I mentioned in a previous post about my gratitude to my sweet friend Michelle for encouraging me to try kefir for my digestive issues. She had mentioned it a few times over the years, but being a doubting Thomasina like I am, I didn't really give it a lot of thought. Then Michelle twisted my arm up behind my back (a move she learned from her law-enforcement hubs) and told me to stop resisting.
OK, she didn't. But no one can resist Michelle for very long and I was getting desperate, so I tried it.
I ordered milk kefir grains from Amazon. There are a bunch of places to buy them, but I bought mine from these folks:
The grains arrived in a little foil pouch, very quickly and with a complete instruction sheet. "OK," I tell myself, "Here goes nothing."
It took a couple of weeks for my kefir grains to revitalize, partly due to the fact that it was February and colder than a well-digger's patootie here, but I did finally get the thick, tangy, cultured milk product I was supposed to.
I've mixed it with strawberries and honey and vanilla. I've done a secondary culture on it with citrus peel. I've turned it into ranch dressing, kefir cheese and a coffee slush. No matter what I do to it, my taste buds don't appreciate kefir one bit. But my guts LOVE this stuff. As in L. O. V. E. it. Kefir still makes my tummy a little gurgly, but it isn't the oh-no-where-is-the-bathroom kind of gurgly. I honestly have not felt so good in my belly in twenty years.
So I called my brother. Mom is in a care home with dementia, and she has had IBS issues for as long as I can remember. You can imagine that this is an unfortunate combination for her and her caregivers. Brother started Mom on kefir (she probably makes the same face drinking it that I do). He called me the other day to tell me that the improvement in Mom's ... uh.... "bathroom habits" has been dramatic. No more accidents!!! I almost cried. No, really. I almost cried. Of course, I texted sweet Michelle and told her about it.
I told my friend Holly. I told my sister. I told the lady at the grocery store and I've talked to the dogs about it. I might get a kefir tattoo and change my name to "I ate a salad and lived". Holly said she is trying cultured foods and her tummy is happier. Sister is planning to tell some friends of hers who have issues with such things. The lady at the store got a worried look on her face and backed away rather quickly, but the dogs wagged their tails.
To my friend, The Patron Saint of Happy Tummies, I send effusive thanks and all my love. To the kind folks who mailed me this magical little lump of probiotics, I hope you are blessed for all time with good health and enormous wealth at selling this product. To everyone else in the world, even if you don't have any gut issues at all, please do add cultured foods to your diet today. Read about the microbiome of your gut and how it affects your overall health. I'm adding kombucha to my diet now and I hope to try my hand at lacto-fermenting some veggies, if I ever get my garden going.
It took some heavy-duty convincing to get me to try it. Now I can't stop slapping my head for not trying it sooner. Go kefir!