You Want Me to Eat What?!

If those words didn’t actually come out of hubby’s mouth, the look on his face has said all that and more a time or two.

I am something of a self-professed health geek.  While many spend their waking hours reading through current events’ articles, I wade through health and fitness stories, much less stressful but no less confusing.  After much experimentation over the years, hubby has accepted my geekiness and actually believes I might be doing a thing or two to keep him healthy, when he’s not thinking I am trying to do him in (haha)!  Actually, he now embraces most everything I put in front of him that I insist is edible. 😉

My new favorite cookbook 🙂

I try not to buy into the latest fads, especially when it comes to swallowing yet another supplement, but instead try to get nutrients from whole foods. Some of what I embrace today I have experimented with since my 20’s, but in a much less controlled environment.  It’s a wonder I am still here to tell about it.  What I am referring to is fermentation and, if you believe what some of the literature has to say about it, fermented foods can be very good for gut health.  It makes sense to me that good gut health is essential to our overall health.  If we have tummy issues after eating certain foods; if we can’t absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat; if we have inflammation and/or have been diagnosed with a leaky gut, we may be looking at future health issues if we don’t address them.

Even if you don’t believe there is any connection between good gut flora and a healthy body and mind, some of the fermented foods you can purchase or make are actually pretty darn tasty.  Word of caution, however.  If you have complex digestive issues, such as histamine intolerance, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), or an overabundance of candida in your digestive tract, ferments may not be in your best interest (oh darn).  Thankfully we have none of those issues, nor has hubby tried to convince me that he has. So, upon our return to So. Cal, my kitchen counter has once again begun to look like a science experiment. Here is just a little of what I have whipped up lately:

If you are interested in learning more about ferments, check out Kirsten and Christopher Shockey’s YouTube videos here.  Their cookbook, “Fermented Vegetables:  Creative Recipes…” is a good one to get you started.  Or if you enjoy delving into medical articles like me, here is an interesting one from Pub Med which speaks to the benefits of fermentation.

I think my next experiment will be flavored kombuchas.  Hannah Crum (aka Kombucha Mamma), has an interesting read I am eyeing for my bookshelf.   These new recipes look more appealing than that grayish-looking water I used to drink in my 20’s.  What was I thinking?!

Next Up:  Foraging in Yellowstone National Park

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28 thoughts on “You Want Me to Eat What?!

  • I admire you for being able to understand everything you read about good health, but I get so confused, and I think I am too old to learn much new stuff, these days. I am trying to remember what happened yesterday. I also admire that you stick to finding out about healthy ways to stay alive and well. Keep it going, my friend.

    • Sadly I don’t understand everything that I read Joan. It is very confusing and I must admit to feeling like “throwing in the towel” a time or two. But my curiosity and passion for the topic seem to keep me going.

  • I’ve been a little side tracked lately in the healthy eating arena. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration that eating properly promotes good health. Beautiful header photo. Was that taken in Idaho?

    • I think we all get sidetracked at times Ingrid. Our summer, with too many wonderful catered events at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch seriously threw us off-track. We came back to So. Cal with a renewed drive to get back in shape. It was painful the first couple of weeks. And yes, that photo is Mesa Falls in Idaho. You are good! 🙂

      • Yes, I thought that was Mesa Falls. I found that place very challenging to photograph due to lighting. You did a great job capturing it.
        We find it’s very difficult to stick with a healthy diet when those around us don’t and then we fall ‘off the wagon’ so to speak. And it doesn’t help that I enjoy baking ☺

      • Thanks Ingrid. I found it challenging to photograph that falls as well. I must admit that I can get quite lazy when it comes to photographing waterfalls, so I’m surprised that the image came out as good as it did. As for healthy eating, we too find it difficult to eat well when everyone around you isn’t. For that reason, when there are gatherings here around food, quite often we don’t attend. When we do and bring our own food (quite different from what is being served), someone is always apt to comment. I love to bake as well but have tried to stay away from it recently as I tend to eat way too much of whatever I’ve baked.

