I am not a doctor, but as a wife, mom, grandma and dealing with my own body, I am intimately involved in healthcare. We are all in the business of self-diagnosis to some degree or the other.  We each are our own best describers of how we feel and what things we do to help make our own body feel better.   My own body system has always seemed to struggle with digestive issues as well as extended family members dealing with Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease and a variety of other autoimmune issues.

One of the foundational building blocks for WellStone Gardens is “Food is Medicine” and across the board, everyone would agree that diet and exercise are fundamental in health and wellness. There is more to nutrition and the foods we eat than just the vitamin and mineral content.  There is the larger implication of how and if the healthy foods we eat can actually be absorbed and the waste disposed of properly, which is a big part of our digestive health. In terms of “gut” health there is a growing body of research focusing on the importance of a healthy gut biome and the impact of bacteria on our overall health and wellness.

I have been reading, researching and exploring in this area of our human microbiome. This post is meant to pass along a variety of resources that you might also enjoy investigating.


Cultured Foods – Grow Your Own

kombuchijar fermentedveggiesjar   kefironplate  


 About a year ago, I was introduced to the concept of making my own probiotic foods and beverages in the form of cultured vegetables,   kefir (a type of drinkable yogurt), and Komucha (a fermented tea beverage).    These are incredibly easy to make at home and so tasty and beneficial.

I have posted a couple of easy recipes:


 Orange Dreamsicle Kefir kefir cocktail  Easy Cultured Vegetables fermentedveggies







I don’t want to “reinvent the wheel” in this area. Instead, I want to send you to the resources of those who are far more experienced than I, that may help you understand how to use the “wheel” better. The easiest place to start is with Donna Schwenk at culturedfoodlife.com

She has two books you can find here:

Cultured Food for Lifeculturedfoodforlife Cultured Food for Healthculturedfoodhealth




In her latest post,   “How Many Calories in Kefir?”   Donna states- (which made me chuckle)…   “I make kefir. What’s your superpower?”

She has wonderful, step by step, easy to follow videos for free. She also offers all the resources you need to get started.

How to make kefir

How to make komucha

How to make cultured vegetables


Books and Research

You may be asking why our gut biome is so important?  For even more research and resource,  I highly recommend Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist and author of the book  “Grain Brain”.   This book deals with how sugars, or anything that converts to sugar, can cause inflammation and inflammation causes disease.brain grain    braingrain

Dr. Perlmutter has a second book titled “Brain Maker”.  This book is the featured book this month here at WellStone Gardens.  Brain Maker focuses on the importance of our gut biome and the impact this has on a variety of aspects of our health including our brain.


More Resources to Explore

Hay House Radio    has some excellent radio broadcasts.    Free 14 day trial, then a very reasonable yearly fee.

Donna Schwenk titled “Our second brain: Does our gut bacteria control our behavior to get the best nutrients?” (Date: 2016-03-08)

Heather Dane and Caroline Barringer under Loving Yourself to Great Health titled “Leaky Gut and Leaky Brain” (Date: 2016-01-25)

Heather Dane is also co-author of another great book:

The Bone Broth Secretbonebroth


The Human Food Project

Buy cultured vegetables

Kombucha Kamp


Tend Your Garden Well

As with any garden, you can always replant and regrow those healthy bacteria needed in your system, as well as being watchful for those “weeds” of bacteria that are not helpful. I love watching my own kefir grains reproduce and my kombucha scoby grow. My cultured vegetables are on hand to use as an easy healthy side dish. I will write future posts going into more details on these areas of a healthy microbiome.  I wanted to give you a beginning point of reference.   The garden I am growing in my gut is as important as my garden outside and I love learning from others how to tend it well.