Two years ago when we found out Frank needed a double bypass, research about natural ways to lower cholesterol and blood pressure went into high gear. The soluble fiber found in oatmeal, as well as apples, carrots, flax and a number of other foods, is thought to help lower the LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the bloodstream. The initial blood work indicated Frank's cholesterol was within the recommended overall level, but his LDL was 142. The doctors recommended 100 or below, so I went to work on our diet.
Initially, we ate regular oatmeal with a little goat milk, sea salt and water, brought to a boil, removed from the heat, covered and let sit for about 5-10 minutes for absorption. A small pat of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few berries, finished off the bowl when served. We also cut out bacon from our breakfast at this time. For a number of years we had a strip of bacon, two eggs and berries for breakfast as part of our low carbohydrate diet.
The change in diet lowered Frank's LDL from 142 to 103 in about three months. The doctor was very impressed, but still wanted him to take statins, which he did not, and still doesn't, take. The side effects of many of the medications they wanted Frank to take for the rest of his life were many and wide ranging. Now, two years later, his LDL is 98 with diet alone. Of course, now the doctors recommend it be 70 or lower because of his bypass. The numbers are ever changing to benefit the medical industry, in our opinion.
|Jar on the left is 48 hours old, jar on the right is 24 hours old.|
All of this leads us to the research on fermented oatmeal. The addition of a carbohydrate heavy item to our breakfast was impacting the scale and waistline a little so I wondered if we could still reap the benefits of oatmeal, yet decrease the carb load through fermenting like we do wheat for our sourdough bread. That lead me to this site, which in turn, lead me this one that incorporated yogurt into the regimen.
Now we don't strictly follow either of the routines depicted at these sites, but over time, this is what we have ended up doing.
In a quart jar I add:
About 1 cup of filtered water
2/3 cup regular oats
Approximately 1-2 tbsp. kefir
This jar will sit on the counter for 48 hours, swished around a couple of times a day, before we have it for breakfast. There is no cooking required by this time, the oats have softened, so it takes little time too heat. After I pour it in the saucepan, a good sprinkle of sea salt is added. It will thicken and bubble when it reaches a certain temperature, then the burner is turned off, the pan is covered and allowed to sit for a few minutes while the eggs are cooking.
|This old broken spatula came from my Mom's house when she went in the nursing home.|
I have discovered after everything is put in the jar and stirred up, the few oat husks there are float to the top of the liquid, so I fish them out with a spoon. A side benefit of fermenting.
Another benefit to fermenting the oats is adding another form of probiotics to our diet. Since Frank and I are retired, we don't go much. This prevents exposure to the many germs, viruses and illnesses out in the general population, but we have also discovered that we don't get sick near as often as many people we know. There is no way to tell how much may be lack of exposure and how much is diet and life style, it's probably a combination of both.
Please share your experiences and ideas. There are medications Frank & I do take that we need, and are grateful for, but it's our choice what we put in our bodies, as it is for you.
Until next time - Fern
P.S. Please enjoy this beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton.