I just want to start this off by saying I didn’t know my gut health was “off” or bad or anything like that. This actually all started way after my weight loss adventure because after losing over 50 pounds I REALLY got in-tune with my body. Which led me into tons of gut health articles, and eventually kefir articles.
For example, I never noticed when I was bloated. It just wasn’t something I knew existed within me, nor something I paid attention to or noticed in general. Once I lost a ton of weight I noticed some days I weighed-in heavier because of water bloat, cool. Further down the road I noticed if I ate a good bit of dairy (cheese and ice cream mainly) I noticed I’d get bloated and a little phlegmy. Which is apparently very common, but you don’t usually notice it when you consume dairy all the time, so no big deal.
Anyway, once I noticed my bloating – more specifically, my bloating and phlegm due to dairy was the first thing I noticed – I started looking into lactose intolerances and it brought me to gut health. I knew from the beginning I did not want to be completely dairy-free. I love cheese too much. Sorry, not sorry, nondairy cheese is not as good as dairy cheese.
Anyway, I learned about kefir! It’s tart, like a runny yogurt, comes from milk but it’s 99% lactose free! What? How? What kind of sorcery is this?!
Turns out kefir is cultured milk full of probiotics and when I drank it, my bloat was gone and it seemed to fix the phlegm problem I was having when I had a bunch of dairy (which honestly isn’t too frequent). But, paying almost $3 for a bottle with only 4 servings was sounding more and more ridiculous – especially when my husband wanted to start drinking it, too!
Kefir Plot twist!
Kefir is stupidly easy to make and fast. It can ferment/culture in about 24 hours (warmer temperatures means it ferments faster, cooler temperatures means it can take longer). All I needed was kefir grains, which I got off amazon (here), mason jars (which I already had), a strainer, and milk (I use 1%). Plus any fruit, fruit juice, or whatever you want to flavor your kefir if you’d like.
Once I received my amazon order with the grains, it took about 3 days of feeding the grains (giving them 1 cup of milk every 24 hours, drain, repeat) and on the 4th day – I had my own kefir! Craziness. I know!
I was paying $3 for a bottle of kefir that was 1 quart. Now I buy half a gallon of milk for $2 and I get a shit ton more kefir. Plus, I control what flavor is in there, any added sugars, the level of fermentation – all of it! For a fraction of the cost and all I do is a about 5 minutes of work per day!
All this because kefir solved my bloating and lactose-type of problems! So, if you’re struggling with bloating, maybe with dairy, maybe with random stuffy noses or phlegm (could be signs of lactose intolerances), maybe you should check your gut health before cutting out all dairy. I mean.. there’s no fun cutting out dairy.
Kefir also has some other awesome benefits, but maybe I’ll write about that another time! This post is long enough and I should just focus on my story with kefir and how you can save money making it yourself!