How You Get Candida and What To Do About It

how you get candida

 

What happens when microscopic yeast start running the show?

 

If you don’t get some candy in you NOW, someone might get hurt. So you go for the strong stuff (caramel, ice cream, cupcakes), blaming yourself for caving. Again.

But it’s not your faulty willpower keeping you in these saccharine shackles. It’s Candida…and it’s at the root of some of the nastiest health issues out there.

  • Vaginal yeast infections or jock itch—complete with insane itching in your you-know-what
  • UTIs—the not-so-fun feeling of searing pain when you pee
  • Athlete’s foot or toenail fungus (sorry, no flip flops for you)
  • Severe seasonal allergies that have you begging for mercy
  • Eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes…not so sexy
  • Brain fog: the opposite of fun
  • Bloating and issues maintaining a stable weight
  • Digestive issues—with or without rectal itching

And as if any of these symptoms didn’t cause irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression on their own, Candida makes them worse.

If you’ve ever taken antibiotics and are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, there’s a good chance you have Candida overgrowth.

 

What is Candida and why can’t I stop itching?

 

Candida is a parasitic yeast that requires sugar and carbs to multiply rapidly. There is a direct correlation to gut health and getting rid of Candida. When antibiotics swoop in to wipe out harmful bacteria, unless you actively re-introduce probiotics, the first things to grow back are opportunistic organisms.

Enter Candida, the beasties that thrive in the digestive tract and cause a white film on your tongue.

This doesn’t just ruin your digestion either. Candida knocks your whole body out of whack and, if left unchecked, is linked to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma and Multiple sclerosis.

And, Candida will feed off your body for years until you learn how to clear it out.

It is a major cause of leaky gut. It is a microscopic yeast that lives in the body naturally. But after antibiotics, stress, trauma, and processed foods take their toll, you mess up the balance of the gut microbiome and give up the prime waterfront real estate of your intestines to this parasitic dimorphic fungus. Dimorphic means that it has two states.

1. It is in a cellular free-floating yeast form, which floats around in the digestive tract of humans.

2. It morphs into its mold form where it becomes a biofilm. This cluster of Candida grows filamentous ‘roots’ that pierce the lining of the intestinal tract. Once it reaches turns into a biofilm, it becomes resistant to herbal antimicrobials. Candida biofilms are notoriously resistant to conventional antifungal therapeutics.

“In individuals with healthy immune systems, C. albicans is often harmless, kept in balance with other members of the local microbiota. However, alterations in the host microbiota (e.g., due to antibiotics), changes in the host immune response (e.g., during stress, infection by another microbe, or immunosuppressant therapy), or variations in the local environment (e.g., shifts in pH or nutritional content) can enable C. albicans to overgrow and cause infection.” – Nobile et al. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015; 69: 71–92.

 

When you crush Candida, you:

 

  • Remember what it’s like to be able to concentrate
  • Can throw out all those icky over-the-counter creams
  • Don’t have to worry about bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Crave fresh vegetables instead of entire loaves of bread
  • Get to eat fruit again—without waking up with itchy ears the next day

There are dozens of Candida cleanses and blander-than-bland diets you can try. But until you take the right steps at the right time, Candida will be back. Fortunately, you don’t need toxic treatments or an endless diet of kale.

My background as a gut health specialist and microbiologist has given me a unique take on Candida. I, myself, had to heal from it.

I tried all the different diets and they didn’t work.

It wasn’t until I realized that Candida is not just the overgrowth of one organism. It is complete dysbiosis in the system.

Candida grows roots and works its way into the digestive tract. It causes leaky gut, cramping, diarrhea, and impairs digestion.

It also weakens the immune system. Those with Candida get sick more often than people who don’t have it.

The toxins get absorbed into the bloodstream and mess with your nervous system, moods, and detoxification systems.

 

Being at War With Candida Won’t Work

 

The allopathic medical model is to kill things off. You may even feel completely compelled to kill off the Candida in your body. Anything to stop the discomfort…

But by attacking Candida, you can actually make it stronger while your immune system gets weaker because you aren’t addressing the underlying issues that caused Candida to be there in the first place.

You can’t just starve Candida to get rid of it. Once you learn how to balance the gut microbiome the healthy critters (probiotics) can manage this for you. You also have to remove the factors that promote the growth of Candida, such as mercury and other heavy metals. Removing dental amalgams is a necessary step in getting rid of Candida, but it must be done properly and safely or you could end up getting much worse.

To learn step-by-step how to test, treat, and tackle Candida check out my newest course. You will join me live on September 20th to get the freshest take and updated information on crushing this annoying critter.

Candida Crash Course is the all-natural way to rid your body of Candida.

 

candida crash course

 

The Candida Crash Course teaches you how to:

 

  • Test yourself for Candida
  • Use herbs to combat Candida—instead of harsh prescriptions
  • Know if you’re ready to fight off Candida
  • Use different dietary strategies for your unique body
  • Heal with the right fermented foods, herbs, and supplements
  • Pick the right cleanse to clear Candida once and for all
  • Get to the root of leaky gut, food allergies, and dysbiosis

Learn How to Quit Letting Chronic Fatigue, Itchiness, Digestive Drama, and Sugar Cravings Keep You Back

 

Many doctors will give you a prescription for an antifungal expecting it to correct the problem with one little pill. Functional medicine docs and nutritionists will tell you how stubborn Candida is and how hard it is to treat.

The truth is that clearing Candida isn’t as hard as most people think…if you learn the approach that’s right for you.

My Candida Crash Course is designed to keep it simple using strategies that have worked for me and hundreds of my clients.

Right now you can get instant access to the Candida Crash Course and start healing today.

What you get in the Candida Crash Course (everything is downloadable):

  • In-depth audio training on Candida causes, cleanses, and solutions (value $497)
  • Step-by-step instructions that cut out the Candida confusion (value $47)
  • PDF handouts to keep you on track (value $47)
  • Transcripts so you can skim and find the info you need quickly (value $125)
  • Additional resources to help you get relief as quickly as possible (value $297)

TOTAL VALUE: $1013

Regularly: $247  Right now: $47

 

 

“I love love loved the Candida intensive; this has been the pinnacle for me so far. I’ve studied chemistry and loved the scientific references, you were so talking my language. Thanks for the great comparison of Gaps, Body Ecology, Gabriel Cousins, and Gut Rebuilding, very valuable. I’m one of those clean eaters still struggling with gut issues. The big ah-ha was the emotional stuff still holding us there, I’m thinking that might be a biggie for me. This stuff is so awesome.

I’ve experienced the coffee jitters whilst having glandular fever after my 2nd baby was born; I had to pull the car off the road as I could not concentrate enough to drive! All starting to make sense now!

I scored 10 on the candida questionnaire. Maybe this is why Gaps never completely worked for me and I always just felt awful on it.” – Alana Maxwell

 

candida crash course

 

Regularly: $247  Right now: $47

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Times a Day Should You Poop?

how many times a day should you poop 1 (top image specs)

 

There’s some debate about how many times a day you should poop and what a healthy bowel movement looks like. Let’s put an end to all the questions and set the record straight.

Every day your body tells you how well it’s functioning. One of the best ways is through your poop!

