Friday has arrived quickly for us this week!
We have been basking in the glow of all of this sunny weather, and it has inspired us to create some amazing new brews for you. This week we are taking a look at how water kefir can help people with chronic fatigue.
Our hearts go out to all of the flood victims in Grand Forks and Christina lake. We own a place at Christina lake and numerous volunteers came out to sandbag and they put up a good fight but the huge downpours were too much for the wall and the water won. Only time will tell what the fate of our place will be. On the bright side, I’m a sucker for waterfalls and this years run off is sure producing some beautiful ones on the Kootenay Pass as I tootled along doing deliveries today.
New Happy Gut Stores
We are excited to announce that One Big Table Shop in downtown Kelowna now carries our Kits & Grains combo! This incredible co-op is 100% patron owned, and sources all of the finest local ingredients and products, including Happy Gut!
Are you curious about what you can do with your brews? The shop will also be offering 2 new flavors of water kefir in their cafe each week! Sit down and refresh with a glass, and let yourself be inspired to get creative with your flavors!
We also welcome The Peppered Pig Food Truck in Creston to the Happy Gut family. All of their food is also locally sourced and we are proud to be listed on their menu! Their grand opening is this weekend at the Creston Farmer’s market and they will be featuring bottles of Happy Gut Lemonade and Apple Ginger bottled brews from Castlegar BC!
Autoimmune Month-Chronic Fatigue
Last week we gave you an introduction to autoimmune disorders, and one of the primary symptoms: inflammation and pain. This week, you gave us your feedback and let us know that fatigue is something many of you are battling daily, especially with this seasonal shift.
Chronic fatigue is a challenge for several reasons. Pain often causes discomfort and disruption of sleep, and an autoimmune flare can also magnify insomnia issues. On top of this, your body’s constant battle with itself causes it to always be working. When your body does not have a chance to truly rest and recover, the result is beyond just “feeling tired”. Chronic fatigue can cause memory issues, “brain fog”, muscle pain, sore throat, issues with standing or mobility, and even sensitivities to food, noise and odours.
How can water kefir help tackle fatigue? While there is no cure for chronic fatigue, and no fully successful treatments for the symptoms, drinking water kefir can help give you a bit of the energy boost and mental clarity you need to get through the day and feel more like yourself!
Water kefir on its own is high in vitamin B12 which has SO many important benefits:
*it naturally gives your body energy,
*it helps build red blood cells,
*helps to combat depression and depressive symptoms,
*has immune-boosting properties,
*when combined with folate, it can help avoid irregular cell activity (reducing risk for tumours and cancerous cells)
*it can significantly help to improve cognitive activity by managing homocysteine levels in your body. This is great news if you suffer from chronic fatigue, because the lower your homocysteine levels, the better you can concentrate, and the less brain fog you may experience!
FAST FACT: If you are anaemic, your body cannot properly absorb B12, therefore supplementing is important! It doesn’t get much easier than drinking an ounce or two of water kefir every day to get your B12 levels up to par!
FAST FACT: Vegans often have a difficult time getting enough B12 from diet alone. Many vegans take B12 supplements, which are not as readily absorbed by the body. Water kefir is a liquid, and therefore easily absorbed, and its probiotics help your stomach and intestines with the absorption of all of the B12 goodness water kefir has to offer.
Wow! All of those amazing benefits, without even adding other super foods to the brew? While water kefir is not a cure, we like to think of it as our Magical Fixer Elixer! It is so easy and inexpensive to add into your diet, has almost no negative side effects, and provides SO much help to our bodies!
FAST FACT: The only side effect that has been reported in the research has been excess urination and an upset stomach/loose stool for the first few days as bodies adjusted to the influx of all of that healthy bacteria balancing the microflora in your gut!
Experiencing some stomach issues while introducing water kefir into your diet? Reduce your intake (1-2 ounces per day is sufficient), and then gradually increase it over a period of a week. You can also pair the kefir with a meal to reduce this issue. Most people who have reported discomfort state that it only lasts a day or two and then they feel great
Now, lets look at our favorite energy-boosting, chronic fatigue fighting foods that you can add to your smoothies and ferments!
Kale- it has been hailed as a super food in recent years, but has always been one of our favourite leafy greens. Kale is incredibly high in iron (most Canadians have a mild to moderate iron deficiency, especially if they are vegan/vegetarian), and when paired with vitamin C (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes), create an easily absorbed iron boost. Anaemia can cause significant fatigue, so this is one delicious way to get that boost. Kale is also high in fibre and rich in Vitamin K which protects against cancer, maintains bone health, and can help combat symptoms of Alzheimers.
