I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even start new protocols on a Monday after I realized years ago that I was setting myself up for failure if starting something new with a bang. My resonance organs dictate a mindfulness in motion that begs me to be accountable to myself each and every day; self-love is a continually evolving gesture of self-honour and self-care.
After sitting for three days a week in clinic I typically feel compelled to go on a mini-pilgrimage, usually this takes form as a good 10-12 km romp into the town or hills where I live… and my step counter will show about 17,000 steps by the end of the day. Jeff and I generally enjoy the same jaunt together on the weekend. During the week, I tend to engage in an hour of something each day; I love swimming, hiking the cobbled streets where we live, taking photographs, and enjoying an hour of yoga twice a week to ensure I’m maintaining upper body strength.
I do not love plank poses, although I do love the way they make me feel when I’m regularly engaged with my practice. A thirty minute daily meditation also is part of my regular regimen. You may ask how I find the time… well, it has taken me twenty years to unhook from a life of obligation and now my health soars, with few supplements, by allowing my spirit to be free of living totally out of obligation. A decade ago, my goal was to craft a life that I no longer felt I needed a vacation from, and this goal has most definitely been achieved!
I will take Vitamin D3 in the winter months only if I’m getting insufficient sunlight, although for the last two years we’ve lived in Mexico in winter, so I don’t bother much with this anymore. If I notice any thyroid challenges, I’ll take kelp and nascent iodine to help on those occasions. I also take zinc periodically, as well as some greens powder (spirulina/chlorella). I drink 2-3 litres of spring water a day which helps to keep me feeling clear, calm, and restored. I’ve always been a very thirsty constitutional type and so drinking a lot, especially in the mornings, really helps to set me right for the remainder of the day.
Mostly I eat quite scantily, fasting a couple days a week for most of the day; as I get into my more “senior” years I find that this approach helps keep my mind and body running optimally. At this high altitude of seven thousand feet above sea level, I sleep hard and soundly given the lower oxygen levels, and seven to eight hours a night without waking is beyond restorative to me. The less I eat, the better I sleep!
Being happy and in love with my partner and my life help a lot. We enjoy great recreation such as attending the orchestra, travelling with friends to a spa or organic farm in the country, or just lying around and reading. Having tea and discussing art, photography, principles or the concepts of Heilkunst enthuse me no end and it’s great that I get to do this with Jeff. I’m also adored, nurtured and well loved on, and kissed thoroughly with intent every day. I wish every human being benefitted from this much loving and fulfillment.
Lastly, I’m rocking what I’m ordained to be. I used to wake with whole poems in my head as a child. I’ve always loved to write and it is a big part of who I am and the vehicle I use to serve others by crafting books in natural medicine and Heilkunst. I’ve also always been profoundly intuitive and so I use these skills to diagnose my patient’s deeper issues, and then use my knowledge and compassion to help them get to where they’d like to go with regard to the resolution of their chronic ills.
Jeff and I both love hearing your monthly impressions as you work through the tangle of your challenges and wins each month. It is a living model of rejuvenation similar to a fever event, when your child speaks for the first time as they shed the Autism diagnosis. You might now be able to imagine what it means when a patient tells us that she has found the love of her life as a result of going through this system of medicine, and that she no longer suffers chronic fatigue because she also let go of that gnarly day job where her creativity was suppressed.
It is our resolution to be healthy enough to continue to support you in the ways that you expect, exacting the healing and curing principles of Heilkunst Medicine to the very best of our abilities. We love serving you and it means so much to us that you keep coming back monthly and also refer your friends and family. Our hearts are filled with purpose and meaning because of you.
It’s actually funny if you think about it, in the 50s and 60s we were given the image that so much of our lives would become automated that we’d all be sitting around reading magazines and nibbling on bonbons. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Given that the patriarchal powers-that-be rigged a bra burning movement, and then a debt-based economy, we’ve now got both men and women stressed to the teeth. I recall also living this way, serving the corporate machine, afraid one day that we’d both miss picking up our son on time from daycare.
It was a five day rat race and then the weekends were dedicated to cleaning a home that we barely lived in during the week, that we were mortgaged to the hilt for for the next 25 years. It was so demoralizing.
I blew my adrenals, suffered chronic fatigue, was in bed for several days every month barely able to cope on so many levels. If you got in the way of my chocolate habit, after the kids were in bed, I can’t say I’d treat you with any remotely ethical grace.
I was exhausted and it’s true that I hated my life. I felt broken physically, mentally, and emotionally by the up hill struggle of trying to slap band-aids on the elephant’s ass that I called my life. I never had the feeling that I could take anytime to do anything well. I didn’t even know what self-care meant!
