Skip to main content

The Cultured Life

Cultured foods seem to be all the rage these days. From kimchi to sauerkraut to kefir, these foods are quickly becoming the rock stars of the nutrition world. I knew next to nothing about these wonderful foods a few years back. I actually discovered The Body Ecology Diet by accidentally stumbling across these foods. My health improvement had come to a halt after going gluten free so I began a pinterest search for green smoothies. Instead of green smoothies several cultured vegetable pins popped up. I was intrigued so I began to search a little more and before I knew it I was reading the free preview version of Donna Gate's Body Ecology Diet. I soon discovered that these healing foods would become the cornerstone of my improving health.

So what exactly are fermented foods? Well, to sum it up shortly, they are foods that are jam packed with probiotics as a result of a food preserving process called fermentation. The most basic form would be to mash up some cabbage, salt and water, seal it in an airtight jar and let the food grow good bacteria. No special probiotic strains were added to these foods and the probiotic strains were created as a result of the fermentation process. Ferments like Kombucha (a fizzy drink that is very popular right now) are considered wild ferments, meaning that the food is exposed to air during the fermentation process. This is not a bad thing, however in wild ferments we are not sure what strains of probiotics are in the food we ferment and for anyone with a compromised immune system, digestion issues, or other ailments, this could lead to some issues. This is why I eat/drink cultured foods. What this means is that I do not eat wild ferments and instead eat/drink fermented foods that have been made using a starter culture. The starter allows you to put in a specific strain of probiotic goodness and will ensure you get a strong and safe ferment. These foods are highly recommended on the Body Ecology Diet.

There are many benefits to eating cultured foods on the Body Ecology Diet. They include a decrease in sugar cravings, weight management, increased immunity, mental wellness, and a balanced inner ecosystem (aka a really healthy gut.) I've seen first hand the benefits of eating these foods. I digest better, no longer crave sweets, and have not caught the stomach virus, a cold or the flu in over a year! I find that instead of junk I now crave these delicious foods that nourish me from the inside out.

So how exactly do you make these foods? Its a very simple process and quite economical to make at home. The fastest and easiest way to get started is to make Cultured Veggie Juice.  (NOTE: When you first introduce these foods into your diet you may experience some gas and bloating. This is normal as your body works to repopulate itself with good bacteria. Read THIS ARTICLE for some guidelines and how to decipher if you are eating too many cultured foods.)

So are you ready to supercharge your health? Here's the recipe:

Ingredients (Use all Organic Ingredients where possible):
1 large head of green cabbage
6 carrots washed and dried thoroughly
3-4 inches of ginger (I like my juice spicy but if you are not used to raw ginger, use less)
Large Pitcher of Filtered water
Starter Culture (I use THIS ONE) or 1 1/2 cups of previously batch of Cultured Veggie Juice

Blender (preferable a high speed one)
Glass Mason Jars with lids (I use THESE)

1. Finely chop all cabbage and fill blender mostly with cabbage. Chop up carrots and ginger and add to blender (NOTE: You will have to do this in batches. I typically do it in 3 and evenly divide up the produce.)

2. Fill blender 2/3 full with filtered water. Blend at high speed till smooth and juice-like. Add starter culture or 1/2 cup of previous batch of cultured juice. Blend on low to incorporate.

3. Fill glass Ball Jars with mixture and cover tightly with lids. If using a culture starter, let the mixture sit out at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit) for 3 days. If using a previously batch of cultured juice let the mixture sit out for 24 hours at room temperature.

4. Once the juice has finished fermenting (it will taste sour), strain to remove pulp (I keep this to add to smoothies). Place juice in fridge and enjoy a few ounces with every meal.

Tasty Tip: Mix 4 ounces of Cultured Veggie Juice with Mineral Water for a fizzy, healthful drink!

Connect with me on Social Media!


Popular posts from this blog

My Birth Story

On December 1, 2018 at 12:06pm Julia Patricia entered the world. But her story doesn't begin there. This birth went nothing like I had expected and while I have not regrets or disappointments, to say I wasn't (and still am not) stressed and emotional about it would be an understatement.

When I found out I was pregnant in early March, I was so excited and a little bit nervous at the same time. I was excited that we had been able to get pregnant without any complications and very quickly too. I had been diagnosed with mild PCOS a few years earlier and had spent most of my teens and twenties with menstrual issues and often wondered if I would ever be able to get pregnant. I know that following the Body Ecology Diet, working with functional doctors, seeing my chiropractor  for nutritional therapy, and going to acupuncture made a huge difference going into this process. Getting my health back definitely is something I'm grateful for and what I attribute my pregnancy success too…

Diving Into Motherhood

The first 2 weeks of Julia's life were a lesson in patience, energy, and making a lot of medical decisions. I'm not going to lie, it was a mentally and physically exhausting time and while I know there are many kids out there who have way worse going on, I was not expecting to have to make decisions about surgical procedures and ultrasounds for my new born child so quickly. As someone who likes order, structure, and control, this was a huge transition for me.

As you can read in my birth story, Julia was in the NICU for the first 3 days of her life. I had spiked a fever while pushing and she was born with a fever, covered in meconium, and was not breathing. She was hooked up to antibiotics and fluids via IV to make sure she was getting the nutrition she needed. At around 10pm on the day she was born the neonatologist gave us the ok to start breastfeeding her. She had a lot of trouble latching and the nurses just kept trying to shove my boob in her mouth (to put it bluntly). The…

The Truth About My Journey With The Body Ecology Diet

It's been a really long time since I've posted here. Some of it was because life's been very busy. A lot of it has been because I've been afraid. I'm afraid of disappointing you, my tried and true readers. I've received so many wonderful messages over the last 3 years since starting the Body Ecology Diet that I'm an inspiration and that my blog has helped you to stay on track and commit to your health. I was afraid that if I wrote that I've been struggling lately that you would be disappointed. I haven't abandoned my beliefs about the wonders of this lifestyle at all. In fact I believe in it 100%. After my wedding 2 1/2 months ago, I had a lot of emotional baggage come up. I'm so happy in my marriage and have the best husband in the world but I no longer have the distraction of wedding planning to keep me distracted from really dealing with my issues; issues that go beyond food. You see Body Ecology taught me that this whole adventure is a mind/…