Underground Wellness

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Story, Part 1

I come from a long line of auto immune diseases. My grandmother got arthritis in her 30's. My mother became a diabetic while pregnant with me at 17. It never went away. At the age of 9 my sister was also diagnosed with diabetes. A few years later she died of undiagnosed Addison's disease. Fast forward a few more years and grandma heads to Mayo Clinic only to find out that she now also has MS. Watching these woman create lives around their illnesses has been amazing. But when it was time for me to have children, I always wondered what they would be up against. So with my first born I took an interest in health. Like most of us at the beginning of journey, a have fumbled my way through many different versions of "health". We do the best we can and hope somewhere along the way things come together.
That was 12 years ago now. I was the lucky one who had somehow managed to escape the ravages of the family line and I was going to make sure that my kids got the best chance for a healthy future.....


Well our first batch of water kefir was ready on Christmas morning. I strained the kefir and added it to a new batch of sugar water, then added the juice of one lemon to the one that was ready. To be honest, I was a little afraid to try it. Would it taste horrible, would it irritate my sensitive stomach? It took me a few hours to get up the nerve, but when I did. Success!! It tasted just like lemonade. My oldest daughter decided to get in on the fun and ended up drinking to small glasses. Today was time to make up another batch. I decided to upgrade to a half gallon jar. I look forward to the benefits of this new addition to our kitchen. If you have never tried water kefir, I encourage you to give it a try. You won't regret it. It is available at Cultures for Health.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Water Kefir Update

Well four days has passed since a put the water kefir grains to hydrating. This morning it was time to start my first batch of water kefir. I mixed a 1/4 cup of organic pure cane sugar in a little warm water and filled the rest of the quart jar with cool water and in went the grains. I chose to use the organic sugar versus the rapadura that I used to hydrate it with because the color was throwing me off. Being that this is our first batch, I think maybe lighter and sweeter might be the way to go. We can experiment more down the line. I will let it sit for two days to try and have the kefir use up most of the sugar. Then on to the lemonade. We are not much on soda here, so I am not using this as a soda replacement. I am more looking to have and extra way to get those good bacteria into our systems.
If you are interested in learning more on the benefits of water kefir you can take a look at Cultures for Health, they have an extensive resource of articles on the benefits of water kefir, among other cultured foods. I wish all of you a safe, happy and health holiday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Healthy, Happy Holidays

If you are looking for some last minute recipe ideas please take a look at the Healthy Holiday Guide from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Great ideas for keeping your holidays on track this year.

When life gives you lemons... Make water kefir lemonade!

I've dabbled in homemade cultured foods of all sorts. Buttermilk, yogurt, sourdough, sauerkraut. Mostly for the benefit of the budget. All of these foods are simple and affordable to make at home. Replacing pantry staples that are both healthier and cheaper than their store bought counterparts. But after much thought I decided it was time to venture further into the world of cultured foods. So begins my journey with water kefir. I ordered some water kefir grains last week from Cultures for Health , and it arrived in speedy fashion yesterday. I now have a jar of water kefir grains rehydrating in sugar water. Which me luck. I will keep you posted on how things are going in the next few days.