Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lacto-Fermentation Soda Class

The lovely Shan Kendall teaching about lacto-fermentation!



Well, things here are coming along. Never had I expected the roller coaster of emotions like divorce brings though. Big, big, big waves. It is as though the universe won't let one little bit of unresolved emotion get by. I am looking in all the nooks and crannies, uncovering all the parts of myself that are coming forward to be set free by my self-forgiveness. Until going through this experience, it has felt like I have had blinders on that shielded me from my own capacity for loving. It has felt a bit like I am reprogramming my dna when in all the  moments I want to blame, shame or escape, and I choose not to. Well, I do sometimes at first, and then I go inward by mediating, journaling, listening, processing. It is easier to blame someone else in the moment when have you have a story that your life has been ripped to pieces by their actions. But, then what? You get up in the morning and everything still hurts. Your relationships are still the same. No relief. So, then I know it is time to get back into the sacred waters of transformation and start finding the loving for myself. It has been there, and only there I have shown myself these last 8 months that this is a process of opening my heart and trusting my life. It has shown me that every disruption in my life, every single one, is to get me into my loving. This is a challenge. When I am sitting in the shower sobbing, or losing my house, or playing the story that I was replaced by a younger woman in my marriage, it can be tricky. I have had a lot of help re-framing everything though. It was not about being replaced by a younger woman. It was about reclaiming my authentic life and finding the deeper love for myself. It is a constant re-framing. My moments of this deep knowing are stretching out farther and farther each time I step foot into the waters of forgiveness. The more I forgive myself and my beliefs about myself, the more I let the loving in and the easier it is to come back to that spot. So, how do you forgive yourself? I move into whatever emotion I am feeling and look for the belief I am carrying about myself that is not true. When I hit upon a false belief I am having about myself, I usually can feel it in my body and feel that I have hit a tender spot. It can be feeling unlovable, unworthy, useless, powerless, etc. Then I say "I forgive myself for believing I am unworthy of love". I take a breath and let it go. It has been a process that is not about changing what is in my life, but changing my relationship to my life. I am using my fear to unlock rather than to lock down. I am working in the fields of trusting my disturbances.
Rebecca Skeele has a great website and book "You Can Make It Heaven" that goes into detail how to do this yourself. She also has a radio show I podcast every week. Rebecca mentioned a few shows back about the Mayo Clinic publishing articles about forgiveness on their website . I googled "Mayo Clinic Forgiveness" and quite a few articles showed up. I even saw an article a week or so ago about Lady Gaga's bikram yoga teacher talking about self-compassion! Well, enough about me....

Last night I went to a Lacto-fermentation soda class. It was taught by the local chapter leader of the Weston Price/Nourishing Traditions, Shan Kendall. Wow, she is a wealth of inspiration and information. Along with making ginger soda, kombucha, root beer and fir-tip ale, we ate her sauerkraut, kimchi and her chicken and coconut soup. I was inspired to take this class after being at the Ferry Building a month or so back and buying a bottle of lacto-fermented rose geranium soda made by DrinkWell Softers. Wow! I thought it blew kombucha out of the water. It was the best soda I have ever drank. Drink Well uses whey to ferment their drinks. Shan however, taught us how to use ginger root to make a lactobacillus starter for soda. It utilizes the lactobacillus on the ginger root, along with sugar and pure water. Most of the sugar is eaten away by the yeast which then makes the soda nice and fizzy. Since you were not able to be in class with me last night, I found a website that has a how-to video and instructions and a recipe if you would like to lacto-ferment your own soda at home.  I am going to try the blueberry soda. What are the advantages to a lacto-fermented food or drink? It has enzymes and lactic acid bacteria that build up healthy gut flora. Lacto-fermented foods are healing to the gut. They have been a staple food in cultures that typically live long lives and have lower cancer rates that the rest of the world. Lacto-fermented foods are also easily digestible. It is a truly living food. If you decide to make lacto-fermented soda tell me! I would love to hear how it turns out...

8 comments:

Becky said...

Very cool class! I drink the store purchased kombucha now and again, and it always makes my stomach feel good.... I'm going to come back and watch the video and how-to you posted. Thanks, Jess!

Also, glad to see you're being kind to yourself.

Nancy said...

Incredibly powerful words. Going into the depths sure isn't easy...but it sounds like you are bringing back some treasures, too.

And - the soda class looks like fun! I loved the lactofermented coolers at three stone hearth when i was interning there -- fragrant and not too sweet. And so good for you. Can't find a source near me in new york so maybe I should try making my own!

Rebecca said...

I cannot find a way to contact you directly, but I wanted to respond. I am a lawyer who does family law (though I have never actually practiced in the traditional sense), and I am also a yoga teacher. What you describe here is so, so beautiful and powerful. It is raw, for sure, but you are doing everything "right." There is not always an easy answer, but being true to yourself and trying not to blame will save you (and your daughter) so, so much in the long run. I cannot tell you how many families I have seen whose anger and bitterness extend over years, destroying their happiness. The inward focus, the taking control of yourself, that will be your saving grace. As they say in New Zealand, kia kaha - stay strong.

Also, thank you so much for the information about fermentation. It is sort of a nice metaphor, eh? Talk about transformation!

windycityvegan said...

Oh Jessica, you sound so strong! It's inspiring to see how you are handling this huge change in your life. I went through a bitter divorce ten years ago, and I wish I'd had even an ounce of your strength and positivity.

As soon as the LSAT is under my belt I'm going to abandon myself to cooking/ un-cooking like never before! I'm high raw right now and I will definitely be giving lacto-fermented soda a chance.

Jessica said...

Becky..will post the soda when it is done and wish to send you a bottle! But you tackled tartine bread so this will be cake!

Nancy..ok, looking up three stone hearth! Have you blogged about your experience there? Hmmm...

Rebecca; wow did I love your metaphor about fermentation and transformation! Thank you for commenting on my little 'ol blog :)

Windy: boy do I want to come over to your garden. I am still thinking about how great it is looking over on your blog. Good luck on the lsat

Nancy said...

I blogged a little bit about three stone a while back (April 2009), but mostly photos. It's a great place -- a community supported kitchen in Berkeley that sells freshly made, nutrient-dense foods to customers in the bay area - finished dishes as well as lactofermented veggies and coolers, etc.

One of the worker-owners is Jessica Prentice, the author of Full Moon Feast (which I think you would love it you haven't already read it). There are volunteer/ apprentice programs if you'd like to work in their kitchen, too. Okay, I will get down off my pedestal now :) But let me know if you have any other questions!

Jessica said...

Nancy..in my class Shan had a copy of Jessica's book and talked about it at length! I was going to get it at the fermenting supply store this week. Wow just looked at TSH's website. Dreamy. I wish I could get away and volunteer at a place like that. Are you ever going to move to cali? :)

Nancy said...

He he, I ask myself that all the time. Anything is possible, I guess! From time to time I've been thinking about returning to TSH to do a longer-term apprenticeship.

How funny that she mentioned Jessica's book too. There are some recipes for sodas in the book, including a hibiscus and rose hip version that I want to try making at home.

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