Can you help spread the word?

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Another awesome week and great conversations with so many leave me feeling blessed and humbled.

Have a told you lately how blessed I am to be a Holistic Health Coach? Do you realize that I “get to” help so many on their health journeys?

I don’t “have to” share any of the amazing wisdom and knowledge that I have gained over the years, I “get to”.

So, I am asking your support in spreading the word on so many accounts. If you or a loved one is suffering needlessly and needs some guidance, send them my way.

If you or a loved one is befuddled with where to truly start, ask me, I’ll help demystify and together we’ll make a game plan to start walking in the right and best direction.

The basis of this article really was to shed some light on chickens, as I was engaged in a conversation this week with a gentleman who has Celiac disease and he and his wife are navigating the healthier side of nutrition and practicing what they are learning.

Trial and error is what happens a lot for all of us. We quickly figure out what we don’t know and quickly go figure it out. However, there are many who just get frustrated and give up! This is where spreading the word comes in too! We can’t keep what we know a secret. We have to share and pass along!

In our conversation, it was mentioned that he needed to consume bone broth “stock” and said that they could go to “Sam’s Club” and get a rotisserie chicken for $5 bucks, and you can’t beat that.

While I listened to him say this, it struck me that this is a lot of the thinking that has gotten us into trouble with our health.

We think in terms of cost, what’s easiest and fastest. While I’m not saying this is necessarily wrong, what if we tweaked this line of thinking.

What if we processed our thoughts with, how can I consume the freshest, locally grown or raised meats and produce at the best possible price? How could I best benefit his/her family while doing the same for mine?

Could you imagine what our economy would look like, not only our economic climate, but our health as well?

If we were to stop relying on what’s cheapest and easiest and switch from what’s freshest and raised locally and in season, what would your world look like?

Does it take a little more thought and planning? Sure, but not really any more than you’re currently doing by making the many trips to the grocery or through the drive-thru restaurants.

While I gave the gentlemen some education on the difference between his $5 chicken and a good healthy pastured chicken, by basically saying that there really is no comparison in terms of health and nutrition in the two.

Comparison in terms of fat – pasture-raised poultry contain 21 percent less fat than conventional chickens and 30 percent less saturated fat.

Pastured-raised poultry has 50 percent more vitamin A compared to conventional raised broilers.

Omega-3 fatty acids are significantly higher as well, which reduce your risks of cancer. People with higher levels of Omega-3 are less likely to have high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat. They are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack and less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder or Alzheimer’s disease.

It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent have blood levels so low that they cannot be detected. Switching to meat, milk and dairy products of grass-fed animals is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.

There is also no residue from pesticides, growth hormones or other chemicals that you will have from commercially raised birds.

Best of all, the excellent texture and taste won’t even come close to comparing to a commercial raised bird.

When the birds are healthy, so are you. When you support your local farmer, our economy is healthy. You see, it’s a win, win, win!

The gentlemen shared that he would probably have to go far to obtain pasture-raised chicken and I shared a local farmer’s location; he was delighted to know that it wasn’t truly very far to go to get good food.

Let’s also not forget about the wonderful egg. Hens raised on pasture are far more nutritious than hens confined in factory farms. Eggs from hens raised on pasture are also showing 4 to 6 times as much Vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs.

Not to mention 1/3 less cholesterol, ¼ less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more Vitamin E and 7 times more beta carotene.

So you see I need help spreading the word. The word of health, hope and healing. Are you up for the challenge?

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

 

PS: Claim your spot now, don’t delay or think about it anymore. Life is too short to dilly dally, as they say! Click here and “Let’s talk”.

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?

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!

 

Why I Do What I Do….

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I get asked quite frequently why I care so much for others and why I do what I do. My answer is always the same….because we all have the ability, given the right tools, to live a whole and healthy life.

Why should we take our “temple” for granted? Why should we “assume” that we will keep be given chance after chance to change our ways?

Ocean Robbins put it like this…”When we turn our food into a commodity that we consume for the lowest possible price and the highest possible short-term pleasure, without regard for the planet or humans and animals who may have been involved in its production our choices come back to haunt us. We are toxifying our bodies as we are toxifying our planet with a toxic food system.”

“This toxic food system is crippling our economy, it’s causing millions of deaths, and it’s causing widespread suffering to a majority of the humans alive today. And it is completely preventable.”

