I Feel Much Better – I Blame the Kefir

blackberry banana basil raw milk kefir smoothie

So this is the real “return from hiatus” post.  If you missed the fake-out version from Saturday, here it is.

Spoiler Alert: This post talks about the importance of cultured foods including kefir to vibrant health.  If you are new to cultured foods or skeptical of their benefits, don’t take my word for it.  Do some research.  It could be the very best thing you do for the health of you and your family.  Here is a good intro piece on the health benefits of kefir.

I have about 543 things I want to blog about, which I guess means I’m done with that whole I-could-care-less-about-my-blog-right-now business. Yay! A friend recently asked my why I thought I was feeling better.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to answer, figuring it was just time, the great healer.  But I put the question in the back of my mind and went about my business.  In the midst of trying to find a kefir product dairy-free little boo would tolerate I stumbled on the answer.  Kefir.  The health giving beverage I used to drink and had reintroduced recently.

my blogging hiatus
A year ago I set out to save my sons from a lifetime of chronic auto-immune illness.  For me, I wanted a cure to the migraines I’d suffered with since early childhood.  Hubby went along for the ride (he is awesome y’all). I was nuts to think food and a summer would save my sons. I blame the love of a parent. It really can posses you.

When it wasn’t clear (yet) they’d been saved (gotten better), I cratered.  I so longed for them to be free of inhalers and wheezing and migraines.  I wanted to send them into the world as healthy young adults so they could enjoy a vibrant life. Witnessing declining health starting at age 3 is parenting hell.  My hell wasn’t that bad compared to what some parents have to face with sick kids.  But it was my hell, and it was horrendous.

As you know, I took a long unannounced, unscheduled hiatus from blogging.  It started back last June when I was just too dang busy cooking all the grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, starch-free, processed-food free edibles I fed to four humans for four months to even have time to blog. I was on my feet in the kitchen for 12 hours some days.  (It takes a very long time to feed each member of your family of four, thirty-two ounces of home made chicken stock complete with bone marrow every day for four months.) When I wasn’t cooking I was culturing vegetables, drawing detox baths, taking detox baths, researching detox reactions, fretting about whether or not we were healed enough to include new foods after the strictest part of the elimination diet.  And doing things like harvesting coconut water from a case of young coconuts.

In the beginning I had crazy amazing energy.  I worked hard, all day and into the evening. On my feet.  I would get to the end of a 15 hour shift and think, how in the heck did I just do all that?  In one day?  Who am I?  SuperHealingBoneBrothMaven?

coming off the healing elimination diet

Fast forward to September 2011.  The boys were back in school and it was increasingly hard to stay in our food bubble.  We were all weary of the isolation that comes with eating completely differently that the rest of our community.  I was weary of all the food preparation. Our diet wasn’t sustainable unless I was to give up my business and my income.  We’d seen enough improvement in big boo that we were able to wean him off of all his daily asthma and allergy medications.  Little boo was more symptomatic than his big brother, but he too saw healing and was able to come off one daily medication while staying on the other.  Since we weren’t dealing with the neurological side of gut dysfunction we decided we’d spent enough time healing in this intense way.

We added things back into our diet like starches, then later grains like rice and eventually certain forms of wheat and dairy. We also reduced the amount of homemade chicken stock we drank.  These changes made it possible to juggle the food preparation with work and parenting.

But rigors of the diet drained me, all this cooking and detoxing and healing.  It was too soon to see all the healing benefits the boys got and I had no visibility into how they would tolerate another round of fall and spring allergy seasons. I was still terrified of asthma attacks that might require emergency room visits and drugs with scary side effects.

my health tanked

Meanwhile I started having insomnia every single night, losing my hair and gradually after months of being completely migraine and headache free, my headaches were returning. I figured it was the stress, but when it wasn’t temporary, I knew something else was up.  They boys were fine, better even, but I was feeling worse.  Not knowing what was around the bend for them, and predicting their health to start deteriorating again like mine was, I sank into one of the darkest depressions I’ve ever experienced.  I had gained back time to blog, but I didn’t care about anything, much less writing about it.

After the summer cook fest, I spent my non-work, non-kid moments in the fall and spring recovering.  Mostly napping. And watching endless episodes of Law and Order on Netflix (it’s very recuperative you know).  And hating any and all kitchen work.  I needed hours of recuperation every evening after making dinner.

