Play hard & Stay healthy

shutterstock_290576897 it takes guts family at play

Today’s lifestyle keeps the entire family active from youngsters to their hard-working parents. A strong immune system helps us fight off seasonal illness and maintain healthy energy levels. Like your mother’s advice, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the best way to deal with the common cold is to avoid it entirely!

It is not just germs that cause kids and grown-ups to get sick. A big factor is the strength of their immune response that, believe it or not, starts in the digestive tract where over 70-80 percent of immune system cells reside. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the function of these crucial immune cells.

An important aspect of health is how successfully your immune system recognizes and destroys bad bacteria and other pathogens. According to Ross Pelton, pharmacist, author and holistic health expert, one study indicated that people who ingested probiotics for three weeks were shown to have immune cells that were twice as effective as those who did not.

The friendly bacteria help support the function of immune system cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests like bad bacteria. Probiotics also enhance digestion, which means the body better absorbs all the nutrients it needs from food and supplements. That alone equips the body to stay healthy and more efficiently fight off any bad bugs that come along.

“Unfortunately, due to overuse of antibiotics, stress, and other modern environmental and dietary issues, most people of all ages have a compromised probiotic population,” Dr. Fred Pescatore, author of the best seller Feed Your Kids Well, said. To maintain good health, the ratio of good to bad bacteria needs to stay at 85 to 15. This ratio is almost impossible to maintain without supplementing with a high-quality probiotic. Dr. Pescatore encourages his patients to look for a supplement that encapsulates both the probiotic and its nutritious culture medium.

“A probiotic alone will not necessarily be successful. The friendly bacteria need what is called prebiotic support,” explained Dr. Pescatore who noted that a certain Japanese probiotic, available in the U.S. as Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®, fits the bill. The probiotic formula is encapsulated with its culture medium. The culture medium provides nutritious vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and pH-balancing organic acids and postbiotics. “This prebiotic support ensures that the probiotics take root and thrive in the digestive tract,” said Dr. Pescatore.

With both prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic supplementation in place, the body’s immune system can see some real benefit, which translates into fewer sick days. That’s great news for the whole family.

When relying on probiotics to help support immune response, it is vital to pick the right supplement. There are products that claim to contain “billions and billions” of bacteria. That’s not always a good thing though. Providing too much of a single bacteria strain can actually trigger an immune response; the body treats the supplemented bacteria as a threat. Consumers should also look out for probiotic products that may have undergone manufacturing processes or shipping conditions that render them useless. Avoid some of these pitfalls by finding a brand that has had studies conducted on its own finished product.

Yes, it’s not just germs that make people sick. Poor digestive tract balance can lead to a compromised immune response, making the body especially vulnerable to daily germ exposure. A high-quality probiotic supplement can be a big step toward sound health for the whole family throughout the year.

As healthy micro-ecology is restored, digestion improves and all the body’s organs and cells are able to receive nutrition more efficiently. That can have an incredible effect on whole health and energy helping the entire family to manage a demanding lifestyle.

It Takes Guts… to play hard!


DIY Fermentation

Due to the high-stress, fast-food, antibiotic-happy modern culture, we have done quite a number on our probiotic population. In fact, whether its antibiotics or pasteurization, many people try to put up a shield against any and all kinds of bacteria, good and bad. While guarding against unfriendly bacteria isn’t a bad thing, it is vital to replenish the good bacteria in your system, both in your gut and on your skin.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this balance is to add fermented foods and/or supplements to your diet. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® are fermented for 3 years, allowing the strongest strains of good bacteria to survive and thrive in your system. The enzymes and organic acids from the probiotics have been known to improve digestion, which in turn helps your body absorb the other nutrients you are consuming.

Aside from taking a fermented probiotic supplement like Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®, you can also make delicious fermented foods right in your own kitchen. The following fermented food recipes are taken from chef Nick Lacasse of Pure Kitchen Catering.




  • 1 scoby from previous batch of Kombucha, or purchase one ahead of time kombucha2
  • 3 1/2 quarts  water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 8 bags unflavored black or green tea
  • 1 cup starter tea from previous batch of Kombucha or unflavored unpasteurized store-bought Kombucha


  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • Funnel
  • 4-8 swing top bottles
  • Cheesecloth
  • Twine


  1. Bring water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until it dissolves completely. Add tea bags and steep until water is completely cool. Remove tea bags and transfer to a glass jar.
  2. Using a wooden or other non-metal spoon, stir in the starter tea. Gently transfer the scoby into the jar.
  3. Cover the jar mouth with cheesecloth and secure with twine.
  4. Store the jar in a dark place at room temperature for 7-10 days to allow it to ferment. Starting on day 7, try it daily until it reaches the balance of acidity that you prefer.
  5. Once your Kombucha has reached the balance of tart and sweet that you like, remove the scoby and one cup of Kombucha and transfer to a container. You can either make another batch, or store it in the refrigerator to stall fermentation for a future batch.
  6. Pour remaining Kombucha into swing top bottles, adding chopped fruit, fruit juice, flavored tea, honey, herbs, or spices to flavor if desired. Try experimenting with lychee, blood orange, and mint. Be sure to leave a few inches of room at the top of  your bottles, as it will expand as it carbonates.
  7. Store bottled Kombucha for 1-3 days in a dark place at room temperature to allow Kombucha to carbonate. Check daily to determine whether it has reached your desired level of carbonation.



Ingredients:kimichee 2

  • 2 heads napa cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 2 qts water
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 6 scallions, roots trimmed off, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 piece daikon radish, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup Korean red pepper powder
  • 3 tbs shrimp paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt


  1. kimichiRub the cabbage with the salt until fully coated and cover with water.
  2. Wrap tightly with plastic and let sit out at room temperature for 10-18 hours to soften the cabbage.
  3. Rinse the cabbage under cold water and strain, squeezing out excess moisture. Dress the cabbage with the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Separate the Kimichi into clean glass jars, and close the lids tightly. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Unscrews lids to release gasses, then re-close and refrigerate. The Kimichi will develop more flavor over the course of the week, but can be eaten as soon as the first day of refrigeration.





  • 2 oz buttermilk
  • 16 oz heavy cream


  1. Whisk together cream and buttermilk and transfer to an airtight container. Leave at room temperature for 36-48 hours, depending on desired consistency. Letting go for 36-hours will provide a softer consistency similar to sour cream, whereas 48-hours will produce a firmer consistency comparable to mascarpone. Once desired texture is reached, transfer to a refrigerator to chill.
  2. Once chilled, season with salt, pepper, and your preferred flavorings. Try a pinch of fennel pollen, chopped fresh herbs, or minced preserved lemon.
  3. Serve with smoke salmon and a little fresh fruit preserves


While all of these recipes look delicious and I am telling myself I will try them, I will probably stick to fermented probiotic supplements for now, since cooking boxed macaroni and cheese is an accomplishment for me these days!