Eat Your Veggies and Your Probiotics Too!!!

What is all of the talk about probiotics really about? Why are probiotics so important? All I hear about these days is gut health (or maybe not).

Have you ever had that gut instinct to do or not do something? Have you ever experienced the pain and nervousness that comes when you are worried or scared? Some would say that is your first brain. Personally, I would tend to agree with that. It’s also amazing to me how crazy people can act when they aren’t feeding themselves or when they are feeding themselves with foods that disrupt the body vs foods that nourish the body.

So what really are probiotics and why do we need them? Probiotics are microorganisms introduced into the body for their beneficial qualities. Unfortunately  due to our current agriculture methods and overuse of antibiotics our guts have taken the beating. It’s amazing when you start to think about all the ways our gut flora have been disrupted. From our birthing choices all the way to the anti-bacterial craze. Our bodies are covered with thousands if not millions of microorganisms and when we disrupt that balance, we suffer. Please say hello to a myriad of health issues that we are not dealing with. This starts from the bottom with constipation and diarrhea all the way to the top with PMS, depression, anxiety and ADHD. Autoimmune diseases, lung issues and even arthritis are included in those things linked to an unbalanced gastrointestinal flora. Disrupt the flora and you disrupt the body. The evidence lies in the health challenges we face and how they are handled once the flora comes into balance again. 

Fermenting our vegetables also increases the bioavailability of the nutrients found in those veggies. Preparing foods in different fashions increases the nutrient profile we are exposed to. And depending on your health status, there are some that are better or worse.

Did you know that there is an entire book called G.A.P.S or Gut and Psychology Syndrome that was designed as a natural treatment for Dyspraxia, Autism, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression and Schizophrenia? This protocol is intense but the results can be astounding. I have personally utilized aspects of this to help repair my families and clients guts.

It’s amazing how the resources have exploded over the past few years for those who would like to add fermented foods to their diet without buying the huge German style Harsch crock or leaving things open with a towel over them as my mother’s family did. A couple of my favorites are the The Probiotic Jar and Pickl-it. These two companies have taken your good ole glass Fido jars, drilled a hole in the glass top and inserted a rubber seal. Fill it up with brine and vegetables then add your air-lock and viola! Easy, tasty, reliable ferments almost every time.

There are some many other techniques and ways of fermenting foods but vegetables and fido’s with airlocks has been the simplest, most rewarding, for me. Relatively cost effective and easy to do. Also noting the changes in my health and my families has been key.

When you are sourcing your items the most expensive pieces will be the jars. There are even ways around this depending on how you want to do it. I recommend buying a few of the cheaper assemblies or even just the lids from either company and they buying some Fido jars in bulk in various sizes. The reason for this is as you use up your ferment, you’ll want to be able to move it to smaller jars so you don’t leave to much oxygen in the container as that will spoil the food faster.

Your next cost is food, obviously. LOL. The best food would be organic and locally grown. Anything form your back yard or JP Tower Garden could be nice. Next step would be organic from a grocery store. If you are doing grocery store food I’d also add in Caldwell’s Starter Culture just to make sure the food will start to ferment as you aren’t sure from how far away the food has come and how “damaged” it is. Least desirable would be conventional food from the produce section of your local grocery store. You’ll most definitely want to use Caldwell’s in this case.  Frozen food or canned really isn’t an option as the frozen will become soggy when it melts and canned food is basically dead food.

Not sure if you would count salt as a cost for food or for it’s own. Most of the sites that you order from also have Hymilaian sea salt available for purchase and you’ll use this to create your brine. Last time we ordered, we ordered a 5 or 10 pound bag and split it up amongst a few of us. Let’s just say, I’ve had enough salt to last me for a few years. hehehe. Feel free to order when you order your jars. I’ve ordered from seasalt.com and have thoroughly enjoyed their products.

Final cost is potentially water…I wouldn’t use tap water but filtered for this process as the chlorine and fluoride both kill microbes and will not support a healthy ferment. If you have a water filter system at home, this may be sufficient otherwise you’ll want to purchase chlorine and fluoride free water.

If you’d like to learn how to do this in person, our next fermentation class will be held at Forward Fitness STL on November 5th at 12:15. We’ll be sampling as well as assembling your own ferment to take home. Please register for the class before October 22 here to reserve your spot and so we may acquire the supplies. The class will be limited to 15 participants so be sure to sign up soon. The cost of the class is $54.31 and will cover the cost of supplies and food.

You can purchase your own containers if you’d like to go ahead and get started. It’s a wonderful journey and I’d be happy to help you in deciding what is best for you to get started.

These are some of my successful resources in addition to the above.
http://lisascounterculture.com/
Gaps: Gut and Psychology Syndrome
http://www.wildfermentation.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/WlidFermentation/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001655903210900/
https://www.facebook.com/fermenters/?fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/groups/685140408196814/?ref=group_browse_new

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