Now you can get KEFIR GRAINS from GreenSmoothieGirl.com

I have been working for a long time on a way to get you quality kefir grains. It’s hard because they are live organisms, and so we cannot mass-produce them.

I’m happy to announce that Melinda (GSG staff) and I have been growing them, both WATER grains and MILK grains, and we have them up on the site HERE.

See the photos and instructions on that page, how to use your grains to make infinite batches of kefir, and what to do with your kefir.

Please note that we will likely sell out after I post this on the blog.

But if you try to get some grains and we’re sold out, just make a note of the page on the GreenSmoothieGirl.com site, and come back. We’ll have more later.

When people ask me what the two most important steps in 12 Steps to Whole Foods are, it’s kind of like asking who my favorite child is when I love them all. But with so many people with gut issues, I say Step 1 and 8.

Step 8 is all about making fermented foods to replace the probiotics missing in anyone’s diet who has EVER been on antibiotics, or who eats processed food, or who has ever eaten animal products from animals fed antibiotics.

When you start eating kefir every day, you may find you don’t get sick any more. It’s a critically important habit to keep your immune system strong. Most of your immune function is in your gut. Your helpful microorganisms in your body outnumber your body’s cells 9 times over.

Beet Kvass

I recently taught you how to make Rejuvelac. If, like me, you’re looking to increase lacto-fermented, probiotic foods in your diet, today I’ve got another idea for you. (Try to get at least two cultured foods in your diet every day! This is Step 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.)

Have you ever heard of Beet Kvass? I recently had some when a vendor wanting me to sell his stuff mailed me samples. Too expensive to buy on the internet and ship—but I loved it. I am going to plant even MORE beets next spring. I have lots of jars of cultured beets in my food storage, which are 3 years old, but now I’m making them into a probiotic drink. I remember how shocked I was to learn that you could “put up” raw vegetables that “keep” for long periods of time, using lacto-fermentation. Now it seems common and easy, a “lost art” that people have done in virtually every culture of the world for thousands of years.

One of my employees, Melinda, said to me the other day about a pile of beets from my garden, “I love how beets look!” Kristin just saw this photo on my computer and made the same comment. ME TOO! They’re so ruby-red!

That juice staining your hands is potent pigmentation with high levels of carotenoid and other antioxidants that protect your eyes, normalize blood pressure, and cleanse your blood and your liver.

If beets make your urine pink, please read more detail about that in Chapter 5 of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods manual.

Cultured Beets / Beet Kvass

2-3 large beets

1/4 cup whey (the clear yellow liquid, separated from the milk solids in yogurt or kefir) or 1 pkg. Vegetable Culture from Body Ecology. Or, double the salt and refrigerate for longer to cut the saltiness.

2 tsp Original Crystal Himalayan salt

2 quart jars

water

Peel and chop beet in 2″ pieces. Place beet chunks in your jars. Add salt and ¼ cup whey (or 1 pkg. Body Ecology Vegetable Culture).

Add enough filtered water to fill the rest of the container, leaving 1″ headroom.

Stir well, cover, and let it sit at room temperature for 3-5 days. Put jars in fridge or cold storage. They will keep there indefinitely (I have kept my cultured beets for 2 years in cold storage, which is not nearly as cool as refrigeration).

Remove from fridge and blend in high-speed blender (with extra water if you prefer it to be thinner).

Enjoy chilled as a drink, mixed with a little bit of fresh lime juice,  or freshly ground pepper. You can use kvass in recipes to replace vinegar.

Drink in small quantities with a meal, to facilitate digestion and build up healthy colonies of good bacteria in your gut. You can drink 8 oz. if you are used to probiotic foods and have a healthy diet. If not, start with just a few ounces and work your way up.

Thanks to reader Christy White for suggesting I write about beet kvass. Christy is a fan of Kristen Bowen’s site livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. Kristen recently wrote about beet kvass, and I have incorporated some of her ideas.