I personally couldn’t have said this any better. The more that we stick our heads in the sand and “don’t care”, the more we will have diseases, illnesses, early deaths and more.

On the other hand, the more we’re willing to learn what we don’t know and take action, diseases, illnesses and early deaths are preventable.

This is precisely, Why I Do What I Do!

I believe at our deepest core, most of us do care about taking care of our bodies and learning what we need to do in order to turn things around.

I really don’t honestly believe that we’d rather die an early death and live a miserable existence. I think that given a choice, we’d rather take charge of what goes into our mouths and learn proper nutrition.

This leads me into why I’m “The Gut Lady”. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know that I’m constantly linking most diseases to your gut health, or lack thereof.

As mentioned above, we can prevent most of what happens to us and our bodies are miraculous healing machines, when given the right food and tools to heal.

You have the power within your hands, which is really incredible if you think about it. Have you ever thought about the “Super Heroes?” Well you really could be ranked right there with them, when armed with knowledge and the will to make the necessary changes.

If you decide to stay stuck because you are overwhelmed, I can’t help you and I doubt that anyone can. Super heroes think about how they can best serve themselves and others.

If you are overwhelmed and want help, you’re in the right place. We can journey through this process together. I love linking arms with individuals and families that truly want to make a difference in their lives.

When we have the drive and tenacity, we’ll make huge strides toward improving our health, our lives, our attitudes and all the other benefits that go with being “healthy.”

Are you searching and seeking? Do you want to learn all you can and either improve your health or heal your body?

You are in the right place. This again, Is Why I Do What I Do.

I believe that we each have a God given right to take care of our bodies, which means being smart, learning, taking action constantly, and helping others do the same.

You see, I’m a big proponent of learning and then sharing that knowledge with others. If you constantly take in new things that could help others and don’t, well, that’s just wrong.

Not only are you doing others a disservice, you are not being true to yourself either.

Now….are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? If so, I am expecting to hear from you. Click here and “let’s talk.”

To your health,

Kellie Valenti

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Where are you at in the learning or healing process? At the beginning, middle or somewhere well along the path? I have a plan and a process for each of you. All you have to do is want it. Click here to get started now! No more procrastinating!

 

Are you doing everything right and still have health issues?

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Have you ever said something like this…”I eat healthy, I exercise, I get enough sleep, and basically I’m doing everything right, why I am I still not well?”

Have you ever considered food preparation? The way you prepare your foods plays a major role in your health. It’s true!

I used to think that I did a lot of things right and while that’s true, there was so much more that I needed to learn.

If you’re like me, you want to know the why behind the reason. When someone teaches something that’s a new concept to me, I want to always know why it’s beneficial and why I should be doing it.

So, you get the benefit of me asking WHY!

Proper food preparation comes down to the following: better digestion and better nutrition.

Foods like, grains, nuts, seeds and beans should be soaked or sprouted first. There’s a little thing called phytic acid, which I’ve talked about before. The purpose of this little protective coating for the plant is to “protect” the food item.

While it’s doing its job of protecting, it’s protecting itself from you too. When you consume these foods without soaking/sprouting them first, they are harder to digest and you aren’t able to access their full nutrients.

An example would be grains. I use a Sprouted Spelt Flour in my Kefir Sourdough bread. Spelt is an ancient grain, going back to 5000 BC and it’s a close cousin to wheat.

The spelt berry is soaked for approx. 3 days to allow it to sprout. While at this point in time you won’t see a big sprout, it’s actually quite small, the grain has now become much more utilizable by the body.

Because I soak and sprout all nuts, seeds, grains and beans, my gut is thankful and because my gut is healthy, I also get the added nutritional benefit my body is absorbing.

If your gut isn’t healthy, for instance if you know you have leaky gut, autoimmune diseases, Crone’s disease, IBS or anything similar, your body is likely not absorbing the nutrients you are putting in.

If you know you have any of these issues, you need to heal your gut first, which is quite possible.

Because I take my sprouted breads and soaked granolas to local Farmer’s Markets, I am constantly asked “What’s sprouted and soaked mean?” I love to share what I’ve shared with you.

The person that walks by, has a puzzled look on their face and doesn’t ask, I’m wondering how long they will wonder what those terms mean and realize that it’s detriment to their health.

Many of us have questions all the time but are too afraid to ask them for fear of seeming dumb or thinking that it will be a dumb question.

In my opinion, not asking, especially if you don’t know, is dumb. We all don’t know what we don’t know. This is how we learn.

