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KEFIR - Depending On Our Hunches

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Wayne, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    KEFIR - Depending On / Trusting Our Hunches

    Hi All,

    Earlier this summer, the family I had been getting raw goat milk from for several years introduced me to the kefir they make on a daily basis. As soon as I took a small sip (fairly sour by the way), I KNEW I should learn how to make some for myself, and see what it might do for me.

    Fortunately, its VERY easy to make. Just let the milk or other product, such as soy milk, coconut milk, etc. set with kefir grains at room temperature for approximately 24 hours, strain off, and then start a new batch (click on link below for picture and basic introductory information).

    KEFIR - A Living Food, Long-Life Secret

    Kefir literature mentions that a lot of people will have some initial reactions when beginning to consume it. I was one of those people, and my reactions were pretty strong. Initially I had some mild stomach upset, but the most striking reaction was the almost immediate drainage of my sinuses each time I had a bit, like I was in the middle of a major cold. Normally, this would usually pass within 5-10 minutes.

    As the weeks went by however, I noticed both of these reactions became less and less noticeable. I then began to notice some positive changes. Two of the most significant were that my somewhat chronically stuffy sinuses began to clear. I also noticed that some significant stomach/GI bloating I often experience improved considerably.

    During this time, I began to contemplate, again based on a hunch, that I might be able to partial fast on this raw goat milk kefir. Ive done limited water fasting in the past, and a fair amount of juice fasting. I always found the juice fasts to be very helpful, but ME/CFS eventually made them too difficult to do.

    I could usually feel fairly good for up to 18 hours of going without food, but after that I would start to get weak, my body would begin to feel very stressed, and many of my ME/CFS symptoms would become exacerbated. It often felt like certain viruses might be kicking in, taking advantage of a weakened immune system brought on by the stress.

    Well, in the past couple days, it feels like Ive made a pretty significant breakthrough. After about 3-4 months, Ive been able to do a partial fast on just the kefir and a small bit of carrot juice. And I was able to do so quite easily (no stress). In fact, its really been quite enjoyable. Most of my ME/CFS symptoms, instead of becoming exacerbated, have temporarily improved rather significantly. One exception has been somewhat worse than normal chronic headaches the past couple nights.

    I dont know where this is all going to take me, but Im hopeful it will open up whole new areas of possibilities for me as I move forward on my own health journey. I feel fasting, or partial fasting has huge potential for health benefits, and the last couple days has made me realize that raw goat milk kefir is the product that will help me reap some of those benefits.

    Best to All, Wayne
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  2. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Thanks Wayne. I have been culturing Kefir powder on soya milk for a few weks and it really feels to me like amazing stuff.
    My body seems to really want to consume it.
    However, i was told that i could continue topping up the culture with more soya milk indefinately- but i only used the powder not the grains and it finally after about 2 weeks of going strong gae up and went all fizzy and nasty and wouldnt set.

    Do you think that is because i used the powder and not the grains? I am really missing my daily kefir and am considering getting some grains to use instead. Is this easy to do?
    Funny you should say about the sinuses- i keep feeling like i am getting a cold and also my ears are getting really blocked- maybe as yo say this is an initial reaction, although i am not sure why this would be.
    xx Justy
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Kefir Grains vs. Kefir Powder

    Hi Justy,

    I can relate when you mention your body really wants to consume the kefir. Even after all these months, I relish drinking it, and could almost describe it as craving it. Fortunately, I also like the sour or perhaps "pungent" taste of it. For those who don't care for the taste, there are innumerable ways to "doctor it up". Smoothies is one great way of doing so.

    I suspect that kefir grains are much better to use than powder, and I would probably try to get some if I were you. Once you have them, they continue to grow and proliferate, to the point where you have to either blend them up or discard them.

    Fortunately, I was able to get some starter kefir grains from the family with the goat milk. I'm not really sure what might be the best way to get some; I would think doing some online research would help you find a company that specializes in this.

    It's sometimes not easy to tell what changes in our bodies are caused by our "most recent experiment". In my case, I felt from the very beginning that the drainage and "cold-like" feelings were positive. It felt like the kefir probiotics began to establish themselves and crowd out some of the "unfriendly" bacteria.