That pretty much sucked a lot.  Cooking has always energized me.  Cooking was my hobby.  Dinner was a peaceful, grounding part of my day where my knife and my cutting board and I would connect to produce nourishing yumminess for my family.  Writing made me happy.  I wanted nothing to do with kitchen work.  Or blogging.  Yet I was still the dinner fairy, and the breakfast fairy and half the lunchbox fairy and the grocery shopping fairy.  It all crippled me.  I had lost all confidence that I could make good decisions on what to eat and what to avoid. The responsibility of how those choices would impact our healing or cause the return of poor health paralyzed me. All the magic of the the kitchen, the grocery store, the farmer’s market, the smell of fresh basil, the taste of minty water, the way red cabbage looks all sliced up and beautiful on the cutting board had gone. Poof.

saying good-bye to a home

Then we moved. I’m terrible at saying good-bye to things.  Especially to things I drive.  Or sleep in.   Great time to pick out your new house eh?  When you care about nothing.

We left the first home I’d known as an adult.  It’s the home I came back to after my honeymoon. It was that huge four bedroom, far-too-big for two newly-weds with tons of empty closets and empty rooms that haunted me for years until we filled them up with sons and later, outgrown stuff, and broken toddlerized christmas decorations. (Clarification: we put the broken todderlized christmas decorations in the closets.  We did not put the sons in the closets.  Although, the sons liked to put themselves in the closets to play hide and seek, but that made me mad because they might break the broken toddlerized christmas decorations.  I plan on fixing those one day.)

The living room where hubby and I sat when we took my second born baby son out of his infant carrier for the very first time and showed him to his big brother was no longer ours.  The floor my second born fell onto 3 nights a week from his lowered-to-the-bottom, open-sided crib for 2 years, was gone (He did eventually learn how not to fall out of his bed.  Mostly.) The bedroom with the hiding woozle witch who scared my firstborn now belonged to someone else. (I never could find that woozle witch, she wasn’t behind the chair, or the curtains or under the covers as my toddler asserted.  I guess we left her there too. The new owners can enjoy her.)

I could still find projectile vomit spattered on the chair rail in the kitchenette left by big boo from his early infancy days, years later. The ceiling had salsa on it from when hubby shook a jar when the lid wasn’t screwed on. (Don’t judge, self employed working parents of toddlers don’t have time to clean the ceiling.  We are too busy feeding humans and making estimated tax payments.  Never mind that my kids weren’t toddlers when we left that kitchen, you weren’t supposed to do the math. Really, I’m just not a very good housekeeper, and apparently neither is my housekeeper.  Maybe she’s just too short to see red spots on the ceiling, like me.)

The townhouse kept all those triggers for my memories, the ones I never got to write down, the ones you can’t take pictures of.  I think I would have experienced a depression during the move even if I wasn’t already in one.  It was a double whammy depression.

seasons change

Christmas in the new house came.  We hosted, proud new homeowners. I can’t even remember what we served to eat.  The townhouse didn’t sell for six months.  It was torture driving back there, walking around in my house, empty, without our life in it.

Spring came. I tried to talk myself into loving my new ginormous kitchen with a courtyard view. I’ve been down the Road of Melancholy a dozen times. There were many many many days where I told myself “you won’t hate cooking and feel like a mamafailure forever. this is temporary.” Those words would float around my brain like a big fat lie and then I’d go lay down and take a nap.  Preparing food for people took that much out of me.

be patient, i’m getting to the kefir part!

Stay with me, we’re getting to the kefir part.  We had gone dairy free, so I gave up my milk kefir habit in June 2011.  Before I tucked my kefir grains into the freezer for long term storage, I gave some excess grains to a friend.  I tried kefiring coconut water during the months we were dairy free, but with all the other maintenance foods like home made bone broth and cultured vegetables the coconut water kefir required troubleshooting and very time consuming coconut water harvesting. I killed multiple sets of water kefir grains.  We might have had a kefired beverage for 2-3  weeks in a nine-month period.  I never mastered non-dairy milk kefiring (although I’m still trying.)

kefir restores health

I hadn’t attributed my much improved health of 2009-2010 to kefir.  I thought it was the cleaner food we ate at home as we moved to 100% pastured animal products and organic/locally grown produce made up a larger percentage of our daily fare.  Kefired raw milk was a daily staple for me back then.  Apparently my body needed the beneficial bacteria and yeasts in kefir to balance out my digestion, nutrition uptake and mental health.  This was a valuable lesson for me. I know now to be extra vigilant about kefir consumption during times of greater stress to keep my body and mind fit to overcome life’s challenges.   I’ve learned that if I need to take a break from dairy again, I must not also take a break from kefir.  I must figure out a way to kefir other beverages to keep the beneficial microflora coming in.

In the spring I decided to start-up our raw milk delivery again and I defrosted my kefir grains. I tried for three weeks to revive them. They were dead. More grieving. Luckily I’d shared with a friend, so even though my grains were dead, the sister grains I’d gifted were still alive.  At the time, I had no idea how much of a hallelujah moment that was.  I re-started my milk kefir smoothie habit.

