Friday, October 30, 2015

Kefir: better than medicine; plus chocolate pumpkin candy bars


Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food. 
  Healing illness from the gut out has always been one of my beliefs. Seventy-five percent or more of our immunity resides in our digestive system. If we can heal our guts, we can absorb the nutrition our body needs to function properly. Seems simple, right? 
Unfortunately, it's not so simple for those of us with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses who have majorly screwed up guts. Some things work and others don't. The only thing you can do is keep trying. But Hippocrates was right on with his famous quote: "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food."
Homemade kefir culturing on counter

Recently, I started making homemade kefir. I had tried it once before but then I broke my wrist. I had to ditch the project. With both wrists intact now, I've rediscovered cultured kefir, one of the most probiotic-rich foods on earth. It may help you beat colds and flu, lessen allergies and asthma, and heal chronic illnesses, like fibromyalgia. In studies, kefir has either done as well as or outperformed antibiotics when treating illnesses. With its amazing medicinal properties, no surprise, its name comes from the Turkish word for “good feeling.”

What really impresses me is this fermented milk drink when homemade contains up to 35 strains of good bacteria and yeast compared to yogurt which has just a few and bottled kefir which has 10 strains plus some unwanted ingredients like sugar and thickeners. It’s a complete food which contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics.

Some of its benefits can definitely help those of us with fibromyalgia. They include:
·         Boosts immunity
·         Fights allergies
·         Supports detoxification
·         Lessens asthma symptoms
·         Heals bowel disease such as  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
·         Improves lactose digestion.

Wouldn’t it be great if eating a bacteria-rich food like kefir could help you beat illness, like fibro, and feel better overall? Our digestive systems play host to trillions of good bacteria. But we eat poor diets and take antibiotics which wrecks up our perfect balance of good and bad bacteria. All of this leads to digestive issues and immune system problems. 

We don’t want that if we want to be healthy. Kefir can be our medicine too. Studies have shown that kefir whey neutralizes most pathogenic bacteria within 24 hours. 

King Bailey on his favorite blanket
What kefir does the best job of keeping you well? Homemade works best as I have found out. I have been drinking plain bottled kefir for several years with some health benefits but nothing compared to what I experienced after making and drinking homemade kefir. 

My experience confirmed studies I read that showed homemade kefir has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can heal IBS, IBD and allergies. Those of us with fibro know all about those problems.

You can make homemade kefir from cow, goat or sheep milk. You need kefir grains which can be purchased from various websites such as www.culturesforhealth.com. Get a gallon of milk to start. Organic whole milk or raw milk, if available, will work. Follow the directions that come with the kefir grains to start fermenting your own supply of this super food.

One word of caution: you may need to build up your "tolerance" to kefir.  Some people thrive on kefir right from the start and others may need to proceed more slowly. Start with about four ounces or less and build up to eight ounces per day.



Chocolate Pumpkin Candy Bars 
 Here's what you need:
1 cup of coconut oil, melted
4 T. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
stevia, to taste
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the above ingredients and pour into a 8 X 8-inch square pan, lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge to firm up the mixture a bit.

You also will need for the pumpkin swirl:
2 T. pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter or alternative
pinch of salt
a little water to thin out the mixture, if needed
Mix the pumpkin swirl ingredients until smooth. Spoon the mixture onto the chocolate before it completely firm up. Return to the fridge until bars are firm and ready to cut.

4 comments:

Bethany said...

Looks delicious!

Sheree Welshimer said...

Yes, they are. Thank you! I've been enjoying quite a few of them lately.

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