After trying to solve my son’s autism spectrum issues, I had a complete, well orchestrated, nervous break-down. I quit my ridiculously high paying consulting job and came home to write poetry for several months. My husband just about lost his elephant sized #$%^ over that escapade. I told him that I was between contracts.
I modified the whole kitchen to knock out the carbs., grains, and refined sugars. Anything white and non-organic went into the garbage. I had just started Heilkunst treatment and within those first few months, my inner value began creeping up a couple of nefarious notches.
I started following Dr. Abravanel’s lifetime nutrition plan to help solve my glandular stress and heal my hormonal expressions that turned my Ms. Hyde into the worse Dr. Jekyll before my menses every month. It was quite the over-haul for which I’ve never gone back to my wicked ways. That was over 18 years ago now.
As a result, for this month’s newsletter, we’re going to focus our blog posts on both hormonal and glandular typology. Our hope is that if you’re as stressed out as I once was that it will be the pieces to help you get on the road to recovery.
This afternoon, after writing all morning, I rolled over on my towel at the beach while the Caribbean Sea ebbed its lacy tide at the shore near my feet. I can’t believe that Heilkunst was so instrumental in taking me from what felt like hell on earth to now what feels like heaven. I now feel so very blessed.
Ally and Jeff
(Excerpted from May 2016 Newsletter)
P.S. To find out more about our hormonal and nutrition protocols and much more, click on the link below to receive a copy of our monthly newsletter:
A few patients have said to me, “You know, Ally, I was a little freaked out to start my own Heilkunst Treatment due to the massive healing reactions you illustrated in your book, “The Path To Cure“. How can we prevent these from happening to me?” The following is illustrative of how we’ve “come a long way Baby!”
When Jordan and I were first treated using Heilkunst principles back in the late 1990s, the principles of Regimen were not wholly nailed down yet. So much can be done by ensuring that your nutritional groundwork is sound, and that you’re supplementing appropriately to support your physical body (“ground substance”).
We also ensure that your system is able to detoxify more easily through principled medicine using certain foods, chelation protocols and homeopathic remedies not wholly understood back then for inviting channels in the body to open. This knowledge now allows for the process of letting go the material/emotional content more easily from the body.
The other thing is that we use Flower Essences (the Bach remedies being one better known example of them) in order to lovingly support the system using a more feminine gesture of care and love to “change your mind” gently. This enables us to alleviate you of your disease load while also gently supporting your system with healative flower essences.
We’ve also completed postgraduate research in advanced Heilkunst therapeutics including medical orgone therapeutics, Character Analysis, cognitive therapies, and Anthroposophical Medicine which enables us to help you to release the buried content at your emotional and spiritual core more easily. These studies were not available when we were going through our own Heilkunst Treatment.
The last element that we bring is almost 10 years of CoRe Bioresonance Feedback, enabling us to do a review of the phenomenon around the healing reaction and we’re able to broadcast both pathic and tonic remedies (ie remedies to relieve symptoms and remedies to address root causes of disease) immediately to the patient suffering a challenging healing reaction. We can even discern which books, movies, essential oils, Reckeweg, Anthroposophical, Lanthanide remedies, etc. would help you through this challenging time of flux and healing.
No need to suffer as I did, for as long as I did! Also, EQ constitutions like mine … well, we’re a bit like Drama Queens (with a capital “D” and a capital “Q”!). A Silicea constitution would never think to have healing reactions as juicy as mine! We’ve got lots of tools, now, to help pull you out of a tailspin.
Here are a couple of blog posts further explaining the reason why some healing reactions are so large, and some alternative dose and potency methods for delivering the remedies:
- The Reason That Some Homeopathic Healing Reactions Are So Large
- Dose, Potency, and Methods of Delivery
- The Path To Cure Free Audio Book
If you really set out to study the principles of Vitamin K, you realize that it actually is not a blood coagulant in and of itself. While it can be a catalyst to promoting healthy blood clotting, there are other factors also at play that prevent our brains from bleeding out our ears.
As Mommypotamus Blogger writes, ““K” IS FOR KOAGULATION!
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that derives it’s name from the German word “koagulation.” As you’ve probably guessed, that’s because it’s essential for helping blood clot appropriately when needed.
In newborns, adequate Vitamin K levels are needed to prevent Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB), a rare but life-threatening condition that cause cause uncontrolled bleeding, sometimes into the brain.
