My First Experience with Trying Kefir Milk… Good or Bad Idea?

My First Experience with Trying Kefir Milk… Good or Bad Idea?

I will be honest here. Since travelling from Spain to Germany, my diet has been less than perfect. I usually managed to eat a reasonable breakfast of fruit with quinoa but finding fresh salads or making them for lunch was quite challenging. That meant adding in some of the foods that aren’t great for us endo ladies. Things like cheese and meat. I can’t say the short stint of doing this has affected my endo dramatically but it has put a massive dent in my digestion and how I have been feeling. I have felt tired and drained and somewhat bloated.

Anyway, instead of trying to just cut back on these foods which I knew were the reason for it all, I decided to explore a different way of thinking: give the body the tools it needs to be able to break down these foods more easily!

I had thought about trying this idea before but to be honest, I was a little hesitant because of the “base” of the product. See, kefir is typically made using milk. In case you aren’t familiar with what kefir is, it is a cultured product, which essentially has “live” bacteria in it. Much like real yogurt or probiotics, but heaps more powerful. The cultured part is what is so beneficial for the body. It essentially gives our digestive system a boost by giving it the good bacteria it needs to break down foods more easily. These beneficial bacteria also have a massive secondary function, which many of us perhaps don’t realize—it breaks down and eats up the toxins in our bodies too. This includes all those toxins from pesticide-infused fruits and vegetables, environmental toxins and any unwanted organisms in our guts. One of the biggest things about digestion is about getting back a good balance. I personally believe us endo ladies don’t have this balance right. Many of us seem to suffer from digestive issues along with endo—hey, I am sure you were told endo was just an irritable bowel condition. What happens when this balance isn’t there is that the bowel bacteria aren’t able to “eat up” the negative toxins and break them down. With kefirs and fermented foods, you are going to be getting much more powerful strands of these bacteria and they are young and “hungry”.

So, I did it! I bought some milk-based kefir and decided to try it. The main reason I decided I would have to get milk kefir was really because it was convenient and easy to get in a shop. If I had the choice, I probably would’ve made my own version with coconut milk (the same strands of bacteria are used). I am in Germany and the health shops here seem to have it. I can’t say I ever saw it in New Zealand or Australia, but then perhaps I didn’t really know about them then.

It tastes a little like buttermilk. It is quite sour and a little lumpy (not in a bad way though). I decided to add it to my fruit salad in the morning or added some honey to it and drank it. I only had about a quarter of a cup at a time. I was quite nervous and really expected that I would literally be running to the toilet with a chronic case of diarrhea! This is usually the reaction I would get from milk. My stomach made those grumbling noises like this is exactly what it was going to do. I waited anxiously to see what would happen. Nothing… no negative “running to the toilet” response. Instead, a few hours after eating it, I went to the toilet and well… let’s just say it was a very satisfying and “release” kind of feeling. I felt like more came out and it was in a much better “condition” than it had been in weeks. I also didn’t have to push as hard and didn’t experience any of the usual bloating and other nasty side effects (farting!) that one usually gets with poor digestion.

For two days I felt fabulous! My stomach was nice and flat and everything was working just as it should!

I then decided to make my own kefir. I got some fresh real milk and added this to about a quarter of the bottle of kefir. I have put it in a dark cupboard with the lid just resting on the top. I am hoping it starts to ferment and build its own bacteria from the milk. The idea here is that we simply provide the kefir bacteria with more “food” which is the real milk. Over a few days, it should have the same sour smell I had when I bought the product—hence making my own. It needs to be kept in a warm place—the bacteria like warmth.

I am very excited about making my own kefir and how positively it reacted with my body. I think the bacteria probably help break down the lactose protein which causes us to react badly to milk. I don’t know but I know I didn’t have the usual reaction I get from milk products!

 

Have you tried kefirs? Do you make your own? Please share your knowledge!

 

Big hugs,

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Share your thoughts...

