions, ask away in the comments section below. What are your favorite fermented foods?

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Do you need a solid plan to take back your health? One that provides instruction, accountability, celebration, praise, goals and positive action? Look no further. Click here and let’s talk!

 

Benefits of consuming kefir regularly

Kefir

Welcome to the world of delicious and probiotic rich kefir. Did you know that kefir has over 50 strands of probiotics/bacteria in it?

Kefir is easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete is a complete protein. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it plays important roles in a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. Its calming effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD.

The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote healthy bowel movements, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity. Helps provide a healthy gut flora.

Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings because it makes the body more balanced and nourished. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of health condition.

For the lactose intolerant, kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.

Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy. Although it is slightly mucous forming, the mucous has a “clean” quality to it that creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the population of friendly bacteria.

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, as well as hormonal system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.

Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.

I often get asked if yogurt and kefir is the same thing. The difference between the two is this…they are both fermented milk products …but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.

Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.

It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.

Kefir’s active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, the elderly and people experiencing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders.

Now that I have kefir grains, what do I do with them?

You are starting out with 1 tablespoon of grains.

Add this to 1 cup of milk.

I put them into a pint mason jar, close the lid and let sit on your kitchen counter for 24 hours, out of direct sunlight. Pour kefir into a strainer, with a bowl underneath. Take a spatula and work the kefir through the strainer. You’ll be left with the grains, which are gelatinous cauliflower like substances, ranging in size from a small piece of grain to a fairly large piece.

NOTE: The first time you make your kefir, if your grains were stored in water, the fermentation period might be more like 36 hours vs. the typical 24 hours.

The consistency will be slightly thick and have a more pungent smell to it. You’re good to go.

Rinse out the jar that you fermented in and put the grains back into the jar along with another cup of milk. DO NOT rinse your grains.

Wait another 24 hours and repeat the process above. You can continue this indefinitely.

Your grains will grow. Expect this to happen after the first couple of weeks of fermenting with them. After that, they will expand a little more rapidly.

Keep them, make more kefir, store them in another jar of milk in the refrigerator or share them with family and friends.

Always keep your ratio of 1 tablespoon of grains to 1 cup of milk. If you want to make more because you have more grains, just keep this same measure and you’ll be fine.

When I make a quart, I use approx. 3 tablespoons of grains to 3 cups of milk.

If I have unused kefir, I store it in a mason jar with a lid in my refrigerator. It will keep for a couple of weeks, no problem. Another thing I like to do is fill an ice cube tray with them, freeze and then pop into a freezer bag. These are great for smoothies or anything else you might want to use them for. I find that 3 cubes equals approx. ¼ cup, which is a nice measurement for some recipes. You can thaw and use.

Another tip: If you find yourself with an abundance of kefir because you haven’t been using it as frequently or you’re traveling and can’t keep up with production, add them to some milk in a jar and store them in your refrigerator.

When you’re ready to start up again, measure out a tablespoon to 1 cup of milk and start again.

Use kefir in smoothies, baked goods, dressings; make whey from it and so much more.

You can also just drink it straight up. Yum!

There are some great ways to do a second ferment as well. My favorite is to peel the skin from an orange or lemon, place in a jar and pour the finished kefir over it. Place the lid on the jar and set on your counter another 24 hours.

The kefir will take on the citrusy flavor and won’t be so sour tasting. This is especially good for those not accustomed to the flavor of regular kefir or just those that like something a bit different and refreshing.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and I hope to hear from you.

What’s been your experience with making or drinking kefir? Comment below!

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Are you serious about taking charge of your health? If so, we need to talk. Click here if you’ve decided that now’s the time to get some accountability and take back your life!

 

 

 

Is your waistline expanding? How bacteria in your gut is linked!

Woman weight loss photo

I very much believe in the mind body spirit connection for the simple reason that everything we do is as a whole. We don’t disconnect the head from the body, although sometimes that would be nice and we don’t disconnect the spirit from the body and the mind.

 

When we are flowing into our passions and purpose, we find ourselves more at peace and thus less stressed.

 

With less stress comes weight loss in general. Why? Simple, we aren’t producing an overabundance of stress hormones called cortisol, which has shown to increase belly fat and we aren’t stuffing our faces mindlessly.

 

My own story with this scenario is that I personally didn’t realize how stressed I really was. Looking back, my dear friends and family will give me the sideways eye look when I say “I didn’t think I was that stressed.” As a result I put on a few extra pounds.

