Welcome to Ben Greenfield's Weekly Roundup and Cool New Discoveries!
Ben Greenfield's discoveries, from the latest news on the fronts of fitness, nutrition, health, wellness, biohacking, and anti-aging research. I also recap my upcoming events and special announcements so you can keep up with giveaways, discounts, and more!
New Discoveries Of The Week: Cool New Things I'm Trying, Books I'm Reading, And More!
The Liquid Superfood I Use For Smoothie Bases (& For Making Camel Faces!)
Sometimes when I make my world-famous “Anti-Aging Smoothie” (all ingredients and instructions here), which I drink nearly every morning, I use bone broth, coconut milk, or sometimes even some left-over cold organic coffee for my smoothie liquid “base.” But increasingly, for reasons you’re about to discover, I’ve been using my homemade kefir.
I find kefir to be absolutely fascinating. It is a cultured, fermented beverage that tastes a bit like drinking yogurt, or slightly tart, creamy milk. Just like sourdough is made using a starter, kefir is made using a starter “grain,” which is a combination of yeasts, milk proteins, and bacteria. Kefir originated in Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is traditionally prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. These grains are living microorganisms that aren’t a grain like rice, wheat, or barley but technically a gelatinous polysaccharide culture of bacteria and yeast. The beverage seems to have first come into popularity in the Caucasus Mountains, where the nomadic Ossetians experimented with adding kefir grains to goatskin bags, then letting the grains ferment into a diluted, milk-like drink they would drink for days on end for sustained, healthy energy.
The basic concept of kefir is quite simple: You buy kefir grains (I get mine from Cultures For Health), then grow them in milk for around 24 hours on the kitchen counter. These days I am using Desert Farms Camel’s Milk—which, compared to goat or cow milk, seems to give me about the most rich, flavorful kefir I’ve ever drunk. You can use the grains over and over again for new batches of kefir, and, just like the “mother” used to make the fermented drink kombucha, the grains eventually flourish, grow, and can be given away to friends or family to begin to make their own kefir, making this drink a gift that keeps on giving!
Kefir recipes abound on the internet, and my own special recipe is one that I’ll release in the upcoming Boundless Cookbook, but I recommend this recipe to get started.
Once I finish making my kefir, I often add a scoop of colostrum and a scoop of a good prebiotic fiber mix (I use acacia fiber powder or ATP Science’s GutRight formula, although any prebiotic powder formula will do) to the strained kefir jar that I’ve poured my prepared kefir into. These additions seem to allow for a far more rich and creamy kefir, as they can help to feed and stabilize the bacteria. When I do this, I strain my first kefir into a glass mason jar and then leave it on the counter for an extra 6-8 hours with the prebiotics and colostrum to concentrate even more bacteria via what is called “secondary fermentation.”
The final kefir can be used as a smoothie base, makes for a fantastic meat marinade, can be used to make yogurt, can be blended with ice/gelatin/cacao/stevia for a nighttime snack—the list goes on! How about you? Do you drink or make kefir? Let me know what you think!
A Rare Root That Gives You Oodles Of Hardcore Energy
My friend and true essential oil “wizard,” Dr. Nick, recently sent me a sacred root from the native priests and elders of the Virgin Islands. It is called Kakanga Root, and it is used by the Rastas and medicine men in the local region. The indigenous steep these roots in wine and brew powerful tonics or add it to other herbs, roots, and bush to craft teas for well-being. Drinking “Bush Tea” or “Root Tea” on the island is popular for people of all ages to physically motivate. Kakanga is one of the primary roots used in this tea to build energy, or chi-force, strengthen sexual potency, and to aid the sick/weak. When young people are lazy, elders will feed them Kakanga Root to build their inner fire to take action.
The wildcrafted Kakanga Root from Essential Oil Wizardry is harvested on the island by Nick’s Rastafarian brother, Jah Chris from the island of St. Croix. All his harvest practices are consciously considered, and he has been taught by his indigenous elders to follow the roots towards the tips and to harvest humble amounts in the traditional way.
My own experience in using this involved steeping the roots in warm-hot water for about 10-20 minutes. I typically find I can re-steep for several days with these same roots for about 7-10 teapots of tea! The effects on drive and energy are quite notable. This is a precious, limited island resource, and orders are currently limited to one bag of Kakanga with any purchase. But it’s definitely worth trying. You can get Kakanga root here (use code BEN to save 10%).
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I delve more into this supplement on my podcast “Supplements Update: What Supplements Does Ben Greenfield Take (& How To Time / Choose Your Personal Supplementation Protocol).,” but ION*Gut Health was specifically designed to help to protect your gut against the ravages of glyphosate.
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This Week's Most Popular Instagram Post
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Essential Habits to Enhance Longevity Pt. 2 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭 One of my favorite practices that my family and I participate in each morning is gratitude journaling. As you may have read in my recent article on Spiritual Disciplines (bengreenfieldfitness.com/sabbathspiritualdisciplines), we have a morning visit to discuss 1. What am I grateful for today? and 2. Who can I pray, help, or serve today? followed by an evening answer of 3. What is one way I fulfilled my life’s purpose today and 4. What good have I done this day/what could I have done better this day? When you introduce conscious, mindful gratitude into your day, positivity will begin to pour into your life—along with all the other scientifically proven physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of gratitude. Here are 5 more lifestyle and spiritual tips to enhance longevity. 1. Don’t smoke – that includes secondhand smoke and air pollution. Be ruthlessly cognizant of air quality. 2. Prioritize social engagement – Even if it means occasionally staying out past your bedtime or eating late at night, the pros of being with people outweigh the cons of the possible disruptions to your circadian rhythm. 3. Possess a strong life purpose – An eleven-year NIH-funded study found those who expressed a clear purpose for their life lived longer than those who did not, and those with purpose also stayed immersed in activities and communities involved in fulfilling that purpose. 4. Have Low Amounts of Stress – Chronic stress leads to inflammation and serves as the foundation for nearly every age-related disease. 5. Remain Reproductively Useful- the more consistently you can send your body and brain the message that you are still a valuable, contributing member of society, particularly when it comes to the propagation of your species, the longer nature will want to keep you around. These tips just scratch the surface of lifestyle practices in Boundless, available at BoundlessBook.com, Audible, and Kindle. My Christian Gratitude journal is also available at GetKion.com/shop and in my bio. What are some of YOUR essential lifestyle or spiritual practices to live a Boundless life?
This Week's Most Popular Tweet:
Here’s why CO2 tolerance training, exercising with masks on, long breath exhales, etc. make you more resilient to stress: https://t.co/UFL3ImUrot
— Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) August 3, 2020
My Most Popular Facebook Post This Week:
Experimental Blood Test Detects Cancer up to Four Years before Symptoms Appear: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/experimental-blood-test-detects-cancer-up-to-four-years-before-symptoms-appear/
Leave your comments and any news or discoveries that you think I missed below!