Causes of Unhealthy Poop

 

If a normal poop eludes you, it can indicate a number of health concerns including:

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • a less than optimal gut bio-terrain
  • food allergies
  • nutrient deficiencies
  • enzyme deficiencies
  • dehydration
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • overall acidity in the body (a known precursor to cancer)
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • dysbiosis
  • intestinal infections

You can adjust what you eat to have a healthy bowel movement, but before you can do so, you must first understand what’s healthy and what’s NOT.

What Is Your Poop Telling You?

 

Watch this video and learn what your poop is saying about your digestive health.

 

 

Your number 2 is your number 1 tool to use so you can see what your body is up to. For example, my sister was lactose intolerant growing up and it took her years to discover this because she did not know that it wasn’t normal to have diarrhea every time you ate ice cream or drank milk.

You have to look at your poo every time you go to the bathroom, don’t just cover it up with toilet paper and blindly flush every time. Otherwise, you are literally flushing an opportunity down the toilet that gives you insight into your health that can help prevent chronic illness years before it starts.

You can use your #2 tool every single day of your life to get feedback about the choices you made yesterday, the day before that, or the week before that.

Learn what a perfect poop looks like In my Gut Rebuilding® Program. My gut rebuilders affectionately call it the Golden Doodle.

What Is A “Normal Poop” Experience?

 

A normal healthy bowel movement should be brown, formed, and pass easily.  It should take only a minute or two from the time you sit down to fully release a complete stool effortlessly.

You should have a clean break, which means there is no real need to wipe. And once you are finished, you should feel elated, light, complete, and joyful. You should enjoy this experience 1-3 times per day, every day.

There shouldn’t be pain, straining, and effort. You shouldn’t be using half a roll of toilet paper each time and you shouldn’t feel like there is still some left inside. Nor should you feel drained and gross afterward. These are all signs that something isn’t working quite right in your digestive tract.

Let’s Back Up The Tract A Bit…

 

When you chew food and swallow, it goes down into your stomach. It moves on to the small intestines where bile is added. Then the food goes into the colon where all the bacteria live.

The colon is where your food actually gets digested, so, hopefully, you have a healthy dose of good bacteria present so you can get the best digestive results. If you have bad bacteria living here, they will produce toxins which you will absorb into your bloodstream.

Anything in your intestines can be absorbed by the bloodstream.

Your body uses this very thin membrane, your intestines, and soaks up whatever is there. If your food is moving too slowly through the colon, the waste products that should be leaving, are getting reabsorbed into the blood.

Then your liver filters these waste products again which creates a negative feedback loop of toxicity between the colon and the liver. Over time this constant cycle will make your body toxic and you will start to see it in your skin.

This toxic cycle is also linked to SIBO, which is exacerbated by slow motility in the colon, aka, constipation. SIBO is often associated with rosacea (redness on your face or chest), allergies, food sensitivities, and a highly reactive state in general.

 

how many times a day should you poop 2 (pinterest image specs)

 

The 7 Different Poop Types

 

Type 1– Separate hard lumps, like nuts and hard to pass

Type 2– Sausage shaped and lumpy and usually pretty dry. Indicates that you are most likely constipated. If they are separate hard lumps it indicates a very constipated state.

Type 3– Is sausage-like but has cracks on the surface, which is normal.

Type 4– Soft sausage or like a snake. One smooth long piece all connected.

Type 5– Soft blobs with cut edges that passes easily. This is not normal and often indicates that you are lacking fiber.

Type 6– Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, which is a clear sign of inflammation in the body along with a number of other things that could be going on.

Type 7– Watery with no solid pieces, basically straight up diarrhea—another sign of inflammation.

Poop types 1 and 2 are signs of constipation. If you fall in this category you most likely poop once or less per day or as little as once a week. This is a very uncomfortable position to be in because your food is not passing through your body as it should be and toxins are getting reabsorbed into the colon.  

As far as poop types 5, 6, and 7 go, these types are diarrhea. If you have one of these types, you most likely struggle with inflammation, which can show up in many ways in your body. Some examples are arthritis, allergies, hives, and food allergies.

Some people fluctuate all over the stool chart and this is a sure sign of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Your stools should be fully digested. There should not be any discernable food left over. If there is, it shows that you are not chewing your food well enough if you can see whole pieces of it in the toilet.

Let’s Talk Color…

 

Your poop should be brown. The color brown in your poop is often caused by food that is mixed in with the bilirubin from your bile as well as the bacterial fermentation occurring in your gut.

Did you know that the bacteria ferment your food and create a slippery substance that allows your poop to move through your intestines easily and effortlessly?  So having the right bacteria is crucial to prevent constipation.

If your poop changes color, it can indicate various things about your health.

If your poop is green, it can indicate that your food is moving too quickly through your digestive tract.  Green poop can also occur when you start eating more veggies or if you start adding chlorophyll.

This is okay for a few days but if it persists, you need to improve your digestion so that you are breaking things down properly. Otherwise, you are missing out on nutrients that are moving right through you before your body has a chance to absorb them.

Light color or white stool can indicate issues with bile production or an obstruction of the bile duct, which can be more serious. Some medications may cause this too.

Sometimes stool can be covered in a white cobweb-like mucous, often caused by Candida in the intestines or an intestinal infection.

Black and red poop indicate blood and this is not ideal. It can also be caused by iron supplements or eating too many beets. Really pay attention to what you’ve been eating and contact your doctor if this color persists.

Yellow stool indicates an inability to digest fats very well and can point to liver or gall-bladder issues. You’ll notice this when your poop is foul smelling and greasy.

Now Let’s Talk Odor…

 

It’s normal for your poop to not smell like roses, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be overpowering or nauseating.

This type of odor indicates that the bacteria in your gut are fermenting your food improperly which is caused by having the wrong bacteria living in your gut.

These foul odors can also be from not having the right enzymes or the right pH in your gastric juices. The right bacteria can grow if your gastric juice pH is correct.  

When you work on getting the right bacteria to grow in your gut, getting the bad bacteria or yeasts out, getting your digestion stronger, and increasing your mineral absorption you will automatically improve your body’s pH.

Doctors Get Why Looking At Poop Is So Important

 

I just couldn’t resist a little laugh. Seriously though, the message of “it all starts in the gut” is loud and clear.

 

What To Do When Your Poop Isn’t Perfect

 

Many people turn to over the counter drugs to deal with constipation, diarrhea and other digestive upsets. All of the typical digestive aids just mask the symptoms of bad digestion.

When you use these drugs, you are not listening to your body or using its messages as a way to heal, which is exactly why you are receiving them in the first place-to alert you that something needs fixing.

Masking digestive symptoms can lead you further down the path of chronic symptoms and this is where it can get intense. Science has uncovered a ton of information in the past couple of years showing the correlation between an unhealthy gut and certain chronic conditions.

Autoimmune disorders, obesity, asthma, allergies, type 2 diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and hormone imbalances all stem from the gut.

Maybe you’re not dealing with these complex issues, but things aren’t looking so great in the toilet. These chronic problems could be headed your way if you don’t start to make a shift, or you find yourself using over the counter drugs to mask your symptoms.

Do Your Poop Detective Work

 

Over the next 24 hours note the color, smell, and types of stool you have based on the Bristol stool chart.

Write down your answers to these questions.

  • Is it effortless?
  • Do you strain?
  • How many times are you going each day?
  • Do you have a clean break?
  • How close are you to the Golden Doodle?

Don’t judge, just pay attention and look with fresh eyes. Gather your data. There’s no right or wrong answers, just awareness. Start there. Once you have the data then you can start to make improvements on it.