Creative Health Institute, part 3 of 5

Here’s a video of Ed and me. He makes a living selling processed food, and he came to CHI because his mom paid for it and told him to go. He had no idea what he was getting himself into. I told him, “That’s because if she told you about the wheat grass implant, you wouldn’t have agreed!” He acknowledged this is likely the reason. That said, he’s glad he did.

I’m always looking for easy preventative nutrition habits that enrich my life and keep me well. I have MANY years of spreading my message, raising my kids, spoiling grand- and great-grandchildren, seeing the world, and tennis, biking, and skiing left to do! My takeaways, from CHI, for my permanent lifestyle so I look and act as young as Madeleine 23 years from now? Two new things:

First, I am going to add Rejuvelac to my habits. My first batch is just finished and sitting on the counter. It’s so easy, extremely inexpensive, and a habit I’ve decided is worth my time. Soak a cup of soft white wheat berries (or quinoa) in water overnight. Rinse and drain it twice a day, covered, for 2 days. Blend it with 8 cups water and let it sit, covered with a tea towel or in a jar with a mesh lid, several days. Then refrigerate it in jars and drink 2 glasses a day. I was a little afraid of it at CHI, but the taste isn’t strong and I acclimated quickly.

Madeleine had a fabulous idea that I use it instead of water in the base of my green smoothies. I might as well—it’ll put probiotics in the smoothie and my kids won’t even notice.

Second, I’m going to start rebounding again. I have a rebounder in my bedroom that I haven’t used in a long time. It’s so incredibly great to move lymph fluids–nothing else really compares. The lymph system is something we take for granted and rarely talk or think about, but if your blood delivers the groceries, the lymph system takes out the garbage. Even a few minutes a day is helpful, and add some lymphatic massage and EFT tapping during that same few minutes.

You’re wondering about this “wheat grass implant” business. It seems foreign at first, and some of the people at my session had NO idea what they were getting themselves into. The three-bag enema cleans anything out of your colon, and then you put 8 oz. of wheat grass into your colon with the enema bag. Best if you can KEEP it in. It is powerfully detoxifying, and it travels that rectal vein very quickly to the liver and cleanses it and opens the ducts for that all-important release of many toxins directly into the colon for elimination. This is a tough one to add to an everyday routine, but a week of wheat-grass juice implants, once a year, is a powerful preventative.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about people I met at CHI and how they’ve impacted my life and studies.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl for Arizona, part 4 of 4

Chris: What’s the best way to combat diarrhea?

GSG: If it’s chronic, it’s likely evidence of a degenerative colon issue. Start getting a probiotic-rich FOOD in your diet every day. (Not just a pill, which is inferior.) For example, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, homemade sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables. Eat whole foods, which have a lot of fiber, as you nurture your digestive tract so it can heal—you are not likely absorbing good nutrition, until you do. Eat a banana every day for the magnesium.

Angela: Is agave as bad as high-fructose corn syrup?

GSG: No. It’s been hyped that way by a few. There may be companies cutting corn syrup into their low-end product (but most don’t). I don’t think it’s really RAW, ever, despite the labels. It’s not a high-nutrition food by any means. I think you should use it very sparingly if at all, because it’s likely that agave’s alleged “low glycemic impact” has been oversold to us, the public. I am not a fan of using less processed, but still concentrated, sweeteners, except on a very limited basis if you feel you need treats and are trying to avoid the worst-of-the-bad villains (HFCS, refined sugar, aspartame). Currently my favorites are stevia (for green smoothies, etc.) and unrefined coconut palm sugar for baking. Agave is a distant third option, along with real maple syrup and raw honey.

O.A. Black: Do oxalates in spinach bind to calcium and cause kidney stones?

GSG:  I have probably been asked this more than 1,000 times in classes and online. I believe the idea that we need to avoid green foods because of one compound in them (which are likely friend rather than foe) may have originated with Sally Fallon. Regardless, it has been passed along and passed along, and I have yet to read any evidence of it. Just claims. At first people would tell me they don’t eat raw spinach–just cook it–because they are terrified of the boogeyman OXALATES. Then people would tell me they won’t eat spinach COOKED, only raw!–because of the same boogeyman. Sigh.