Day by day in the late Spring I started feeling more and more like myself.  The kitchen was a brighter place.  Dinner wasn’t such a chore.  I enjoyed the boys. I started noticing the wildlife at our new retention pond.  Grocery store shopping stopped being perilous. I wanted to talk to my husband and friends.  At. Long. Last.  Finally, relief from the darkness and apathy. I wouldn’t realize for a couple more months how central to my return of health the kefir was.

I’d certainly paid my dues. Struggling through breakfast, work, carpool, homework and dinner was all I could do. Hosting family gatherings was just right out.  I’d done my best to hide until the storm passed. I basically took a personal “year” from all discretionary time.  I am thankful for a supportive husband who picked up the food prep slack when I just couldn’t pull it together one. more. time.  And for my sons who took care of each other and me while I was recovering.

my pet kefir

I forced myself to take the sunshine in slowly, being careful not to burn it out too quickly. Thankfully, kefir is like a pet. You must keep it alive. In my state, I needed that accountability.

Kefir needs to eat.  Every day or two. And so does it’s owner.  Every day or two I ate the kefired milk and I got better.  I wasn’t sure whether something I was eating was triggering the migraines, or lack of detoxing had brought them back.  Kefir gave me enough energy to resume detox baths and to care about my health.  After two months, between the kefir and the detoxing, my insomnia is all but gone.  No migraine in the past 45 days. My hair is no longer falling out. This suggests my hormones are rebalancing.  I don’t quite understand what all is going on physiologically.  I don’t know if my problems are thyroid, adrenal or something else.  I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter.  I feel like I can just keep up the detox and cultured food habit then eventually most of my working parts will, well, work. As intended.

I might be wrong.  But that doesn’t matter because I’m fit enough to redirect course if I need to.

better health for the boys
It’s been a year now since we started our healing diet.  The shoe never did drop with the feared allergy season.

I now know that gluten and possibly dairy aren’t tolerated by little boo. Yet.  Little boo has already shaken one daily med, but still uses his daily inhaler. (We are presently trying to wean him off it).  He had zero major allergy induced asthma attacks versus 5 the prior year. Allergy attacks of Spring 2012 = sneezing, manageable congestion and minor coughing. This year there were no scary ER visits with alarming gurgle breathing, unstoppable coughing and dangerously low blood oxygen levels. He missed 3 days versus 10+ days of school due to illness.  When he is dairy and gluten free he is far less congested. (If I forget, remind me to tell you the story of his winter hearing failure and how we resolved that without Rx drugs). He’s had one vs. a dozen migraines.  He played soccer in the fall without ever complaining about being too hot or too tired.

Big boo is completely off all daily asthma/allergy meds.  He did not have a single viral induced asthma attack all year.  He is rarely congested or snotty.  He still has some healing to do as when allergy season and physical exertion collide, he needs his rescue inhaler on occasion. He complains much less frequently of headaches.  He sleeps past 6a more often than he used to.  He has gotten far fewer viruses and those he gets he shakes within 24 hours.

was doing the GAPS diet worth it?

Depression and all, it was worth it.  Their improved health is priceless. My faith in healing foods to repair broken bodies has been restored.  I was hit hard with the humility stick. The healing did not happen on a schedule that suits this instant gratification girl.  I am recovered now, wiser with the wisdom that experience brings.

I’ve heard farmers say that it takes three years for destroyed soil to return to the proper balance of soil bacteria and minerals.  So too do our bodies take years to return to the proper balance of good versus bad microflora.

healing cultured food
Every day we drink our kefir smoothies and eat our cultured veggies.  We enjoy drinking our fizzy kombucha. We swallow our therapeutic strength probiotic supplements.  We plug holes in our stomach lining with collagen rich broth and glutathione rich egg yolks.  We eat and drink our tummy healers. We eat our detoxing fermented vegetables and soak in detox baths to get rid of all the toxins created by our environment and the dying bad microflora that are eliminated with the cultured foods. Day by day, week by week and year by year, we will grow out of these chronic health issues by growing into larger and larger colonies of beneficial bacteria that orchestrate all the inner workings of our amazing fine-tuned bodies.

We’ve managed to fit those cultured detoxing foods into our full happy life and in two more years, we’ll be much healthier. With our daily practice our migraines, upset tummies, snotty noses, dry coughs and wheezing will be a thing of the past.

Then we’ll celebrate with sourdough pizza topped with cheese made from pastured cows.

Thanks for being patient with me while we were healing and rehealing.  I’ve missed writing, I’m glad to be back.

Please click through to the blog to comment and say hi, I’ve missed you all.  Got a healing kefir/cultured food story?  Share it in the comments.  Curious about our journey?  Ask a question in the comments.

