Homemade kefir


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Hello!  I am new to the Whole30 and have read It Starts with Food and The Whole 30.

I have had psoriasis, eczema, and very sensitive skin since I was an infant.  It doesn't take much for me to become inflamed and itchy!  Sometimes these triggers are external, but one major reason I am doing the Whole30 is to determine whether any food sensitivities might be a factor as well.

At the beginning of the summer, I tried a new deodorant (very natural, no weird ingredients), but for some reason, my skin hated it!  After one use, my armpits were inflamed for MONTHS.  So I went back to one that I knew had been ok before, but I still had issues, so I reluctantly stopped using deodorant at all to give my skin a break. 

Then in August, I began making homemade kefir with organic milk and drinking between 1-2 cups per day.  I had heard that unlike other cultured foods, the specific microorganisms in kefir would actually colonize your gut and take over, rather than just "passing through" like the good bacteria in yogurt do after about 48 hours.  I was very pleased with the results: I found that I rarely even felt as though I *needed* deodorant anymore after I started this habit!  I was sweating less (even in 90+ degree heat!) and even when I did sweat, the odor was not a problem.  Since odor is caused by bad bacteria feeding on the sweat, I assumed that the good bacteria from the kefir that were taking over my gut were balancing me out and making this little miracle possible.

When I decided to commit to Whole30, I cut out the kefir to be compliant, assuming I would probably be fine with it again during my reintroduction, and figuring that it would be nice to have a clean slate and see how it actually affected me after going off it for a month.  But after 9 days, I'm not sure I can wait that long!  I can tell a huge difference already and it's not good.  I am starting to feel sweaty and smelly and I absolutely cannot go back to trying deodorant again, as I'm not willing to risk months of itching to test it out.  I know someone will probably say to try other cultured foods to get my gut bacteria balanced again.  I brew my own kombucha too and drink it regularly, and occasionally ferment my own vegetables, but it doesn't have the same effect.

My question is... what if I "over-culture" my kefir to remove the lactose almost completely?  I am fine with drinking it very sour without sweetener, or just adding some fruit.  I have read that if it is very tart, that means the lactic acid has taken over the lactose.  I truly want to commit to doing the Whole30 as outlined, but I need some advice on how to make this work for my particular situation.  How important is the "no-kefir" rule?

TIA for any insight you can offer!

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I'm fairly certain my friend makes water kefir... Have you tried looking into that? Would that make it compliant (sorry, I'm kind of ignorant about kefir)? I just Googled "water kefir" and some recipes came up! 

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Water kefir should be fine. I have no idea if you'd be able to do it with coconut milk or a nut milk, but water kefir is definitely a thing (I'd looked into it in the past due to dairy allergy, but never actually tried it). If you google "whole30 kefir" you should be able to find several topics about it.

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