(Share in the comments how the challenge is going for you! And don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway!)
It’s day five of the No Sugar Challenge. The one thing that I don’t like about the title of this challenge is that it centers on what we aren’t having, “no sugar”. Really, we should be celebrating the foods that we can have! Maybe I should rename it the “The Nourishing Fats Challenge”, or the “Delicious Meats and Vegetables Challenge”, or….even better yet, “The Probiotic Challenge”.
As mentioned before, really defeating the sugar blues isn’t just about taking sugar out. That’s the first step. The second, more proactive step is to add probiotic foods in.
Why is this important?
Our digestive tracts are teeming with bacteria, some helpful…..some not so helpful. The vast majority of us will have a small amount of yeast in our bodies. As long as the beneficial bacteria stays high, the yeast will be kept in check. But when we take antibiotics or drink and bathe in chlorinated water, we can start depleting our stores of beneficial bacteria.
When we feed our yeasties sugary foods, or have too many starches in our diet we are giving yeast food to grow on. However, when we take a good probiotic (one good brand is listed on my resource page) or eat cultured or lacto-fermented foods then we feed our beneficial bacteria. And, they also really seem to help with cravings for sugar too.
Here are a few ancient probiotic foods that are full of beneficial bacteria.
We love sauerkraut in this household. It can be a required taste, though I loved it right away when made this way. But I stopped making it for a while, and Elena started losing her “taste” for it. She had loved it from about a 1 1/2 years old on. Thankfully, after requiring her to take a bit or two when it was served at meal times recently, she has regained her appreciation of it and will sometimes even eat a small bowlful of it! But not only do we like how it tastes, I really do think that it helps in keeping beneficial bacteria happy too!
“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”
Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, Pg89
In Eat Fat, Lost Fat, Sally Fallon calls lacto-fermented vegetables “super raw” foods. The raw foodies are really into enzymes, but raw food can actually be a little low in enzymes (though obviously containing more then cooked food). But when you fermented them they produce large amount of helpful enzymes, hence “super raw”. And there are so many vegetables that are good fermented too, not just cabbage. Read, Wild Fermentation orNourishing Traditions to get you started.
Did you know that us in the “west” are one of the only people groups to drink unfermented milk? When you ferment milk by making it into kefir, buttermilk, yogurt, piima milk you are changing the content of the milk so that it’s easier to digest, is teeming with beneficial bacteria and enzymes, as well as increasing the vitamin B and C content. This is the more historically accurate way to consume milk! Once again, it can be a more required taste, but who doesn’t like yogurt after all?
There are so many traditional drinks that are fermented. Everything from fermented rice milk, to kombucha. Popular choices today include kombucha and water kefir “pop”. Both of which, once you get used to their tangy taste are quite delicious! I like making my water kefir drinks out of high antioxidant juices, like pomegranate juice You get the benefit from the juice, plus beneficial bacteria, without the full load of the fruit sugar!
These are just a very few of the many probiotic foods that we can make and consume. Considering that most cultures used cultured foods in their diet, their is a wide variety of choices for us to choose from!
Enter to Win 3 Starter Cultures
And now for a giveaway! Cultures for Health has generously agreed to do a give away for the our week of no sugar! Not just one culture, but three of your choice (retail value up to $50)!
You can choose from a wide variety of sourdough starters, yogurt starters, kombucha mushrooms, kefir grains and more! She even has raw milk yogurt starters! I hope that this helps one lucky person on the journey of culturing their own probiotic foods.
To enter the contest, follow the link below and enter your information.
This contest will end Friday, October 16th at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be chosen via random.org, and will be announced on October 17th.. The lucky winner will have 48 hours to contact me with his or her full name, address, and phone number.
Sorry, but due to shipping costs, only those residing in the United States are welcome to enter this contest.
Please note that Cultures for Health is one of my sponsors, and as such I am being compensated for hosting this giveaway. That said, you can trust that I only accept sponsors whose products I whole-heartedly endorse and believe in.
1) Any lacto-fermenters out there? Have any tips or recipes to share?
2)How is the sugar challenge going for you? How do you think the weekend will go for you?