How To Get Your Poop Right

 

If your data shows that you’re dealing with regularly less than perfect poo or you have chronic digestive symptoms or diseases that result from poor digestion, your next move to get your smooth move is my Gut Rebuilding® Program.

This program has helped thousands successfully heal their digestive symptoms and chronic health issues, and I’d love for you to be my next success story. I will actively coach you to help you rewrite your story of what great gut health looks like.

Check out my free webinar to learn more about the program and also how to avoid The 3 Mistakes Most People Make When Trying To Health Their Gut (And What To Do Instead).

When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics?

best time to take probiotics

 

There are many nuances to get the most out of your probiotic efforts. Knowing when the best time to take probiotics for your body is matters. After all, doesn’t everyone want to have the most probiotically packed body in all the land?

 

It also helps to know which form of probiotic to take (a supplement or raw ferments), how much to use, and how to take them (with meals or in between).

 

Tracy Bosnian reached out to ask,

 

“I love making my own Kraut and eating it, but in my learning as a nutritionist, I learned the best time to take a probiotic is just before bed. What do you think of this and would it be just as effective to eat a couple of tablespoons before bed? I’d be really interested in your insight.”

 

Great question. First and foremost I would say no, don’t eat sauerkraut before bed.

 

But you might be surprised at WHY I don’t recommend this. Watch my video reply or read the transcript below to find out!

 

best time to take probiotics quote

 

I also include some great advice on how to lower your body’s acidity. Watch and  learn:

 

  • What time of day is best to get your probiotic fix?
  • In a capsule or on a fork? What is the best way to get your probiotic?
  • Best practice on timing your probiotics…With meals or when your belly’s empty?
  • Flushable evidence…The best sign that what you’re doing is working!

 

If you’re interested in learning how to get your own golden doodle that I mention in the video, be sure to sign up for my free Inner Spy training. You’ll learn how to become an expert at listening to your own gut intuition so you can live an energetic, symptom-free life on purpose in six easy steps.

 

Guts & Glory #42-The Best Time To Take Probiotics

 

 

 

Transcription-The Best Time to Take Probiotics

 

Welcome everyone, I’m Summer Bock. This is Guts and Glory. We get a lot of questions and email, and I wanted to start answering those for you a little bit more formally. Here we have a question from Tracy. Tracy says,

 

“I love making my own Kraut and eating it, but in my learning as a nutritionist, I learned the best time to take a probiotic is just before bed. What do you think of this and would it be just as effective to eat a couple of tablespoons before bed? I’d be really interested in your insight.”

 

Tracy Bosnian, thank you so much for asking. This is a great question. First and foremost I would say no, don’t eat sauerkraut before bed.

 

The main reason is having that acidity in your mouth is not ideal, it’s bad for your teeth.

 

You should really keep your meals to two or three a day, and you shouldn’t be eating or snacking in between. It’s not good for your mouth, it’s not good for the pH, and it will make different organisms grow in your mouth than what you want.

 

Really focus on eating two to three times a day, not eating in between, and that really means not eating right before bed.

 

Instead, I would recommend taking a probiotic before bed. I’ve found in my work in the Gut Rebuilding® Program that there are two different ways to do it. You can take probiotics with meals and you can take probiotics away from meals.

 

It works, depending on the person. I find that with all my clients in that program we try it both ways and see which one works better for you.

 

You can tell if it’s working because you get closer to the golden doodle. Your digestion is running smoothly, you have the golden doodle and that’s how you’ll know that this is actually an effective tool for you.

 

Taking them with meals? My fave way to do that is through kimchi and sauerkraut or other fermented foods that are rich in probiotics. Then, if you want to take it at night I recommend taking the probiotic pill itself.

 

Tracy, I hope that helps you in your endeavors as a nutritionist, and helps you advise your clients as well. Thank you so much for submitting your question.

 

Everyone, this is Summer Bock signing out.

 

best time to take probiotics PIN IT

 

The Dark Side to Kombucha

dark side to kombucha

 

 

Kombucha—fermented tea created from Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeasts (SCOBY)—is commonly hyped up as being a magic elixir. Just like magic, there is a dark side to kombucha.

 

Regular consumers claim this “potion” aids weight loss and digestion, serves as an anti-aging regimen, helps prevent cancer, improves liver function and supports overall immunity.

 

Although this incredible tonic is now popularly marketed on a large scale for its countless health benefits, kombucha has the potential for negative side effects.

Why kombucha is amazing

 

Bacteria and yeasts in kombucha work to eradicate most sugars from the tea, transforming the liquid into a fizzy, semi-tart, delicious drink.

 

Kombucha is high in Vitamin B—protecting the pancreas and liver.

 

It’s also rich in enzymes that help detoxify the body, high in glucosamine that lubricates joints and prevents arthritis, and is packed with probiotics—helping to aid digestion and ensure gut health.

 

dark side to kombucha 2

 

 

 

Hannah Krum of Kombucha Kamp shares in her new book, The Big Book of Kombucha:

 

“Kombucha is often referred to as a gateway food, because this one health-promoting choice can lead to a whole host of others, bringing balance to body, diet and lifestyle. With regular consumption, kombucha can be part of deep, positive changes in all aspects of life….We are living in a bacterial world, and I am a bacterial girl!”

 

The dark side to kombucha resides in your choices

 

The main issues are the frequency and quantity that people consume kombucha. A lot of health experts will advise drinking kombucha every day, but I strongly disagree.

 

While I love kombucha and appreciate its benefits, I believe everything should be done in moderation!

 

If you are taking medications, are an alcoholic, diabetic, alcohol sensitive, caffeine sensitive, sugar sensitive, or have Candida…kombucha may not be the drink for you. Symptoms of SIBO can be revealed or exacerbated through drinking kombucha. In some cases, it can trigger acid reflux or heartburn and possibly irritate ulcers.

 

Reap all the kombucha benefits with none of the buzzkills

 

While kombucha is not a magical drink with wizardly powers, if drank in moderation this yummy concoction can provide health benefits like increasing your bacterial diversity, which helps prevent chronic disease.

 

(One of my Fermentationists®, Gayle, calls kombucha the “designated driver’s drink” while out at the bar.)

 

The key to reaping the benefits of kombucha without the negative repercussions is to be aware of how often you’re drinking it and how it makes you feel.

 

In general, I recommend drinking kombucha no more than twice a week.

 

 

dark side to kombucha 3

 

My clients weigh in with their kombucha experiences

 

Kevin Gianni of Annmarie Skin Care, “The only dark side of kombucha is when you run out…. lol… We have it on tap at the office here.” 🙂

 

Elissa, “I used to drink lots of kombucha and loved the different flavors at the store. I also liked the idea that it was healthy, until I got a “baby” from a neighbor (that was super fun, like sharing sourdough starter) and realized how much sugar and caffeine it got fed! Yikes!”

 

Morray, “I have done kombucha on/off for a couple of years. I could definitely tell when it was not agreeing with my system (bloating and digestion just off), removed it for a time and have been drinking it again for a few months with no issues. I think the amount is key and I do better WITHOUT the second ferment. I have never really liked carbonation…”

 

Catherine, “I started making kombucha five years ago and loved it, drank it almost daily in amounts of 4 to 12 oz with no ill effects, I rarely used a second ferment.

 

Then over time I developed SIBO and noticed increasingly that I didn’t feel as well after drinking it. This actually helped clue me in that I had SIBO. I was drinking it less and less so I stopped producing it at home.

