A few months ago a friend shared with me a book, called the Microbiome Diet, that she promised would correct and rebalance my inner microbiome. Honestly, I wasn’t familiar with the word microbiome and as I leafed through the book I could see that the Microbiome Diet equates in most ways to the Pro-Terrain pH Balancing and Longevity Diet-eating program that Conscious Planet has been teaching over the years. I got very excited because I knew that with the more recent developments in scientific research and studies regarding the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome, that I was going to learn a whole lot more about our inner world of microorganisms and how to keep them in balance. "I was ready to up my game.” I immediately went on Amazon.ca and ordered my own hardcopy. The Microbiome Diet – A Scienticfically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health. By Raphael Kellman, MD This book has been a Godsend in helping me repair my leaky gut which I have struggled with for years and has helped me restore and balance my inner terrain, my microbiome. As a result, I would like to share some key excerpts and important information from this book that may transform the health of your inner world by paying more attention to these tiny minescule organisms. What is the microbiome? The microbiome is a minature world made up of trillions of microscopic, non-human organisms that flourish within your gatrointestinal tract. These intestinal organisms digest your food, govern your appetite, control your metabolism, orchestrate your immune system, influence your mood, and even help determine how your genes are expressed. They have a major impact on whether your heart is healthy, whether your bones develop properly, and whether your brain feels sharp and clear or fuzzy and unfocused. They sustain the gatrointestinal tract so your food is properly digested delivering all the nourishment you need. They produce crucial vitamins and other nutrients. They even manufacture natural antibiotics. Most amazing of all, these non-human organisms make up a whopping 90 percent of your cells. Think about that. The vast majority of the cells within your body are not human. Within your intestinal tract lies a whole separate ecology that is inextricably involved with yours. When these microscopic organisms flourish, you flourish. When they struggle, you struggle. When they crave sugar, so do you. And when they operate at peak efficiency, so does your metabolism. That is why balancing your microbiome is the key to maintaining proper digestion and elimination. Balancing your microbiome is also the key to preventing and even reversing major illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders, autism and other developmental diseases. If you have a healthy microbiome and good intestinal health, your metabolism automatically keeps you at a healthy weight. If you have an unbalanced microbiome and poor intestinal health, you are virtually guaranteed to gain weight and suffer with leaky gut syndrome. As we are now understanding leaky gut can be repaired by creating and maintaining a healthy microbiome. Hippocrates, founder of Western Medicine, taught that all disease begins in the gut thus the obvious answer is taking care of our gut and intestinal health. A balanced microbiome regulates your immune system, three quarters of which is located within your intestines. It nourishes and sustains your gastrointestinal tract. It produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, including various B vitamins and vitamin K. It lays the groundwork for optimal mood and brain function by influencing the production of your neurotransmitters, the hormones and biochemicals your brain needs to process thought and emotion. And as mentioned before, it keeps you at your ideal weight by helping you digest your food, maintain an appropriate appetite, regulating the calories that enter your system, and keeping your metabolism working at optimal speed. So how do I know I have leaky gut, an imbalanced microbiome? Some of the common symptoms are: allergies, bloating & gas, slow metabolism, over weight and underweight, constipation, brain fog, depressed mood, difficulty focusing, fatigue, chronic inflammation, feeling too full, like food is just sitting in your stomach and not being digested, headaches, joint pain, infections, muscle pain, hair loss, swelling of ankles, tingling/numbing in hands and feet. Some of the less obvious though more serious are an overreactive immune system which leads to autoimmune diseases. So how does leaky gut happen and how can I repair it? An imbalanced microbiome will contribute to weakness in the intestinal walls. Partially digested food begins to leak through the permeable intestine walls dispersing loose into the blood stream and setting off an immune system reaction. The immune system perceives these undigested food particles as invaders and starts to make antibodies to combat some of the foods that are leaking through. Thus every time these certain foods are eaten, the immune system will create a reaction eventually causing inflammation throughout the body, insulin resistance follows along with a fat-storing metabolism cuing the body to gain weight with the