I’m Crazy About Kefir and Kombucha

Alright, I admit I used to roll my eyes at all the talk in PGP circles (Pretty Good Paleo) over making and drinking Kefir, and brewing and drinking Kombucha. I probably even laffed out loud once or twice, too.

Respectively, from the Wikipedia links:

Kefir (pronounced /kəˈfɪər/ kə-feer) (or alternatively kefīrs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milk kefir, búlgaros) is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains and is believed to have its origins in the Caucasus Mountains. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep's milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.

Kombucha is an effervescent fermentation of sweetened tea that is used as a functional food.

Sometimes referred to as a "mushroom" or "mother", the kombucha culture is actually a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) [...] comprising Acetobacter (a genus of acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeasts. These form a zoogleal mat. In Chinese, this microbial culture is called haomo, or jiaomu in Mandarin, (Chinese: 酵母; literally "yeast").

A kombucha culture may contain one or more of the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii, and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. Alcohol production by the yeast(s) contributes to the production of acetic acid by the bacteria. Alcohol concentration also plays a role in triggering cellulose production by the bacterial symbionts.

[Note: "kefir grains" are a curdlike clump of bacteria & yeast that resembles chopped cauliflower. There's no grass seeds in it.]

I never took stock before, but something recently (another experiment I'll reveal below and then blog about in some weeks) motivated me to take a look. Turns out it may be time to chuck the yogurt because kefir has way more probiotic nutrition in terms of friendly bacteria and beneficial yeasts.  Kombucha is just plan delicious and also very probiotic. I'm referring to the plain version of both, though there are plenty of flavors available if that's your thang.

For the time being, I'm trying these commercial products from Whole Foods:

I just love the taste of both. You can't get real buttermilk anymore since forever, but plain kefir has that thick creamy consistency and sour taste of buttermilk. Kombucha is actually a bit fizzy which really surprised me, and reminds me a little bit like a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in club soda as a refreshing drink.

Anyway, I'm crazy about both and about trying funny new things. For instance, this morning I had about 6 oz of kefir and when done, quite a bit sticks to the side of the glass because it's thick (think yogurt drink). I keep fresh squeezed OJ around (Whole Foods has a machine that's fun to watch) for up to 4-6oz some mornings (the dose makes the poison). I put my 6oz right in the glass with the kefir remnants, stirred, et voilà! Instant creamy Orange Julius drink.

Owing to the slight vinegar element of Kombucha, I intend this afternoon to make a "sauce" of part kefir and part Kombucha (perhaps a bit of added malt vinegar too) in order to dip slices of previously baked potato (after cooling overnight to form resistant starch, I keep potatoes on the counter for up to a couple of weeks—no greening or sprouting).

OK, now for the slight downside. If you search around the Internet there's endless claims about how these two fermented beverages cure just about anything and everything—cancer too! Well, I'm sure it's better to have a healthy gut than a non healthy one and that's a claim I'll buy. And then whatever having a healthy gut does for you over having a not healthy one, I'll buy that too. Beyond that, it's right back to the same thing as always: how does it work for you? And in that regard, it's too soon for me to tell anything except that I love the taste and texture.

Chris Kresser has a post on Kefir that's worth a look, Kefir: the not-quite-Paleo superfood. Among the potential health benefits according to Chris: gut, bone and immune system health.

Besides containing highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts, kefir is a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general health maintenance. (2) Kefir contains high levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2. It is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that HELPS the body assimilate other B vitamins. The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested, and are therefore more easily utilized by the body. Like many other dairy products, kefir is a great source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as phosphorus, which helps the body utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy. (3)

...And, you know how big I am on vitamin K2.

As we know, vitamin K2 is one of the most important nutrients that is greatly lacking in the American diet. (7) Vitamin K2 is a product of bacterial fermentation, so kefir is a likely a good source of this nutrient, especially if made with milk from pastured animals. (8) Vitamin K2 plays a key role in calcium metabolism, where it is used to deposit calcium in appropriate locations, such as in the bones and teeth, and prevent it from depositing in locations where it does not belong, such as the soft tissues and the arteries. (9) Since kefir is high in calcium and phosphorus and also contains vitamin K2, drinking kefir is likely beneficial to bone health, providing the essential minerals needed for bone growth as well as the vitamin K2 needed to effectively deposit those minerals in the bone.