Blackberry Banana Basil Kefir Smoothie Recipe

1/2-1 cup kefir (milk, coconut, water or other nut milk)
1 banana
1/4 cup frozen blackberries
1-3 sprigs of fresh basil, washed, destemmed
1tsp-2 TBSP coconut oil (optional)

Put all ingredients in the blender and combine.  If you are new to cultured foods, start with 1/2 cup kefir (or less if your symptoms are bad and you’ve suffered with them for years and years).  It kills nasties in your stomach. Kill them off too quickly and you can detox too quickly and experience headache or stomach ache. There is no reason to suffer from over-detox on the way to health.  If you’re using coconut oil blend longer to incorporate all the oil so it’s not in big hard chunks.  That can be unpleasant…  If you’re not used to eating raw coconut oil, start slow.  It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties so it can kill nasties in your tummy, sometimes leading to nausea.  Work up to 2 TBSP one tsp (or less) at a time.

86 thoughts on “I Feel Much Better – I Blame the Kefir

  1. Welcome back, Jenna! I'm so sorry to hear about the tough time you went through, but I'm so glad to hear that things are much better. Remind me to tell you next time we talk (hopefully soon!) about my older brother's experience with the detox diet, leaky gut, gluten intolerance, etc. I think he is further evidence of everything you describe. I can't believe how big the boys are–they look wonderful!

  2. Wow, your story makes my heart sink and yet rise at the same time. The journey is so hard. I wish it were easier. Congratulations on your return to blogging and to the sunnier side of life.

  3. What a journey! Thank you for sharing, and I'm so happy that you are back to share with your readers. You have been such a source of knowledge and inspiration to me; I appreciate your hard work. Your family is blessed to have such conscientious and loving parents. Don't forget to take care of YOU, too! So…I kind of thought I had just been missing your posts for some reason all this time! I've been so distracted with infant (plus 2) care. The last 7+ months since #3 arrived have passed like a blip. I'm just now starting to have the time to increase my food prep time, so your return to blogging is timely for this reader. A hearty welcome back!!!

  4. The journey is more of an epic voyage isn't it. I'm glad there is hope. Im proud of you, even though I do not know you, because you made it to the other side and wrote it down. Which means I'm not alone as the bones simmer. Except I'm yeast free because I developed a sudden severe allergy. But I am beating my sons asthma and eczema one day at a time with much more success than my own. Be well, welcome back.

    • epic voyage is a perfect description. how do did you discover your yeast allergy? what are your symptoms? i'm reading now about beneficial yeasts like those in kefir and kombucha and also about yeast allergy, but i only know that it exists. my eczema had been completely resolved but recently started flaring. i suspect it's the kombucha/healing reaction or could be all the restaurant food i ate on our vacation.

    • My presenting symptoms were all primarily lung and sinus related. Just before last Thanksgiving I came down with sinus infection number 4 in three months. My asthma was flaring so badly i couldn't leave the house for long and was mostly curled on the couch wheezing into my nebulizer. The infections worsened. Pneumonia came and went along with a red raised rash of a million blotches on my face and chest. I was weak. Exhausted. My fibromyalgia symptoms spiralling. I had previously been found allergic to Soy Egg and Tuna. Desperately my PC Dr re-screened me. Wheat, Yeast, Beef. The elimination diet was exactly as you would remember i'm sure but…. Things that got better? No more nebulizer. My complexion has cleared but i am still reacting to something. I also have IBS and so I am treating myself for leaky gut while I go through physical therapy to regain my strength and stamina. Major warnings i should have noticed. the warm, instant flush from wine. Not from a finished glass but from the first couple of sips. Its like it turned the volume up on everything else that was already malfunctioning. Im not 'cleared' of any of my illnesses yet but I am certainly much much healthier.
      (I would have signed in with my current wordpress account but its glitching)

      • Many of your symptoms sound like those that people with chronic Lyme disease have. It may be worth you doing some reading up on this disease and follow some of the conversations in MedHelp under their Lyme Disease section.
        Definitely getting your micro biome in the gut cleaned up and detoxed is a start – good luck to you!

    • thanks for sharing your story! i'm glad you are getting some relief and it sounds like you are experiencing healing! it's amazing how much better we feel when we remove trouble foods and heal and seal the gut lining. so many people have the flush when drinking wine. the conclusion is that suggests allergy to yeast?

  5. Wonderful. I'm glad you're feeling well. I can sympathize about all the prepping, cooking, shopping, dishes. Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around food. I'm glad you're back.

  6. this comment came in an email, i am posting it here and responding on the post to share with everyone. My name is Clarica and I live in Plano – a suburb north of Dallas. I am a fan of Nourished Kitchen and they linked to your blame the keifer post today… I read it and can't help but want to ask/share with you something that has helped our family start to get back to health too.

