New year, new me? Maybe. I would love to be a whole new version of myself, but I understand that realistically it takes time. I am progressively making steps toward being everything I want to be, but they're small steps and... I'm ok with that. Like I mentioned before, I signed up and paid for my yoga class already (YAY!). Then to be progressive, I paid ahead for another week (woohoo). But the class hasn't started yet. So naturally I did some Amazon shopping and bought a yoga mat (I'm really invested!) But I also started looking into some other means of being "healthier".
As much as I would love to be healthy, I feel like it's hard with kids. They want to eat macaroni and chicken nuggets and ice cream, etc... while I want sandwiches, salads, and smoothies with that green stuff they don't want to try.
While searching for ways to incorporate healthier options in our families' lives, I discovered Cultures for Health. It's basically an all in one DIY base for all things cultured and fermented. Cultures, or probiotics, are live microorganisms (bacteria) that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements. Many studies show that the balance (or imbalance) of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease. Probiotics have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
(Skim through the section below if you're not interested in all the science-y things it can do for your health and just read in bold for highlights.)
1. Decrease the severity and frequency of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
2. Regulate the intestinal process to decrease diarrhea, by replenishing the "good bacteria".
3. Balance enzyme activity and speed up the process of digestion and excretion, soothing the uncomfortable affects of constipation.
4. Probiotics contain bacteria effective in lowering total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Probiotic bacteria absorb fiber from the intestines and as a result, they generate propionic acid. This particular acid has the ability to reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver.
5. Improved mood with its strong connection between the gut and the brain.
People who were suffering from certain mental health conditions, like sadness, were given probiotics and they showed signs of improvement and a reduction in negative thoughts.
6. Strengthen immune system.
Can also regulate the number of antibodies present in the intestines. With autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis, it can help regulate intestinal homeostasis, and even save your life.
8. Prevent and treat yeast infections, urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis, as well as the more common yeast vaginitis.
9. When the gut flora is in balance, the body is able to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. This helps prevent chronic inflammation, which causes acne and other skin problems.
10. Increase nutrient intake by encouraging the extraction of beneficial nutrients from the food we eat so none of it goes to waste. Higher levels of these nutrients can positively affect the body in many ways, including increased bone health and blood oxygenation, and improved memory.
11. Recent studies have shown a link between intestinal bacteria imbalance, the immune system, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
12. Less painful affects from lactose intolerance due to a strain of probiotics, which produce similar effects as lactase, and are able to break down and promote the digestion of lactose. Using probiotics does not eliminate the condition of lactose intolerance in individuals, but it can alleviate irritating and uncomfortable symptoms.
What caught my attention about Cultures for Health is that they offer several starter kits to make your own versions of healthy and fresh fermented things like cheese, yogurt and kombucha. There were even VEGAN kits! It sounded kind of intimidating, but the more I browsed their website, the more confident I became.
The starter kits give you every tool you need to start your fermentation journey. For example, in the Vegan Yogurt Starter Kit (this is the one I will be buying), comes with 1 thermometer, 1 cotton milk bag, 1 box of pectin, and 1 box of vegan yogurt starter culture for only $25.99. The only thing you need to supply is the pot & milk. And you can easily re-order what you need individually.
Sounds hard, but it's really not! When you have a family like me, we avoid anything complicated, but trust me. I just watched the how-to video and almost laughed at how easy it was to make this. And once you have the kit, it'll be incredibly more affordable than buying the products you used to in the store. Not only that, but in my experience, there are very few selections for vegan yogurt. Now I'll be able to customize it with whatever flavor or type of sweetener I like (or none at all). It'll be a better, palatable, and more enjoyable taste for everyone (even little ones). And if you need more help, there's a large selection of articles in their "Getting Started" under "Learn More" area, and FAQ section. If you're still stuck, you can always call customer service.
I believe in transparency and while this blog is not sponsored by Cultures for Health, I do earn a very small commission for any link clicks throughout this website that may result in purchases (please use my referral link if you do decide to buy). However, I would never partner with any company I don't 100% believe in, and here's why they earned my trust.
It was created by parents who wanted to introduce the idea of eating REAL FOOD while working on sustainable living. With all the overly processed food in today's market, I completely relate. They are passionate about what they do, they believe in their products, and they care about you (not just your money). Not only is it easy, affordable, healthy and fresh, but you'll truly enjoy making your own creations.