Very interesting, and timely because I have [yet another] post on K2 in draft.

In the meantime, what's all this about? Here's a picture that ought to give a clue.

IMG 1545
4 Gallons

Got an email from a reader the other day I found intriguing. It's about a farmer who went on a raw milk diet. Basically, it's a half gallon of raw milk per day with one pint of it as kefir, and a pint of kombucha. The results he reports are huge energy, great feelings of well being, and 33 pounds shed in six weeks.

I figured that was enough info to give it a try and report back. I'll probably be reporting weekly results via the newsletter, then an all-in-one post here in a month or so. So far, everything I've tried lately has worked: potato diet, safe starches (less protein portions), plain jane Paleo without tons of added fat. So this is just checking to see if another tool works too.

In terms of product, I've ordered some live (not desiccated) kefir grains that should arrive in a day or so. Those glass bottles from Saint Benoit will make perfect containers. Kefir is damn easy and quick to make and doing it with grains (not a powder starter culture) is the way to go, and they're indefinitely reusable. Also, I can make it will full fat, raw milk. All the brands I've seen on the shelves are fat free or low fat. Takes 24-48 hours to ferment. Strain, transfer grains to your next batch, you're done. Kombucha on the other hand takes 7-10 days, which means you have to make large batches. For now, that's a PITA I just don't want to undertake. GT's looks like they pay attention to their quality.

Comments

  1. Maybe this an N=1 observation, but I’ve found milk kefir to be the most anabolic food I’ve ever consumed.

    • Hey Michael, how much kefir we talkin? Post workout?

    • Interesting MAS. I was just thinking about how I might work this into my weekly Big-6 workout, which will be tomorrow or Wednesday. I was thinking about kicking up the milk by 1-2 pints post workout and over the next day, but perhaps I’ll make that as kefir.

      Thanks for the tip.

    • Yes, I have a kefir post workout. Maybe a pint. Sometimes I mix in frozen blueberries. I also have some before I go to sleep. Keeps me from waking up hungry.

    • AminoKing says:

      Make that N=2.

  2. Glad to have stuck around on facebook long enough to see this one come through :) I have a SCOBY I can spare if you decide to make your own kombucha. I love the taste of homemade so much more, plus you get to flavor it however way you want. If I ever get my hands on raw goat milk, I will also be ordering those kefir grains!

    • Sophia

      Ha, it’s gonna be time soon for another shot of your worlds best beef jerky. After the milk experiment. Since you’re local, perhaps we can figure out, because by that time I’ll have many batches of kefir under my belt and will probably be ready to try homemade booch.

  3. I’ve only tried goats milk kefir, and it was god awful. I’ll have to get my hands on some cow’s milk kefir instead.

    • RMoney.

      If it’s the sour taste you don’t like, may not help. I happen to love buttermilk, plain yogurt, etc., precisely because of the sour. And I have raw, non-pasturized sauerkraut in the fridge now. I suspect it will make a great topping on a room temp baked potato.

    • Yeah, perhaps it was because I tried to sweeten it and that clashed with the sour.

    • Don’t know what kind of kraut you have, but I love Bubbies. I do make curtido, a kind of Salvadoran kraut, that’s delicious. I want to make regular kraut a la Bubbies, but I seem to be constitutionally unable to make plain kraut. It WILL happen, though, because I can make it from scratch for much less than the Bubbies (sorry, Bubbies).

      Anyway, with the Bubbies, I like to make grassfed hamburger patties with onions, garlic, and cumin, which I then top with Bubbies and swiss cheese. Simple and delicious. Sort of a hamburger reuben without the bun. Yum!

    • Yes, I’ve used Bubbies but as it’s packed & sealed in a jar, I don’t think it’s raw and so the bacteria would be gone. I used to use a product called Alexander Valley, sold by Whole Foods. Went I went to pick some up the other day (hadn’t used any in a while), then had Sonoma Brinery.

      http://sonomabrinery.com/products.html

      Turns out that’s the new name, so same great products.

      There’s also the Campbell’s Farmer’s Market every sunday and there’s a stand there that sells their own kraut from the barrels they were fermented in. She does various flavors in addition to the plain: caraway, garlic, jalapino, etc.

    • Oh, and she also sells shots of juice.