If you are currently enjoying good health and don’t have many gut issues, I applaud you. AND I will ask you to consider soaking and sprouting the necessary foods before you consume them.

If you eat out a lot, I would ask that you start preparing more foods at home and eat out less. Your body won’t hold out forever putting in foods that aren’t serving you well.

Someone recently asked me, “If I’m not having issues with my gut, why would I want to soak and sprout anyway?” My answer…why wouldn’t you?

I mean this sincerely. If for no other reason than to make it easier for your body to digest these foods and not make it work so hard AND the big one, you get so many more nutrients from eating the same food when it’s prepared correctly.

To soak and sprout you need something acidic to do the job. My preferred option is raw apple cider vinegar. You can use lemon juice and you can use vinegar.

This is the medium that will break down the phytic acid. Generally speaking most things need to be soaked overnight. As I mentioned earlier, sprouting takes a little longer.

Here’s a little chart that should show you some soak times for nuts. Click here. What I generally do is bring home my bulk nuts, soak them, dry them and store in glass jars. This way they are done when I need them.

The same goes for grains that would be used for granola or grains for flour. Rice is another example. When you bring them home, plan in your schedule to properly prepare them.

I have beans that have been soaked and then I just freeze them. These make awesome bases for crackers as well.

There are so many ways to save time and properly prepare your foods.

Got questions, I’ve got answers. Ask away in the comments below.

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: If you are new to this concept and feel like you’d like more guidance in the healing process, click here to schedule time with me. Personalized plans are key in your healing process. No one size fits all. We only get one life, why not live it fully and well. Click here to start healing.

 

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!

 

 

 

The health of your gut depends on these!

Carolina Style Slaw

Hello everyone,

These last several weeks have been so interesting getting to talk with so many of you about the health of your gut!

The more you know, the healthier you’ll be. However, just knowing doesn’t solve all the problems. Part of the equation is implantation or action.

I am a perfect example of knowing things and not necessarily taking quick action. On some things yes and others, I tend to drag my feet or wait until I have all my “ducks in a row.” Can any of you relate?

Why is that? I mean, if we know something is really good for us and it’s proven to work, why don’t we always do it? Why do we humans tend to take the long way around things?

The irony is that we often come back around to what we know we should be doing in the first place. We could have not taken up so much time if we just would have taken action in the first place.

The good news is this. You can jump on board when you are ready. Just don’t waste too much time getting around to it or lining up those “ducks.”

Since I have a passion for making and consuming fermented foods, I thought I’d share some history that I found fascinating and along with that some benefits and why you should be consuming these incredible healing foods. So let’s dive in, shall we?

What are Fermented Foods?

Let’s first look at todays’ foods. Most of today’s pickles and sauerkraut are made with vinegar instead of the traditional method of lacto-fermentation using salt and/or whey. Bread and pasta are made with commercial yeast instead of being naturally leavened with wild yeast as in a real sourdough. Wine, beer and cheeses are pasteurized, which kills off all the good bacteria we so desperately need to maintain health.

There are many advantages to going back to the traditional ways of our ancestors, and eating more fermented foods. And no they aren’t scary or hurt you.

Let’s now look at our history. Humans all over the world have been fermenting food since ancient times. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates back to eight thousand years ago in the Caucasus area of Georgia. Seven-thousand-year-old jars which once contained wine were excavated in the Zagros Mountains in Iran. There is evidence that people were making fermented beverages in Babylon around 5000 BC, ancient Egypt circa 3150 BC, pre-Hispanic Mexico circa 2000 BC, and Sudan circa 1500 BC. There is also evidence of leavened bread in ancient Egypt dating back to 1500 BC and of milk fermentation in Babylon circa 3000 BC.

“In the normal scheme of things, we’d never have to think twice about replenishing the bacteria that allow us to digest food. But since we’re living with antibiotic drugs and chlorinated water and antibacterial soap and all these factors in our contemporary lives that I’d group together as a ‘war on bacteria,’ if we fail to replenish [good bacteria], we won’t effectively get nutrients out of the food we’re eating.” – Sandor Katz

Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods

Improves Digestion – Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting them before we eat or drink them. Sometimes people who can’t tolerate milk can eat yogurt or consume kefir. That’s because the lactose (which is usually the part people can’t tolerate) in milk is broken down as the milk is fermented and turns into yogurt and kefir.

