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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paleo Diet, Dairy, and home made Kefir!

There is a lot of confusion in the Paleo sphere about dairy:  is it OK?  Sometimes?  Often?  WHAT!?
I have found that, at least in my case, dairy is a fine addition to my Paleo diet!  Granted, I rarely drink milk; the bulk of my intake is in the form of Kerrygold (i.e. pastured/grass fed butter), full-fat Greek style yogurt, and now- ta da!- homemade Kefir.

I purchased some kefir "grains" via eBay, and added them to a quart jar of whole, organic, local milk. (Pictured above)  This milk has to be tasted to be believed- kind of like what was available from the "milk man" when I was a wee lad...  And they also sell organic cream (in glass)- YES!

So, up above is the jar of the cultured Kefir, and to the right is a small dish of my precious, multiplied, ever-regenerating kefir grains.  Now, I have two quart jars going of kefir, one of whole milk, the other of goat milk!  Actually, 2-3 days after adding about a Tablespoon of the grains to a jar filled with milk, and the kefir is perfect!  I just let it sit on the counter at room temperature ( leave the lid jar loose- the effervescence of the fermenting could break the glass otherwise) - nothing could be easier!

When I purchased my kefir, (it's rather expensive), I would only use about 1/2 of a cup in my Paleo smoothie... Now, though, with fresh, active, cheap, really tangy and tasty kefir, I use about a cup and 1/2 in each smoothie!  

What a difference in the taste of the whole smoothie!!

Really, this is the way to go- get some grains, and make your own kefir.  Very easy, and the benefits of the fermented beverage are so good in terms of gut health and repair.  The probiotics, or intestinal bacteria that kefir affords your system are incredibly valuable, especially in this modern age of damaged intestines with permeable membranes, insulted by having been subjected to high levels of grains, legumes and sugars over a lifetime of poor, Big Ag eating.

And, these probiotics, or gut bacteria that we are putting back into our guts where they belong, help us in so many ways!  They help us to digest (we don't really do most of the digesting of our foods- our friendly bacteria do that for us).  They also are potent cancer fighters; we all have cancer and other "predator" agents within us at all times- the only thing that protects us is our ability to fight them off!  
Gut bacteria, or probiotics are one of our first, and most potent lines of defense.

If you are of Northern European descent, full-fat dairy will probably not be a problem for you at all to digest!  (Northern Europeans have been consuming dairy for many thousands of years as a mainstay of their diet).  And, even if you are not, by consuming kefir daily for a couple of weeks, you will colonize the bacteria within your intestines...

and you will become able to digest dairy!
Or, rather, the kefir bacteria that you have introduced into your system will
digest it for you!  

So, give kefir a try!  This is the first real change I've made to the Paleo Quick Start smoothie, tripling the amount of included Kefir, and it's a big improvement, both in taste and in nutritional value!!
J