Our love-hate relationship with fermented foods

by Lori and Michelle on December 11, 2009

Hey everyone

I do not know about where you live but it is freezing here in NC! We got our fireplace on, still trying to hold off on putting the heat on.

Here is a quick recap of what we enjoyed yesterday, our 3rd day of candida cleanse:

Breakfast – green smoothie – bok choy, raspberries, ginger, chia seeds, lemon zest

Post-workout meal – hemp protein shake with fresh coconut water


Lunch – homemade raw coconut yogurt


Snack – a small cup of homemade Kombucha

Dinner – Avocado cilantro salad with sea salt, garlic, and a drop of apple cider vinegar


Dessert – a cup of warm homemade hemp milk with vanilla and coconut oil

We both very satisfied all day. No complaints…yet ; )

Twins Workout

6 mile run

It was one of our fastest 6 mile run : ) Not bad for running in the cold!Then plan was to run another 11 or 12 miles today, but we ran out of time. We were very busy yesterday and time just flew by, so we decided we needed to get outside for a little bit (the sun was out).  And we are still loving our Under Armour Cold Gear outfits!!

We received a comment/question from this amazing lady in regards to us eating fermented foods while on this candida cleanse.  This really got our thinking caps on and made us do some reflecting!!

We started to incorporate fermented foods ever since Michelle got back from school at 105 degrees where she learned more about them.  And Michelle was immediately hooked, and so was I.  Yes there are many health benefits around fermented foods, but we also loved the taste of them, which we were surprised by. Although Kombucha tea I loved immediately as Michelle had to work her way there :) Now we actually crave them and for us that means our bodies need them due to lacking the good bacteria in us, which we trying to rebuild! This is important for us especially due to getting regular colonics, which strips both the good and bad bacteria.

So when we began this candida cleanse journey just a few days ago, we never thought twice about eating fermented foods (which we have been enjoying them for the past 2 months).  Although now we are re-thinking this because we are realizing maybe we were overdoing them, or then again maybe not! Yes there are a lot of positive health benefits around fermented foods (good bacteria – help digestion) but we are realizing we need to find our balance.

I cannot say how much I would recommend a person eat, all I can say is try them and see how you body likes them. From our research, one needs to slowly add fermented foods into your diet and over time you can increase the consumption.  For us we somewhat started slowly, mainly drinking Kombucha tea (everyday) and our homemade yogurt (twice a week), but lately we have added raw saukerkraut (2-3 times a week) and water kefir (was about every other day) into our diet….in addition taking a probiotic supplement.

This made me think maybe we have been over doing fermented foods at the beginning stages of our healing. I came across this and sparked major discussing between Michelle and I.

I quote: “You may experience symptoms of “die off,” as the “bad guys” (candida, pathogenic bacteria and parasites) die and leave your body. These symptoms can include digestive pain like gas and bloating, headaches, flu-like symptoms and skin eruptions.

Please note: Bloating and gas our common when you first introduce the good bacteria and will go away.

Now I am not saying this is the reason why I broke out, I still think it was due to getting off birth control and detoxing into a high raw diet. But this might have caused it to continue longer than I expected. I know my body will get used to the fermented foods! As of now I am going to cut back just a little on my fermented food intake and see how that goes.* Side note we do feel better though after we do eat or drink something fermented? So?

So I am going to do a better job of rotating my fermented foods and just have 1-2 meals a day be a fermented food/beverage. I am still going to take my probiotic twice day, because I do feel my body desperately needs good bacteria due to my issues of stomach and constipation problems. I just need to build it slowly!!

Thank you Earth Mother for bringing this to our attention : )  We have some of the best bloggy friends!!!

Again we hope others are learning from our journey! We are actually not surprised about our somewhat over-consumption of fermented foods, because we have always been that way about things. Whenever we heard about something being healthy or would help make us feel better we were all about it. This too happened when we heard about raw foods and all the health benefits. Lesson Learned!! Start slow on anything and let you body tell you to increase it.

Twins Reasons we eat fermented foods:

  • natural source of good bacteria – do not always like to take supplements
  • improves digestion – contain lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (which helps constipation, a major health issue of ours)
  • helps maintain a proper balance of bacteria in the gut
  • increases vitamin content – fermentation increases vitamins and makes ones present more bio-available.
  • helps absorbs nutrient being consumed
  • rich in enzymes (the bases around raw foods)
  • Inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself

And to end our lovely discussion today we came accross ths quote and wanted to share it with you all.

“In the normal scheme of things, we’d never have to think twice about replenishing the bacteria that allow us to digest food. But since we’re living with antibiotic drugs and chlorinated water and antibacterial soap and all these factors in our contemporary lives that I’d group together as a ‘war on bacteria,’ if we fail to replenish [good bacteria], we won’t effectively get nutrients out of the food we’re eating.” – Sandor Katz


Getting too much fermented foods – Body Ecology

Got bacteria? – Cheeseslave Blog

Fermented foods – Nourished Kitchen

Alternative Medicine – Seattle PI

Till next time,

The Twins


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl December 11, 2009 at 10:08 am

It’s 14°F here, so I DEFINITELY know how cold you guys must feel, haha 😀

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

haha yes Liz, us Florida girls are cold : )

Carbzilla December 11, 2009 at 10:42 am

I would have NEVER thought of putting bok choy in a smoothie! Thanks for that tip! I can’t wait to run out to our nearby Asian market and buy the BIG bag. I haven’t had spinach in my morning smoothie (b/c I haven’t had time to buy any) and I miss it sooooo much!

