Beyond Sauerkraut

WHY the title “BEYOND SAUERKRAUT”? This is my story:

Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut 

This blog is about health and well-being without having to spend an arm, a leg and yesterday’s toenail to achieve it!

In a recent YouTube video, “Apple Ginger Beet Kvass”  I mentioned that I had been diagnosed with something called “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. Leaky Gut Syndrome occurs when there is an increased intestinal permeability which causes bacteria and toxins to leak through the intestinal wall (McMillan).  
Though, in the medical community, the debate rages on as to whether this is a real thing (GI Society), I know for me, it is. I felt awful! All the time!

 

After my Naturopathic Doctor suggested I get a food allergens blood test, I learned that I tested positive for 34 different food intolerances and allergies. I was having inflammatory responses to an onslaught of foods that my body could not handle. Previous to 2011, I had no idea why suddenly my digestion
would go haywire or I had yet another sinus, ear or upper respiratory infection. It was all an immune response to foods that I could not longer tolerate. It was that and ALL the reasons people take Pepto Bismol.

Holy Hannah! What was the cure for this? Well, there was no cure. This meant a lifestyle change.

 
 

Two of my most reactive food intolerances are wheat and chicken eggs. Lots of people respond to me by saying, “Oh, so you’re gluten free”. Well the answer to this is yes and no. For some reason, I can easily and without consequence eat other grains that contain gluten (like Rye). But if I eat even a tiny bit of wheat, my skin breaks out badly and I look like I have the POX all over my shoulders and back. So, it appears to only be wheat that causes this response.

Chicken eggs are a whole nother story. Any exposure to chicken eggs starts an even scarier reaction. The first sign is that the roof of my mouth will blister and peel, followed by a tightening of my throat and then – all bets are off – I’m beating cheeks to get to the biffy  – and God help you if you are in my way.

Yes, a lifestyle change was a must.
Certainly, No eggs.
No wheat.

Cure? Nope. No cure, but healing was possible. I had to start with healing my gut. I had to eliminate the trigger foods and begin taking quality probiotics to create a colony of healthy gut flora that would help my body break down foods more easily and absorb more of the nutrients (Williams).

My body’s response to taking probiotic supplements was like a miracle. My skin cleared up, my upper respiratory and ear infections went away and my digestion seemed normal or better than normal for the first time in my life. But, quality probiotic supplements are expensive. It was breaking the bank;
at $25 to $50 a bottle every two weeks or so, after a while it was just cost prohibitive.

Then a friend of mine told me to eat sauerkraut. I thought she was crazy but as it turns out that just 2 ounces of sauerkraut juice has more probiotics that 100 quality probiotic pills (Plotner). Let’s do the math: 100/2 = 50 days of probiotic supplements all in 2 ounces of fermented sauerkraut
juice.

HA! And the best part was, I could make this myself. And, I did. In the summer of 2015, I made my first gallon of fermented sauerkraut. And since then, I haven’t stopped fermenting my own probiotics. This is now how I get my probiotics and how I continue to improve my healthand wellbeing.

 
I have expanded my arsenal of fermented foods and drinks far “Beyond Sauerkraut”. They include but are not limited to: Several sauerkraut concoctions – like Pinapple Tumeric SauerkrautBasic Beet Kvass and Beet Kvass with different additives like fruit and other vegetables,Fruit Kvass, Apple Cider Vinegar,Kombucha &Water Kefir.
 
All this not only improves and continues to grow my healthy gut flora, it also satisfies the creative streak in me as I continue to experiment with different flavors, ferments and recipes. I hope you will continue with me on this journey as I share recipes and experiences with foods that go far “Beyond Sauerkraut”.


Works Cited:
 
McMillen, Matt. “Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It?” WebMD, WebMD, 13 Aug. 2013, 6:30,

 

Odenwald MA et al. Intestinal Permeability Defects: Is It Time to Treat? Clinical
Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013;11:1075-83.
 
 
Plotner, Becky. “Sauerkraut Test Divulges Shocking Probiotic Count.” Nourishing Plot, 9 Dec.
2017,
 
Williams, David. “How to Restore and Improve Your Gut Bacteria.” Wellness Expert
Specializing in Digestion & Joint Health, Searching the World for Better Health,

 

Plotner, Becky. “Sauerkraut Test Divulges Shocking Probiotic Count.” Nourishing Plot, 9 Dec.
2017,
 

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