    Good luck in getting back on your kefir program. I almost get "anxious" when I feel I might not have any for even a day. I hope that wouldn't be considered an addiction. :D

    Best, Wayne
     
  4. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Wayne - yes how amazing-i would describe my love of kefir as a craving as well. Now i havent got any left i feel a bit miserable about it. My only hope for today is that i gave some to a neighbour and put it in her fridge for her, hopefully it is still there and i can go ad steal some back.
    But i am definately going to try and buy some grains from the net.

    I suspect you do now have a kefir addiction, but what the hell, i had to give up all the other fun ones an this is the healthiest addiction i have ever found! I actually kept making visitors stare at it and try it - nearly everyone pulls a face- but i think it tastes just fine!
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Justy,

    LOLOL -- Perhaps this should be a fair warning to those reading this; if you're forced to then go without kefir after getting addicted, you may resort to desperate measures to get some again. :D

    You know what? I think it tastes just fine also. Occasionally it gets just a bit too sour for me, but when I get it just right, it's delicious!

    BTW, the last paragraph on the web page I linked above reads as follows:

    Best Regards, Wayne
     
  6. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Justy,
    Here's a resource for finding live local kefir grains:
    http://www.webaware.com.au/ferment/finding_kefir.php

    I have had the same experience as so many here. It's pretty much the only food I really *want* to eat,
    and can digest. It's certainly the only concentrated protein I can tolerate. I'm especially happy because, for the moment at least,
    I live near a small family farm who sells me fresh raw goat milk--and I've even scratched the little mama goat on the head and
    been ale to personally thank her for this truly nourishing gift.
     
  7. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Aw Leela, thats lovey, and thanks for the link. Am going cold turkey now! I was too sick today to visit my neighbour to steal it back!
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Easily Digestible Protein (Kefir)

    Hi Leela,

    I think your point about easily digestible protein is an important one. My digestion has been very problematic for decades now, and concentrated protein has always been the most difficult for me to handle. This was the main reason I drank raw goat milk for years, as it was the best and easiest way for me to get the protein I needed. What I recently discovered is that kefir is much easier for me to digest than the raw unfermented goat milk.

    I also like your story about thanking the mama goat for the nourishing gift she's providing you. I too feel this kind of gratitude every time I go to pick up my "bounty". It's such a staple in my life, it's hard to imagine not having it; so I won't! :Retro smile:
     
  9. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi all, i have finally bought some Kefir grains and they arrived yesterday.
    But.....i am afraid i am already havig trouble with them, maybe this is right, i dont know. The grains came in cows milk, but i wanted to culture them in soya milk - which i had done very succesfully with the powdered Kefir. I covered tham in a little milk and left them on the side covered for 24 hours. What i gotwas not thick and yoghurty, like i did with the powdered Kefir, but runny and very yeasty smelling. I strined the grains out as instructed, put the liquid in the fridge and have strted another batch.
    Is this right to be so runny? the powdered Kefir goes really thick!
    Also is the yeasty smell right - if so i this ok with candida, i done have any yeast normally.
    finally it is really sour tasting - is this right as well?
    I am really dedicated to getting it right with the Kefir as i really want to take it regularly, just need a bit of advice to get me on the right track.
    Many thanks.xx
     
  10. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Hi justy

    I've never had any success with making kefir with soya milk. My grains had been cultured in cows' milk too, so I wondered whether you need a different type of grain for soya milk.

    The only time it turned out quite well was when I used the type of soya milk that has added sugar. But I'm trying to avoid sugar so don't want to make it like this.

    Sorry this isn't much help - hope someone else can be a bit more positive!

    Jenny
     
  11. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Jenny, thanks for the reply - yes i also dont do sugar at all, or dairy. As i mentioned i have done it with the Kefir powder - but i guess this is quite different. Maybe i will try them with cows and see what happens - i can always give it to someone else to drink!
     
  12. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Justy, coupla things re: kefir....

    First, going from one type of milk to another, and one household to another (temperature change etc) usually involves a period of letting the grains readjust. The first batch will often require 48 hours.

    Also, Soya milk does not contiain all the proper sugars to feed the lil' guys over time. You may have to do occasional dairy batches whoch you could give to friends, to keep the grains healthy, or as Jenny said, add some honey or date sugar--the kefir organisms eat and fermetn it, so it shouldn't be problematic for you in that context.