Adding Good Bacteria to Your Gut – Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut. If you have issues with lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), yeast infections, allergies, or asthma, all of these conditions have been linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut.

Boost Enzymes – Eating raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes. Your body needs enzymes to adequately digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in your food. As you age, your body’s production of enzymes goes down.

Increase Vitamins – Fermenting food actually increases the vitamin content. Fermented dairy products show an increased level of folic acid which is critical to producing healthy babies as well as B vitamins, riboflavin and biotin depending on the strains of bacteria present.

Better Absorption – Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming. You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless to you. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption.

Better Preservation – Fermenting food helps to preserve it for longer periods of time. Have you ever noticed how forgotten milk gets sour and rancid pretty quickly? But kefir and yogurt last a lot longer. Sauerkraut, pickles and salsa will keep for months. And if you’ve got a huge batch of produce in your garden that you don’t know how to use up — ferment it!

Cost Effective – If you were to start experimenting with fermenting, you’ll find that you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. The food types that you can use in fermented are usually not expensive, especially if you’re able to grow many of them yourself or someone you know.

Chock full of Flavor – Fermenting food increases the flavor. Just think of the last time you ate some great cheese or drank a nice glass of wine, you did this because they taste good. We’ve also grown up with sauerkraut as a favorite hot dog condiment or roast pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s Day for good luck.

Here are some good ways to incorporate more fermented foods into your diet

1. Eat real sourdough bread (you don’t want commercial breads made with yeast)

2. Drink fermented beverages like kombucha, kefir, or kefir soda to name a few.

3. Eat fermented veggies and fruits, like pickles, sauerkraut, salsa, and kimchi and don’t forget about fermented condiments, like mayonnaise, ketchup, sour cream, crème fraiche, and the like.

All of these things can be made at home or purchased from someone you know. They are often also available at Health Food stores.

If you’re like me and want to experiment, there are lots of ways to do so. Things like kefir ice cream, crackers that are actually made with sourdough, fermented coconut water and milk. There are fermented wines to be made and also mead which is a wine made from honey.

I often make breakfast cereals from kefir and soaked oats or smoothies from kefir. I also make a mean applesauce as well as several varieties of veggies, slaws and krauts. The ideas are endless.

No more excuses for not getting your ferments in daily.

What’s been your experience with fermented foods and/or drinks? Leave your comments below.

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach

PS: Have questions, hit the Let’s Talk Button and ask away or schedule some time with me to get them answered. I consider no question a dumb question only a smart one!

 

Intolerance: Is Gluten your friend or a foe?

Take care of your body quote

My kitchen has been getting used overtime lately. My Mother-in-law just told me that soon I was going to need a double oven. Boy wouldn’t that be nice. I have been using hers as well as mine, so in essence I have been using 2 ovens.

 

Bread making and soaked granola have been in the ovens most days of the week over the past several weeks.

 

Seems most people like sourdough bread, banana bread and granola. Especially when you tell them how it’s made and why it’s made that way.

 

Last week I shared why eating Sourdough bread is tolerant of most even those with gluten intolerances.

 

Soaked grains behave much in the same way. I have found that most people’s bodies really struggle to digest grains, seeds, nuts and beans. Yet the flip side is that most people do really well with these same foods when they are soaked and sprouted.

 

Sprouted grains are considered low glycemic, which is a huge plus. The pancreas needs huge amounts of B vitamins to deal with stress. Once a grain has been sprouted most bodies recognize it as a vegetable rather than a starch which requires digestive enzymes not pancreatic enzymes.

 

What this means is, eating sprouted grains doesn’t stress the pancreas. In 2008, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) ruled that sprouted grains are more akin to vegetables than to whole grain.

 

Phytic acid, which is a known mineral blocker, is present in the bran of all grains and inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. It is present in the coating of nuts and seeds as well.

 

This inhibitor or blocker can neutralize our own digestive enzymes, which often times results in the digestive disorders experienced by many people that eat un-sprouted grains. Yet, phytic acid is broken down in the sprouting process. Another benefit is that complex sugars responsible for intestinal gas are broken down during sprouting too.

 

There are many ways that the sprouting process changes the actual composition of the grain that ultimately make it a more beneficial food.  This process produces vitamin C and increases the content of vitamins B, B2, B5 and B6. Carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, increases dramatically and I’ve read in some cases as much as eight-fold.  Sprouting also inactivates aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by fungus and are strong carcinogens found in grains.