Vitamin K is important aspect in any human being’s diet, including, the pregnant mother but so is Vitamin C, B, D, E and Iron. A deficiency, though, in Vitamin K as per Dr. Mercola can show up more specifically as:
- Early onset: Within the first day of life. Early VKDB is exceedingly rare, and is typically related to medicines used by the mother that inhibit vitamin K activity
- Classic: Within the first week of life. This is the most common form, occurring in 0.25-1.5 percent of infants who have not received vitamin K at birth
- Late onset: From the second week of life up to six months of age. Occurs in 5-7 out of every 100,000 infants not given prophylactic vitamin K, and is indicative of inadequate intake of vitamin K, malabsorption issues, and/or impaired utilization due to an underlying liver disorder
We believe that there are safer, non-invasive and more effective ways to preventing VKDB in an infant. With any supplement, it is important to note that we are all individuals, “Little Maverick” may not need the same amount of vitamin K as “Little Meadow.” The amount injected at birth by the allopaths is twenty thousand (20,000) times more than what the newborn’s typical levels are!
You might want to read that last line again. The paradox continues as conventional medicine constantly warns against the toxic effect of megadosing with synthetic vitamins and yet, it is conferring precisely what it preaches against on a babe just hours old in it’s most fragile state of being.
Another thing that isn’t mentioned, unless you read the package insert on the vaccine, is that the Vitamin K shot contains aluminum. You probably know that aluminum is a known neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s, Autism and very severe gut dysbiosis including constipation. You can also add to this toxic cocktail a heavy load of preservatives such as polysorbate 80 (aka Tween 80 with it’s estrogen effects that keeps a population sweet, subdued and emasculated) and propylene glycol which you can also use to fill your car with window washer fluid as it is the same thing.
In fact, my own son Jordan, was hospitalized 7 times for chronic constipation so severe that he was given dozens of milk and molasses enemas and even once put under general anesthetic for impacted stool so severe, they had to dig it out of him manually. He screamed with severe gut pains for 4.5 years, would not eat, with significant black circles under his eyes and a profoundly distended gut. The head of gastroenterology at the Children’s Hospital suggested putting him on Lansoyl, a stool softener, “as some boys just seem to suffer like this.” I invited him to come and live our nightmare in our home for a week.
Aluminum poisoning as it relates to constipation appears like this:
Hard, infrequent and scanty stool with obstruction of the abdomen. The pain is up higher in the intestines and when the stool is finally emitted, it is covered in mucus/slimy matter and looks like small stems of pipe. The person will generally continue to suffer cramping and discomfort even while emitting the stool.
As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the introduction of toxins in combination with poor gut flora (which is a problem that affects a great number of infants born these days) can lead to developmental problems. It doesn’t matter where these toxins come from—ideally, you’d want to avoid exposing your infant to any.
It is important to note that infants naturally and universally are born with low levels of vitamin K in their bodies. Isn’t it right to assume that “The Wisdom” (with a capital “W”) buried innately in us, the most profoundly advanced organism on the planet, might just be intended to arrive this way? We don’t seem to be short on any other luggage when we arrive at the gate of birth!
The truth is that we don’t wholly know. But is that grounds for shoving a needle into a baby’s foot and administering a substance not know for it’s efficacy with 20,000 more units than God himself put under our manifold?! Especially when the odds are so low that VKDB could happen to your child and that healthy sources of Vitamin K can safely be provided to Mom during pregnancy.
Those at risk of Vitamin K Deficiency as per “Mommypotamus” are thought to be:
- Breastfeeding Moms – More on this below.
- Those on Medications during pregnancy, Including Antibiotics – As mentioned above in the section on early VKDB, “Antibiotics, particularly a class known as cephalosporins, reduce the absorption of vitamin K in the body. Long-term use (more than 10 days) of antibiotics may result in vitamin K deficiency because these drugs kill not only harmful bacteria but also beneficial, vitamin K-activating bacteria. This is most likely to occur in people who already have low levels of vitamin K or are at risk for deficiency (such as those who are malnourished, elderly, or taking warfarin). Other medications can also interfere with Vitamin K’s capacity to help the process of coagulation.
- Certain Health Conditions – If baby has undiagnosed cholestasis (liver problems), diarrhea, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis (CF), celiac disease, or alpha – 1-antitrypsin deficiency, or a genetic variation affecting Vitamin K absorption, they may be at increased risk for VKDB.
Other factors are preterm delivery, low birth weight, and possibly traumatic delivery. Antibiotics given to a newborn may also affect their ability to generate Vitamin K2 within their digestive tract.