    • Hi, Richard,

      From Bubbies web site:

      “Is Bubbies Sauerkraut considered pasteurized?
      Bubbies Sauerkraut in the 25oz / 750ml jar is low temperature flash heated, so it can not be considered raw, but we do not consider it pasteurized either. Bubbies Sauerkraut still contains live cultures from its original fermentation.”

      and

      What Bubbies products are considered “probiotic” and what does that mean anyway?
      Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles, Kosher Dill Relish, Pickled Green Tomatoes and Sauerkraut are considered “probiotic”. Probiotic foods contain live microorganisms that are thought to be beneficial to the consumer. Due to restrictions placed on food companies from making health claims about their products, we cannot state that there are any specific health benefits to consuming Bubbies products.

      So, yes, the kraut does contain live critters. Still, as I’ve mentioned, I will be making my own. It’s as easy as falling off a log…

    • Isn’t it just filtered water, salt, and keep the cabbage submerged?

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      Richard, check out Sandor Katz youtube videos on kraut making. He’s a very generous human being.

  4. Awesome. I’ve been drinking both for some time, even invested some money into getting my own SCOBY and kefir grains to brew at home.

    I finished making a batch of booch and starting a fresh jar of kefir a moment ago. At present time it’s still legal for me to hop the border into PA and get raw milk. I go a long way once a month to a farmer who raises 100% grassfed Jersey cows. There is a farm closer that sells raw milk, but the farmer raises Guernseys and feeds them corn most of the year, they get very little pasture time. I did a taste test once between the two milks, the Jersey cows blew all other milk out of the water. The kefir and yogurt I make from their milk is so rich and delicious.

    “Dom” runs a kefir site and explains, in detail, how to do everything with kefir from smoothies to leavening sourdough bread to making labneh and hard cheese. I tried the blue cheese process he describes. No report on results yet, but I see blue veins developing in the cheese wheel and it is starting to get that blue-cheese smell. In a month or so I should know if it was a success or not. His site is here: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

    Kefir is pretty great stuff. You can use it like buttermilk in any recipe, too, in case you ever need to substitute it.

    Glad to

    • Oh, and I bought my kefir grains from Marilyn the Kefir Lady, google her for info on ordering if you ever want to make your own. It’s the easiest thing to do, ever.

      you can use cow’s milk, goat milk, even coconut milk works. I sometimes switch back and forth between cows milk and coconut milk with the same batch of cultures, with great results each time.

    • Amy.

      This is why you see 2 kinds of milk in that pic. Organic Pastures is way mostly grass, but various weather call for a bit of supplementation with corn, but nothing like Clarvelle, a raw milk I don’t like the taste of by comparison. They are mostly Guernsey, the biggest milk producers per input.

      Saint Benoit is 100% Jersey. He’s a French guy, so that gives me a clue (email correspondence). It’s all grass fed but in order to avoid the insane, drug-war like Feds, he does minimal pasteurization (140). So I have it because the taste is unequalled and I know they are very tender on the pasteurization because if not homogenized, like Strauss, the cream gets very hard and its dificult to mix up. Not so with Saint Benoit.

      I typically mix my pints of milk half & half, with the raw from Organic Pastures and minimally pasteurized from Saint Benoit’s.

    • Mine are coming from some gal in CO, totally fresh and I already got the shipping notice. I did not want to get desiccated.

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      Kefir grains are incredibly discerning. I use milk from a family dairy and the grains are happyhappy. When I’ve been time challenged and buy big dairy milk…. oh oh, the kefir doesn’t like the milk. I’ve concluded that big dairy milk has powdered stuff added to it.

      I’ve been making kefir for quite some time now and it’s an art, really. I keep the bucket near the open balcony door for a week. That way it ferments gradually and it’s not curdy. This is winter here. Summer is another story. I’ll have to figure this all out when it’s 30C. Last summer I had two buckets of kefir going simultaneously. It was like cancer: out of control. I gave away a whole heap of grains and once again, more slowly though, I’ve got twice as much as I need. I just don’t have the heart to kill the bastards.

      So really, if anyone here is reading in Toronto and environs, lemme know if you want kefir grains. Mine are from Romania and they are well behaved.

    • Gabriella, I do! I am in TO, and I have grains but they’ve been sitting in the fridge for ages now unused. Not sure if they’d still work or not. Anyway, would love to grab some from you. Do you do kombucha too?