threat of diabetes, disrupting hormones, digestion, elimination and nervous system as well as immune system. All of these symptoms are the result of leaky intestinal walls. To heal leaky gut firstly you will need to remove all the reactive foods from your diet, even the seemingly healthy foods that you have consistently been eating for a long time and now is seen by the immune system as a reactive food. A list will look something like this: all gluten foods, soy products, all unhealthy fats: trans fats, hydrogenated fats All inflammatory, allergenic, or reactive foods: no sugar, no eggs, no dairy all artificial sweeteners, preservatives or additives, remove from the gut parasites and the disproportionate growth of the wrong types of bacteria, known as dysbiosis, and break through the protective biofilm that protects yeast and the wrong types of bacteria. You may say, "well I’ve already done all of that and I still feel bloated and swollen and still seem to gain weight." The answer to your exclammations is to start adding foods to your diet that will support your microbiome such as friendly bacteria found in cultured and fermented foods containing live bacteria: raw sauerkraut, kimchee, fermented vegetables, goat’s or sheep’s milk kefir and fermented yogurt and for the first while you may want to supplement with a wide spectrum probiotic. Remember that the probiotic good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract will also need support from prebiotic food in order for the beneficial bacteria to flourish. Probiotics nourish the healthy bacteria in our microbiome so they can begin to outnumber the disruptive bacteria. A well-fed healthy microbiome are able to force the bad bacteria to leave to neighborhood. Consuming probiotics means microbial balance is restored. Inflammation subsides, endotoxins are averted, no more insulin resistance and no more weight gain. Good health, a healthy weight and happiness are the result. Some of the probiotic foods are the oligosaccharides – soluble plant fibers found in onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, jicama, and Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, radishes and tomato. In Dr. Raphael Kellman’s book he describes in extensive detail what kind of foods and supplements are needed to restore and maintain a healthy microbiome. He lays out a brilliant plan he calls the four R’s - Remove, Replace, Reinoculate and Repair. He provides a daily eating plan and many delicious recipes to achieve your optimun healthy life style. But in order to have success with this program you actually have to make a commitment to get started. We wish you every success in your healthy endeavors.
This article is taken from Ron Garner’s most recent book: "The Disease-Free Revolution." Ron Garner is an award-winning Author of "Conscious Health” – The Complete Owner’s Natural Health and Healing Manual. He won the Nautilus Award in 2007 for best health and healing book."In Conscious Health, myth-buster Ron Garner offers new science and alternative insights revealing that it is lifestyle, not genetics, which primarily determines our health.” HEALTH IS LOST OR WON IN THE GUT What you are about to read is life-changing because it explains the basic cause of most of the disease conditions our society suffers from. The majority of this information is sourced from Douglas Wyatt, founder of the Center for Nutritional Research, and from the book, Peptide Immunotherapy: A Physician’s Guide, by Dr. Andrew Keech. In medical terminology, the word ‘gut’ refers to the intestines. Many health practitioners use the phrase ‘disease begins in the colon.’ This is true because when rotting and stagnant fecal matter becomes congested in the colon, toxins are formed which begin to congest and reduce the efficiency of other organs. But that is only part of the story. What is not widely recognized, and is overlooked by many medical practitioners, is what happens upstream from the colon in the small intestine. Hippocrates, who lived in ancient Greece and is recognized as the father of western medicine, stated that, "All disease begins in the gut.” The problem influenced by poor lifestyle choices, the small intestine can develop tiny holes or perforations in its mucus lining, thereby becoming leaky. The small intestine is not supposed to have these perforations. However, when they do develop, the gut’s protective walls become weak, which allows incompletely-digested proteins, fats, toxins, and bacteria to leak through into the blood stream, causing inflammation in various areas of the body. This condition is called Leaky Gut Syndromeand it is the basis for chronic disease. It is estimated that at least half the adult population and many children in the United States have Leaky Gut Syndrome. A situation similar to leaky gut occurs with allergies. Allergens are able to enter and cause problems in the body due to weakened membranes of the skin, nose, sinus, throat, lungs, or intestines. Irritation and inflammation cause microscopic holes to develop and although very small, they are large enough to allow protein particles from pollen, animal dander, food, or other contaminants to gain entrance into the bloodstream.Acting in the interest of survival, the