    A little bit about our family – We were on the road to living blindly in the traditional American family ways… eating out all of the time and consuming a lot of processed foods when we cooked at home. I started getting sick several years ago and gained over 100lbs and no doctor was able to help me figure out why – even though my calorie count and exercise level were where they were supposed to be… Long story short, I started doing my own research and with learning about real and whole foods, I am FINALLY starting to get better and lose some weight after 1 year of healthy eating.
    Another thing that I discovered late last year was chiropractic care. I couldn't help but wonder if you have been introduced to it – especially reading about your little guy's asthma and allergy issues. I have four children and my second boy had mild autistic symptoms and also ADD symptoms but I refused to accept this diagnosis and was introduced to a Maximized Living chiropractor who checked out my entire family. Turns out that the migraines I was having nearly daily were due to my neck being so out of alignment and my son had a similar issue and also some other problems in the middle of his spine. Since we have started receiving treatment, I have only had three headaches (and I have linked them to sugar from desserts at holidays) and my son has significantly improved in his ability to focus and learn. The thing about the Maximized Living plan is that they are all about improving all of your health habits – not just about getting an adjustment for temporary relief. It's nothing like what I experienced before. I have seen people cured of cancer and many other ailments in our office here in Dallas.

    I look forward to going back in your archives and reading all of your fabulous knowledge on real food! Thanks to Nourished Kitchen for sharing your link today!

  7. hi clarica, i love stories of real food healing, thanks for sharing yours! re: chiropractic, yes, my sons and i have been treated by a chiropractor for several years. i was driven to one for my migraines, them for their allergies. although the treatments did allow me to come off my Rx migraine drugs, they did not make me migraine free. i know for sure they nipped several ear infections in the bud. i'm also not perfect about keeping up with treatments. i think if i was more consistent with them they might have had more impact for me and my kiddos.

    i do think wellness is a combination of the right fuel for the body (diet) and stress management (exercise, harmonious living, chiro, etc) and detox (getting rid of the accumulated toxins in our body so the real healing can take place.) i'm trying to figure out the optimal balance of those three factors right now for myself and my sons.

    learning much as i go about thyroid, adrenals and metabolism. stick around and find out what i learn and how our healing progresses.

  8. Your sounds a bit like it might have been a vitamin B deficiency too. Kefir is loaded with Vitamin B's. :) Glad your feeling better! (I've been where you are, mainly after a birth)

  9. Jenna you are a brave lady and I salute you! Your journey has been hard but I know lot's of people will glean from it. I am looking forward to reading your blogs!!

    I give kefir credit for ALL good things. I will never be without it as long as I live….if I can help it. It has cured my asthma and I am 61 yrs old. I do want to pass on some more info that has helped me almost as much as milk kefir and that is I cut out all wheat, grains and sugar from my diet. If you have never heard of the book “Wheat Belly” by Dr William Davis, I can highly recommend it!! It will further change your life for the better.

    Thank you for this from your heart!!!

    Dev
    the Kultured Karaite

  10. @dev, the elimination diet we all went on was grain free, sugar free. while i do believe the absence of grains and sugar allowed the boys leaky gut to heal and reduce allergy symptoms, i also suspect it was a grain free, starch free diet that caused my health to decline. it was too restricted, i didn't eat enough, plus i was using up more energy from all the cooking, basically adding stress from work and under-nouishment. i'm still researching but i'm starting to hear stories from people who have healed leaky gut without having to live without carbs like potatoes, rice, fruit and wheat. stay tuned as i find out more about that!

  11. thanks for sharing your story. many of us are on health journies that are not fun. i'm so glad you have found what helps you!!! btw…our doc put my son on phytocort for asthma related issues. it works great. and no meds anymore! so thankful!

  12. thanks for sharing your story. many of us are on health journies that are not fun. i'm so glad you have found what helps you!!! btw…our doc put my son on phytocort for asthma related issues. it works great. and no meds anymore! so thankful!

  13. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It inspired me to change my lifestyle. I started to make Kombucha, bone broths and, recently started with kefir.
    Both my sons (4 and 13) like it, straight, unlike homemade yoghurt.
    My mother, which has type 2 diabetics, with insulin injections experience a drop of the blood sugar from 250 to about 125 after eating three days kefir. Now she is making her own.
    I got riddle of a lifelong Candida outbreaks with eating lots of cinnamon, daily yoghurt and some cruciferous every week. Kefir is easier to make and cheaper than yoghurt.