 

 

 

 

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 6

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Which enzyme supplement should I take?

 

If you’re going to eat at least some of your meals that are partially or fully cooked or processed, please always take 1 or 2 capsules of digestive enzymes first.   If you read my site, blog, or book, you know I am generally skeptical of eating pills, period.   I believe synthetic supplementation is massively inferior to the complex way that nature designed food to give us just the right ratios in the most natural, easily assimilated way possible.

 

Digestive enzymes, however, are a necessity if you’re not planning to buck modern culture altogether and eat a mostly-raw diet every meal, every day.   I know of no controversy about taking enzyme supplements, because so many studies have shown their effectiveness.   I recommend having them in your purse or wallet at all times, as well as in your kitchen.

 

Enzyme supplements come from animals, plants, or microorganisms.   Supplements made from animal pancreas extracts become inactive when hydrochloric acid enters the lower stomach.   They aren’t particularly adapted, since they operate in the controlled internal environment.   Microbial enzymes, on the other hand, are active at pH as low as 2.0 and as high as 10.0. Microorganisms use their enzymes to break down the plant material they grow on, and since fungus can grow in a variety of places, fungi have very adaptable enzymes.   Manufacturers coat pancreatic enzymes for acid resistance, with chemical coatings I don’t trust.   So I much prefer plant-based or microbial enzymes.

 

I don’t advocate for lots of supplements, fractionated and processed far from the holistic packages we get in whole plant foods.   I believe nature provided well for us.   The two supplements I do believe in taking on a regular basis are DIGESTIVE ENZYMES and a good PROBIOTIC (to heal and nourish the gut and guard against takeovers by bad bacteria).

 

Look for microbial or plant-based enzyme supplements. (And no, I don’t have a brand I know to be superior to others to recommend to you.   I am still researching.)

 

Take one capsule at the beginning of a meal that is 50-70% raw.   Take two capsules if your meal is less than 50% raw.   If you forget at the beginning of the meal, take your enzymes in the middle or even at the end of the meal.   They work on contact!

foods that help digestion . . . part 5

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   What are foods that help digestion? Some raw foodists eat raw meat.   Raw meat and milk have enzymes, so aren’t they good foods?

Answer:   We’ll leave the Oxford/Cornell China Project out of this discussion, which shows that animal protein causes many diseases.   (The primary author of that pivotal study, Dr. Campbell, told me he did not study predigested or fermented milk products, such as kefir or yogurt.)   Raw milk has over 35 enzymes.   If you’re going to use dairy products or milk, raw certainly has those many advantages over pasteurized.   One very old study showed the highest morbidity (death) rate in newborns drinking pasteurized cow milk, a much improved rate for those drinking raw milk, and higher still for those who were fortunate to be breastfed by their mothers.

However, you run many bacterial risks with the way milk and meat will be raised, handled, and transported to you.   Meat in particular is troublesome, and I would not recommend eating it raw, even if you go to all the trouble of finding truly range-fed, organic chickens or beef.   The shockingly lax U.S. standards for poultry allow virtually anything to be legally given labels like “natural” and “range fed.”   We can obtain live enzymes through plant food, much more safely.

That said, I believe much evidence shows kefir or yogurt to be an excellent food with its natural probiotics.   If you can find a source you trust of raw milk, and can obtain kefir grains, you can use the raw milk and predigest the casein proteins with the action of the live kefir grains.   Raw goat milk is preferable to cow milk, with its smaller fat molecule that is not mucous forming like cow milk is.   (Vegans can make kefir with coconut liquid.)

I’m visiting my grampa in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, for the rest of the week and may be offline.   (He is in a home, and I am flying out with my aunt.)   After that I’ll talk about what enzymes supplements to take.   Happy Thanksgiving!