Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

OK, I will shamelessly admit that I lifted the title of this post from a fictional blog mentioned on a TV show last night.  I was watching Chase and one of the characters posted to her blog named for her mother's love of The Beach Boys.  Given my own desire to name my posts with titles or lyrics from songs, I couldn't resist.  So, I thank both The Beach Boys and Chase on NBC for the inspiration.

The song, 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' seems to be the perfect choice for this blog.

Wouldn't it be nice if:
  • We could all be disease-free!
  • We could all be out of debt.
  • We could all have access to truly healthy food.
  • We could all have the ideal home life.
  • We could all live in a world without hatred and war.
  • ...  fill in the blank with your own hopes and desires ...
Certainly, I am working towards at least a few of the ideals in the above list.  My most recent step on my journey to wellness is to attempt to make my own kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk product - though I have learned that it can be made from other things as well - that is similar to yogurt.  One of the primary differences is that the milk does not have to be heated at all in order to become kefir.  Yogurt, though the milk only needs to be heated briefly and incubated at 110 deg. F for a period, does require the milk to be 'cooked.'  Cooking anything can have the downside of killing off the beneficial bacteria and enzymes present in the food.

The Maker's Diet recommends kefir as one of the food choices.  Unfortunately, all of the kefir that is available from nearby stores is made from low-fat, pasteurized milk and has several undesirable additives - namely sugar - so I have yet to add it to my diet.  A couple of weeks ago, I went to It's Only Natural with the intent to purchase some kefir starter so that I could make my own from the raw milk that I get from Deerfield Farm.  Unfortunately, they only had one variety of starter 'grains' and the instructions required that the milk be heated.  Not being sure if this brand of kefir starter would work without heating the milk, I opted to pass.

Fortunately, I was able to find a brand of kefir starter online that does work without heating the milk.  My order arrived yesterday!  The Milk Kefir Grains from Cultures for Health LLC come in dehydrated form and need to be revitalized over the course of 5-7 days before they will start producing kefir.  I started the process this morning, so I will hopefully be able to enjoy some kefir next week.

During my failed quest for kefir starter at It's Only Natural, I did pick up a jar of coconut oil.  While I have been strictly using olive oil or butter for cooking, I have been reading more and more about the benefits of coconut oil.  While olive oil is great, it is not truly suited for high heat cooking.  I am not opposed to butter, but the benefits of coconut oil are too great to be ignored.  I have had a couple of opportunities to cook with coconut oil, but it is far too early to notice any results.  I will keep you posted.

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