Dr. Mercola cites that Synthetic Vitamin K Injection Is Not Risk-Free as Claimed:
“As noted in a 2001 article in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, the standard practice in the US is to administer an intra-muscular injection of 0.5-1 milligram (mg) of phytonadione within one hour of birth. Phytonadione is a fat-soluble synthetic vitamin K1 analog.
Ironically, the phytonadione drug insert warns that it can cause severe, sometimes fatal, allergic reactions when injected into a muscle or vein, and is ideally taken by mouth or injected under the skin. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
One recent PLOS ONE study looking into this issue found that allergic reactions appear to be linked to the preservatives in the vitamin K1 injection:
“[S]erious anaphylaxis-like symptoms appeared in beagle dogs after the administration of vitamin K1 injection for the first time. The plasma histamine concentration increased, and blood pressure decreased sharply. After sensitization, dogs were challenged with vitamin K1 injection and displayed the same degree of symptoms as prior to sensitization. However, when the vitamin K1 injection-sensitized dogs were challenged with a vitamin K1-fat emulsion without solubilizers such as Tween-80, the abnormal reactions did not occur…
Our results indicate that the adverse reaction induced by vitamin K1 injection is an anaphylactoid reaction, not anaphylaxis. Vitamin K1 injection induces the release of inflammatory factors via a non-IgE-mediated immune pathway, for which the trigger may be the solubilizer.”
Even more ironic, pregnant women are warned that it is not known whether taking phytonadione might harm their baby if taken during pregnancy or while breast feeding. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for infants 0-6 months is 2 micrograms (mcg) per day, so they are receiving a dose that is 5,000 times the RDA.
The RDA for adult women is 90 mcg/day. If you’re an adult suffering minor bleeding due to warfarin use, a one-time dose of 2.5-5 mg is recommended. If an adult overdoses on phytonadione, they’re advised to call Poison Control. And yet newborn babies are given a 1 mg injection whether they in need of it or not. This is a highly irrational approach anyway you look at it. It’s simply not supported by the science in any way shape or form.”
So why is it cited that Mom’s who breastfeed may be at higher risk for Vitamin K deficiency? Mommypotamus does a great job describing why this is:
“But WHY is breast milk low in Vitamin K, and is this true for ALL women?
Ahhh, that’s where things get interesting. When Dr. Weston A. Price studied the diets of traditional cultures, he discovered what he called “Activator X,” which was found in the special foods “given to pregnant and lactating women, as well as to the maturing boys and girls, in preparation for future parenthood. Dr. Price found these foods to be very rich in fat soluble vitamins A, vitamin D and Activator X —nutrients found only in animal fats.” After 60+ years of searching, it was discovered that “Activator X” is Vitamin K2.
Interestingly, “When Dr. Price analyzed the foods used by isolated primitive peoples he found that they provided at least four times the calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods such as butter, fish eggs, shellfish and organ meats.” In other words, their Vitamin K intake was probably at least ten times higher than ours. Given how much the modern diet has eroded, it’s probably more now.
Why did these cultures emphasize dietary K2 during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and breastfeeding? There are probably a lot of reasons, but one of them may have been its effect on VKDB.
How can you up your natural sources of Vitamin K? Eat a varied, organic, whole and 80% raw diet making sure that you get lots of good fats that are resonant to you blood type (See Dr. D’Adamo’s Book, “Eat Right For Your Type”) and eat lots of greens. Here’s a list of vegetables and fruits that are high in Vitamin K as per “Healthalisciousness” by percentage per tablespoon:
- Basil (I love Pesto!)(107%), Dried Sage & Dried Thyme (107%), Fresh Parsley (82%), Dried Coriander (Cilantro) & Dried Parsley (34%), Dried Marjoram (16%), Fresh Basil (13%), and Fresh Chives
- Frozen Kale (1433%), Frozen Spinach (1284%), Mustard Greens (1037%), Spinach (1111%), Collards (966%), Beet Greens (871%), Swiss Chard (716%), TurnipGreens (662%), Dandelion Greens (471%), and Broccoli Raab (272%).
- Garden Cress (339%), Endive (144%), Radicchio (128%), Chicory Greens (108%), Watercress (106%), Cos (Romaine) Lettuce (60%), Green Lettuce (57%), Red Lettuce (49%), Celery (37%), Arugula (Rocket) (25%), Iceberg Lettuce & Cucumber (22%).
- Broccoli (276%), Cabbage (204%), Frozen Broccoli (203%), Chinese Broccoli (93%), Red Cabbage (90%), Pak Choi (72%), Savoy Cabbage, raw (60%), and Cauliflower (22%).
