How trying to be healthy almost killed me

I’m a sucker for a health food fad. I’ll admit it, I have an embarrassingly large arsenal of vitamins and ‘superfood’ powders. 

this isn't all of it.....

So when I read that making your own probiotics is more important that taking a pill form of probiotic, I was on it like white-on-rice (or more like macrobiotic brown rice).

This all started with my ventures into the world of Sauerkraut which had been going along pretty well, until I decided I needed more probiotics! MORE! ‘Culture, fermented food is the next big thing’ I declared at a friend’s dinner party, no amount of doubtful looks or grimaces as I described what kombucha is made from was going to stop me declaring a new found allegiance to fermented food. (Kombucha’s a fermented drink made with fungi in case you were curious).

kombucha brewing - you can see the fungi at the bottom

So the next step was to start brewing my own kombucha, this is so exciting in and of itself it will be the topic of a future blog post, so stay tuned! Also kefir!! A fermented sour milk drink (more sideways glances), which is actually a lot nicer than it sounds!! Another post to come on the world of kefir (including making coconut kefir, ooh the possibilities...)

So cut to me admiring my first successful batch of kefir milk, it’s actually so easy to make I had no right being so damn proud of myself, but I was anyway. ‘Go slowly’ my friend who graciously gave me the kefir grains had told me, but ‘bah’ I was onto the latest health food, there was no time for moderation! So I drank it all the first night. Probably about 250 mls all while patting myself on the back for being so healthy.

Oh.my.god.

Have you heard of the Herxheimer reaction?? You know the one where all the toxic bacteria cells in your body die off very quickly causing you to feel like you’re dying. Yeah thats 'herxing', it occurs when injured or dead bacteria release their endotoxins into the blood (eww) and tissues faster than the body can comfortably handle it. This provokes a sudden and exaggerated inflammatory response, which makes you feel like death.

kefir grains - warning: consume with caution 

I only learnt this as I googled ‘nauseous, headache, dying’ later that evening. Turns out kefir is a very powerful probiotic and it can cause a rapid die off of bad bacteria in your gut, releasing toxins into your body faster than your organs can deal with it. Bottom line is, when your friend tells you to start with 1-2 tablespoons of kefir initially, for the love of God, listen to her!

So yeah gradual is better. Let’s see if I can learn my lesson when I sample my first batch of kambucha later this week!

I’d love to hear from you on any of your experiences with detoxing and the effect it had on you. Let me know if you’ve ever had any similar experiences making yourself sick trying to be healthier!

love Jess 
xx

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