Fermenting Foray

Sometimes the problems we face are our biggest gifts. I would say this is always true, but sometimes the enormity of suffering in certain instances is so mindboggling that it is almost impossible to find that glimmer. That isn't the case here, although in those depressing moments before the glimmer hits, it can seem that way.

I have long suspected adrenal and thryroid issues. I was asking the wrong questions, to the wrong people, for a long time. When a routine check diagnosed a thyroid deficiency (hashimoto's) and the doctor I was working with pushed medications, I sprung into research action. I started on a spirulina supplement (BioPreparation MicroAlgae) and made immediate dietary changes. Through this action alone my levels evened out enough to convince my doctor to hold off on the med push. However, my exhaustion continued to deepen and I realized it wouldn't be so simple as the little green magic pill (algae) and giving up coffee. 

As I  researched I was astonished to find out that just about every problem I'd experienced since my early 20's. (Including some of the following: UTI, low back pain, kidney pain, cystic breasts, celiac type sensitivities, candida, ankle pain, exhaustion, and an absence of well-being) had a direct or indirect relationship with adrenal and thryroid dysfunction.
For now, what we have come up with, as our first step toward family health is the following regimen:
No caffine (green tea ok), no alchohol, no conventional sugar, no soy, no gmo. Additionally, I am avoiding all corn, white rice, and gluten.  I also eat primarily vegetarian, and although I have found that my diet, with added problems from emotional stresses, has placed me here, I believe/know it was not due to vegetarianism, but due to my lack of attention to nutrients in my diet. Essentiallly, I was missing lots of raw foods, fermented foods, sea vegetables, whole food fats and was relying way too much on carbs and soy protein.
So we are aiming to fix that around here. Slowly, but surely, we are all healing and my energy is staging a comeback. I hope with careful attention it will continue. Our aim is to incorporate, over time, a 50% or more raw diet. Once the addictions are kicked, it's not nearly as hard as you'd think. I have found the most difficult challenge to be the relationship to food. I have always looked to food to sedate me; to comfort me. However, truly eating well means receiving energies from foods. Eating raw, especially young food, from cut and come again crops, is the best way to feel energized. It was odd, at first, to feel a tingling buzz after eating, but its a wonderful thing to get used to!
If you are interested in the history and role of fermented foods here is a great link:
Here's some info, with links to recipes, for our first fermenting projects.

Fermented Tomato Salsa:

We still had a wonderful crop of tomatoes at the beginning of November. The greenhouses hadn't frosted hard, but frost was coming. We collected all the reds and a few greens, and hedged a bet that the greens left would ripen. We lost that bet and all those wonderful tart zebra tomatoes-- the pigs enjoyed them still, however.
With some organic adds from the local grocer, and subbing green tomatoes for peppers, we made a large bowl of salsa, added some whey, and waited a few days. It was awesome to see the little bubbles forming and working their way to the jar top. I understand why Shawn's been hooked on wine-making all these years. The end result was delicious. We made a second batch! We use the salsa as a salad topping mostly, since we aren't eating corn. Delicious!




Fermened Apple Chutney:

Although a great way to use up our leftover apples, I flat out refused to eat this one. It had a bit of discoloration on the top, and one jar molded. Fermented foods are not going to carry botulism or anything, but still--- gross! The other two jars were edible, and they really weren't bad, just not my thing. Shawn liked them a lot and had them scooped over flavored yogurts.


More to come as we experiment with more raw recipes and right living--- stay tuned!