Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

Fermented foods and healing the gut


Dr. Mercola posted an interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride today, who shares the techniques that she used to recover her son from autism. Dr. Campbell-McBride shares her insights about Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), which can make a child vulnerable to vaccine damage and the GAPS nutritional program which can help treat autism, allergies, depression, etc.. Her website here.  And a transcript of the interview is here.

There’s so much wisdom and great information on her website and within the interview that I wanted to share it. Basically talking about the science behind leaky gut syndrome and how autism, allergies, depression, etc. can be helped by healing the gut through the GAPS nutritional program (i.e., fermented and cultured foods, probiotics, etc.). As far as I can tell, it’s very similar to the Body Ecology diet, which is what Gina Laverde used to recover her autistic son.

It’s another reminder for me to start introducing fermented foods in Moses (and our diet). I’m just so intimidated about starting it. I need to find a culture starter, which I could buy from the Body Ecology website, but I want to find out if I can get it locally first. I need to find a container to do it in. I’m thinking that if I write about it, I might be motivated to start it… I know that Keely’s Kitchen is following the Body Ecology diet, and she recently posted about her favourite cultured vegetable recipe here.

I’d love to hear any tips / advice that you may have about fermenting your own foods.


Cultured ketchup recipe

Fermented pickles

Fermented salsa

Coconut Kefir


12 thoughts on “Fermented foods and healing the gut

  1. Natasha’s diet is excellent, and myself and many of my clients do incorporate her knowledge in our eating.

    also, I just love your site!

  2. It’s so funny, Lisa_C sent me that GAPS diet link just last week! We follow a paleo diet but I am really intrigued by some of the aspects of GAPS. There’s a lot of good ideas- fermenting foods and bone broth. Both of which we could use more of.
    Glad I have other fellow parents who consider and talk about these diets, some of my friends here would probably think we’re crazy 🙂

  3. Gina: Thanks for stopping by… I *love* your site and what you and your husband are doing.

    Cassie: Isn’t that funny?! Fermenting foods, bone broth, etc… these ideas keep coming up in various places — feels like the universe is trying to tell me something…

  4. Hi Janice! Yeah, like Cassie mentioned, I was looking at the GAPS site the other day. I have a friend who’s been doing it for some months now, but for some reason I just can’t seem to jump on it right now. I’m loving Nourishing Traditions and soaking up the wisdom there. And you should read my latest blog post: “My Kitchen Laboratory.” Lol. I’m beginning to think fermentation really is an art, and I’m a complete novice.

    I forget what Moses is allergic, too, but maybe you could look at this recipe for kefir soda. I’m thinking of making some for Michael. We recently tried kombucha and he loved it but then I realized it has caffeine in it. Oops. So I think he would love kefir soda. Kefir is supposed to be really easy to make. Here’s the link:


  5. I have read your blog a lot – and I just want to say thank you for letting us into your journey. I put positive vibes out into the universe for you and your family.

    On the fermentation note – you can go to the website wildfermentation.com and read all about fermenting there. The guy who runs it is amazing and talks about how he is healing himself with fermented foods. He has AIDS. Interestingly, AIDS overcomes the body partly by fooling the immune system into overproducing IGE. Interesting to think on.

    I personally ferment – they recommend using whey as a starter, but we’ve just used salt. I have fermented cabbage, collards, carrots, mixes – my most recent and exciting cauliflower and carrots with some garlic and onion – like a kind of pickled giardanara. Amazing. I have also done beets for borscht. I haven’t used any starters – just veggies and salt. But I cannot speak highly enough about the Harsch crocks. We got one at the Radiant Life website – best hundred and something dollars ever. I tried carrots in a jar – because I’ve done the beets that way. And it did not work. The crocks are really a no brainer – just load it up with veggies, salt, water if necessary – cover and visit in a couple weeks. You really can’t screw it up.

    I may have to buy another – just because once you start – you won’t want to stop. Good luck. Go healthy bacteria.

  6. Hi Denise: Thanks so much for the good wishes for our family and the advice and encouragement about fermentation. I may need to get me a Harsch crock. I need something that is foolproof!

    Also, I didn’t know that AIDS overcomes the body by fooling the immune system to overproduce IgE. (You probably know about Moses’ Hyper IgE diagnosis, so I find that particularly interesting…)

    How much veggie and salt do you use? In your opinion, what veggie should I start with??

  7. Hi Lisa: Great minds think alike! I’m going to check out your post and also the kefir soda recipe. Glad that we are on this fermentation journey together!!

  8. Hi Janice
    I do know about what you’ve written with Moses and the IGE. And I would say that diagnosis are well – just diagnosis. And I have read many a story of people overcoming things that doctors said was impossible. So just know that other souls out there are praying for you guys.
    In regards to salt – I either follow the Harsch booklet for my crock. Or I go to Wild Fermentation. Or I salt to taste. With the cauliflower mix – I used almost 15tbls of salt with 3 heads of cauliflower, 3 carrots, 1 onion, and some garlic. Not sure how much water I used, but I basically salted until I tasted salt in the water. For the beets, which I ferment in an open jar, with a cheese cloth and another water filled jar holding the beets underneath – I salt to taste – those only take about 7 days. If you don’t use enough salt, sometimes the batch will go funky – I’ve had that happen.
    Also, here is a link to fermented salsa, which I have to say is amazing – http://www.cheeseslave.com/2010/08/08/lacto-fermented-salsa/.
    I would try the salsa first – you don’t need any special jars, just mason or whatever honey or sauce jar you have. You don’t need to wait for any special starters – just get the ingredients and have at it. And it only takes a couple days. And it is truly awesome – we did without the hot peppers. We add it onto steamed potatoes, or into our soups. It will show you how simple and awesome fermenting can be.
    Good luck.
    My experience is all with the harsch crock – except the salsa and beets. So I’d try something like that to whet your appetite for a crock.

  9. Hi Denise: Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your words reminding me of the many people who have overcome things that doctors said were impossible. I really believe that as well… But, it’s great to have that reminder….

    Thanks also for all of the fermentation advice!!!!!

  10. Pingback: Fermented salsa « Raising a Sensitive Child

  11. Hi there…I have chronic gastroparesis, among other things, and am finding Miso (fermented Japanese soup) really healing. I am currently researching fermented products as I believe that support the flora of the gut..the more I read, the more the stomach/digestion plays a critical role in a lot of illnesses….I have also just started probiotics so am hoping this will help as well..

  12. Pingback: Autism and the health of the gut « Raising a Sensitive Child

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