 

If you are curious about sprouted flours and breads, there are a couple of good ones that you can buy at some grocery stores and many health food stores. Ezekiel and Alvarado make good ones. They would be found in the frozen case.

 

If you are like me and love to do these things yourself, buy some berries and sprout them yourself. Once sprouted, which generally takes about 3 days or so, dry them out in a dehydrator or warm oven and then grind them into flour.

 

Sprouted spelt flour is my favorite as it is water soluble and it is higher in protein than most grains and it’s considered a close cousin to wheat.

 

The soaking process is truly what helps most grains, nuts, seeds, and beans give our tummies a break. I’ve heard the complaint that you don’t have enough time as it is.

 

To you I’d say, with a little planning and preparation, we can all do what becomes important to each of us. You just have to decide what’s truly important, your health and quality of life or feeling like shit and being tired and having no energy all the time.

 

The choice is always yours!

 

Have you tried sprouting grains before? What’s been your success? If not and are new, how can I help you further? Comment below or schedule some actual phone time with me using this link and together we’ll fill in the blanks to allow you to move forward with your health goals.

 

To your health,

 

Kellie

 

Holistic Health Coach

 

Gluten Intolerance: Top 10 Reasons to Eat Real Sourdough Bread

Kefir Bread

Happy day to you. I absolutely love this time of year. Everything is growing (including the weeds) and flourishing and thriving. I hope that means you are too, if not we should talk you and me.

 

With this time of year comes Farmer’s Markets and roadside stands advertising their crops ‘o plenty. It gives everyone the opportunity to get outside first of all, support local farmers, AND give you and your family access to fresh produce!

 

I have been actively involved in a couple of our area markets as a vendor and it’s been so much fun talking with people that love what I bring to the table or have no idea and are completely curious enough to ask me….what does “Soaked” or “Sprouted” mean?

 

Ahh….it does my heart good to teach and bring awareness to your lives and then I get to fill your bellies with fresh, homemade goodness that’s nourishing to your soul and your bodies.

 

So this week I thought I’d tackle the controversial topic of bread and not just any bread but “real” sourdough bread.

 

When I say “real” I’m referring to bread made with a sourdough starter not the commercialized breads you find down your local market bread isle.

 

So, let’s look at the benefits and why many who have intolerances to wheat can tolerate real sourdough. First of all it’s probiotic, like kefir or yogurt, containing multiple strains of beneficial microflora.

 

The slow process helps to promote the growth of more probiotic organisms that do the following:

 

1. Digest and assimilate (properly absorb) the foods you eat. Without adequate beneficial microflora in your gut, you can’t absorb nutrients in the foods you are eating.

 

2. Are necessary in order to maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

 

3. Contain uniquely balanced proteins, fatty acids, cellulose, minerals, and innumerable other nutrients our bodies need.

 

4. Provide vitamins B1 through B6 from lactobacillus and B12 vitamins from wild yeast. Wild yeast multiplies aerobically. This is because they have oxygen in them (not free radical oxygen ions) that feed your blood cells and not cancer cells. Most plant proteins including grains, seeds, cereals, beans, nuts, and some grasses form gluten. However, sourdough microflora has all the amino acids available, without the protein that forms gluten.

 

5. Depletes damaged starch in bread, thus diabetic people should not get insulin shock. It is a misconception that whole wheat is better than white flour for diabetics (the Glycemic difference is only 1%).

 

6. Produce acids, which will break down and remove some of the glutens from the bread. Acids do not allow mold and most bad bacterial growth. Alkaline with high pH allows mold growth and toxins. Mold ferments at a higher pH, allowing bad bacterial growth and the secretion of toxins. The absence of acids is abnormal, even animals have acid stomachs to kill bad bacteria.

 

7. Offset the effects of phytic acid, which robs your body of precious minerals.

 

According to Wikipedia: Phytic acid is found within the hulls of nuts, seeds, and grains. In-home food preparation techniques can reduce the phytic acid in all of these foods. Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree.

 

More effective methods are soaking in an acid medium, lactic acid fermentation, and sprouting. Phytic acid is a strong chelator of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries.

 

It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, which is basic, causing the condition known as pellagra. In this way, it is an anti-nutrient. For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially young children and those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable.

 

“Probiotic lactobacilli and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora as well, are an important source of the enzyme phytase which catalysis the release of phosphate from phytate and hydrolyses the complexes formed by phytate and metal ions or other cations, rendering them more soluble ultimately improving and facilitating their intestinal absorption.

