Fermenting Series Week 3 – Kefir

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Kefir (proununced ke-fear) is a new-ish product found in the supermarket chiller cabinet near yogurt and other dairy products. It has been tucked in with butter and yogurt at most health food stores for years and actually dates to 1885 in Russia, way before refrigeration.

Adding kefir grains to milk is what produces kefir. The grains are composed of lactic acid bacteria, yeast and polysaccharides. The grains culture the milk, infusing it with healthy organisms or probiotics. The result is a tangy, slightly effervescent drink similar to yogurt. Kefir “grains” have nothing to do with grain, and typically look like small pieces of cauliflower and vary in size from a grain of rice to an almond.

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Fermenting Series Week 1 – Kombucha Tea

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Fermenting Food

What do you think of when you read “fermented food”? Beer? Food that tastes off or fizzy when it shouldn’t be?

Fermenting food is an age-old practice used to preserve food when there were no fridges, freezers or ways to keep produce throughout seasons. In the early days (pre-1950s or so), getting milk from the cow and having it sour over a week or more was normal. Making sauerkraut from the crops of cabbage with salt was as normal as us now opening a box and putting its contents in the oven. Maybe they knew or maybe they didn’t, but the benefits of fermented food far outweigh those of food that’s pasteurized or cooked. Here are a few that I know of:

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Strength-Building and Recovery

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Strength is not only physical but emotional too. No matter what you are trying to strengthen, it takes energy. In the case of muscle strength, your muscles need fuel to build and heal after a workout.

A favourite addition to my workout is the amino acid L-Glutamine. I have a powder and add it to my water, drink a big glass before I head out for a run in the morning and then, if I’m doing a tougher workout, I have it in my water bottle that I drink throughout. It not only helps to heal, but studies show it also increases your metabolism and can aid in more fat burning. Always a good thing!

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4 Weeks to a Healthier Family – The Skinny on Fats

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For the longest time, I avoided fat. No skin on my chicken, breasts only and dry toast. If I didn’t, I felt like I had to do another lap around the block, as fat is not only is bad for for my heart, it tips the scales in the wrong direction.

After going completely cold turkey on fat for years, I’ve actually started adding it back in. Why would a nutritionist be advocating saturated fat?

My body needs it. Not heaps, but some.

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