 

After a year or so without it I took a sip from my husband’s Celestial Seasoning kombucha as we were shopping in Sprouts Market one day and holy cow, one sip was enough to blow my gut up to basketball proportions. I think that brand has inulin added to it.

 

I didn’t touch kombucha again until I got an all-clear signal from my retest for SIBO. Now I respect the power of the ferment more and I limit my kombucha use to keeping a bottle of GT in the fridge on occasion and sipping from it as I’m passing through the kitchen.”

 

Myra, “The first time I ever tried it was in this program [Fermentation Certification Program]. I thought it tasted like “hard” iced tea. I like that sort of thing!” 😉

 

Shawn, “Like Myra, the first time I tasted it was in this program. I only had one drink of it since I do not tolerate caffeine or sugar well. My daughter loves it, however, so I am continuing to make it for her. She says it is so much better than any of the many different kombuchas she has purchased from stores, and that she never wants to buy any again!

 

This summer she wants me to teach her how to make it so she can make it herself and experiment with different flavors.”

 

Marlies, “I drank a lot of it for about 2 years. I did not realize then that drinking it in large amounts was not a good idea. My teeth started to ache and I suspected it was causing my Candida problem to flare up. Now I have it on occasion.

 

Jennifer Delaney, “I can drink it on occasion, but if I drink it too often I start getting headaches. I am prone to food-related migraines and know certain things must be done in moderation for me.”

 

Jane, “We as a family like kombucha. We go through a lot of it. I have a hard time keeping up with making it. I don’t find the alcohol in it affects us in any way. I don’t know what the alcohol content is but I’m sure it’s low. We’ve been drinking it for about two years now.

 

I was diagnosed borderline diabetic but was able to reverse that diagnosis. I think that the kombucha may have a part in that. I’m not sure. I know lifestyle changes affect that also-eliminating processed foods, sugar etc. My daughter had a histamine reaction to it. She does drink it but a lot less often than she used to.”

 

Laura, “My son, by drinking kombucha regularly, has gone from borderline constipated to 3 poops a day! He spends so much less time in the bathroom, it’s awesome.”

 

Is the dark side to kombucha shadowing you?

 

Have you been using kombucha more than you should? Maybe you experience bloat, headaches or feeling “off” after drinking it even if you barely touch the stuff. If that’s the case, it may be time for you to dive deeper into what’s going on in that glorious gut of yours.

 

SIBO and Candida may be making your symptoms worse. Check into the gut health labs I recommend to get a clear idea of where you’re starting.

 

If you’ve had gut labs completed recently and you’re ready to improve your results, my Gut Rebuilding® Program can help. Take action to reduce or eliminate your bloating, gas, indigestion, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, and other gut-related symptoms.

 

Learn more about my 8-week program that includes live coaching and the support of other students actively healing at their own pace in the Gut Rebuilding® Facebook community when you attend my free webinar.   

 

If kombucha and your gut get along great…

 

And you troll the refrigerated aisles of your natural food store looking for new kombucha flavors to try,

 

But you would rather be hyper diligent about what goes into the food you consume (no hidden inulin or non-organic ingredients),

 

Plus, you love the idea of turning your kitchen into your very own DIY probiotic factory,

 

Then it might just be time for you to check out how to make your own kombucha (plus 13 other delicious ferments) inside my Fermented Foods 101 course.

 

What has your personal experience with kombucha been? Comment below and let me know.

 

dark side to kombucha 4

 

How to Make Your Own Batch of Fermented Carrot Pickles

fermented carrot pickles

 

 

Instagram votes are in. My whole fermented carrot pickles are all the buzz with my ferment loving followers. As I promised, here’s the recipe I use to make these tasty, sour, probiotic filled treats.

 

In this recipe, whole carrots are left to ferment in salty brine until they are tender and pleasantly sour. You can adjust the fermentation time so that the carrots taste exactly as sour as you like.

 

Once you transfer them to the fridge, the fermentation process slows considerably, and the carrots will keep for many months, although they’re so tasty it’s unlikely they’ll stick around that long.

 

Ingredients

 

This recipe yields around 3 cups

 

2 cups water

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 medium bunch small carrots, leafy tops attached

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 1/2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon powdered wasabi

 

Directions

 

In a small bowl, make a 2.5% brine by mixing together the water and salt, stirring until the salt dissolves.

 

fermented carrot pickles step 1

 

Trim the carrot tops, leaving 1″ to 3″ of the stem attached. Peel the carrots and trim any stringy roots. Place the carrots in a wide mouth quart jar.

 

fermented carrot pickles step 2

 

Add the garlic, ginger, scallion, pepper flakes, and wasabi. Pour in the brine.

 

fermented carrot pickles step 3

 

Place a clean, small plate on top of the carrots, and then set a clean weight (like a jar filled with water) on top to keep the carrots completely submerged in the brine.

 

Cover the opening of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band.

 

fermented carrot pickles step 4

 

Leave at room temperature (65° to 70°F) to ferment for 10 to 21 days. The fermentation process will occur more slowly if the ambient temperature is at the cooler end of room-temperature range, and more quickly if at the warmer end.

 

These carrots will become more sour and softer the longer they ferment. When they taste as sour as you prefer, remove the plate and weight, and then scrape off and discard the top layer, which may be covered in a harmless white mold.

 

Cover the jar with a lid and transfer to the refrigerator, where the carrots can be stored for months.

 

Share Your Fermented Carrot Pickle Photos

 

How did your probiotic sour fermented carrot pickle batch turn out? Share some pictures on Instagram, tag me @Fermentationist or use the hashtag  #fermentedcarrotpickles so I can find your gorgeous images.

 

If you enjoyed this recipe and want to learn how to make 14 of my most delicious and probiotic-rich ferments, check into my Fermented Foods 101 course.

 

fermented carrot pickles recipe infographic

 

Are Probiotics Better Than Fermented Foods?

fermented foods

 

While the benefits of fermented foods are generally accepted, there are probiotic manufacturers who suggest the probiotic benefit of these foods is over exaggerated. The common argument is that the bacteria contained in fermented foods are not able to survive the harsh environment of the digestive system and therefore aren’t beneficial to you.

This is simply not true.

The research supporting the widespread benefits of fermented foods for the body are widely accepted by scientists, doctors, and practitioners. Fermented foods improve your health in many categories, including:

This list comes directly from studies that specifically examine the effects of fermented foods on human health and is by no means comprehensive. There are tons of studies on the effects of fermented foods and their benefits to our health because they affect many mechanisms by influencing gut microbiome composition. Meaning, the bacteria present are able to survive the acidic environment of the gut8.

 

A Few Considerations on Fermented Foods and Probiotics

So, why are a few health authorities taking rogue positions when it comes to fermented foods and probiotics?

I believe the motivations for these attacks come from a place of frustration for the overreaching claims surrounding fermented foods and probiotics. I definitely agree there is somewhat of an evangelical attitude around fermented foods and probiotics. This has led to some people believing these are solutions to all health problems, which is why I created my Gut Rebuilding Program. However, the benefits of fermented foods are undeniable.

To ensure we maintain a balanced, unbiased view of fermented foods, probiotics, and their capabilities, let’s examine a few statements and determine whether they are true or not.