 

Since my focus has changed, I’ve lowered my stress and I’ve been more mindful of what goes into my mouth, my weight has just dropped off over the last few months, along with feeding my gut flora all the stuff it loves.

 

It’s really not rocket science. Our gut health plays into this perfectly. There are some very interesting studies taking place that are proving more and more that our “2nd brain” definitely has some play into excess weight. Did you also know that 70-80% of your immune system comes from the health of your gut?

 

The latest World Health Organization figures show there were more than 1.4 billion adults aged 20 or older who were overweight in 2008.

 

Of these, 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.

 

Since these latest numbers are from 2008, we know these have risen, unfortunately.

 

Of the studies being done, researchers think that changing the type of bacteria found in the gut may be more effective at helping people to shed weight than cutting calories alone.

 

More and more research does show that your gut bacteria impacts your weight. There are other studies that show that lean people tend to have higher amounts of various healthy bacteria compared to obese people.

 

There was one particular study from 2011 found that daily intake of a specific form of lactic acid bacteria could help prevent obesity and reduce low-level inflammation.

 

Babies that are breastfed tend to have lower risk of obesity because of the bacteria mix flourishing in their guts that are found in breast milk. Probiotics also appear beneficial in helping women lose weight after childbirth when taken from the first trimester through breastfeeding.

 

There are other studies that have shown obese people losing fat by just drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks. Probiotics have also been found to benefit metabolic syndrome, which often times goes hand in hand with obesity.

 

The reason this makes sense is that both are caused by a diet high in sugars, which leads to insulin resistance, fuels the growth of unhealthy bacteria and packs on excess weight.

 

Our modern diets have left our gut flora very overloaded with bad bacteria and not enough good. We need to “reseed” our gut with a good high-quality probiotic supplement or my favorite way is to eat and drink non-pasteurized traditionally fermented foods like:

 

  • Fermented veggies/fruits
  • Fermented milk products like kefir
  • Natto, which is fermented soy
  • Kombucha, fermented tea

 

Of the many reasons these foods are so beneficial, one of them is the fact that they contain lactic acid bacteria, which of course has health benefits over and beyond any weight-loss benefits, including a wide array of other healthy bacteria.

 

There are many different types and I recommend eating different varieties so as to inject many different bacteria types. This is a huge step in the right direction. You still need pay attention to the rest of your diet, especially if it’s poor. Processed foods as an example will compromise your gut bacteria as it will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast.

 

Other things that affect our microflora are:

 

  • Antibiotics
  • Chlorinated water
  • Antibacterial soap/wipes
  • Pollution
  • Ag chemicals

 

Let’s also not forget the meats that you eat. If you’re buying commercial meat, they are loaded with antibiotics, which affect you. My strong recommendation is to reach out to local organic farmers who product grass-fed beef and pastured chickens. They will not be using antibiotics and they are eating a healthy diet.

 

There are many local CSA (community supported agriculture) groups available. Linking to them will help you find produce and meat that are free from chemicals and antibiotics.

 

The Weston Price Foundation has chapters all over the world and there are many connections to buying good, clean, healthy food.

 

When you tend to the health of your gut, your overall health will improve. There is a whole “ecosystem” that has taken up residency inside your gut. The type and kind are important. What you put in determines the overall health of these organisms. They can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes and many help dictate the ease with which you’re able to shed unwanted pounds.

 

This really needs to be an ongoing process since most of us are exposed daily to factors that will destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut.

 

Cultured/fermented foods like raw milk, yogurt, kefir, some cheeses and veggies are excellent sources of natural, healthy bacterial.

 

These foods/drinks need to become a part of your regular diet. If you don’t start here, then please take a high-quality probiotic supplement, especially if you are straying away from a healthy diet and find yourself consuming too much sugar and eating too many grains that haven’t been prepared properly.

 

If you have to take antibiotics due to an illness, make sure to put in good probiotics into your system right away. The benefit of the antibiotics doesn’t know the good from the bad bacteria, it just seeks and destroys all bacteria. You have to inoculate your gut constantly.

 

I am “The Gut Lady” not by accident.

 

Do you have stubborn weight that seems to be your best friend and not go away no matter what you do?

 

Kombucha – let’s toast to your health!

Kombucha

What is Kombucha (kom-bu-cha) anyway?