  14. I take my hat off to you. What wonderful parents you and your husband are. Your sons are lovely and a credit to you.

  15. Wow – your story resonates with me. My family went GAPS in January for my son (9, ASD). I had hormonal wackiness for a few months and just last month I discovered a thyroid nodule. I'm convinced for me the GAPS diet has either made my hormones get out of whack or it simply uncovered a system that was seriously limping along. I was beginning to think I was crazy because no doctor wanted to hear about my diet experience and my thoughts on the hormonal feedback system :) Now I'm using my son's practitioner who will be helping me with labs etc. I know my adrenals are seriously fatigued but one doctor just told me to rest and find a hobby! Yeah, dude – autism is my “hobby” and there's not rest for the weary. Anyway – I'm looking forward to reading more and good luck in regaining your health and energy ~ Amy

  16. i totally relate. i often feel like “guardian of good health” for 3 people is a hobby i wish i didn't have to keep up. but it is worth every ounce of time and emotional energy invested. when i look at what a train wreck my mom's health is, i'm just so thankful i know now to help (or how to keep searching for help) the boys get on track. same goes for me. i just saw my son's pedi as a new patient today. i hope to have some answers on my adrenals, thyroid, hormone imbalance soon. i'm ready to lose these 15 pounds that attacked me in the past 2 months and say forever good bye to insomnia and hormone headaches. kefir is helping A LOT! little boo is now 2 weeks into being off daily qvar! his appetite is increasing. i'm very encouraged.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story! We drink kefir smoothies every morning, but I am the only one who will drink the Kombucha! I have dealt with a leaky gut & constipation most of my life, thinking it was normal. Kefir, Kombucha & the use of therapeutic essentiala oils have been a blessing in our home. The essential oils are pure, unadulterated & have helped restore our bodies. If you would like more information, please viisit my blog at http://www.everydayoilswithkim.blogspot.com

  18. Great surprise to find your new posts! Thanks for sharing your journey… I learn from your experience and I can totally relate with the “information overload” that happens once you start researching alternative healing methods. I've sometimes felt like there is so much to experiment with and no single “silver bullet” (even the kefir needs to be complemented with other lifestyle changes).
    I've never made my own kefir and I'm wondering if the one you can buy at the store (like Lifeway) is almost as good for your body or if there is a big quality difference between industrial and home made kefir?
    Thanks again for sharing and welcome back to the blogging world! Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  19. lifeway is not a bad brand, but you'll be get more benefits (more beneficial strains of yeast and bacteria, plus higher counts of each strain) from brewing at home.

  20. about 1 1/2 – 2 cups most days, some days none or 1/2 cup. also drink 16 oz Kombucha. I really need the beneficial yeasts in kefir and Kombucha. I got better with veggie ferments but i feel great with kefir/kombucha.

  21. Have to say (even though it would be best left unsaid) I do my part to increase global warming through sulfurous emissions. Since starting on a regular regimine of kefir I have not had any issues at all with gas. Talk about a relief – for me, my wife, and even our dog appreciates it!

    • kefir is perfect for relief from digestive issues including constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and belching! glad you are rid of that embarrasing issue :)

  22. Pingback: Healthy Recipe Index | Food With Kid AppealFood With Kid Appeal

  23. Thank you for this post. After having just recently climbed out of a very dark (although short-lived) depression, this post struck a nerve. I feel like I have two choices to avoid a similar episode in the future: starting anti-depressants or changing my diet. I had no idea that the kefir I currently cultivate could be a solution. I will be more diligent about incorporating it into my diet.

    On another note, I appreciate the day-to-day FB posts about what you are cooking. So many of the food blogs I read are about theory rather than practice. It’s really helpful to know what goes on your table on a daily basis. The no-frills, quick-but-still-healthy meals are what I need more of in my line-up.

  24. I am wheat free and sugar free but don’t know much about making kefir. Do you have blog posts on how to do this? You’ve got me interested.
    Thanks much – Deborah

  25. Just stumbled onto your kefir post and was intrigued by all your obstacles you are attempting to overcome. One thing I know about GAPS is their recommendation to have a good homeopath on your team to help with healing also. Constitutional treatment can also add to the healing and getting off the drugs and onto a better path to health. Hope you do have someone in your corner. Take care!

  26. Hi Jenna,

    Thanks for your inspiring story! Glad you and your boys are feeling better! I’m in my second year of my forties, gained 20 pounds in a year and always feel bloated, but otherwise healthy and on no meds. My husband suffers from indigestion and excess gas. Fortunately, our children are healthy eaters and don’t have any health issues. I’d like to try some of your healthful living ideas. How do you brew kefir at home? Do you purchase the grains and soak (ferment) them? What is kombucha? What is a detox bath? Oh yeah, and what blender do you use for all that blending? You’ve probably already shared some of this info, so just point me in the right direction. Thanks!