  • The digestive system is a harsh environment. Yes, the gut has a very acidic pH of 1 to 2.5. However, depending on the location, gastric juice production, and contents of the gut this number can get as high as 79, which is neutral. Furthermore, this argument alone does not discredit the dozens of studies that observe beneficial bacteria level changes, which follows eating probiotic-rich foods.
  • Probiotics found in fermented foods are acidophiles. Yes, this is true. They thrive in an acidic environment and have structures and metabolism that allows them to survive the stomach environment.
  • All probiotics are created equal. This just isn’t the case. Many are made in the laboratory. Some probiotics are GMO (genetically modified organisms). Probiotics supplements are relatively new in terms of human evolution and definitely not all the same. What we do know about probiotics is that humans need lots of diversity in their intestines. Inside your gut is an ecosystem of flora and fauna similar to a healthy forest. Probiotic supplements aren’t very diverse. It is like killing off all the happy critters in the forest (antibiotics) and then releasing millions of bunnies, bats, and squirrels (probiotics) and expecting them to do all the rebuilding. They can’t do it. They are only part of a bigger ecosystem. Adding more bunnies, bats, and squirrels is not going to heal the forest and make all the animals come back again.

 

Furthermore, there is little to no regulation when it comes to the supplement industry.

These factors are why I recommend fermented foods over probiotic pills – if you can tolerate fermented foods. If you are going to use a probiotic supplement, it pays to use one that you know has been studied for its effects, like mine.

  • All fermented foods contain probiotics. This is a misconception worth clarifying. It is possible for foods to be fermented and not contain probiotics. Beer, chocolate, vinegar, wine, bread, and coffee to name a few. Some fermented foods that did contain probiotics have been treated either by heat or some other process, which renders the probiotics inactive and useless.

As a general rule of thumb, you should always look for probiotic foods that claim to be raw and are never heated, canned or pasteurized. Learn about the ‘functional ferments’ so you know which ones are bonafide packed with probiotics.

The idea that all fermented foods and probiotics are beneficial to the gut microbiome is likely too black and white of a statement for many to swallow. Especially when you consider the above widespread declarations, it’s easy to see why someone might rebel against these claims.

Is the Gut Too Harsh for Fermented Foods?

The short answer is no.

Probiotic-rich fermented foods prove time and time again that they can change the composition of the gut flora, which demonstrates they are surviving. Every health benefit listed above is based on research specifically examining fermented foods.

One study10 even found fermented milk and yogurt was capable of increasing levels of the beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli bacteria in the colon. Yogurt also significantly reduced levels of the enteropathogens E. coli and Helicobacter pylori.

Fermented food probiotics are likely more stable than probiotics in pills because they contain the food necessary for probiotic survival – prebiotics. I have been saying for years that it’s best to get your probiotics from fermented foods. Though there needs to be more studies comparing probiotic-rich fermented foods to probiotics in pill form, probiotics benefits are found in both fermented foods and supplements alike.

For over a decade I have been working with clients and recommending probiotic-rich ferments. After getting feedback from literally thousands of clients, the most common results people see is less constipation, better-digested stools, less sugar cravings, getting fewer colds and flus, more energy, and less bloating.

How to Get Probiotics in Your Diet

Make sure you’re getting real, high-quality probiotics in your diet by following these five guidelines:

  1. Opt for functional fermented foods over probiotic supplements when possible.
  2. When choosing fermented foods, be sure it says ‘raw’ on the packaging or has an indication that it wasn’t heated.
  3. Even better, make fermented foods yourself.
  4. If you do take probiotics, make sure they have a high CFU count and are from a reputable source like my Probiotic Power.
  5. Watch my free Gut Rebuilding webinar to learn how to fix the gut without making common mistakes.
  6. You can make your own probiotics in your kitchen when you take my Fermentationist Certification Program. Learn more in this webinar> The Science Behind a Better Belly.

 

When Probiotic Supplements are the Best Option

Some people have sensitivities to fermented foods. Here are a few times when probiotic supplements may be a better option:

  1. Having reactions to fermented foods, but not to probiotic supplements.
  2. Recently taken antibiotics or too many times and need to take megadoses of probiotics in order to recover digestive capabilities.

 

When Not to Eat Fermented Foods or Take Probiotic Supplements

There are a couple of health concerns where probiotics can create more havoc. Eventually, you will need to get probiotics in your diet somehow, but not when these reactions are happening:

  1. Histamine intolerance. I also call this ‘histamine overload.’ This is when the levels of histamine are too high in the system. This can be caused from many issues and I speak at great length about this in my Allergy Antidote training. Fermented foods and probiotics are contraindicated in this situation.
  2. SIBO – also known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. This state of dysbiosis is caused by antibiotic overuse and slow motility of the digestive system, which can happen from a variety of underlying lifestyle issues. When SIBO is present, fermented foods and probiotics are contraindicated.

Ongoing research is showing us the importance of caring for our gut microbiome. Learn how to become a steward for the ecosystem inside your body that is home to trillions of microbes. They need you and you need them.

If you would like to learn about the exact functional ferments that I recommend to my clients, download my free guide, The 14 Most Potent Fermented Foods for a Healthy Belly.

Resources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904694/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303846/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854945/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216880/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4958626/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539293/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4844621/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11157348
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3410329
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385025/

 

Some of the links I share in this post are affiliate links. If you use these links to complete a purchase I will earn a small commission. I use these companies and their products myself because of their quality. I definitely would not recommend the use of any products or services that I wouldn’t pay for myself or that I wouldn’t recommend to my closest friends and family. As always, the choice is yours on whether to buy using my special link.

 

Getting Strong Digestion—4 Tips Plus What Not To Do

strong digestion

 

Getting strong digestion is a series of small steps you can take that will pay off in a major way for you in the long run. Want more energy? Greater life satisfaction? To feel good in your skin?

It all starts with strong digestion.

You Are What You Absorb

 

You’ve heard the expression, “you are what you eat”.

But it’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s what you ABSORB.

Getting strong digestion means that you actually break food down into nutrients you can absorb—
which is the whole basis for energy, immunity, and long-term health.

On today’s Guts & Glory Podcast you’ll learn:

  • Why I absolutely start every meal with bitters (and where to get them)
  • Vitamin K and the science behind WHY probiotics are key for good digestion
  • Why a 45-minute meal will make the rest of your day more productive
  • How to cook a meal right so that your body can easily absorb vitamins and minerals
  • Why a raw food diet is straight up wrong for people with poor digestion
  • What was the worst advice I’ve ever been given!

 

 

You can tell if you’ve got A+ digestion when you don’t have visible food left over as it’s being eliminated from your body. (Yes, I want you to study your BMs like you’re trying to pass a test!)

There are very simple, inexpensive (or free) ways to improve your digestion that you can do beginning with your next meal. I’m going to share the top 4 to start with…and you know I love me some action steps, so watch the video and you’ll get those too.

I focus on digestion with my clients on a regular basis — it really is the foundation of everything!

Comment below and let me know…

Have you tried any of these tips to improve your digestion?

 

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Hello everyone. Welcome. I’m Summer Bock. This is Guts And Glory. I want to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I get on Facebook as well as email. Here we have one from Lindsey Davis.

Lindsey Davis wants to know more information about getting your digestion stronger. This is a fantastic question because I do this all the time with people. I did it with myself and I focus on this with my clients on a regular basis.