It’s the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir.” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.

While there are limited amounts of research done on the beverage, there has been lots of research done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities (such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids).

Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea, which is very good for you.

While pasteurization and irradiation kill bacteria and yeast, fermentation actually uses live bacteria and yeast, as well as sugar, to create its finished product, which also include naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, beer, wine, yogurt, kefir, kvass and yes, kombucha. Kombucha is not as fermented as wine or beer — it only has a tiny amount of alcohol.

What are the health benefits?

1. Boosts the Immune System

Think of allergies, colds, and being run down in general – by consuming fermented foods and drinks, you can build up your immune system naturally. 70-80% of our immune system resides in our gut. Most of us have been on some form of antibiotics and other drugs that kill off bacteria, both good and bad. The ending results are that Kombucha’s fermentation encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are good for your gut and good for your immunity.

Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity.

2. Natural Detoxifier

Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster.

Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.

3. Energy Boost

Kombucha is the original energy drink. Don’t mistake this to mean that you are getting this by some form of artificial boost. Because kombucha helps the body detoxify, there is less burden on your system, and as a result, you get more energy. As stated below, kombucha is also rich in B vitamins, which gives the body energy.

4. Rich in vitamins and enzymes

In addition to beneficial bacteria, kombucha contains B vitamins and enzymes.

B vitamins provide support for the body’s metabolic functions including overall energy, utilization of carbohydrates, heart health, and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate intake of B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.

Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.

5. Increased Metabolism

Enzymes boost metabolism. In addition, all the beneficial bacterial and enzymes in the kombucha help your body work better and take the burden off of its functioning.

6. PMS Relief

Kombucha helps to relieve PMS. How? B vitamins help to break down and flush out excess estrogen from the body (a condition called estrogen dominance). This can help to reduce PMS symptoms.

7. Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

Kombucha contains glucosamine, a strong preventive and treatment for all forms of arthritis. Glucosamine increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid functions physiologically to aid preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid enables connective tissue to bind moisture thousands of times its weight and maintains tissue structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility and lessens free radical damage, while associated collagen retards and reduces wrinkles.

If you’d like to tackle making this wonderful drink yourself, click here for my go-to recipe. While there are many sources and methods, this is the easiest and most satisfying. There are many sources to order a Scoby and a nice starter from, a friend or Google it and you’ll find many reputable locations. I drink it every day and so should you.

If you’re not quite ready for making it yourself, most health food stores carry it as well as stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc.

Cheers to your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

What’s your gut say about you?

Ferments

 

When I ask you the question, what’s your gut say about you? What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps it’s something like, it’s always bloated, or I have gas a lot, or I seem to catch all the bugs going around.

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you heard that anywhere from 70-80% of your immune system comes from the health of your gut? This is why in some circles it’s referred to as your second brain.

There is so much going on inside our gut, it’s like a little city all of its own. It’s actually quite amazing. I read an interesting take on our immune system from my friend Wardeh that I thought I’d share because it helps put this into an easy to understand perspective.

A layer of bacteria protects the gut wall, also known as the digestive tract. In a healthy adult, that bacteria weighs between 2 and 4 ½ pounds. This is the heart of the immune system and here’s why.

Think of the digestive tract like a pasture. The gut wall itself is the soil. The beneficial bacteria that reside there are the various grasses, herbs and legumes covering the soil. These plants, a highly organized system, act as protection against invasion and erosion. There are some opportunistic plants in the pasture too, as well as various passerby floating in the wind, but the healthy plants keep everything at bay and tightly regulated by out-competing it all.

However, if the beneficial plants in this pasture are damaged, the soil will be exposed to anything else that comes along and takes root, such as a virus, fungus, pathogen, or toxin. Over time, further erosion and stripping occurs. Eventually, the enemy invaders may take over completely. They will continue damaging the soil, sucking up nutrients and spreading disease.

Remember, this analogy is about the gut and the microbial population. But don’t think for a second that what happens there is isolated. No, our overall health is intimately tied to this balance of organisms. When the good buys are in charge, they facilitate efficient absorption of nutrients from food. They neutralize potential toxins and anti-nutrients. They produce antibiotic, anti-tumor, anti-viral, and anti-fungal substances. And certainly not last or least, the acids they give off make the gut all an uncomfortably acidic place for pathogens.