    • Actually, Claravale is 100% Jersey cows, no Guernsey or Holsteins – unlike OP, which is almost 100% Holstein.

  5. I’m a big fan of the GT’s Citrus flavored Kombucha.

  6. For those of you like me who can’t handle the taste of milk kefir, I’d recommend water kefir brewed with lemon. I’m not sure how they differ nutritionally but water kefir tastes just like natural lemonade!!

    • Agreed.

      We drink this probiotic stuff since 2010 daily and it is still not boring.
      Water kefir (or tibicos) is very similar to kefir, but it feeds on sugar instead of milk.
      It is ready in2 days. The longer you wail, the less sugary it tastes.
      You can even play with the taste (like create your own ginger beer).

      It costs basically nothing (6 tsp sugar and half a lemon..)
      There is max. 5 minutes of work with it every other day.
      Beat that Activia & co..

  7. I think you’re going to have a great time with kefir grains. There’s a world of difference between bottled or powder-culture kefir and the “real stuff,” not just in terms of taste- the kefir grain colony is significantly more diverse (diversity seemingly more important than quantity in terms of gut biota health effects) and it has been suggested (shown?) that the kefir culture is unusually able to colonize the digestive tract compared to most probiotics.

    That’s aside from all the experiments the grains allow. The only time I’ve ever eaten oats without digestive upset was after boiling them soft, culturing the mush with kefir grains overnight, then boiling again to make a porridge. I don’t bother to repeat that process often but it’s nice to know I can. There are a lot of things that can be cultured, and the curd and whey that separate out of milk kefir when it sits for a while make good materials for further experiments, like kefir cheese.

    • Erik:

      I’m slightly getting “the feeling” but I don’t want to be too bright eyed. But I have the feeling this will be one of my better experiments.

  8. I’ve been making milk kefir for 8 or 10 months. The first half of that time I was mixing the whey in with my finished product and it was a good, thick liquid. I decided to play around with it and drain off the whey and I haven’t looked back. It’s not quite as sour, but its makes a really great yogurt. I’ve used it in that Gordon Ramsey scrambled egg recipe you posted a while back and it’s sensational.

    I really love kefir. It only takes 24hrs to ferment when your cultures are built up. I find about every two weeks I have to throw some of the kefir grains out because they grow fairly rapidly. Somedays I’ll it go for 48hrs and it’ll thicken up more, but it’ll not entirely noticeable, I don’t think.

    • I’ll second Todd’s comment about straining of the whey.
      I put the kefir into a “nut milk bag” ( a canvas-like cloth bag with a drawstring) and let it hang overnight above a bowl, just like straining curds for homemade cheese.
      It is the whey part that gets progressively more sour as the kefir sits in the fridge (over a period of days), but strain it off and you end up with something a bit like greek yoghurt – thick, creamy and naturally “sweet” .

      Also goes great in the scrambled eggs, with ice cream, fruit, etc etc.

      The whey is great for sourdoughs and pickling experiments, from sauerkraut to salsa to ketchup.

    • I actually adore the sour. My dad turned me onto buttermilk when I was a kid and I’ve always loved it for that.

  9. I’ve been meaning to get into kombucha and kefir, and this post might finally get me off my buttski. Thanks, Richard.

    btw, you might get a kick out of the new carbsanity site: Carbsanity

  10. Hi Richard,

    Been lurking around here for a few years. Really appreciate posts like this.
    I was curious about your comment that eating baked potatoes after they cool increases the resistant starch.
    Do you have a post about that, or a link where I could read more.

    Also, you mentioned that you have potatoes on the counter top for a week.
    Did you mean pre-baked potatoes, that you then can eat without further cooking (at room temperature)?

    • i have been looking into this recently, and thinking about giving the potato thing a go…although, seeing as i eat potatoes all the time anyways, it will be more about removing other elements

      anyway, here’s a link with some other interesting info about vinegar :

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16034360

    • Bruce:

      It was in comments of some of the potato diet posts but I don’t have links at my fingertips. Some info here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistant_starch

      Yes, I bake the potatoes first, 400 for 1:15 with no preheating. Then I cool them overnight in the fridge, then set them out on the counter. You can do anything real quick when precooked like that but often, I just slice & eat with salt & malt vinegar.

