A little bit of Kefir goes a long way
I bought some Kefir grains a week or two ago and I have to say it’s not as easy to make good tasting Kefir as I thought it would be. Not only do you need to pay close attention to the taste but it’s hard to get it from tasting too sour. I have made a few batches so far and I have yet to get a good tasting Kefir that is not too sour and isn’t like water.
I left it out far too long the first couple times, this time I left it out just 12 hours and put it in the fridge to ferment much slower. We will see how it tastes and if it’s creamier. I have a feeling I will have to adjust a few more times to get this right. In the meantime I have been buying a jar of Kefir from my local natural food store.
When I first tried Kefir I was leary, only because I’m aware I have a dairy and casein intolerance and if I drink milk in any way I am running to the bathroom within 6 hours. So the first time I bought Kefir, I bought it at the grocery store in the health food section. It was made with organic milk and it was just plain. I took it with digestive enzymes (Just in Case) and I had no problems. I ate a few containers of it and noticed an increase in energy. The real reason I bought it though was to see if it would help with my stomach pain. I have been getting stomach pain, usually by eating the supplements of probiotics you buy in the fridge section of the health food store. I have never had issues with them before but maybe I just bought a brand I can’t tolerate. So I bought a different brand and the pains came back, even more intense than before.
The pain was a sharp pain under my left ribs and I wasn’t really realizing it was the probiotics but I thought it could be something I was eating. So I stopped all supplements and cut back on sugar, the pain got better but didn’t go away. The 3rd or 4th time it happened I was starting to put the connection together but naturally I was worried, so I went to the ER. They tested my blood to make sure there’s nothing wacky going on with my spleen, since my spleen is in that area. I was prepared for bad news, so I was a little shocked when the doctor came back and said I was fine. The ER doctor new my GP well and said that I should go see her and she would make sure to help narrow things down for me. So I went to see her and she sent me to get an ultrasound to make sure it isn’t my spleen or pancreas. 3-4 weeks later, I called and they said it was fine. Relieved but still confused on what was causing it I did an experiment. I ate probiotics again, the pain though it never really went away, it was more of a dull ache came back immediately and it was painful. So it was probiotics!
That’s what I said when I realized it was my probiotics. Honestly I have been on a mission for a long time to get my health back to normal and I know 100% with all certainty that eating probiotics and replenishing the good bacteria in my gut is part of the issue and part of the cure. How the heck can I do this without taking probiotic supplements?
Probiotics and I have had issues for a while now. I realized this when I bought a scoby to make Kombucha. In order to make Kombucha you need to add your scoby to sugar water made with tea. The bacteria eats the sugar while it ferments. I gave it a try and noticed it bothered me a bit, I had sore joints. This was before I found out I had a sugar and tea intolerance. Go figure it bothered me, ok so what else can I try? I tried the supplements again after that and they bothered me and while I have absolutely no clue why they did and even more so I moved on to my next experiment. Water Kefir but again water Kefir is made from sugar water and honestly I hated the taste. It again caused joint pain, even more so than the Kombucha. Maybe if I tried it with coconut water instead it would help but I gave up a little too quick because my grains just didn’t seem to get healthy at all even after numerous batches. I think they weren’t healthy because we have well water here and while it usually is good for Kefir grains we also put a bit of bleach in it and maybe some of that was left over and killed some of the grains. Either way I moved on to Kefir and this is when I tried the store bought stuff.
It didn’t bother me, surprisingly. I had been avoiding it because of my dairy intolerance and it is the one thing that doesn’t seem to bother me. Go figure! The longer I ate it, the better my stomach was feeling. I had more energy and I was a little suprised so I started to consider making my own to offset the cost of buying it. So far as you read earlier that hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped so I keep buying some so I can continue eating it while I experiment with the grains and getting it to taste good.
My stomach pain has disappeared almost entirely. I’m a little suprised and am hoping that I don’t start reacting to the casein or milk at all and have actually taken the Kefir without the digestive enzymes and it seems to be fine. I’ll continue and hope that things turn around and it helps out in other areas as well. But I also want to try and introduce other fermented foods into my diet so my next experiment will be fermented vegetables. Starting with cabbage.
My cabbage the first round I tried was WAY too salty. I put in too much salt so next batch I will see if I can find a better guide in terms of how much salt to use. Once I get a good cabbage juice I will use that to ferment other vegetables such as cucumbers, garlic and who knows what else! I’m hopeful that the addition of other fermented foods will help continue healing my stomach. Now if only I could get the rest of my diet figured out! I’ve decided that I don’t have enough time as I want to get cooking done on the weekends so I need a little help. I’m looking into getting a house keeper to come in and help with keeping the house in better shape so I can concentrate more on getting meals cooked and get the rest of my house organized. But that’s a whole other story right now. In the meantime I’ll keep experimenting!