- Frozen Asparagus, cooked (180%), Leeks, cooked (152%), Okra, cooked (80%) and Fennel, raw (68%).
- Dill Pickle (54%), Sour Pickle (38%) and Sweet Pickle Relish (16%) per tablespoon.
- Blueberries (120%), Pears (46%), Peaches (31%), Figs (29%), and Currants (15%)
So even before you conceive that brand new baby of yours, do your due diligence on issues of vaccination. It is critical that you are properly apprised of the risks and that you prepare your body to carry and deliver a baby as health as she/he can be. Your decisions, now, can affect the health of another human being for the whole of their lives.
“The main reason I ferment foods is for the transfer of information. Beneficial bacteria are prokariotic cells with free floating DNA. The cells that make up our bodies are eukariotic cells with a nucleus that holds the DNA. When one prok. cell bumps up to another one, info is shared. So, all the bacteria outside our bodies is gathering and sharing information. Then when one ingests those knowledge gathering, pre-digesting, bacteria via kraut, kimchi, etc…a few make it to the bacteria in our guts, and share info, which our bacteria shares with our body…giving our immune system the knowledge to fend off the common cold, influenza and much more. So, get informed. Eat local ferments! Now!!!” ~ Wakan Zion Burrows, From the Facebook Page Wild Fermentation
I’m a big fermenter. I’ve been fermenting my foods for years. I ferment raw milk into kefir, make kombucha, water kefir, sauerkraut, pickles and any bumper crop that I want to preserve like onions, garlic, carrots or just about anything else that I want to turn into a fizzy probiotic powerhouse. Dr. Mercola recently sent off some homemade sauerkraut to the lab and was blown away by the results. You can read more about the Sauerkraut Test or watch his video interview with Sandor Katz, fermenting guru by following the links.
If you’re too shy to ask why you should ferment, I’m going to tell you. Most foods at the grocery store, especially commercial yogourts are full of gel-like thickeners and harbour much fewer acidopholous and bifididus than your refrigerated probiotic … by a lot! Also, how much healthy, raw, alive foods and probiotic rich foods do you eat on a daily basis? Come on, at least whisper the truth to yourself.
I think of fermentation this way. Every winter, a farmer’s field remains fallow. She will also consider that the crop of the prior year has consumed much of the nutrients in the soil and so the microbiota needs to be re-introduced to the soil. In the spring, the farmer will reintroduce good bacteria by spraying her fields with manure. You only need a little bit to create a positive infectious growth of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium so that the harvest will yield a plentiful crop full of nutrition.
Our human organisms come from nature and we can become ill if we’re not loading our organisms with positive bacteria every day. If you’ve had a history of antibiotics, chemmo, radiation, c-difficile infections, yeast, thrush, long term exposure to junk food or cooked food you are a good candidate for fermented foods. Dead foods will create a depleted immune function laying you open as prey to infections and diseases. The truth is you are an extension of the health of your gut, it is that critical.
If you want more information on the relationship between health and microflora, perhaps read this article, How Your Gut Microbiome Influences Your Mental & Physical Health, by Dr. Mercola, or if you’re a scientist or practitioner, you can read the very heady, The Second Brain, by Dr. Gershon. Both reads promise further illumination on how our health is largely dependent on the health of our gut.
Here are 10 reasons to eat more fermented foods:
- Make your Digestion and Bowel Movements Phenomenal: Fermented foods are loaded with enzymes and probiotics which provides your body with great additional tools to help break down and efficiently process your food making much less work for body to synthesize. Also when your body has all the resources she needs, she’s not clamouring for foods rich in life forces from other sources. Cravings will be less too! Weight loss easier! Patients have reported to me after introducing more fermented foods in their diet how wonderful, complete and fulfilling their elimination has become. That is a big bonus to your health. Better out than in!
- Improve your Immune Function: Eating more fermented foods is kind of like bolstering the allies in your gut. A little shot of sauerkraut juice or kombucha can work wonders giving you that added edge to a histamine response, decreasing allergic responses to stimuli. It can also be the deciding factor whether not you contract a virus or bacterial infection as your arsenal of health will be wholly supplemented with the sentinels easily recognized by your body. Learn more about coming back from health challenges by using great recipes for fermenting with Donna Schwenk here.
- Positive Bacteria Makes Foods Taste Wildly Good: Human beings have been fermenting foods for hundreds of years out of necessity as a means to preserve foods simply for survival. In addition, there is nothing like a couple of tablespoons of fermented onion, garlic or sauerkraut to enliven a plate with texture, fizz, and a sparkly wake-up for your taste buds. Did you know that travellers on the silk road in China used to carry kombucha with them as a source of preserved nutrition? Also beer and spirits are also ferments, however the sugar content and alcohol can create more deleterious effects on your health than positive ones. Follow the Facebook page, Wild Fermentation, to learn more about the foods you can ferment.