Sweet Potato- another vegetable!? Sweet potatoes can make a deliciously creamy addition to a water kefir smoothie, and make an excellent substitute for adding honey or sweetener. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene (Vitamin A), and vitamin C, both known to help give your body that little boost of energy. Also, the natural sugars in sweet potatoes help to give an extra boost, without the crash of refined sugars or caffiene. Simply bake or steam and blend!
Honey- we already know that honey contains healthy bacteria that is amazing for gut health. It also helps reduce swelling and inflammation, chronic fatigue, as well as allergy symptoms (if you purchase LOCAL, unpasturized honey). On the energy front? Honey is nature’s energy drink. It is low on the glycemic index making it optimal muscle fuel and a great, long lasting energy booster.
Bananas- since they are comprised of mostly sugar and fibre, bananas are an excellent energy booster. Perfect to add to a smoothie, especially when you crave that silky, milkshake consistency. Bananas are also high in potassium, which helps reduce anxiety and stress, reduce blood pressure, enhance muscle strength and increase metabolism. Bananas are also a great remedy to potassium-related leg cramps!
Beets– we LOVE our beets! Beets have so many benefits that we can’t even list them all! Energy-wise, beets are high in iron, increase stamina and improve circulation. Just some of the goodness you can find in beets are folate, ganganese, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and potassium. Beets also have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, which means the natural sugars will give you a lovely energy boost. Not a fan of beets, but want to incorporate their benefits into your diet? Raw beets can be described as “earthy”, but if the skin is removed and they are steamed, their sweetness becomes predominant. Still not your thing? You can purchase pure beet juice in the organic section of most grocery stores, which has a much milder flavor, while retaining its sweetness. Substitute fresh beet for 1-2 tablespoons of beet juice in your brews and smoothies!
BONUS BOOSTER: Blackberries are a sweet little morsel that we really enjoy adding to our smoothies and second ferments. Blackberries can help fight brain fog and help with short-term memory retention, chronic fatigue and are one of the top brain boosting super foods. They are also great allies for fighting inflammation, especially the chronic inflammation of autoimmune disorders.
Blue Dream 2nd Ferment
2-3 tablespoons wild blueberries
6 Basil leaves
2-3 tablespoons tart cherry juice or 4-5 frozen tart cherry halves available in the organic juice aisle of your grocery store, or in the freezer aisle.
FAST FACT: While we used tart cherry juice in our second ferment this week because of its amazing anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, we know that not all cities readily carry them. You can substitute cranberries or cranberry juice for a similar flavor and still maintain those immune-boosting properties. Just make sure it is 100% cranberry juice and not cocktail!
Fatigue Energy Boost Smoothie
1/2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup raw (shredded) or steamed beets
1 hand full fresh basil
(6-12 leaves to taste) **Our favorite in this is Thai basil, with its subtle licorce flavor. Sweet basil is also a great add to this mix!
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 to 1.5 cups water kefir
Optional: 3 T presoaked chia seeds
PRO TIP: chia seeds add fibre, omega 3s, iron and protein. Add them at the end for a bubble tea-like texture!
PRO TIP: most grocery stores carry fresh herbs in the produce section and Thai Basil is now available at most Save On Foods, Independent Grocers and Superstore locations. Not in stores near you? Check your local greenhouse, and plans some of your favorite herbs to add to your smoothies!
HAPPY GUT BREWER OF THE MONTH
We love seeing what everyone is doing with their Happy Gut water kefir! People always approach us and tell us about their various amazing brews and smoothies. Take a photo of you with your favorite Happy Gut product, at a Happy Gut partner location, with our kits and grains, or with your favorite creative ferments or smoothies for a chance to be featured on our blog and social media!
Tag us on Facebook or Instagram or email us your submission! Just remember that your profile has to be set to public for us to be able to see you!
We will be doing something special for our July edition of the blog, to thank all of you for your incredible support! So be sure to tag all of your Happy Gut water kefir photos with #smileontheinside for a chance to be entered to win some Happy Gut swag!
We Want to Hear From You
We love our Happy Gut family, and that includes you! Please let us know if you have any questions or comments, or have suggestions or ideas of what you would like to see in the blog. We do this blog for you, so your feedback means everything to us!
You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook or Instagram @happygutpro.
Would you like your local health store or restaurant to sell Happy Gut products? Ask them.
Interested in listening to a Podcast about the inception of Happy Gut? Listen here.
Happy Fri Yay!
Leeza and the Happy Gut team