Living food for me has two separate meanings, both of which I believe are critical to our wellness plans. There’s firstly food that is alive, meaning harvested and quickly brought to you in its whole state. Second, there’s food that contains symbiotic life forms like aspergillus oryzae and lactobacillus – microbes and other organisms that are beneficial to you. This second type of food is our topic today, fellow wellness champion. The better microbe farmer you become, the more these beneficial hitchhikers can be a part of your wellness plan.
Ever seen the movie called Medicine Man, with Sean Connery? In it Connery stars as a scientist that finds the cure for cancer, then loses it. He believes the compound responsible for the healing is in a bromeliad in the canopy. After seeing no results, his assistant convinces him to see the indigenous medicine man for answers.
In a confrontation with the medicine man, Connery is told that he’s a fool, that there’s, “No juju in sky flower… only house for bugs.”
I’ll try not to spoil the movie for you if you haven’t seen it. The funny thing is that the more I study raw, unpasteurized food, the more it resembles the situation in Medicine Man. Some of these foods are simply a house for bugs, and in the process of fermenting or carefully harvesting raw food, we become farmers of microbes, and these microbes become willing participants in our life processes. All the while, society focuses on the house (the food), not the bugs.
I’ve talked about the benefits of probiotics briefly, but after a six week period of regular intake of lacto fermented vegetables, I can describe a couple personal experiences.
First positive symptom? Reduction in stomach fat. Yeah so I’m about 20 pounds from what my first weight goal was, and I’ve been hanging out at a plateau for quite some time. My stomach hasn’t budged in about six months. As I introduced the lacto fermented vegetables, my stomach has been reducing and overall, I’ve been steadily losing inches. This bears out scientifically, as it turns out.
We’ve noticed little details as well. My wife Michelle was often pale in her complexion. Inexplicably, since introducing lacto, she’s maintained a healthy complexion almost all of the time, far more than I remember.
Aside from our personal, physical symptoms, scientific evidence is revealing just how powerful assistance from these friends can be. Raw, whole, probiotic food is rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes thanks to their hard work before they even get to you. Once working inside you, they have a variety of positive effects. If you’ve got time, read through this article on Dr. Mercola’s site. Wait, allergies can be caused by an imbalanced gut flora?! Yep, Champion. True story.
Convinced? Hungry for some bugs? Good! Let me caution you though, because I want you to succeed.
First, take it slow (because I didn’t). The first introduction of fermented vegetables is really a seeding event for your gut, so you’re going to probably have gas and your stomach might feel a bit off. Don’t worry, your lazy intestines are about to get a workout, lol. I ate a small portion at just about every meal for several weeks, and by the third, unless I ate a huge portion, I didn’t experience any symptoms. By easing in, you’ll have an easy time adjusting to the bacteria and your intestines will soon be awash with your new team.
Here’s a couple easy sources to get the critters:
Raw, Unpasteurized Honey
This is the stuff we get. We’re looking for local right now, leave a comment if you know any in the Akron/Cleveland area. We’ll post when we find them.
Lacto Fermented Vegetables
We’ve made the following in the past couple of months:
- Beet Kvass
- Sauerkraut (Did you know that raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut juice is a therapeutic strength anti-fungal? It pwns Candida Albicans. Read the studies half way down this page.)
We buy the following:
- Kimchi Radishes (5000 year food brand)
Get organic, non-GMO sources for everything. Word of warning, though. If all you’ve ever eaten is the American diet, and today’s the first day on your wellness plan, don’t run out and eat 40 ounces of lacto fermented sauerkraut. You’ll probably crap your pants. Ease into a primarily plant based diet, and add lacto into it. If you don’t, you’re inviting your helpers into the desert waste land of your American colon. Not good for your team, not good for you, lol (read: diarrhea). Precisely, without prebiotics, your probiotics are gonna get their butts kicked by a bunch of crappy – literally crappy – fungus like candida.
You help them out with good food, they’ll help you out by working out with your immune system and making B vitamins, and a host of stuff science can’t even fathom yet.
Warning! Some of this food isn’t going to taste like food you’re accustomed to. Good! Some food you might not “like” right away because the tastes, textures, and sensations in your mouth are different. As my seven year old son just told me:
It takes time, Dad.
Keep trying it until you become accustomed to it. Hey, you don’t like Kimchi because it smells icky? Guess what, fast food fish sandwiches are equally distasteful to the folks eating Kimchi. You’re going to have to go to new places to become a wellness champion. Be All In, Champion, by seeking the juju, not in the houses, but in the real magic: the bugs.
Thanks for reading! I’ve been brewing up some new ideas to connect with you and will share them in the upcoming months. Please visit often, this is an important project for me – improvement and change will be the norm as this blog grows. Also, don’t be afraid to leave a suggestion below, I’m open to your feedback.
P.S. Looking for the tools of the microbe farmer? Look here.