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 11:18 am

Oh we put every type of green into a smoothie. Bok choy is a nice one, goes well with pears too!

Whit December 11, 2009 at 11:22 am

It is SO COLD here! 30 degrees at 8am this morning! I was not wearing socks and my feet nearly froze!

Lauren December 11, 2009 at 11:40 am

I love fermented foods! Not so much yogurts and kefirs, but pickles and sauerkraut! :)

Stay warm, it’s 30 in NJ today! Brrr!

Linda Loren December 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I came across your blog post and was intrigued. I work for a biopharmaceutical company that engineers natural probiotic products for oral care and blog under the name of Linda the Probiotics Tooth Fairy That said, I am a fan of natural products and loved your post. I write a lot about how important beneficial bacteria is in promoting good oral health and while EvoraPlus is not a probiotic supplement, it does promote healthy gums and teeth. Thanks for sharing the importance of beneficial bacteria for the body and I look forward to reading more from you.

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Stay warm Whit!!

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Yes we love sauerkraut, which is weird because we use to hate it, but now cannot get enough. : ) Stay warm Lauren!

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for commenting Linda.

Lori December 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Excellent post! It’s nice to be able to relate to others sharing the same symptoms and trying the same remedies. I have definitely taken probiotics in the past and for me, they were just too powerful, or so I think… I would get really bloated and gassy (sorry gross) to the point it would be painful. Taking a strong one every other day helps more for me. Also, fermented foods are some of my favorites! But for me eating them everyday can be a bit much, just like the probiotics… ugggg. It’s hard! But maybe I should try to stick with taking both or one everyday and see if that helps…
Thank you for sharing!

Lori December 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I just read the article you suggest from Body Ecology. Great article. Very informative. There is such a fine line between too much, not enough, etc, etc when it comes to foods and trying to heal your body… work in progress, I guess.

Earth Mother – In The Raw December 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Mr. Katz is my guru! 😀

Good Lord, girls, put the heat on! Earth mama says it’s time.

Absolutely frigid here. The only one happy about this is Maya, my Siberian husky. I need some Under Armour.

Julia December 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Hi ladies! I actually wanted to ask you about the skin problem- I am going through the SAME thing and it is so so frustrating. I don’t know whats going on, what’s changed, etc. I eat a 90% raw diet and am thinking maybe I am eating too much fruit? I am very active (runner, yogi), so I thought maybe the sweat? But I had perfect skin and then all of a sudden a few months ago something changed. ANYWAY- I wanted to email you but couldn’t find an email address. I was wondering what you heard from Gena. I would love to hear :) Thanks!

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Julia for commenting, we will shoot you an email!

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Oh that is Michelle’s favorite kind of dog. Her best friend just got one plus a few years ago she got to go dog sledding in Vail and loved it!! Yes get yourself some Under Armour : )

Pure2 December 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Yes it is a hard battle between too much or too little. Plus you read one thing and then other which said something totally different. It is very frustrating, which is why we try just to listen to our bodies and see where they take us. In regards to your probiotic make sure it is a good brand and free of dairy, we find that helps!

Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 12, 2009 at 10:26 am

Greetings from the Caribbean! Ok sorry not trying to rub it in :)

Fermented foods. Eveyrthing Ive read is start slowly and yes there is die off and that there are multiple rounds of die off that can occur months/weeks later after doing candida cleanses AND with fermented foods. Remember that girl LArua’s blog movingstronglyforward that I sent you to once…well I remember her talking about die offs and having icky symptoms but then afterwards it was like a “break thru” and she felt wayyy better on every level.

Gotta run but great post!

Pure2 December 12, 2009 at 11:41 am

Averie, you better soak up all the lovely warm weather in the Caribbean. Wish I was there :) Thanks for your tip on fermented foods and the blog. I will have to go check it out, I remember you mentioning this to us before 😉 Enjoy your time away!!!

Nora December 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm

This was a really interesting post! It seems like you guys might know more about my digestive problems than I do myself! I have hear though, that you shouldn’t eat fermented foods if you have candida, which I think I have a little of. Is that true? You’d think the good of the good bacteria would outweigh the bad yeast-promoting qualities, but maybe that’s only true for ppl who don’t start out with a yeast issue?

Pure2 December 12, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Yes Nora we have a long history of digestive issues, but we are working on healing them naturally. Honestly I think most people have some issues with yeast, just some have more severe symptoms than others. For us, we have been enjoying fermented foods, but realized we might of jumped into them too fast, so we are easing up a little, but we feel the good bacteria is what our bodies need. I think everyone is different, therefore needs to experiment to see how their own bodies due towards fermented foods.

Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I’m obsessed with kefir (total understatement)! ‘Fermented’ sounds funky but a lot of foods are fermented–they just aren’t advertised that way :) I always find that my digestion is so much better when I am regularly drinking kefir. Hooray for healthy bacteria in my gut!

Josh Davis December 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Just wondering if you girls are on Facebook. If so, how can I find you?!

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