  • Reading recipes is far less stressful than reading politics LuAnn, and I’ve been known to read a cookbook (or two) like a good novel. Since yesterday was my day #28 on the Whole30 diet (although I have yet to have the burst of energy and rejuvenation the authors promised) I totally get the need to up our health odds by assuming control over what we eat. (My husband just adds on carbs and bread to whatever I cook and I subtract them when he cooks. 🙂) The lemon dill sauerkraut sounds great and yum, pepper mash! But whoa – those bottling jars make whatever you’re cooking look serious indeed! Anita

    • I haven’t done the Whole30 Diet but have several friends who have tried it with success. I have always been obsessed with reading articles about health and fitness, although I haven’t always practiced what I’ve learned. I have to keep bread out of the house or we would be devouring it daily. The same goes for ice cream. Terry loves the lemon dill sauerkraut, as do I, but I also like to spice things up a bit, so I also enjoy kimchi. Those cherry chocolate balls, with some pepper mash mixed in, are so yummy! As for the jars, they are just your standard wide-mouth canning jars, with air-lock lids, which is very effective in keeping the wrong kind of bacteria out.

  • I love Kraut. Margee hates it. The rest looks great. We are juicing and trying to avoid wheat. Keep on trucking. Frank

  • Looks like you have done a lot of research and made some delicious discoveries. I must say I don’t love cooking but perhaps if it was more of a research into healthy living it would be more interesting.

    • I will admit that, although I do enjoy cooking, I have my moments where I just don’t even want to step foot in the kitchen. What does keep it interesting for me is trying to be creative and keep it healthy. Terry rolls his eyes a bit when I am serving him a new dish, reciting all the while he is eating the healthy spices and ingredients he is ingesting. 😉

  • It’s inspiring to see what you’ve been creating! I love fermented foods and eat them every day. But we end up buying our fermented veggies at natural foods stores because it seems like it’s too hard to control the environment on the road. Did you ever make ferments when you were traveling full-time? After reading your post, I’m tempted to try.

    • I felt the same way when we were on the road Laurel, not sure I could create the right conditions without buying a lot of extra equipment, like warming blankets or cooling chambers, depending on the weather. But I have to admit that I’ve had lots more success since buying the air locks, especially in keeping out the bad bacteria. My kraut does fine in whatever weather, as long as it isn’t too hot. When it is cooler, the fermentation process slows down a bit so it takes a little longer. When it comes to making kraut, probably the most challenging part in an RV is the fridge space needed for the cabbage until you get it shredded. That half-gallon mason jar I filled with lemon dill kraut has 4 pounds of cabbage in it.

  • Yes, you are inspiring!
    Since Jim hates sauerkraut, cabbage, pickles, etc, I rarely eat them, either. No room in the fridge for us to both eat different diets. I love to read everything I can about nutrition and vegan recipes. I have a huge collection of recipes but it seems so hard to keep all the ingredients on hand in our small RV that I rarely try any of them out. Or it could be that I’m not so crazy about cooking and that’s a good excuse!
    Guess we’ll stick to beer 😉

  • You must be very convincing and persuasive that Terry enjoys and eats the food you prepared. Eating healthy is a challenge more so now that Steve has a different view in the what to eat department. But I have to say since his treatment he has slowly embraced a few healthy offerings that I made.

    • It has taken me a while to convince Terry of some of the foods I make. Perhaps he has given in since he doesn’t enjoy cooking himself and doesn’t want to go hungry. 😉 We cannot imagine how difficult it has been for the two of you. Having been through a cancer diagnosis with Terry, and a recurrence, we have certainly walked part of this path, but Steve’s journey seems to have been particularly difficult. You two are never far from our thoughts and prayers.

  • Ah I love this post 🙂 as we seem to be “birds of a feather” .. I am constantly reading up and finding new healthy and tasty (almost always raw vegan) recipes and then trying to convince my French hubby (how do you spell croissant?) to eat them… Haha. He has discovered that actually a huge raw interesting salad with great ingredients and zucchini noodles with basil tahini are amazingly delicious. He is a “believer” but refuses to give up his croissant and his dim sum…. And as for raw vegan deserts (chocolates included)….YUM!!!

    I was just thinking about trying fermented foods and my son even taught a workshop of how to do it, but he is in Chicago and I am not, so that is not much help. I was about to research it and you just handed me a gift.. tried and tested. Thanks Luan, terrific post!!

    Peta

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