  27. Thank you soooooooooo much for sharing this with us. This sounds like me (but I started out tired to begin with). I’ve recently been diagnosed with Asthma and it only seems to be getting worse even with the help of inhailers, though it made a big difference in my energy this summer. I’ve been debating on trying milk kefir and have just started having a little bit, as I’ve learned the great benefits! But now, after what you’ve shared, I’ll take it in any form be it milk, coconut milk or water kefir, daily. I’ve been trying to heal my son with diet, abstaining from all the major food sensitivities that he was tested positive for, but I was thinking, that this is crazy. Why should we be so sensitive to whole foods that God created for us to eat?! My son felt better but it wasn’t enough. I appreciate your long detailed tho’ts that bro’t you to the conclusion that kefir is the foundation for the other healing foods so that we can eat healthy normal foods. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of hope and gratitude to you and God for directing me to you. Blessings!

  28. Hey there, I just read your story and it is incredible! I am so happy for you and your family, finding your health and happiness again. I recently got diagnosed with IBS + possible gluten/dairy allergies, and I have been researching the internet for kefir. I ordered water kefir, and I’m looking for a good milk kefir source so I can use it with coconut milk (Because of the possible dairy allergy and all) :-) I was just wondering if you are still using the same regimen, and if you are still feeling as good as you were when writing this article? I pray that this will also give me some relieve from my annoying symptoms! (IBS and adult acne). I’ve got some weak genes I’m afraid, hehe! I hope you’ll find the time to respond, I really am curious ^-^ PS excuse the grammar mistakes, I am not a native english speaker xoxo Jamie

    • hi jamie, i am still consuming kefir regularly, and i generally feel pretty dang good. i’m also consuming other live cultures daily like fermented veggies and kombucha. we have all been on dairy free hiatus for a while, and while i still do not offer much kefired dairy or raw dairy to my sons, they do eat kefir grains plain almost daily. personally, the biggest relief i get from kefir is with seasonal allergies (all but gone) and motility. i was dxed with IBS in college, this no longer bothers me. kefir and other live cultures has cured IBS for me. best wishes!

  29. Hi Jenna, got a question and cant find an answer. I have a close friend who has a lot of allergies including yeast. I would like to help her but wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea considering what kefir grains are.

  30. Im on a healing journey myself, have MS and i attribute it to lifelong Candida overgrowth. I’ve been dealing now with adrenal burnout/CFS and have two young children (5 and 10). I’m completely in that world you describe, i hate the kitchen, i can barely get out of bed, and feeding myself has become almost impossible.
    I’ve discovered kefir a month ago and really hope to see results at some point.

    I was wondering about your detox baths? What do you put in them?

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  35. There are many types of tiles available nowadays.
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    Ceramic
    Porcelain
    Stone

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    Shifting of the furniture, if any, from that space.

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    Application of the suitable cleaning solution.
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  37. Revealed: Secret to Reducing Air Conditioning Costs

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  38. Revealed: Secret to Reducing Air Conditioning Costs

    Certain results indicate how each American household pay
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    Indeed there are very good ways to cut down on these expenses without
    sacrificing the benefit of air conditioning during hot summer days in any way.
    The true secret to reducing Air Conditioning costs lies in your maintenance activities and making the right purchase of air conditioner units based on your needs.

    Currently, there are 3 common kinds of air conditioners, central,
    freestanding and window on the US market. Each kind has its own pros and cons.
    Before purchasing any air conditioners for your home,
    there is something that you need to understand. Not all the types
    of units on the market require the same kind of maintenance. 

    Think about the possible utility and maintenance costs when you purchase
    your unit. What is the cooling coverage that you truly need?
    It may seem easy to install a centralized system for your
    entire house. But the question is whether it is necessary. 

    Apart from the high expense of purchasing this
    system, there are the possible high costs of repair and maintenance.

    If you only want cool air in certain rooms because they
    are the hottest in your home during a hot summer season,
    then opt for the window or freestanding kind. The key difference between the
    freestanding type and the window type is in terms of mobility.
    You can move a freestanding air conditioner from one room
    to another easily enough. 

    Buying this type will be a great idea if you intend to rotate the usage of the unit in different rooms.
    But if your mind is fixed on having a few units in specific rooms, then the window type might be a good option. Since the window type would be up on the wall, it would not take up space in the room like how the freestanding type would.
    When it comes to the window type, you have the choice of selecting one that comes with or without duct. 

    Apart from being compact and small, the ductless kind is rather easy to install on any wall.
    Compared to the one that comes with a duct, it is also
    more energy saving. A good way to cool the temperature in the other rooms that have no air-conditioners is
    to use oscillating fans. Another smart way is to
    purchase a few 5 ton air conditioners to cover the
    space for your entire house instead of buying a centralized unit. 

    But this depends on how large your home is.
    Apart from the cost of purchase, there is the expense for maintenance.
    Normally, the cost of maintenance of a centralized
    air conditioning system is much higher compared to the
    freestanding or window types. To reduce maintenance costs, think about performing
    simple maintenance activities on your own.