body’s immune system works to eliminate these foreign substances. This results in inflammation, mucus discharge, itching, irritability, and reduced immune function. Inflammation is present in most disease conditions.As an immune system response to irritation or damage, inflammation is the initial phase of the body’s healing.When intestinal inflammation and leaky gut become chronic, healthy areas of the body become susceptible to damage as well. Leaky gut can be a problem for people of all ages. It can be the root cause of many health disorders and autoimmune conditions ranging from: indigestion, bowel disorders, malabsorption and deficiency of nutrients, chronic fatigue, memory problems, allergies, Candida, and skin problems such as eczema, to asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer, and numerous other autoimmune disorders. The main causes of leaky gut include: overuse of antibiotics, meats containing antibiotics, over-the- counter and prescription pain medications, steroids, gastro-intestinal drugs, birth control pills, pesticide-laden foods, mold, Candida yeast overgrowth, bacteria, excessive ingestion of wheat products, GMO foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, some food additives, and chronic stress. Adults who were not breast-fed as babies also have a compromised gut system which originated in infancy. Allergies and autoimmune disorders Allergies and autoimmune diseases are almost always associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome. The connection between Leaky Gut Syndrome and (many) autoimmune conditions is that the antibodies created by the body, in response to the toxic substances and undigested fats and proteins that leak into the bloodstream and attach themselves to various tissues throughout the body, create an allergic response, trigger destruction of tissues and organs, and create inflammation. In the case of allergies, the immune system becomes hypersensitive and reacts to an outside substance that it would normally ignore. With autoimmune conditions, the immune system reacts to normal body tissues and begins attacking them as if they were foreign invaders; it produces antibodies against its own tissues. Under the conditions of increasing toxicity and chronic inflammation in the gut, the immune system becomes overactive and confused and can no longer tell the difference between healthy body tissues and antigens; it produces a response that destroys healthy normal tissue. The specific type of autoimmune disease that develops depends on the predominant location of the inflammation. Since the gut immune system contains 70 to 80% of the body’s immune cells, it is obvious that this is the area of our body that needs assistance if we wish to improve our health. Wyatt, Douglas. A. Leaky Gut Syndrome: A Modern Epidemic with an Ancient Solution? Center for Nutritional Research. The solution – bioactive colostrum It seems that any time we stray too far from Mother Nature’s way of caring for our bodies we run into difficulties. Altered foods, chemical drugs, preservatives, and pollutants are not natural to the human body and sooner or later they force body systems out of balance.It should be no surprise to us that nature had the prescription to being healthy from the beginning of our lives, and nature also offers the possible solution to correct health problems as we grow older. When mammals are born, their first food is colostrum from their mothers. This first milk, or actually ‘pre-milk,’ is very special because it transfers the all-important immune and growth factors plus nutrients from mother to infant. The newborn gut is unique in that it has not completed maturation at the time of birth and needs the growth factors and other components of the mother’s colostrum to complete its development. This incomplete development of the gut is of benefit to the newborn as it allows large proteins, such as immunoglobulins, to easily enter the body. Immunoglobulins in colostrum and mother’s milk bind to disease-causing pathogens on the mucosal surfaces of the GI tract, thereby preventing them from colonizing and causing infection. This modulation by the immune system creates passive immunity for the infant. Shortly after ingesting immune-strengthening colostrum, the porous openings in the infant’s gut close to provide a protective barrier so that large protein particles from food, plus viruses and bacteria cannot enter directly into the bloodstream. This protective barrier remains intact until one or more of the factors mentioned above cause the small intestine to become injured and porous.Fortunately for us, when we consume colostrum it can provide the same healing benefits and immune fortification that infants who are breast-fed this first food receive. Not only can colostrum heal holes in the gut, but it can also repair mucus lining perforations throughout the rest of the body that cause allergic reactions. Of course as adults we do not consume colostrum from human mother’s milk, but there is a wonderful alternative.Colostrum produced by cows –bovine colostrum – is bioidentical to human colostrum, yet it contains significantly higher levels of the immunoglobulin IgG, which can neutralize microorganisms, many of which