  11. Hey Richard,

    I think you will have a good time with Kefir. I have been making milk kerfir here in Hong Kong for about 6 months, along with occasional home made kraut.

    A few tips that I didn’t necessarily find when I was looking up.

    – I got headaches for the first two weeks. I know people take about a die off reaction when taking probiotics, but I had been taking strong probiotics for years before kefir(along with making yogurt infused with probiotics) so I am skeptical about whether this was a die off reaction. My blood sugar dropped a few points though.

    – Prebiotics are nearly as important(actually maybe more) as probiotics, checkout some posts at suppversity:

    http://suppversity.blogspot.hk/2013/02/gut-bacteria-modulation-ramp-up-your.html
    http://suppversity.blogspot.hk/2012/09/inulin-beta-glucan-reduce-body-fat-gain.html .

    I take 1 teaspoon of inulin mixed in with my pint of Kefir in the morning. This will definitely blow off a bit. But it’s good for you.

    – The amount of Kefir grains you use makes a difference, I started out with a small amount of donated Kefir. Say maybe a kefir to milk ratio of 1:20. I am now down at 1:10(100ml grains: 1 liter milk) and for some reason it tastes…. better, and more consistent. I change between varieties of milk fairly regularly as I have no access to raw milk and I just take whatever organic / pastured stuff is going.

    – Fermentation time and heat matter. Kefir will be done in < 24 hours in 25 degree C, but it always tastes bitter(not sour which is desirable). I find the coolest darkest room in the house, and around 36 hours produces the best results.

    Slan,

    Andy

    • Thanks AndyC

      Yea, interesting links and this had occurred to me intuitively. So, a few OZ of OJ in the morning with my kefir (washed down with a few swigs of kombucha) for the sugar and then in the afternoon, a potato for the RS and fiber.

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      Andy, kefir grains are very particular. That’s my experience over 2 years. They like what they like and other stuff… meh. P0ssibly if you leave them at room temp for 12 hours and then refrigerate for a few days you may get what you are looking for. I make kefir at 1.3 litres at a time. They respond well at very cool temps for many days. At warmer temps the curds are big and the slime is not as significant. Well fermented kefir results in much slimey protein breakdown and minimal curd size. I used to blend with he Cuisinart hand blender but these days I don’t. The kefir is smooth.

    • If it curdles, how do you tell the difference between curds & grains?

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      Grains are like firm little cauliflower florets. If you put them in your mouth they are chewy. These are the bacterial/yeast colonies.

      Curds are just like any milk curds. Kefir curds are much softer than cottage cheese curds, for example.

      I have a cheap plastic colander that I put in a plastic bowl. I dump the contents of the fermented milk into this colander. I use my hand or a silicone spatula to mix this until the kefir goes through the colander but the grains remain behind. Then I dump the kefir through this again so the grains are ‘nude’. Once I’ve done that I dump the grains back into the sort of rinsed bucket and pour new milk on them. I don’t get too over hygienic with the bucket because kefir is sour and prevents other nasty bacteria from taking over the pot. I figure the kefir is something that was made by nomadic people who had no idea of infectious disease and bacteria. So I just depend on the acidity of the kefir to prevent any obnoxious bacteria from taking over the bacterial profile of my kefir bucket.

      Used to be I’d blend the kefir produced with the Cuisinart stick but these days, after fermenting for a week, I don’t need to do that anymore. The kefir is smooth.

      Home kefir is different from dairy processed kefir. It’s slimier and more sour. I find the dairy produced kefir is not as ripe.

  12. Kombucha is great, if a bit expensive. Gingerade is my my favorite GT’s flavor by a pretty wide margin; they don’t skimp on the ginger, so it really burns going down. Love it.

    Tejava is by far my favorite brand of grocery store iced tea as well. I drink one of those large bottles on a thirsty afternoon.

  13. On the GT’s kombucha watch out for the bottles that have a little label on them that says “Enlightened”. These are the ones they changed their process on slightly to make sure there is absolutely NO residual alcohol so it can be sold to anyone of any age, but that means it doesn’t have as much of the good stuff going on. The other, original, version is the “real deal” and will have the standard government alcohol warning label on it. For example, you should be able, with a little work, to start your own SCOBY with a bottle of commercial kombucha. But with the “Enlightened” version, it just ain’t happenin’ so if it won’t grow the good stuff, then there probably isn’t much of what you want it for in there either.