- Causing Less Harm to Your Environment: So picture this … I go to my local market. Pick out the most gorgeous cabbage. Come home and shave it off with my knife, or slicer, add a little red onion and some garlic and mix it up. Next I jam it liberally into a couple of 750 ml jars that I’d bought organic spaghetti sauce in and then pour a simple brine of one tablespoon of sea, or kosher, salt dissolved into pure spring or well water. For the next 3-4 days, when I get up in the morning, I burp the jars by opening the lids to let out the excess C02 that off-gassed during the fermenting process overnight. Sometimes I have to add a bit more water due to the absorption process. Consider that I’ve not used any excess packaging, produced consumer waste or employed any petrochemicals or even electricity. Actually I’ve even recycled a couple of jars!
- Saving Time and Money: If you review my simple recipe for ‘kraut above, each jar of fermented food costs just a dollar or two if that! I’ve also added a whole lot of cost saving convenience by investing in my future health and eliminating the need to buy pricey probiotics. Also, it doesn’t cost a cent to store your ferments in a cool dark place. When you’re ready, just open the jar, or bottle, and enjoy! It’s the cheapest, best and richest food that just keeps on giving.
- Enrich Your Relationships: Do you ever get invited to a friend’s house and don’t have a clue what to bring as a gift? A bottle of fermented garlic or kefir would be a very welcome gift in my home and you could be helping family member or friend enrich their health. You’ll exhibit a burgeoning knowledge and time honoured tradition that is making a big reappearance in our culture (pun intended). Fermenting builds community through it’s life giving properties. What if that sip of kraut brine could bolster the health of another human being?
- Make Your Food Season Last Longer: Ever faced with a bumper crop from your garden or famers market? It doesn’t take much to chop up those veggies and tamp them down into jars. I buy a plethora of pickling cukes, dill, garlic and pickling spices every year in August, jam them into jars and pour in the salt brine. It makes them last right through winter when I crave a bite of stored up summer out of a jar.
- Become a Fermenting Hobbyist: I know lots of folks who love fermenting so much that they start to accumulate the gear associated with fermenting. From crock pots, to self burping lids to even using the nipples from baby bottles to allow for off-gassing. We’re all searching for the best way to make our jobs in the kitchen lighter and easier and fermenting is a brilliant way of investing in our health with little time or money. I make the black tea and organic sugar for my booch (Komubucha) in a large stainless steel pot, let it cool and then pour it into my scoby housed glass jar with the pour spigot at the bottom. This is ideal until the spigot gets clogged with booch debris. Sigh! More research to be done.
- Experimenting with New Flavours: Probably one of the most fun things you can engage with is as fermenter is how long to leave a ferment to ferment! I’m not crazy about a vinegar-like taste which is interesting as most commercial pickles and sauerkraut are made with vinegar. I prefer most of my ferments within a few days of their making which means that I’m quite often stuffing some vegetable in a jar and pouring salt brine over them as we go through them so quickly. My husband likes our ferments more spicey and fizzy than I do which means that his homemade Kimchisits a good while before consuming. Yee haw!
Learning New Things: I was 45 years of age before I learned how to ferment. I took a couple hour course from the gal from Nova Scotia at Farmpunk at that time and I’ve been going strong for the last 8 years. Right now we’re living in Mexico and I needed no gear in my single suitcase to bring along to continue fermenting weekly. Also, probiotics are just not sold here in the Yucatan and so I was quick to get my krauts in their jars. Also, I ferment because I love playing with tastes, textures and new techniques for working with my beloved health-giving foods. Yes, I’ve botched some ketchup that I won’t soon forget so go ahead and play, if it smells off, don’t eat it! Just last night, however, I stirred my sauerkraut into my Greek salad. Boy did it suddenly come alive … also, so good with ground meats like lamb or turkey. Yum!
Enjoy playing with this rejuvenating way of being in relationship with your food. I often say that the body maintains a fine line between building up more life or participating in more breaking down. Why not load the side of your resources in goodness, not just sustaining your health but bringing more life, renewal and a resurgence to your foods and cooking. Also, here’s 20 ways to get your kids to eat more fermented foods here. Happy fermenting!