There is so much evidence that suggests that compromised gut health leads to development of food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. There are many others, including myself that believe that good gut health can improve these conditions, as well as reverse or significantly improve diseases such as depression, autism, dyslexia and other mental diseases.

This circles back to my belief in eating or consuming fermented foods and beverages daily as a way to supply our bodies with beneficial organisms to keep the health of our gut running smoothly. When our gut works optimally, it has the ability to nourish the rest of our body, which also includes the immune system.

The end result in this…..your immune system relies on the health of your gut. How healthy is yours?

I mentioned fermented foods and beverages as some of the sources for helping your gut stay healthy or if already compromised, help heal it or greatly improve it.

My love for fermented foods came about as an experiment really. The more I’ve dabbled in and taught classes of how to, the more I truly love the magnificent abilities that these foods have.

Not only is it a way to be super-efficient with our resources, saves time and money, but it has the ability to give so much more! Not only the pure pleasure of eating or drinking them, but the art and craft of preparing them.

Have you tried any fermented foods or consumed any fermented drinks? If so, what was your experience? Share below. I can’t wait to read your comments.

Here’s to abundant health,

Kellie

Heal thyself….how important is this to you?

Yoga and fitness

Have you ever asked yourself what it would feel like to be pain free, have an abundance of energy, be at optimal weight and not have all the stress that comes with not feeling well?

I have and that’s why it’s been on my heart to share the information that I know regarding our amazing body’s ability to heal itself.

When you allow the body to be free of all the “junk” that we are told is good for us by the “food” industry and the “big ag” industry and supply our bodies with good wholesome nutrients, it’s really amazing how the body knows what to do.

It’s not my accident, it’s purely by design. I’ve often thought about an architect and their abilities. They envision what something will look like in their mind and then design the outcome. I believe our bodies were created in much the same way.

Everything is “designed” to work seamlessly together and it doesn’t let us down unless we let it down. Do you understand what I mean by that?

For example: when I eat foods that I don’t normally eat, like commercial potato chips and overly processed foods that are either greasy or sugar laden, I know it. Why? Because my body wasn’t designed to be fed these things and it’s objecting to the fuel source.

Another way to think about this is to think about your car. It has an engine that obviously makes it run, whether it’s fueled by fuels or electricity, it still needs fed. So if you a put in the wrong kind of fuel, it’s not going to perform as you’d like it to.

Yet another way to think about this is the fuel filter in your car. The purpose is to filter out all the dirt and debris that would otherwise stop your engine from functioning. This is kind of like the purpose of your liver. It’s the filter for our bodies.

So, do you see how if we continually feed ourselves bad fuel, that our liver gets overworked, clogged and overtime our bodies can’t do the functions that they were designed to do?

In other words, it rebels against us. Often times it shows up in the form of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, auto-immune diseases, arthritis, etc., etc., etc. Do you get the idea?

So, what are you feeding your body? Is it the proper fuel needed for optimal efficiency or are you feeding it cheap fuel that’s just breaking it down over time?

I know it’s not easy to always eat the right things. I’m not perfect either. I love sweets and pizza and my wine and beer. The key really is moderation AND making better choices.

An example, when I make sweets, I use better choices for sweeteners and really reduce the amount of sweet needed to pull it off and still be satisfying. As for pizza, well, yes I sometimes enjoy my favorite pizza place and I buy organic wine and the beer, it’s just nice on a hot summer night after you’ve worked hard all day.

The idea is to not punish yourself. I would love for you to get to the 80-20 place. What do I mean by this? 80% of the time you’re putting in great fuel, no processed foods, sugars and pops, etc. and foods that actually help your body heal, like bone broth, fermented and cultured foods and consuming sourdough breads instead of white and most wheat, as examples.

The other 20% of the time, leaves you open to the human factor, which is we’re all accustomed to eating fast food, buying packaged foods and when you eat out, the food quality isn’t always top notch.

Do you think that if you had a plan to get you to 80% you’d follow it? What if you were recently diagnosed with a serious illness or disease? Do you think you’d be able to ditch all the “crap” you’ve been putting in and seek out the help you need to allow your body to start healing itself?

If this interests you, I’d love to hear from you, as I have solutions and my kitchen is brimming with healing foods. Use the contact me box on this page and I’ll get back with you soon. Please feel free to share this as well. We’re here together.

I’m in this for you and your health and I have soooo much to share! From my kitchen to yours!

Kellie