  1. Hi, I have a question for anyone. Is eating coconut oil/coconut yoghurt good or bad for endo. I have just seen it popping up in the healthfood shops now and I notice it’s dairy free gluten free etc. If anyone knows it would be great to hear.

    • Hi Karen,
      Welcome to my blog 🙂
      Coconut oil is fabulous for endo and will help your overall inflammatory response in the body. I love it and cook with it regularly. It also makes a great moisturiser for your skin and hair. I don’t know what other ingredients might be in the Coconut Yoghurt but it sounds like an interesting product. Check out the ingredients and let us know 🙂

  2. My local store sells Strawberry-Banana Kefir that tastes like yogurt. A little too sweet, but it is delicious! I’d recommend trying to add some fruit for flavor. I’ve also tried a “Green Smoothie” Kefir that has spinach or kale blended in. My belly loves Kefir and probiotics 🙂

    • Hi Melissa,
      I personally think it should be more like kefir – with the sour taste. I add the kefir to berries, which makes a perfect dessert!
      Interesting idea with the “green smoothie” kefir. What’s in that one?

  3. Hi Mel, would Amasi have the same affect as Kefir milk? I haven’t seen Kefir milk here in South Africa but I will look out for it. Amasi is made just with raw milk apparently without the Kefir grains.
    Thanks.

  4. Yay! I absolutely love Kefir! They sell it at my local grocery store and I replaced my greek yogurt with it! It is absolutely divine! I add it to my smoothies, when I make them in the morning. It adds a lovely creaminess and gives me loads of protein! I have noticed that switching to the endo diet (I am sort of an overachiever, so I changed everything all at once..haha) I have WAAYY better digestion! I did notice however that I seem to have more gas… =[ My mother thinks it’s because of the small amounts of packaged foods I eat. What do you think Mel? I was really into Larabars because they are all raw food based but they all have dates in them. Do dates give you gas? Or anyone else?

    • Hi Rachel,
      Love that you are an overachiever! The gas might be an indication of a possible candida die-off period. It is quite common for most of us to have candida, which is essentially an overgrowth of bad bacteria. When we add good ones in, they kinda “fight” and that might cause gassing and some reaction in the gut. The dates will probably aggravate this as they are high in natural sugars but those “feed” candida. Maybe lay off the dates for a little while until your good bacteria have been built up enough 🙂

    • Hi Ca,
      Milk doesn’t secretly “feed” endo. Endo just doesn’t like inflammatory foods – it creates an inflammatory reaction in the whole body – including the prostaglandins which make endo worse. If it is creating a reaction, you will feel it fairly instantly with inflammation in the body – bloating, pain etc. I find I get this reaction with normal milk but not with fermented kefir milk and the benefits of the kefir are amazing for your digestion and eating away at the toxins, which indirectly cause endo.

  5. We just started making our own kefir. However, we leave ours covered with a light cloth and sitting out in the sun. It has wonderful benefits, but it doesn’t taste very good (to me, anyway), so we blend up fruit and then stir the kefir into the fruit. That makes it taste like a smoothie. 🙂 It has been excellent for my mom’s diabetes. Her blood sugar on insulin is usually above a hundred. After a month of kefir, it’s been hovering around 75-85. Yea!! I hope it helps with my endo as well as it did with her diabetes.

    • Hi LeeAnn. Perhaps this is what I should’ve done – I put it in a dark cupboard and it seems to have gone sour – like bad milk! 🙁
      Fantastic to hear for your mom and I am sure you will feel benefits for endo too 🙂

  6. hello Mel! Nice article on kefir! i make my own kefir with fresh milk for the last 3 months just like you, i never had a bad reaction like i do with milk! it does feel good for my stomach too! I thought you needed the kefir “grains” to make your own though, i have never heard that you could make it just using an other kefir drink (like you can do with yogurt) not sure….. i will do some research! let us know how you go! xx

    • Hi Aurelie! Lovely to hear from you! I am realising that perhaps making real kefir is not as simple as just pouring real milk into the existing kefir! It smelt really sour this morning and doesn’t seem to be working 🙁 I might have to do a little more research too 🙂

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