Note of Caution:
I would also recommend that you start with very small amounts of fermented foods, even just a teaspoon, depending on whether or not you’ve been ill or eating primarily cooked or processed foods. You will go through a bit of a die-off period as the probiotics and enzymes gain purchase in your gut, helping to eliminate colonies of bad bacteria and islets of negative organization. Watch for loose stools and rank urine, pulling back with the amount of ferment you indulge in until your body stabilizes.
“Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey to life”
~ Peter Gabriel
Some of you know that Jeff and I are living in Mexico for the Winter. It is stunningly beautiful here, warm, and teaming with fresh foods and life. Everyday we wake early, often walking the beach, biking or swimming for a couple of hours first thing before clinic and work calls. When we walk, we’re often strolling hand in hand back to our condo, mid-morning, for another swim in the pool, a little sunbathing and a meditation well before lunch. I feel like a kid who’s having so much fun, I forget to eat!
After being here for almost 2 months, I didn’t notice much that my physical body had changed. It is hot, so I wear a lot of dresses. One day, I grabbed a pair of white pants to wear out to dinner. When I buttoned them up, I noticed several additional inches between me and my waistband. Odd, I checked the size thinking I might have packed the wrong ones to bring, but no this was the snug pair that I’d brought with me from home.
Not a week later, I was speaking with a patient who’d fully actualized her essential self and was just finishing up her Heilkunst treatment with me. She mentioned having lost weight recently citing how easily she was letting go. She was excited to tell me how her daughter, who is a Chef, was the one to have recommended, “The Fast Diet” by a Dr. Michael Mosely and Mimi Spencer. I didn’t think too much about it as I’m not one much for fads of any sort, however, in the same week, I came across this Ted Talk video with Mark Mattson on fasting and ketosis and wondered at the recent phenomenon I was experiencing.
Interesting to me, as I both love and hate fasting! I do it full out a couple times a year. Based on principles of not allowing my body to become so complacent with the influx of cooked or even raw foods, I’ll go to a liquid or mono-food diet for a time to give my body a rest, metabolize hidden islets of toxicity and re-boot the grid with regards to my relationship to food. I love food, I love to cook and I often need to recall that,”I eat to live, not live to eat!”
I know that when I’m ready to know a whole concept, the teacher will appear. In this case, my patient, was the cathartic nudge I needed to figure out why I was naturally and easily dropping weight. I knew that our foremothers and fathers did not have the food availability that we do in these modern times and that often, they were not eating 3 meals a day due to shortage.
Even when I worked on the family farm, often we’d be out in the fields or milking cows before dawn, coming up to the house around 11:00 a.m. or noon for our main meal. The table heaped with meat, green beans boiled to well beyond their death in milk and potatoes, always heaps of potatoes. Then we’d have a smaller supper, usually a sandwich made from the noontime leftovers. Then you’d fall into bed just after the sun was down, spent and fulfilled within my beloved community.
My kids, even though they were mostly raised on farms, naturally ate the same way. They would almost always skip breakfast and desire a decent meal around noon and then a snack-like meal again in the early evening or sometimes not at all. Often, they were easily going over 12 hours without food in their teens as they dictated their own nourishing schedule! I also noticed that my children, now adults, always self-regulated their diets out of their innate volition. I also knew to trust my kid’s innate rhythms, as they were the healthiest people I had the pleasure of observing through their organic unfolding!
I was always curious about society’s expectation that we eat three meals and snacks as it always seemed excessive to me. The idea of not eating for longer spans of became clear to me when I read how glycogen gets stored up in the system. In humans, glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles hydrated with three or four parts of water. Glycogen functions as the secondary long-term energy storage, with the primary energy stores being fats held in adipose tissue. Muscle glycogen is converted into glucose by muscle cells, and liver glycogen converts to glucose for use throughout the body including the central nervous system.
The glycogen’s function is to lovingly take care of you in instances of fight or flight. The fast twitch muscles rely on this substance for your reflexes to think and act fast. On that note, perhaps think of the immediate gratification required by our present society; fast food, fast education crammed into our first 20 years, fast growing crops, fast trades on the stock exchange, children growing up too fast and too soon, fast diagnoses, fast pills and fast sex. Little in our modern world is slow and delicious, as we’re always rushing from one thing to the next. The armouring in our physical bodies speak to this constant gesture of immediate gratification.
The problem becomes that if you’re eating every couple of hours, you’re not only adding to the sugar in your blood, but you’re also rarely getting to the strata of the fat layers stored beneath the glycogen. The state of burning fat is termed “ketosis”. Producing ketones is a desirable state loved by both the kidney and heart, that was formerly controversial by some allopathic scientists.