    For example, you can take a look at the filter and change it if it requires changing.
    Normally, the frequency for changing or checking the filter will be mentioned in the air
    conditioner manufacturer’s manual. Some findings show that changing the filters can help in reducing monthly utility costs by 10 to 20%. 

    Though it is fine to carry out a simple maintenance task such as changing
    a filter, it is best to leave the more complex maintenance or
    repair tasks to Air Conditioning Experts. Now and then, call them
    up to check on the state of your air conditioner
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  40. Thanks for the post. I too suffered from terrible headaches that the doctors could find no reason for. After suffering for over two years in which thankfully I was retired, I finally discovered milk kefir. I started consuming it and the headaches went away. I thought it was a combination of coconut oil and kefir, but when I began making kombucha about 9 months later and was not drinking as much kefir the headaches came back. So I now begin each day with a cup of kefir before anything else and no headaches. Praise the LORD.

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  47. Thank you so much for your post on Kefir…i am a healer in Africa an recomend it to even pregnant women with acid reflux…the formented juice or yogurt to infants with colic/tummy trouble…

    Sometimes there are gastro enteritus outbreaks and kids die…kefir stops diarehhea and vomiti.g IMMEDIATELY…i cannot say this enough…
    My 10 year old had the WORST experiemce…i am sure everyone has been through at least once in their life…
    Sitting on the toilet…and puking into basin at same time…no point in calling mommy or daddy cause theu cannot STOP

    • Of course anyone else can come for a session amd if they were sick…i’d have said kefir…but so close to home? Took my brain a couple days to register the simplicity of what my daughter needed…
      One glass full of fresh kefir yogurt and no more vomitting or runny tummy….
      A couple days later me and my 5 year old werr also toilet bound…kefir cleared it immediately…

      There is no waste with kefir…you keep the curds as yogurt/cream cheese/feta…and the whey formets vegies (turning the vegies into a Living Food..that lives up to 8 months in the fridge…cauae its become a Live Culture…
      The whey can be added to any juice…fresh or shop bought…and turns it into a fizzy soda with two.days…
      Also…no matter if someone is lactose intolerant…kefir has no adverse affects on anyone that cannot take dairy…

  48. There are many types of tiles available nowadays.

    The method of tile cleaning will depend more on the tile type.
    However there are couple of things to be followed
    to add the sheen and glow of the tiles.

    Do the regular floor cleaning
    Clean the spills as soon as they occur

    It is very crucial to clean dirt and water too as soon as they are split
    to prevent the stains. Place a doormat which helps in reduction of mud or
    dirt entering through footsteps.

    There are basically following tile floors where in one will
    use the tile and grout cleaning process, types of tiles are
    as follow -

    Ceramic
    Porcelain
    Stone

    Porcelain Tile cleaning

    Porcelain tiles maintenance is not difficult if the surface is cleaned regularly.

    The surface can be vacuum cleaned every day or just sweep it.
    The wet mopping is required once in a week.
    Use of mild floor cleaners will do for the mopping.
    One can make it at home by mixing vinegar and water.

    Ceramic Tile Cleaning

    The rule is followed here as well; remove the dirt as soon as possible.
    Vacuum clean the tiles every day or a simple broom can be used.
    Plain water or the special ceramic tile cleaners
    can be used for the wet mopping.

    Stone Tile Cleaning

    One need to be careful while cleaning the tiles
    made of stones as they are natural minerals. Never use harsh floor cleaners.
    Sweep or vacuum clean. After using any floor cleaner use a dry mop to soak any type of liquid residue.

    Grout Cleaning

    Along with the tile cleaning it is very important to regularly clean the grout, i.e.
    the lines between the tiles. Hence tile and grout cleaning
    goes simultaneously. Grout is porous in nature and attracts dirt, grease etc.

    The surface looks shabby if the grout is unclean. It can also be a cause of mildew or mould in the damp areas like
    bathrooms. It is best to have a seal (colour or clear)
    on the grout which will not only protect the surface but also acts as an anti-fungal agent.

    Many a times it gets difficult to maintain the floor due to hectic working schedules.
    Hence we come in picture and provide the tile and grout cleaning services to our clients at a very affordable price.
    Moreover the price depends on the type of the tiles, number of tiles and size of the tiles to
    be cleaned.

    Following steps are followed for the tile and grout cleaning after you contact us-

    Pre inspection of the tiles and floor.
    Shifting of the furniture, if any, from that space.

    Dry Sweeping of the surface
    Application of the suitable cleaning solution.
    Cleaning the surface with a soft pad.
    High pressure cleaning
    Mopping and drying the surface.

    We have our experts who carry special tools
    to do the tile and grout cleaning; the grout sealing is also done if ordered.

    Here is my web-site; grout cleaning system Las Vegas NV, Kami,

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