    The yeasts in Kefir are good yeasts, that supposedly displace (and possibly eat?) the bad candida yeasts. DOn't worry abot the yeasty smell, it's your friend. :D

    Finally, you might be better off obtaining some "water kefir" grains and making your kefir from coconut water or plain water with a dried fig and some other fruity thing in it. Go to Dom's site
    http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html
    for really detailed info on making kefir from alternative milks. He is quite experienced and enthusiastic! If you scroll all the way to the end of the page, there are links to all his other pages, for an utterly complete picture of everything Kefir!
     
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Culturing Kefir

    Hi Justy,

    I tried my grains with soy milk and discovered they didn’t work well. When I again used the grains in goat milk, it took a couple batches to restore them to their original effectiveness.

    Regarding kefir thickness, mine thickens somewhat, but not to the extent that would be comparable to store bought yogert. It just seems to naturally be more liquidy than what you seem to have become accustomed to.

    Regarding sour: the longer you let it set, the more sour it will become. There’s some pretty good explanations of this on the link from my initial post. Also, the yeasty smell is very normal, and a very welcome sign that the grains are working as they should.
    ....................................

    In my initial post, I mentioned how I had gone a couple days of eating nothing but kefir, and wondered about the possibilities of where this might take me. Well, I ended up going about 7 days on a diet consisting of about 98% kefir.

    During this time, I felt little hunger or detoxification discomfort. The only thing notable was a few red, itchy skin rash eruptions around my feet and ankles. After a few days and a clay foot bath, they went away. My best guess is this resulted from some of the good kefir bacteria crowding out some of the bad bacteria, perhaps candida.

    I’m pretty enthused about this experiment of mine. My whole GI tract seems to be a lot more settled down from doing this. And when my GI tract is calmer, my brain is much calmer as well. There’s such a close interconnection between the two.

    Good luck Justy on finding a good kefir protocol for yourself. Your experiences seem to illustrate that culturing kefir is somewhat of an art. As such, it’s just going to take a little experimentation and patience to find the right solutions. I think the rewards are well worth the effort. It certainly has been for me anyway.

    Best to All, Wayne
     
  14. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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  15. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    This is why I don't do dairy.

    http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...gluten-peptides-and-IAcrGly&p=90073#post90073

    Casein/gluten peptides and IAcrGly
    Ive just had the results of a urine test done by autism researchers at the University of Sunderland.

    It showed high levels of indolyl-3-acryloylglycine ((IAcrGly), indole lactic acid, and two types of casein peptides. No gluten peptides.

    Apparently many ME patients have high IAcrGly. Its produced from tryptophan. The researchers say:

    The precise route by which IAcrGly is formed from tryptophan is still under research although it is thought that (it) represents the detoxified version of a very unpleasant acidic precursor, indole-3-acrylic acid (IAcrA). IAcrA could well find its way into many of the membranes of the body and hence make them more permeable to other biologically active produces such as peptides. Many membranes would be affected but of particular interest to us are those lining the gut wall and the blood brain barrier.

    It also seems that when tryptophan is metabolised in this way less serotonin is produced.

    Im going to start a casein free diet. Apparently you should be able to tell if its making a difference in 4-5 weeks.

    The test was 65 (including booklet describing their research), and I got the results in a few days.

    More details are on the website: www.espa-research.org.uk

    See also a paper by Malcolm Hooper:

    http://www.ei-resource.org/articles/...gulf-veterans/

    Jenny
     
  16. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Thanks all for the advice. It has been fine so far with plain soya milk. the taste is fine and it seems to be the consitency you describe. I have decided to culture it every few days with cows milk and then give this to someone else. I thought i might try it myself but am so unused to cows milk it made me feel sick. Yuck!
    I am just drinking one small cup a day or smoothie. How much is it advised to drink - i really have no idea and want to take the optimal amount. On the other hand i am trying not to have too many extra calories as i am having touble keeping my weight down. Who'd of thought you could become overweight on a low carb vegan diet!

    I dont eat dairy because i have a long history of Asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections etc, i also have a fibrotic band in my lung due to constant infections since childhood. I no longer wake up really bunged up every morning and my asthma is much improved.
     

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