There is an assumption that if a body is burning a lot of fat for energy, it must not be getting “enough” glucose. However, there is no indication, from studying people on reduced carbohydrate diets, that this is the case. If you can’t periodically get into ketosis, you end up suffering a physiological vicious circle of fight/flight. Then, when you grab a latte for lunch en route to an afternoon meeting, you prevent the system from burning fat, sinking into the slow, heat burning furnace we’re capable of.
Many folks are starving from a lack of micro-nutrients, but they’re also superficially cold both physically and emotionally. This is true for slim individuals too, as folks who are ripped in their musculature are often as armoured as the obese person. Think of the runners who’ve dropped dead and the finish line or the woman with arthritis so bad in her one hundred fifteen pound frame. Even Dr. Mercola speaks to the benefits of intermittent fasting and he’s a really lean dude!
When we do eat it is important to engage consciously, deliberately and prayerfully with our food. In our culture, we’ve mostly forgotten the art of romance with food and who we are eating with. Think how nourishing it can feel to eat together with loved ones and while lingering over a bowl of chowder. My husband, Jeff, when he’s eating something he loves that I’ve prepared will literally moan with each bite, closing his eyes and savouring each proffered chaw. God, how I love to feed him!
So how to solve our glycogen habit you ask? First, we have to stop being junkies and then as Peter Gabriel suggests, we’ve got to “shock the monkey!” First of all cut out the coffee. Coffee suppresses fear and is a big cause for anxiety and sleep issues in our culture. Perhaps deal with the underlying cause. Eat organic fruits and vegetables that resonate with your blood type. We’ll send you the food lists, or you can check out Dr. D’Adamo’s book, “Eat Right For Your Type“, and then one to two days a week, you bring your calories down to a mere five hundred for the day.
The idea is that our physiologies are not really designed to eat three meals a day plus snacks. When was the last time you had to fish, forage or hunt for you food? When you’re hungry, really hungry, your mind gets sharp, your body brilliantly taut and at the ready to smartly outwit that trout.
Where did the false premise of eating every couple of hours come from? It is promoted by dieticians trained to follow government food guides, which in turn arise from inimical forces in the allopathic medical field who make money on your three meals a day choices. This constant consumption of food contributes to obesity, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Suppressing our innate drives of creativity and desires for love and intimacy, by mouth, is often the socially acceptable drug of choice for a lot of people. I’m suggesting that we solve the underlying cause for the angst and pain we suffer instead and stop being so resigned to it; go ahead and shock the monkey! See the stuff that you’re really made of.
This is also the basis for Dr. Mosley and Mimi Spencer’s “The Fast Diet” (although his use of coffee I can’t condone especially for all other blood types except ‘A’). And, no, that doesn’t mean you’re eating like you’re in a blitz! Think the other kind of “fast,” the spiritual one. Folks have been fasting for religious reasons for thousands of years. It is for the purpose of spiritual transformation, getting into the strata of your being-ness, plumbing the depths of your intimate relationship to God. If you’re an atheist, then just think of how your organs and health will benefit.
On five hundred calorie days, it also means slowly and lovingly savoring a farm-fresh egg and some organic cottage cheese with half a grapefruit perhaps late morning, for example, and then a beautiful little stir-fry early evening. If you’re wanting to get back to your healthy weight, have clearer thoughts and a healthier body, Mosley suggests engaging thusly on this fast two days per week and if you’re seeking to maintain your health, purging your system of unwanted toxins or islets of organization, then one day a week is sufficient. It actually is a a lot easier than you might think! Read the testimonials of folks who’ve let go of hundreds of excess weight at the back of the book.
When I was doing the research for this article, I queried my 18 year old daughter, Adie, who is a natural athlete. She trains Olympic-level horses and must remain in a state of self-governance with regards to her heath and regimen.
“Adie, what do you do when you feel hungry?” I heard her pause at the other end of the phone, “Well, I acknowledge the need for a moment and then just let it pass, really. It’s just hunger, it’s not like I’m going to die or anything. Often it’s just a call for more water so I drink, or recognize it for what it is and then just let it go or re-engage more deeply with what I’m working on. I don’t let it dictate my actions as the more I eat, the more food I want.”
I gave a lot of thought to Adie’s words. It is true that I answered the call for food too often myself. Even though I’ve naturally purged a dress size or two, I’m going to grab that monkey by the tail and give him a good yank! Also, I NEVER underestimate happiness, beauty, the beach and good geography for allowing a gal to simply let go.
“Cover me when I run
Cover me through the fire
Something knocked me out ‘ the trees
Now I’m on my knees
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don’t you know you’re going to shock the monkey”
~ Peter Gabriel