Let’s talk about digestion because really your digestive system is the most intimate interaction that you have with the environment. You are literally absorbing sunlight and bringing it into your body. I’m not joking. Sunlight hits plants, converts it into sugars inside the plant. The plant stores the sugars. We eat those sugars. It becomes us. It’s crazy awesome. It’s actually this really fascinating, very wonderful metaphor for your own ability to absorb and take in nourishment on all levels.

Getting your digestion stronger, first and foremost you want to really look at some of that more emotional, mental stuff. How good are you at taking in nourishment, being receptive, taking in the things around you that are given to you? How well do you take a compliment? Just things like that. Notice, take inventory and see. That’s just kind of like the mental, emotional field of it.

Bitters

 

Then some of the action steps that you can take to get regular, stronger digestion is taking bitters. Bitters is one of my absolute favorites. It’s so bitter. It’s good though. I know I don’t look convincing when I say that. I love these bitters. These are my product. They’re called Liver Lover Warming Bitters. We have Lauren from Wooden Spoon Herbs making these and mailing these out to you guys. You can find them at summerbock.com/bitters. Awesome place to go check this out and you can order a few months’ supply. Or you can order some for your purse, some for your kitchen, bathroom, anywhere, your office. Wherever you need it, but take it before meals. This actually helps to stimulate your digestive enzymes and your gastric juices so that you’re going to digest your food more fully. Getting your digestion stronger means that you actually break things down. You don’t have visible food left over as it’s being eliminated from your body. You want it broken down completely. Bitters is going to help with that.

Vitamin K and Probiotics

 

Probiotics, obviously, is a great option for this, getting your digestion stronger, because you end up with these probiotic allies who are in your gut converting certain vitamins. They convert the Vitamin K from plants into a usable Vitamin K2 that your body can now absorb and utilize, which helps with blood coagulation, it helps with bone development, bone growth. It helps with dental health as well. Vitamin K is very, very important. You want to make sure that you are getting that by having strong digestion. That will happen with those happy, little bacteria living in your colon. Those are two things, bitters and probiotics.

This is a very simple one. This one’s like …You know when you go to a yoga class and they’re like, “Destress, breathe.” You’re like, “Awesome, and breathe,” like I’m breathing all the time. That’s the worst advice I’ve ever been given. You know how that moment when you’re just kind of annoyed, it’s like too simple, it’s annoying. You want something challenging, meaty, juicy. Well, I’m going to give you the most boring advice for getting your digestion to be stronger, but honestly, it’s some of the most powerful advice.

45-Minute Meal

 

That is chewing. Chewing is kind of like breathing. Breathing and chewing really, absolutely, digesting your food in your mouth before it even gets into your stomach. Very, very important. It slows down the process of eating, too, which helps you in general. If you can slow down your meal intake from five minutes to twenty, or even to thirty or forty-five … Honestly, the slower you eat the better. I don’t want you to eat for like ten hours or anything like that, but if you can have a slow meal where you get to breathe, eat, laugh, talk, set your fork down in-between bites, chew, swallow, feel it, feel it in your body before you take another bite. Those kinds of meals are the best way to have strong digestion, because you’re just working with how the body was meant to work.

Cooking for Maximum Absorption

 

Another tip for you is actually like stronger digestion, would be making food that is cooked slow at low temperatures and that is like, in some ways, pre-digested ahead of time. The fiber is broken down. It’s been prepared in a way that your body can now absorb those vitamins and minerals really easily. A lot of people get hooked on this idea of doing a raw food diet and they feel like that might be the best thing for them. I have found in my clients, who are coming through my Gut Rebuilding Program, really I find, on a regular basis, that they do better with cooked foods. I think this is because they have a digestive impairment to begin with coming into the program. We want to build digestive fire by using foods that they can already absorb. That’s why people do really well with smoothies and juices, because those are really easy to digest foods, but they’re still nutrient dense. That’s what you need. You need those nutrients to heal your body.

All right, so that’s just a few tips. There’s really way more to go and we talk about those in the Gut Rebuilding Program. Feel free to check that out. I also have some video tips over at gutrebuilding.com. There’s a lot of moving parts. When I work with clients individually or in my group setting, we figure out with people what’s the part of the puzzle that’s missing for them. A lot of times people are missing something. There’s all these little moving parts and it might sound so easy that how could chewing solve all your problems.

Well, it can actually solve a lot of your problems, but really you have to ask yourself underneath that. What would allow you to have the time to sit down and chew and enjoy a meal with other people that you love, and be laughing and enjoying yourself? How do you do that? That’s the real question. If you’re doing that and you’re chewing your food, you’re living a good life, you’re body’s going to be much healthier. If you’re one of those people who just can’t figure out how to make the time to chew your food or you feel bored while you’re doing it, your life is not exciting enough for yourself. Your brain is getting bored.

You need to liven it up a little bit around mealtime and figure out what that means, whether you’re making foods that taste delicious, spicier. Maybe you’re adding more herbs to your meals to really make it excite your tongue a little bit more. Or you bring in some good friends or you start eating with your co-workers, or you make it a point to sit down and have meals with your family. Whatever it is, I just want to make sure that you’re enjoying those meals. This makes a huge impact on digestion.

Then you’ll see in other episodes I talk about stress. Stress is a digestion killer. It really is. The less stress that you can have in your life, the better, obviously. I’ll leave that for another episode. Alright, everyone, thanks so much for listening and I hope, Lindsey Davis, that that helps you with your journey for digestive strength. Alright, everyone, Summer Bock signing out.

Commit To Getting A Strong Digestion

 

I’m curious to hear about which step you’re committed to taking action on first. Leave a comment below or join the discussion with my “strong digestion” tribe in our Guts & Glory Facebook group and let us know what you’re working on.

Baked Garlic Sweet Potato Chips


sweet potato chips

 

The Birth of my Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

 

I prefer a sweet potato over a potato any day. Loving their creaminess, I used to prepare them with cinnamon, nutmeg and sweet toppings like honey or brown sugar.  Then I realized that the sweet flavors competed with each other and decided to switch tactics.

That’s when I began to treat my sweet potato like a white potato and load it up with Daiya cheese, veganaise (instead of sour cream), bacon bits, chives, and dulse flakes. A new era of my life had begun.

My boyfriend, Scott, won’t eat sweet potatoes unless they are crunchy chips. For me, a healthy relationship involves sitting down and sharing food so I’m committed to us eating together. Hence, I started experimenting with sweet potato chips. We’ve tried many iterations. Until this last one.

I went wild and started added tons of spices, salt, and fresh-pressed garlic. They were a hit. I marinated them all day and took them to the yacht club to bake for dinner. We eat potluck-style with our friends on the weekends. We polished the chips off! I thought they were wonderful, but when my friends who eat all the gluten, dairy, and sugar were commenting on the sweet potato love, I knew I had struck gold with this recipe – it works for all camps!

 

Garlicky Chips for the Gut Rebuilding Win

 

When it comes to Gut Rebuilding there are two things to consider. One, you need to feed the microbes with a vast, diverse array of foods. Two, you need to eat spices to regulate the growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Spices are gentle antibiotics that keep microbes in check while giving you the added benefits of better nutrient absorption, less bloating, and antioxidants.

These garlicky sweet potato chips have quite the array of beneficial spices that support a healthy gut microbiota.

Win-win for everyone.

Baked Garlic Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt (Ava Jane’s is my favorite)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin (Yea, I take the whole seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle depending on how lazy or inspired I’m feeling.)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds (This is the most important spice to grind fresh. You’ve never had coriander until you’ve ground it fresh and eaten it in vegan espresso ice cream. But I digress.)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

 

Instructions:

Make sure all spices are ground into a fine powder.

