Friday, October 28, 2011


Ever heard of Kefir?  Me either.  Until a few weeks ago.  It is a cultured milk product heavy in the "pro-biotics" for good gut health.  The only reason I heard about it is because my husband was doing research online to discover how people survived C-Diff infections.  He had this infection following a round of anti-biotics for an upper respiratory infection.  The result of using that antibiotic to get rid of his upper respiratory infection killed off all the "friendly" microbes in his alimentary tract and the bad stuff, C-Diff, got out of hand.  (Apparently C-Diff resides in most if not all people on this planet, but usually stays under control by the other resident "good" bacteria there.)

We came by some interesting information when we visited the heart specialist (for husband's yearly heart/pacemaker/defibrillator check-up).  Husaband was currently on a regimen of a different antibiotic to subdue the "bad" bacteria--when heart Dr. explained the problem with C-Diff is that the toxin C-Diff bacteria produces is next in line only to botulism in deadliness!  Can you imagine our astonishment? 

So my spouse researched and found that several people turned to drinking, eating, partaking of Kefir to re-introduce good, friendly, C-Diff controlling bacteria back into their system with better results than relying on treatment by yet another antibiotic.  By this time, husband had lost about 30 pounds!!  He's usually about 220 lbs, and at 6'3", it's seems just right.  He got down to 189.  I've known him for 42 years and even when he was very lean and in the military,  I have NEVER seen him this thin.

Oh, and yeah.  I forgot to mention that the ONLY antibiotic that USUALLY halts C-Diff proliferation is Vancomycin.  And it costs over $2000 for a two week course.  Yes.  You read it correctly, two thousand dollars.  Fortunately our insurance covered about half of that cost.  But Vancomycin is not always successful in knocking C-Diff  down and keeping it down and under control. Can you again imagine how encouraging that was?

That's where Kefir comes in.  Since we basically live in the country (with the closest city of any size about 80 or 90 miles away) I found no access to any retailers who carry Kefir products--even in the cities 80 or 90 miles away.  So I began looking online to find some.  What I found was Kefir starter retailers.  One supplier I found has a multitude of other cultures for sale--for you to make your own foods.  I had no idea about there being at least 11 different varieties of yogurts, for instance.  I didn't know that Greek yogurt was actually a different strain (or strains) of good bacteria--excuse me--probiotics from the yogurts I used to purchase and consume.  Now I know.  Apparently, Kefir--the kind of Kefir "grains" (more like granules than "grain" that grows in fields) I purchased to turn regular milk into Kefir--include over 50 different varieties of probiotics including a variety of yeasts as well. Who knew?

I purchased one little packet, watched the videos the company has online, and began the process of creating Kefir--to get my husband healthy again.  In the process--which apparently happens in my house (kitchen) Kefir is produced much quicker than in other people's houses (kitchens) because it is so warm here in Louisiana. 

The fun part of this whole thing is that as I've been producing Kefired milk, I've made some really tasty smoothies.  Our favorite so far includes a quart of cold Kefir, 6 ounces of frozen pineapple juice concentrate, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of coconut milk and a pinch of salt all blended together.  An additional interesting thing is that I don't crave sweets quite as much as before Kefiring--making and drinking the stuff.  (Wish I could say I LOST weight, but I'd be lying.)

Husband did test negative for C-Diff a week or so ago.  We are so grateful!!!  I may try to make yogurt again.  It has been years.........and years.......even though making Kefir is so much easier than making yogurt!!!  Who would have known?


Bob said...

I learn so much from my blog friends! Somewhere in the back of my mind, kefir sounded familiar but this was more than I have ever known. Very interesting.

Hope your husband is on his way to a speedy recovery.

Pencil Writer said...

Thank you,Bob. He's doing SO much better. We just have to consider Kefir and Yogurt as a permanent part of our lives to try to ensure that things continue to progress well.

Hope your oldest son continues to progress and rehab back to good back health and happiness!

jeanie said...

Wow - isn't it funny how often you stumble across something new and then see it again quite quickly? Same with Kefir - two days ago I hadn't heard of it, then on a doco yesterday it was mentioned and here you are!!!

I loved making my own yoghurt, and even had the perfect thermos for making it in, back in the day...