Category: Random Musings

My Thoughts on Fermenting Anaerobically

When I discovered WAPF about a year and a half ago, the concept of traditional foods really clicked. I knew instinctively that this sort of lifestyle was the best to give my son a healthy start in life. I was not familiar with fermenting foods and don’t think I had even tried any other than yogurt. Unless you want to count faux-ferment vinegar pickles! But I got my Nourishing Traditions book and I was ready to get started! I tried beet kvass and shredded ginger carrots in 1/2 gallon mason jars and because we were dairy-free at the time, I added extra salt. Even with the extra salt, I don’t think things went right. Funky smells, awful textures, kahm yeast on top…yuck. I searched far and wide for information that would help me make ferments that we’d actually be happy to eat. Around the same time, all the talk of anaerobic fermentation came about, and I said, “hmm… could that be my problem?” I didn’t know, but I decided to start saving for some of those Pickl-It jars.

In the meantime, a kind lady in my local mom’s group gave me a gift of water kefir grains. I made water kefir with a paper towel on top. It didn’t smell particularly good (very yeasty) and I had to flavor it to be able to drink it, but I figured our health was worth it. As soon as I could afford the fancy jars, I bought 3 of them. I tried making beet kvass and shredded ginger carrots again. They didn’t smell bad, but I didn’t particularly like them. My son loved the ginger carrots. I have a sister who has actually had ginger carrots before so I let her try it and she said, “Mmm, these are the best!” I quickly branched out to fermenting other things, and pretty much all of them have been a success. I also started brewing our water kefir anaerobically…and it smells, tastes and fizzes much better!

When you begin to love fermenting things like I do, you might start running out of jars all too often. This was the case several times. Our local Marshall’s started selling Fido jars for a relatively good price, so I bought a few more. I’ve brewed water kefir with a regular Fido lid, and I’ve also made dill carrots and sauerkraut with it. I much prefer both with an airlock! The water kefir was very bubbly, but smelled stinky. The dill carrots didn’t smell very pleasant and tasted “off,” so I just stuck them in the fridge–they did eventually smell and taste better. The sauerkraut I left to ferment for 12 weeks. It smelled horrible and it was mushy! The sauerkraut I make with an airlock smells and tastes great and has an awesome crunch, just like the day I put it in the jar.

I was lucky enough to get to try a Boss Pickler recently, and have nothing but rave reviews. I’ve been limited with what I can ferment and store because of the 2- and 3-piece airlocks. I was only able to hold up to a 2L jar with the mini airlock, or a 1L jar with the large airlock in ONE part of the fridge. Because the Boss Pickler’s airlock valves are so small, I am able to hold a 3L in the area of the fridge I used to use for fermenting, 1L jars in THREE(!!!) other sections!

Many bloggers have stated fermenting anaerobically is the way to go for optimal nutrition. It is a big source of debate, but I would choose fermenting this way based on taste and having virtually no spoilage any day! I love the confidence that my ferment will not spoil even though I’m in hot and humid Florida with house temps averaging 80oF!


Why The Weston A. Price Diet Failed You And Now Your Family Has Cavities

What makes someone who has a healthy diet more prone to tooth decay and cavities? Is it genetics? Luck of the draw? Lip/tongue tie? Possibly. Or maybe not. I’ve heard many of the following phrases lately:

We eat healthier than most people we know.

Do you really mean healthy? Or a diet higher in antinutrients?

Our friends who feed their kids cheese puffs and sweet drinks all day don’t have tooth decay.

Maybe just not yet, because they have better vitamin and mineral reserves?

Most of my friends who breastfeed have kids with cavities.

Oh no, maybe breast milk DOESN’T have everything it should after all. Is it possible that babies getting formula get more of the nutrition they need through fortification? Is it truly necessary to ensure we have a good diet high in fats, with lots of freshly cooked meats and vegetables while pregnant and nursing?

Is my next child going to have bad teeth too?

Probably, unless you fix the problem.

Why Are Our Teeth BAD?

Our teeth are not bad. The fact of the matter is that we are lacking in many essential vitamins and minerals for a host of reasons. How can our bodies function optimally if it is not getting all the nutrients it needs? How can it sustain a healthful pregnancy and ensure that our children have beautiful teeth and wonderful facial structures? How can we give our baby nutrients that we do not have? Quite simply, we can’t.

Our health, and those of future generations, has been in a state of decline. Our more recent ancestors could not give our parents’ parents what they needed. In a trickle down effect, we have become quite deficient in essential nutrients, including the building blocks for healthy teeth and bones. The fact of the matter is that if we are eating a Weston A. Price Diet and develop tooth decay, something is wrong. We may be skipping an essential part of the recommended diet, such as not getting enough healthy fats, eating too much grains or sugar, or possibly skipping fermented foods which are so helpful for digestion, and therefore absorption and assimilation of vital nutrients. We may simply need gut work because our diets have been lacking for so long.

But what can we do about it? We need to reduce our intake of things that rob us of nutrients and increase nutrient dense foods. Hop on over to Real Food Forager where I guest post on ways you can supply your body and your children’s bodies with what they need to have healthy teeth.


We Weren’t Meant To Be Broken Part 1

photo credit: lunar caustic via photopin cc

photo credit: lunar caustic via photopin cc

As I go through the day to day of healing my son, I realize that it is hard. I know I seem like a crazy lady who pays way too much attention to what goes on and in his body as well as to what comes out. I realize that it is much easier to eat processed foods that do not contribute to health, and in some cases rob it from us, even if they are labeled as organic. I know that it is easier to live behind a ton of excuses why we can’t do this or do that and just carry on as usual. I also understand that it is hard to “deny” our children of a “normal” childhood filled with sweets. But, sometimes enough is enough. For me, that is my son having constant belly aches and asthma attacks because of “allergies.” Allergies that I know are not “real,” because he could have these foods just a few months earlier without a reaction. But, that is not the focus of this post.

I am in a mom’s group of a little over 30 women. We are each others’ support system, especially because for the most part we subscribe to the attachment parenting philosophy and many people ridicule us for that. But our children are happy.

Right now, one of the women is in the middle of possibly having her 3rd miscarriage. It’s that limbo period where what’s going to happen can’t be determined yet… a wait and see. We are supportive. We all wish we could help more. But it’s hard to know exactly what to do. We want to make it better, we want to make her babies stick… but we aren’t gods. And then… there’s that part of me who just wants to give advice on healing the underlying issues that cause miscarriages.

It kind of makes me a bit annoyed when people say that there’s nothing that could be done. That miscarriages are just a normal part of life and it’s a luck of the draw type of situation. I don’t buy it. And that doesn’t make me cold or uncaring, although I know that is what people would think if I gave my advice. So, I keep quiet. And I watch it happening over and over, feeling guilty for not imparting the information I’ve discovered through millions of sleepless nights.

Natasha Campbell-McBride, creator of the GAPS programme, says, “It sounds cruel but the woman’s body uses pregnancy as a chance to clean itself; it dumps toxins into the foetus. This is a major cause of miscarriages and stillbirth (the toxicity was enough to kill the foetus). Babies are born with different toxic load, depending on how toxic the woman’s body is.”

Simple biology is, our bodies need to be working correctly to successfully conceive, sustain a pregnancy, and have a healthy baby. Sometimes what we view as healthy just isn’t good enough. Sometimes we have to take that difficult road and do what we need to do to get our health in check.