Use a mandoline and create thin sweet potato coins. Small sweet potatoes work best for this if you can find them. I have a local farmer here in Tennessee that sells small sweet potatoes at the Wednesday market. They are the tastiest sweet potatoes I’ve ever laid my tongue on. Now, as you are slicing the potatoes, please don’t shave off a giant section of your middle finger like I did. I had to pull out my giant piece of shaved off skin from the potatoes. It was sad. After bandaging up my hand, I added all the ingredients into a glass storage container and stirred them up so that all the potatoes were coated. I closed it up with a plastic lid and let it sit for most of the day. I could smell the garlic through the closed lid. Mmmm.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lay the sweet potatoes out on a cookie sheet as flat and spread out as possible. They will be very wet at this point. Pour all liquid onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and turn the heat down to 275. Flip once the top side starts to dry out a little. Bake until golden, but not charred. If you don’t turn the oven down they will get too dark. If you flip them again you can get them pretty dehydrated and crunchy and they will be delicious. I managed to make these again at home and had leftovers. The next day the chips were the crunchy consistency of store-bought bagged chips. I can’t remember if I left them out on the stove on the tray or bagged them up to achieve this. Knowing my lazy self I’m going to wager a bet that I fell asleep and left them on the stove.

Delicious! When you make these, please post a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and use #sweetpotatochips and #gutrebuilding and tag me so I can see them!

 

What To Do Before Fermenting At Home

 

 

 

Maybe you’ve wanted to start fermenting at home, but you think,

 

“This seems risky. There are so many things that could go wrong. Why should I make fermented food, rather than just buying it at the store?”

 

Kimchi, sauerkraut, miso…These are just a few of the easy-to-make, tasty fermented foods that contain probiotics. But one of the biggest debates is which approach to fermentation is the best?

 

Before fermenting at home, it is absolutely vital that you create and organize a clean fermenting environment. In order to ensure a safe, healthy practice, your fermentation station has to be top priority!

 

Read on to learn how easy it is to start fermenting safely at home.

 

WHAT THE CROCK?

 

Crocks are used to help prevent mold and lactic acid producing bacteria. That said, it doesn’t have to be a crock—it could also be a glass container like a mason jar. Whatever you end up using, make sure it has straight sides with limited possibility for oxygen.

 

When it comes to fermenting, oxygen is the well-known enemy. In an aerobic (oxygen) environment, yeasts can oxidize to form acetic acids—the same thing as vinegar. Sure, vinegar is a fermented product, but that’s not what we’re trying to make here.  Also, if oxygen is present, candida-preventing yeasts—such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and all the gut-friendly probiotic bacteria—cannot prosper. If the oxygen is eliminated, these beneficial bacteria and yeasts can help clear your gut of harmful bacteria.

 

Don’t worry; owning a super fancy, expensive jar is not required. However, if you do use a mason jar or alternative option, setting up the jar properly according to your ferment is very important.

 

AIRLOCKS

 

fermenting at home 2

100% airtight jars can be harmful, as CO2 forms during the gaseous stage of fermentation. 

 

This can cause your vessel to explode! 

 

CO2 gasses must have a way to escape. If you feel comfortable setting up mason jars and making alterations, go for it! Otherwise, consider buying a high-end crock or jar with airlock sealing that can release the bi-product of fermentation.

 

The best jars have rubber gaskets, and my personal favorites have airlocks. This prevents mold spores from inoculating the ferment. I recommend spending more money on jars that will save you time and energy, while also ensuring the quality of your ferments! If you’re an avid fermenter, it’s worth it.

 

OTHER KEY ITEMS YOU’LL NEED

 

Beyond the very necessary crock or storage item, there are several other tools necessary to create a safe, healthy, sanitary, and proficient fermenting space.

 

  • Knives: You’ll want a large, quality knife able to cut through thick foods such as cabbage. If you have a dull knife, sharpen it! If you don’t own a sturdy knife, invest in one. It could last you a lifetime and is totally worth the purchase! You also will want to have a small, quality paring knife for cutting smaller items.
  • Cutting board: Plastic or wood is fine. If your wooden cutting board has black spots of mold on it, please throw it out and get a new one. We don’t want mold spores ending up in your ferment.
  • Weights: Using anything from pickling pebbles to glazed ceramic weights helps keep your ferments compact inside your jar. I personally don’t recommend using rocks as weights because I’ve just had it fail too many times.
  • Rolling Pin: You can use a rolling pin as a tamper for pushing your fermented goods into your crock. Or you can buy a dedicated tamper, made specifically for this purpose.
  • A rubber band and cloth work well to keep bugs away

 

Find some of my favorite fermentation supplies at my influencer store if you’re looking for inspiration.

 

WHERE TO STORE SUPPLIES

 

When it comes to a storage location, you want to make sure your ferments are in an area where they can evolve efficiently. You’ll want to keep your ferments in an area away from light, free from temperature fluctuation, and UV rays that can alter your food.

 

“How do I know if oxygen is in my crock? What are some signs of bad set-up?”

 

If it looks off, it probably is. Signs of a ferment gone wrong include:

 

  • Brown cabbage
  • Yeasty odor
  • Slime
  • Mold

 

 

VIDEO ON THE BEST CROCKS

 

I get asked a ton of questions about what kinds of crocks to use and how to avoid mold, so I made a video.

 

This mini-tutorial explains my personal fermenting methods, shows off some of the most popular varieties of crocks, and lets you in on one of my favorite choices for making the best homemade probiotics with fermented veggies. Check it out!

 

Watch this mini-lesson to learn more about the following:

 

  • Something you have in your recycling bin that you can use right now
  • Airlock vs. traditional style crocks and jars
  • Size—does it matter?
  • Where to score giant crocks and the dangerous kind to avoid
  • Which weights to use
  • And my personal favorite system!

 

 

 

 

FERMENTING AT HOME TAKE-AWAYS

 

The process of fermenting may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of things. Also, it’s worth noting that homemade ferments generally have more than eight times the amount of probiotics as an entire bottle of store-bought supplements!

 

Now that you know how to begin safely fermenting at home, if you’re interested in learning how to make the most healing ferments on the planet, I’d love to help you.

 

See how you too can turn your kitchen into a DIY probiotic factory in no time with my Fermented Foods 101 course.

 


Some of the links I share in this post are affiliate links. If you use these links to complete a purchase I will earn a small commission. I use these companies and their products myself because of their quality. I definitely would not recommend the use of any products or services that I wouldn’t pay for myself or that I wouldn’t recommend to my closest friends and family. As always, the choice is yours on whether to buy using my special link.

11 Most Powerful Fermented Foods In Your Healer’s Toolkit


 

Wondering which are the most powerful fermented foods to use for Candida, weight loss, allergies, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions?

Whether you’re looking to increase your energy or heal a specific condition such as high blood pressure or IBS, certain fermented foods can get you results quickly and naturally.

You’ll want to use specific fermented foods depending on your desired results. And not all fermented foods are used medicinally, such as beer or chocolate.

(Even though you could make an argument for chocolate being medically necessary…It definitely is for me sometimes!)

Below is an overview of functional, powerful fermented foods used for their nutritional and healing properties.

