or From the Gut Biome to Fermented Beet Salad.

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Yes. This one.

It is kind of a metaphor for how this whole “get healthy” journey has been going for me, too. Let me see if I can explain.

One evening, I had a listen to the Nutritional Weight and Wellness podcast on the gut and weightloss.  ( Unfortunately, I find the ladies and they way they talk–not their accents, so much, but their constant agreement with each other and their endless platitudes very irritating. Did you see Season 2 of Fargo? Yeah. Like that. But for real. Nonetheless, they have wonderful information and they are very positive and encouraging.)

Probiotics are part of a healthy gut biome. A healthy gut helps protect against disease–specifically against things like dementia and heart disease, and more generally, like colds and flu. Probiotics boost your immune system and may significantly help with weight loss and reversing type 2 diabetes. (More info on this, if you’re interested can be found in the booklet, Beyond Food: Other Causes of Obesity and Damaged Metabolism at www.eatfatgetthin.com. )

However, I’d just read an article from The Atlantic about the available probiotics and their general ineffectiveness so I wasn’t too impressed with their recommendations to take their supplements containing them. (in powder and pill form!)

(NB: Further adventures on the web led me to Mark’s Daily Apple where Mark pointed out that having probiotics take up permanent residence in the gut is not necessarily the goal–but that you should definitely eat to plant them in your gut–and expect to replenish them on an on-going basis.)

See, this nutrition path I am travelling meanders and winds. We know some things and not others. Some things become important once we know the context. No outcome is ever guaranteed.

I am an experiment of one.

But, if I am not keen on supplements, there’s fermented foods–and not foods fermented in vinegar– (though they did not explain why not vinegar) –but fermented foods– I thought I could give them a try. The ladies advised listeners to look in the section of the grocery store where the cold things are.

So, while picking up my fish oil at the local organic food store, I wandered over to where they keep the yogurt and such and found several varieties of fermented foods by a company called wildbrine. Finding a sauerkraut made from beets (which I love) and beet tops (which all my life I thought was swiss chard but isn’t, though I did eat them, as a child, from the garden), I bought it.

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I ate some straight from the jar and nearly lost my lips they puckered up so profusely. But as I was checking out the wildbrine site, I came across a recipe for using it in a beautiful spinach salad with goat cheese and walnuts. I didn’t have goat cheese (I’ve never actually eaten goat cheese) but I did have some shredded mozzarella –and well, I thought it might do, and it did. Heaven.

I felt like mooing, just like these cows.

And so, probiotics. A journey on the web from abstract concept to pure deliciousness in just a few days. And so, too, I hope, my health and weight. Though it will definitely take a while. I don’t have a clue how long, though –a year? maybe two?  five?

I feel like I’ve bought a ticket for a trip to–well, I don’t exactly know, really. I hope it’s to a body with less inflammation, pain and  fat. I don’t even know whether I can stay once I get there.

I can only hope to keep learning along the way.

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