    And my herbalist thought I was nuts when I mentioned it, but if you want a treat sometime, mix your milk kefir about 60/40 or so with a good quality, made the old-fashioned way, root beer. I always used to think root beer floats were too sweet – even as a kid – but this way it’s just about perfect!

    • “but if you want a treat sometime, mix your milk kefir about 60/40 or so with a good quality, made the old-fashioned way, root beer.”

      Yea, I can imagine. Try the OJ with kefir. Doesn’t take much. Basically, just coating the glass with kefir should be enough. OJ and stir.

    • Oh yea, and I’d already figured that out about the “enlightened.” All of mine are the classic. The ginger ale is great.

  14. 33 pounds in 6 weeks?- is this for real? When you say “raw milk diet”, what exactly does that mean? That you drink a glass of raw milk everyday? What about your food choices? If ever this does work for you, I will definitely give it a go!

  15. Also, if my second reading of the post and subsequent perusing of the comments is correct, Richard, you’re going to be consuming OJ, kombucha, kefir, and potatoes for the purposes of this experiment. I have to point out that this is technically a vegetarian diet, and brings you one step closer to becoming one of us vegan propagandists. Don’t fear the dark side, Richard, embrace it. We have bread. Not almond flour bullshit, mind you, but actual, gluten laden bread. We won’t even make you wear any hemp jewelry for your first 6 months as a member.

    • If you read my Newsletter today, you’d see I also add 2-3 pastured eggs into the mix. Considering this is like 90% animal derived food, it is pretty funny to realize it fits the requirements of vegetarian. :)

  16. I make yogurt out of raw milk using yogurt culture. However, it comes out like kiefer w/out much thickness to it. How is this different from kiefer? Do need the keifer grains to make keifer?

    Thanks

    • From what I’ve read kefir is a mix of far more bacteria and yeast than yogurt. Not sure whether this is due to the kefir grains used, or the preparation for yogurt that calls for heating.

    • Thanks! I really enjoy your site and have learned a lot!

  17. Diana Van Pelt says:

    Really enjoy your site Richard. Truly nice job presenting with lots of resources to back it up. I’m curious to compare the Whole Foods kombucha with the one we’ve been buying from a local farmer: Kookoolan Farms, here in Yamhill County, Oregon. Their kombucha is not vinegary at all, made from black tea. I like to drink it mixed half/half with mineral water (Pellegrino) so it is less sweet. My husband likes to let it breathe for 2 days. Best kombucha you’ll ever taste! :)
    http://kookoolanfarms.com/Kookoolan_World_Meadery.html

  18. Diana Van Pelt says:

    Second note to share: I’ve been making my own sauerkraut for the past year. Simple. Cabbage and salt, massaged for quicker fermenting. Absolutely love it with avocado. Real food tastes good! :) (happy dance)

  19. I live in the land of fermented milk products and actually ski in the Caucuses during the winter, ostensibly the original home of kefir. Besides kefir, there are many other fermented milk products using different bacterial mixes and I have no idea how they would translate but in Russian they’re called pakhta, ryazhenka, prostokvashina, etc. They’re also different styles of fermented solids like tvorog, which is roughly, but not quite, equivalent to farmer’s cheese. My wife loves all this stuff, and it’s definitely an acquired taste, but I’ve also gotten into it. I find it to be by far the best pre/post workout food. Richard, you’d have a blast at one of the markets trying all the various versions.

  20. Been thinking about this post for a few days now. If I was forced to pick one food to not only survive on, but thrive on, it would be milk. After all, it has the best track record of anything. The animals (including humans) that stay on milk diets the longest when they are young grow up to be some of the healthiest. So the raw milk diet makes a lot of sense. I’ve decided to give this a run myself for about a week to see what happens (including a few eggs in the mix), and if it’s going well, who knows, maybe the full month. I do plan on using the kombucha and kefir as well. Weight loss would certainly be nice, but this whole deep sleep thing would be amazing too.

    • My body might be playing catchup but first night, no noticeable difference on sleep. 2nd, a full 12 hours with only a couple of wakeups. Last night, 8 hours one wakeup.

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  1. [...] a first gesture in providing subscribers advanced info, I'm giving weekly updates of progress on my predominantly raw milk dietary experiment via the newsletter. I'll only mention it here again when it's done and I make a full report—4-6 [...]