 

Kimchi

 

First mentioned in a Chinese poem nearly 3,000 years ago, kimchi is one of the world’s first lacto-fermented foods. This traditional Korean dish, made of cabbage and spices, improves the function of the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Its antioxidants help lessen the risk of serious health conditions, such as cancer and diabetes. Here’s my step-by-step video on how to make an easy and delicious Kimchi at home.

 

Yogurt

 

Of all fermented products, yogurt is the most commonly consumed. Yogurt directly impacts diet quality, metabolism, and blood pressure. There is a new study that shows a major correlation between reduction in diabetes and intake of sugar-free yogurt. NOTE: When buying yogurt, check that the milk source is either grass-fed goat or sheep, and that it’s certified organic. You can also learn to make your own in my Fermented Foods 101 course!

 

Kefir

 

This fermented milk product is high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins, with a similar taste and texture to that of drinkable yogurt. This sour-flavored fluid is made by adding kefir grains to milk, boosting immunity, alleviating bowel-related issues, improving digestion, and building bone density. It’s even linked to killing Candida, a yeast-like parasitic fungus. Although it’s less popular than yogurt, it is actually higher in probiotics. (Coconut Kefir is a great dairy-free option that utilizes fermented juice of young coconuts to replace the milk.)

 

Kombucha

 

Kombucha is a fermented beverage, composed of black tea and sugar that originated in China about 2,000 years ago. The sugar can come from various sources, i.e. cane or pasteurized honey. When the SCOBY (aka Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is added, the fermentation process begins. Once fermented, the sugary tea transforms into a carbonated, fizzy drink, high in enzymes, probiotics, advantageous acids, small amounts of alcohol, and vinegar. Studies show that kombucha improves digestion, increases energy, supports immunity, aids weight loss, and serves as a full-body detox. If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of Kombucha, click here.

 

Pickles

 

There are two different kinds of pickles. When you preserve cucumbers in vinegar, you get pickles. But when you soak cucumbers in a salt-water brine, you get probiotic pickles…Yes! One pickle can contain up to 20 percent of your daily Vitamin K value, a vitamin essential to bone and heart health. NOTE: Because pickles are commonly processed and come in many forms (i.e. relish, dill pickle, sweet pickle, etc.), it’s important to look for organic or locally produced pickles to ensure quality. You also want to make sure that they say ‘cultured,’ ‘unpasteurized,’ or ‘lacto-fermented.’ Pickles are one of the most common ferments, and super easy to learn to make yourself!

 

Sauerkraut

 

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage made with salt and often herbs, which enhance the flavor and nutritional content. High in fiber, vitamins, iron, copper, calcium, and magnesium, consuming sauerkraut strengthens bones, supports your natural, healthy inflammation response, reduces cholesterol, regulates digestion, fills the gut with much-needed Lactobacillus plantarum (a great probiotic), and assists circulation. It’s also dairy-free and you can make it ‘wild’ which means you won’t need a starter culture! Watch this video where I teach how to start your own probiotic factory right on your kitchen counter!

 

Idlis

 

Idli is a steamed, naturally leavened cake, made from ground rice, urad dal (white lentil) and beans. This gluten-free food is light and digestible, with high levels of calcium, potassium, and iron. Because idli requires steaming, it doesn’t have probiotics; however, its high iron content is crucial to oxygenating the blood.

 

Vinegar

 

Unpasteurized vinegar is an extraordinary stimulant. While the majority of vinegar in American grocery stores is a cheap, mass-produced product with absolutely no health benefit, traditional vinegars made with quality alcohols and live cultures possess various health benefits.

Vinegar is one of the world’s earliest preservatives, and apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a a few thousand year old home remedy. Raw vinegars made from the unpasteurized juice of fruits contain all the nutrients and enzymes of the fruit itself. For example, ACV contains all the nutrients of apples: pectin, acetic and malic acids, B vitamins, to name a few.

All in all, vinegar is a tonic that aids digestion, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress and fatigue. Additionally, consuming vinegar makes it more difficult for your body to absorb sugars and starches.

 

Miso

 

Miso is the broth from fermenting soybeans, barley, or rice, and mold. This popular Asian dish has anti-aging properties, strengthens bones, promotes healthy skin, helps lower the risk of cancer, and aids the function of the nervous system. It is alkalizing and delicious, especially when homemade. For a quick lesson on how to make the best miso you’ve ever tasted, click here.

 

Tempeh

 

Traditionally people make this Indonesian cake-like dish from fermenting soybeans with live molds. Because it possesses the same protein qualities as meat, it’s a great option for vegetarians! It’s high in vitamins, reduces cholesterol, and quickens muscle recovery. Fresh tempeh is more delicious than the stuff you get out of the freezer, however, this is one of the more time-consumptive and difficult ferments to make at home.

 

Natto

 

This popular Japanese side dish is similar to tempeh, also made from fermented soybeans. The power of natto lies is in its high levels of vitamin K2, a vitamin that delivers calcium appropriately to the body.

It’s common that those who take calcium supplements experience absorption problems. When the bones don’t receive K2 properly, calcium deposits in the cardiovascular system which can cause osteoporosis. But with the help of K2, the calcium distributes properly to strengthen bones. Why not choose natto to help?

Natto also contains nattokinase an enzyme used to support cardiovascular health and blood clotting.

 

Raw Cheese and Nut Cheese

 

Raw milk has not undergone the pasteurization process that kills many of the beneficial bacteria. Goat, sheep, and A2 cows’ cheeses are particularly high in probiotics and healing digestive tissues. Studies show it relieves depressive symptoms and lifts neurological problems. Only raw and unpasteurized cheeses possess probiotics.

Nut cheeses come from a variety of nuts including almonds, cashews, macadamia, and walnuts. A great substitute for cheese made from animal milk, nut cheese is ideal for those with vegan diets, as well as those who are lactose intolerant.

Though the nutritional value isn’t quite the same as raw cheese, nuts provide high levels of protein and healthy fats. By adding probiotics and fermenting them you get a delicious vehicle for probiotic delivery to the gut.

 

Sourdough

 

Sourdough starter is a leaven for making bread, comprised of fermented wild yeasts and bacteria. With lower sugar levels than most breads, sourdough helps reduce damaged starches. Because the bacteria and yeasts in sourdough pre-digest the starches, eating it supports gut health and strengthens the bacterial ecosystem, making one less prone to infection.

 

Kvass

 

Eastern Europeans have brewed Kvass for several thousands of years, traditionally by fermenting rye or barley. These days people usually make it with fruits and various root vegetables. Loaded with Lactobacilli probiotics, kvass is known for its ability to cleanse blood and the liver.

 

Injera

 

You can make this traditional Ethiopian flatbread from a variety of grains, but generally you make it with teff. Packed with proteins, calcium and iron, injera serves to build strength and aid in recovery after illness.

Please keep in mind that you can also ferment many foods not listed here for nutritional value if done appropriately. Some of these include pumpkin, hot sauces, salsas, daikon, dilly beans, olives and mushrooms. Head over here, and I’ll show you how to make many of these ferments yourself.

 

Want to Make Your Own Batches of Powerful Fermented Foods?

 

11 powerful fermented foodsGet started with my free guide on how to make a delicious batch of fermented okra. This colorful guide will have you on your way to a delicious and potent ferment in 30 minutes or less. Best of all, they’re way better than any store-bought pickles for probiotic benefit. Get your guide here.



Making Fermented Veggies Video Series

In this three part video series, I will teach you how to make delicious raw sauerkraut that is filled with probiotics.

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