 

8. Dissolve proteins by producing protein enzymes, thus loosening multiple peptide bonds so that you can absorb more amino acids into your body. They dissolve four gluten-forming proteins: albumin, globulin, prolamin, and glutalin. They also produce alcohol that dissolves the most stubborn water insoluble protein bonds. These bonds are the reason why so many people have gluten intolerance.

 

9. Inhibit the growth of bad bacteria by: (1) creating a more acidic environment (2) producing anti-bacterial agents, and (3) absorbing all the B vitamins from their surroundings leaving none for the harmful bacteria.

 

10. Have most everything needed for optimum nutritional absorption. To absorb calcium, you need magnesium. To absorb magnesium, you need vitamin E, C, etc. Most of these are in the sourdough microorganisms, thus providing optimum absorption.

 

I have many people share with me that this bread has given them life back. It provides beneficial nutrients that really does a body good. You need the healthy mix of fermentation and slow process to make an excellent bread that gluten intolerant people can eat.

 

I personally recommend using a sprouted flour. My favorite go-to flour is a sprouted spelt flour. I use it in my Kefir bread and my banana bread too. They are wildly popular, even by those who have intolerances.

 

If you are plagued by intolerances, there are definitely steps to take to gain your life back. Are you interested in these steps? Click here to talk with me to obtain a plan of attack. Remember you only have one life; it’s up to you to life it fully and abundantly. What are you waiting for?

 

To your health,

 

Kellie

 

Holistic Health Coach

 

PS: Have you decided it’s time to take the step to take back your health? Yippee is what I say. Click here and let’s talk! What have you got to lose?

 

 

 

Bone Broth – How important are the healing benefits?

Chicken Bone Broth

 

I talk a lot about healing and being proactive with your health, but I really haven’t talked a lot about why and the how.

A few months ago I was approached about the possibility of providing some of the healing foods that I prepare for my own family. Which I now do and love every minute of being able to help so many others.

I’ve shared with you that I’m an experimenter by nature, so playing in the healing foods world came naturally to me. I was intrigued by all the claims that surround the benefits of “healing” foods.

Because this is my passion, I dove in head first. One of the first things I began making was bone broth. It’s easy to make and the benefits are spectacular.

I joke with many about this being my “morning coffee”. I pour some broth into a mug that I’ve placed in some hot water, slowly warm and then pour in a splash of raw milk in it. It’s my little slice of heaven in the early morning hours when I’m having my devotional time.

I purely love the essence of this, but wow, the way it makes you feel. Recently I had a woman who I had been coaching on the benefits of broth because her big issue has been healing her leaky gut.

One of the first protocols we started with was bone broth. Her results were spectacular. After just 3 days, she had more energy, she felt better physically and mentally and she couldn’t thank me enough.

She was amazed that just implementing this one little thing could and did make such a big difference. It’s powerful what can and does happen when you’re willing to dive in and nourish your mind, body and soul.

I’m sure you’ve heard me say that our immune system is made up largely (70-80%) by the health of our gut (intestinal tract). Because our modern day diets consist of too much sugar and not enough healthy fats and beneficial bacteria’s, we suffer miserably.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Nutritional Protocol, she states that bone broth is excellent for “healing and sealing” your gut through your diet.

Bone broth or “stock” play major roles. Because it is easily digestible, it helps heal the lining of your gut, and contains valuable nutrients. Because abnormalities in your immune system are a common outcome of GAPS, and such immune abnormalities can then allow for the development of virtually any degenerative disease.

There are many reasons for making and consuming bone broth into your diet. The following healing benefits attest to its status as “good medicine.”

  • Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion.
  • Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage
  • Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).

    Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better

  • Promotes strong, healthy bones: As mentioned above, bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation
  • Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth

Benefits of broth don’t end there. As explained by Sally Fallon Morell,

“Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.”

So you see, it’s important for not only your healing journey but it’s important for so many other factors that are almost like bonuses. Imagine what you and your life will be like once you start inputting health and healing. Do you feel better, look better, have more energy to go live your life out loud? If you’d like to tackle this, and I highly recommend you do, here’s my recipe for Chicken Bone Broth (scroll down about 3 or so). While I also make beef broth, which is done slightly differently, my go to is chicken from pastured birds.

What has been your experience with making and consuming bone broth? New and have questions, ask away. Either way, leave your comments below!

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Health Coach