Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting Fermenty

While we really do try to eat healthy I have been known to go on non nutritional benders (jellybean week) during especially stressful times. This happened after being diagnosed with Epstein Barr and Cytomegalovirus  last summer. In addition to being exhausted and depressed I was pissed.  I was angry about getting sick in the first place. I felt like my immune system had failed me and I ended up in a downward ice cream ingesting spiral. If I am being completely honest I hadn't been making the best choices in the month or two right before getting sick; including the choice to let neighborhood kids help blow up my kids swimmies.  If you add in stress from moving, exhaustion from nursing Jude at night and working during the day,  it was a recipe for disaster. So I spent August and September feeling worse than I have ever felt in my life; worrying I would never feel normal again.  The previous fall I had spent eating healthy and working out with my brother. One year later I was too tired to walk around an amusement park for my Jude's birthday. So I did what seemed to make a lot of a sense at the time- eat a lot of  ice cream.

Fast forward to January 2013. I 
I had spent the last four months eating crap- sugar, wheat, sugar and more sugar and felt horrible. I decided I needed to get my act together and do a Whole 30 Challenge.  I have willpower of steal when I put my mind to it so it wasn't too difficult.  The real challenge was dealing with the digestive upset caused by cleaning up my diet. Let's just say that my belly was not too happy about the lack of sugar. Some people like to refer to this as die off. It took a month and a trip to the doctor (to rule out parasites) to figure out that my gut flora was a mess. It wasn't until I was sitting in the doctor's office telling him about the antibiotics they pumped into me during the month of August and then again in October for a UTI that I realized jut how many antibiotics I had taken in 20111. After about 15 years of no antibiotics I had taken the mother load and my stomach was screwed.

Luckily, the... um discomfort abated. I knew I had a lot of work to do to restore a healthy gut flora. This is when I really started to become interested in fermented foods and probitotics from real food sources. I'd  heard a lot about Kombucha, Kefir and Kraut and I was interested. I decided 2012 is really going to be a fermenty year for me. I am learning, slowly, about how to ferment my own foods and working to heal my damaged gut.