Cuckoo for Coconut Kefir

I have heard parent’s success stories about helping their child with autism recover with diet and the healing benefits of coconut kefir. So I researched it and found that it is a rockin’ probiotic drink and offers much more than good gut health. Here is the dish on this hard to find, expensive drink.

True coconut kefir is derived from young, green, coconuts from Thailand. (1st obstacle in making this drink) The coconut water is combined with kefir starter to create a nutritionally dense, probiotic rich, non-dairy, drink.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a starter culture made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called “grains”. The grains ferment the milk incorporating their beneficial yeast as well as friendly “probiotic” bacteria, to create the “cultured” product. The grains are then removed (by straining) before consumption and can be used again.

The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically (I love that word!) to provide excellent health benefits when consumed regularly.

Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat, coconut, soy, or rice. For the lactose intolerant population that cannot digest cow or goat milk, kefir provides lactase, an enzyme that consumes the left over lactose after the culturing process. Therefore, lactose intolerance should not stop anyone from consuming kefir dairy products.

What is the Difference Between Coconut Water and Coconut Milk?

This one had me so confused. From what I’ve researched, coconut water is the liquid that comes from the young, green, coconuts. Coconut milk is derived from extracting the meat of the mature coconut which contains a lot of fat and calories. This fat is not as bad as it sounds though. Coconut oil is 92% saturated fat. Don’t freak out yet! It’s approximately 65% (two-thirds) medium chain fatty acids (MFCA). Most all other fats and oils (saturated and unsaturated, plant or animal based) are mostly long chained fatty acids (LCFA). LCFAs are the fats that accumulate in your fat cells, and clogs your arteries. Your body needs pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile to digest LCFAs and they circulate in your entire body. MCFA rich coconut oil/milk does not need these enzymes or bile to digest. They are readily digested and go straight to your liver, boosting your metabolism.

Benefits of Coconut Water Kefir

  • It increases energy and provides a feeling of good overall health
  • Aids in digestion, heals the gut with high levels of probiotics
  • Reduces sugar cravings
  • Contains high levels of minerals like potassium
  • It cleanses the liver
  • Eases aches and joint pain
  • Improves skin tone and complexion. Will help with acne, age spots, skin tags, moles & warts
  • Strengthens hair, skin and nails
  • Beneficial effects on the endocrine system (thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries)

Where to Purchase Coconut Kefir

So now you want to know where to get coconut water kefir, right? Well, there are not a lot of companies out there that sell it already in its cultured state. You can purchase young, green, coconuts and use a kefir starter culture to make your own. Or pay a lot of money having it shipped to you from the handful of companies out there that make it.

I found two sources of true coconut water kefir on the internet that I would trust. Body Ecology sells their brand of CocoBiotic beverage for $28.98 for a 44 oz. bottle and $14.95 for an 8 oz. travel size bottle. They also sell their starter culture packets if you want to buy young, green, coconuts and make your own coconut water kefir. A box of 6 packets cost $26.95 and each packet can be used an average of 7 times each. Their website is http://www.bodyecology.com.

The other source that was brought to my attention is CocoKefir. This company was founded by Michael and Holly Larsen whose daughter was diagnosed with autism.They credit her recovery in part to the implementation of a biomedical approach to healing her gut first, which in turn helped heal her mind. They sell their 16 oz. CocoKefir bottle for $9.99. That’s $0.62 per ounce vs. Body Ecology’s 44 oz. bottle at $0.66 per ounce, and their 8 oz. bottle cost $1.87 per ounce. Their website is http://www.cocokefir.com.

There is a third option out there. It’s not coconut water kefir, it’s cultured coconut milk. Remember the difference, water comes from young, green, coconuts and the milk is derived from the meat of mature coconuts. But the milk has the MCFAs, of which the water does not. So Delicious makes Cultured Coconut Milk with prebiotics and probiotics, made from organic coconuts. They have original (unflavored), chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. The original one is best since it does not contain any added sugars that only feed the bad bacteria and yeast in our gut. A 32 oz. bottle sells for less than $4.00 and can be found at Whole Foods. You may find it in your local grocery store, but I’m not sure the cost.  We have tried it and we have noticed benefits from drinking it. Digestion has improved, the obvious benefits from the prebiotics and probiotics, plus it gives us more energy. I like it mixed with a little orange juice, but my sons will only drink it in a smoothie. I know I’m adding fructose from the fruits I mix into it, but it still has helped them tremendously.

I am purchasing a bottle of the Cocobiotic coconut water kefir and plan on seeing if we experience a true difference from drinking the So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk. I’ll keep you posted on the results. If anyone has experience with these products or has other information to share, please comment below.

To watch Michael Larsen of CocoKefir interviewed on Fox & Friends click below:

http://youtu.be/cfmNhA_D3mQ

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World Autism Awareness Day 04.02.11

Five years ago I was unaware of how autism affects families. It wasn’t talked about in the mainstream media like it is today. There wasn’t a World Autism Awareness Day until four years ago. When I think about how autism has changed our family’s life over the years, I am grateful for a lot of the adjustments, and others, not so much. In keeping with the positive, on this day I’d like to share the good that has come from my son’s diagnosis.

  • Awareness. I have learned to stop what I’m doing when my son talks to me, get down to his level and look him in the eyes. This gesture helps him in developing his conversation skills, and helps me to slow down and give him my full attention, which he deserves. I’ve also become a much more aware parent of my kids…where they are, what they are doing and how they feel.
  • Patience, patience, and did I mention patience? Any parent of a child with autism understands the importance of practicing this virtue. I work on it every day and will have fully acquired it by the time I’m 90. (I hope)
  • Knowledge. If it weren’t for autism, I wouldn’t have researched diets, artificial food additives, organic foods, and the importance of eating healthy, whole foods for our body’s fuel. Prepared foods are minimal now, and they are free of all the junk that most commercially available “food in a box” contain.
  • Friendships. Not only have I cherished every friendship my son with autism has gained over the years, but I have benefited in this department as well. If it weren’t for autism, I wouldn’t have met some wonderful people who have become true friends that I cherish each day.
  • Courage. This one is a biggie for my son and me. My son shows his courageous spirit every time he overcomes the fear of trying something new that may seem overwhelming to him. I have found the courage to fight for what he needs in every aspect of life, and have learned from my son to face my fears as well.
  • Volunteering. Helping others understand how they can help their child through this blog. I am so blessed to be able to reach parents, caregivers, and family of children with autism and help them along their journey.
  • Understanding. Autism has taught me how to teach my son an understanding of his world. By doing this, I have gained a tremendous amount of understanding for other people and their “issues”.
  • Gratitude. I’m grateful for the little things in life. Like my son’s first “why” question, whenever he asks another child to play with him, his hugs and kisses, when he looks me in the eyes, and when others tell me how much they adore him.

Autism has changed my life and the lives of many families around the world. Take a look around you and you’ll find someone who is affected by autism. Either they have a child, sibling, relative, friend, co-worker, or neighbor affected by it. Or perhaps that person you watch and wonder about has it too. Please keep in mind the positives and learn from it.

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