That Time I Zoodled My Fingernail Right Off (+ Recipe!!)

I still don't know how it happened. I didn't think it could happen.

I have mad respect for the mandolin (aka, it scares the sh*t out of me, so I'm suuuuuper-careful when I use it). But the spiralizer? Spiralizer, I didn't know you could be so lethal.

There I was, zoodling away (making zucchini noodles with a spiralizer) with abandon, maybe slightly distracted by the fact that I had someone cute coming over for dinner ;), when I looked down and saw a bloody pinkie with half the nail and part of the nail bed missing.

At first I just put a paper towel over it thinking 'this is no big deal, just keep zoodling…' and then I realized this was probably going to involve a trip to the ER :/

After moving through the ensuing nausea, profuse sweating and a near blackout (I don't do well at the sight of blood :)  ) I started chastising myself…"you've been cooking for YEARS, this is EMBARRASING!!"

I was quickly reminded that even Giada cut her finger so badly that she had to be sent to the ER, during a live Thanksgiving TV special no less. Feeling better….

The next hurdle was coming to grips with the fact that I'd surely be given antibiotics.

As you may know, having good gut bacteria is extremely relevant to looking younger, good digestion, a healthy gut and weight, brain health, just about EVERYTHING.

And a course of antibiotics wipes out them out. So yeah, I was a little p*ssed at the thought of taking them.

But I also didn't relish the idea of ending up with lockjaw either, so when they were given to me, I took them. But I did some hacks to make sure that I'd re-colonize my gut.

All or some of what I'm about to lay out is important to incorporate into your life whether you've been on antibiotics or not, so that you can keep your gut full of healthy bacteria :)

Throughout my 5-day course of antibiotics, I took a quality probiotic/prebiotic supplement, I added a prebiotic powder to my smoothie and salad dressings and I ate homemade cultured veggies with lunch and dinner.

Probiotics means "for life" and are healthy bacteria, which when consumed are responsible for nutrient absorption and immune system support. If you're going to take them in supplement form, it's important to do a little research to make sure they are high quality.

A very potent probiotic is a whole food version that you can make yourself, such as cultured veggies (recipe below).

Prebiotics are foods that probiotics eat for energy and are also called fermentable fiber. They help the healthy bacteria already living in the gut to grow and multiply and are also found in certain foods such as garlic, honey and leeks.

The following recipe is a whole food probiotic (woo hoo!) which includes cabbage as it's base. Cabbage already contains beneficial bacteria in it's natural state and culturing it causes the bacteria to convert the sugars and starches in the cabbage into lactic acid, which is a natural preservative and stops the growth of any harmful bacteria.

In addition to preserving the cabbage, fermenting also amplifies the nutrient content and the bacteria also make the minerals present in the cabbage more readily available to the body.

This recipe takes more time than the usual ones I share with you, but it fills about four quart-size mason jars, and if you eat 1/4 to 1/2 cups of veggies two times a day, it'll last a week and a half to two weeks. Awesome. Batch prep at it's finest.

I hope what happened to me never happens to you, but you can still use prebiotics and probiotics to look younger, stay slimmer, fight food cravings…the list goes on and on.

Enjoy :)

Xoxo
Lauren

P.S. You didn't think the pic for this post would be of my bloody pinky, did ya? ;)

Kimchi Cultured Veggies

Ingredients
-2 medium heads of tightly packed cabbage (red or green), shredded in a food processor or with a mandolin (be careful! ;) )  -- note: keep the outer cabbage leaves, these will be used later
-5 to 6 scallions, thinly sliced
-2 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
-1 to 2 tbsp red pepper flakes
-2 garlic cloves, minced (optional but it adds good flavor)
-a handful of dulse, chopped (optional but it adds a nice saltiness)
-2 tbsp honey or 1-3 scoops of EcoBloom (prebiotic)
-1 packet of a culture starter
-some type of green like kale for the brine, unless you want to use some of the shredded cabbage

Equipment
-food processor
-very large bowl
-blender
-4 quart size mason jars (I bought a 6 pack)
-Canning funnel (optional, but it really helps)

Directions
1. Put the cabbage, scallions, red pepper flakes, optional garlic and dulse into a very large bowl.

2. Take a packet of the culture starter and the prebiotic (honey or EcoBloom) and add it to a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of warm water (90 degrees); let it sit for 20 minutes.

3. While you are waiting for the culture starter to be ready, take the kale, other greens or a handful or two of the shredded cabbage and add it to a blender with water filled about 3/4 of the way up the container (this depends on how big your cabbage heads are); blend well.

4. When the culture starter/prebiotic mixture is ready, add it to the brine.

5. Add the culture starter/brine mixture to the bowl of veggies and combine well, even squeezing the veggies with your hands a bit to create a bit more liquid.

6. Begin filling each of the mason jars, packing down the veggies very tightly with a dowel or the back of a thick wooden spoon; leave about 2 inches at the top for the veggies to expand and pour the rest of the brine on top of them, making sure they are covered in liquid.

7. Roll up a cabbage leaf and insert it at the top of each jar, still making sure the veggies are below the liquid; put the lids on.

8. Let the jars sit out at least 3 days, preferably a week and then refrigerate.


Recipe Credit: Adapted from Body Ecology


Article credits:

Dr. Axe
http://draxe.com/boost-immunity-with-probiotics/
http://draxe.com/probiotics-benefits-foods-supplements/

Dr. Mercola
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/20/gut-brain-connection.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/01/fermented-vegetables.aspx

Body Ecology
http://bodyecology.com/articles/look_younger_and_better_with_probiotics.php
http://bodyecology.com/articles/cveggies.php

The Kitchn
http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124