Since sharing my plans for The Wild Gut with friends and family, I’ve received a lot of support and encouragement. I’ve also received a lot of blank stares and forced smiles. I don’t think these reactions come from a place of disbelief but instead from a place of confusion. Many people aren’t familiar with kombucha. Many aren’t aware of the benefits of a healthy gut. And frankly, many people wonder what a girl with a background in eCommerce thinks she is doing starting a fermentation blog. Isn’t fermentation science based?
All fair thoughts and assumptions. So, I wanted to take a little time out from recipes, etc to share how this all came about.
Where did my interest in fermentation begin?
Well, like most of you reading, I’ve been consuming fermented food and drinks for most of my life, without really thinking about it. Yogurt is fermented. Coffee is fermented. Chocolate is fermented. SOURDOUGH BREAD is fermented. And of course, wine and beer are fermented.
It wasn’t until about 8 years ago when I really started paying attention to what I was putting in my body that I came across kombucha and learned a little bit about the health benefits. As a life long vegetarian I read that kombucha is a source of B vitamins, something that can be lacking in the diet of a vegetarian. The next time I went grocery shopping, I picked up a bottle. It was delicious. Fizzy, flavorful and refreshing. However, at the price tag of $4/bottle it moved to the treat category in my grocery budget and I only purchased it about once a month (if that).
Fast forward to December of 2015. Matt and I spent five weeks in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. The last stop on our two-year around-the-world trip. We had planned to take those five weeks to detox from our trip. No alcohol, daily workouts and only real food. Lucky for us, Love Probiotics also calls San Marcos home and we had access to fresh kombucha! We also took their Wild Fermentation workshop. And that is really where this all began. We spent a day learning about the history of fermentation, fermentation processes, and the health benefits of consuming fermented food and drinks. The afternoon was the hands on portion where we made our own fermented veggies, ginger beer, sourdough bread and sauerkraut. The highlight of the day was the amazing probiotic lunch they served. I learned I loved sauerkraut! Did I just use love and sauerkraut in the same sentence?
We spent the remainder of the five weeks drinking kombucha, jun, and water kefir (I had never heard of jun or water kefir until then) and including sauerkraut in our meals. By the end of our time in Guatemala, I had lost weight and got my energy back. All WITHOUT feeling like I had deprived myself of taste and satisfaction when it came to eating and drinking. It truly was life changing.
We then got back to the U.S. and ordered water kefir grains and started fermenting our own sauerkraut. And, The Wild Gut was born.
Why did I start a fermentation blog?
Fermented food and drinks are a creative outlet for me. I can’t draw, I no longer play a musical instrument, I definitely can’t sing, I don’t bake and until last September I really didn’t cook much of anything. I didn’t have a creative outlet. And every health magazine or self-help book I’ve ever read tells me I need a creative outlet if I want to live my best life. 😉
Fermentation has become just that for me. I can experiment with different flavors and techniques on food and drinks. Although it takes several days to a month to see if an experiment has worked, it has been a really fun outlet overall. Matt has definitely caught me jumping up and down on more than one occasion when a recipe turns out like I hoped it would.
I don’t talk much about the health benefits of consuming fermented food and drinks. Mainly because I am not doctor, a R.D. or scientist and I don’t have specific data to back up claims. I’m also legally not allowed to give medical advice on this blog and never want to accidentally cross that line.
But I will say this: After 12 months of consciously including fermented food and drinks in my daily diet, I feel great. My digestion system is alive and well, I have energy, I’m happy and a stranger actually told me that my skin is glowing. I have NEVER been complimented on my skin before.
Making a difference
I was never cut out to be a doctor, a firefighter or a teacher. Yet, I’ve always wanted a job where I actually make a worthwhile difference in someone else’s life. I now have a platform where I can share my experiences (and recipes!) about a topic that has truly changed my life. It is my hope that someone might read something on here, get interested, and find that fermentation improves their own life in some small or big way.
I learn something new every day. Whether it’s from a book or my own experience in the kitchen, there is constant learning going on in my life. Fermentation keeps me engaged and interested and constantly in search of information. I truly believe fermentation is an art.
Thanks for coming along on this ride with me. I have so much more to share with you!