are now resistant to present-day antibiotics. It contains powerful antibacterial and antiviral factors. Therefore, as an immune enhancement, bovine colostrum is even better than human colostrum. Bovine colostrum contains hundreds of thousands of components, of which only a few hundred have been identified and studied, that enhance the human body’s functioning by two primary mechanisms. First, the numerous immune factors and natural antibiotics in colostrum provide strong support for optimal immune system performance. Second, colostrum’s growth factors offer a broad-spectrum boost for optimal health and tissue healing. Wyatt, Douglas. A. Anti-Aging Benefits of Bovine Colostrum. vital Health News. www.centerfornutritionalresearch.org The gland in our bodies responsible for producing T cells, which are major components of the body’s immune response to foreign invaders and infections, is the thymus. The thymus gland is located behind the sternum in our chest just in front of the heart. This gland grows to the approximate size of an orange until we reach puberty, and then begins to shrink. By the time we are 70 years old, the thymus gland has reduced to approximately the size of a pea. This is one explanation of why we have weaker immune systems as we age. I Bovine colostrum is able to restore the thymus gland to optimal functioning capacity and correct an underactive immune system. According to Doug Wyatt, who has been working with physicians for over two decades, people who have been supplementing with bovine colostrum consistently and over time, report that they do not get colds or the flu anymore. And, people who start taking colostrum when they are already sick with a viral or bacterial infection report greatly accelerated healing and recovery times. Dr. Donald Henderson, MD, and Professor of Medicine at UCLA, stated:Colostrum is the ideal solution for Leaky Gut Syndrome. Its components prevent and heal GI damage. Unless the gut is healed, the body cannot begin the process of repair. Benefits of consuming colostrum Bovine colostrum is not a medicine or a drug; it is a super- food that is whole and natural. It is able to stimulate an underactive immune system or modulate an overactive one. It is also able to increase growth hormones in the body to restore a more youthful functioning of many physiological processes and promote growth of body tissues. Thousands of clinical trials have proven colostrum to be safe and effective, with no known drug interactions or adverse side effects. It is the perfect food to assist in the recovery from all disease conditions. Researchers have found that nutrients in colostrum are directly responsible for the production of stem cells in our bone marrow. "When they measured the before and after stem cell counts in the blood, virtually none are detected prior. Within a week of consuming, trillions of stem cells can be found.” Nothing other than colostrum has been clinically proven to stimulate the production of stem cells. The only food that was designed to heal, protect, and make our gastro-intestinal tract perfect is colostrum.When this first pre-milk food, containing high levels of its active components, is regularly consumed and the leaky gut situation is healed, many health benefits can start to be realized. I Some of the main health benefits include: improved digestion and bowel function, increased energy and feelings of well-being, faster healing after injuries, repair of DNA and RNA, regulated blood sugar levels, increased infection control, improved memory, building of lean muscle and bone density, increased endurance, reduction of body fat, more youthful skin appearance, and improved sexual function. Active bovine colostrum has been referred to as the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. As we age, it can give us a renewed lease on life. In addition to active bovine colostrum as a solution to leaky gut sydrome, Conscious Planet has a family of products that can also address leaky gut issues that start to happen with poor digestion, poor assilimlation and chronic elimination problems. Remember, "digestion is the major starting point to health” and "disease begins in the colon, " a phrase used by many natural health practitioners. The array of Conscious Planet products that will assist in mending leaky gut issues includes: Genesis – Bioactive Ionic Mineral Elixir. Make sure you are getting your minerals. Transcend – Vita Mineral Fruit & Greens. Reducing inflammation thus reducing the tiny holes in the mucus lining of the small intestine. Catalyze – digestive enzymes to support every catalytic function in the body,from breaking down food molecules to removing waste. Colonyze – Probiotic Flora Blend. Offers full intestinal tract support to pursue pathogenic invaders that are one of the causes of leaky gut. Eliminate – Bowel restorative that will break down impacted waste and repairing bowel wall, replenishing with essential nutrients. Visit Conscious Planet today to get on your health program and heal your gut health... If you wish to learn more from Ron Garners book, the Disease-Free Revolution, you can find it onAmazon.ca. For everything you need to know to stay healthy and happy.
This is an amazing article on improving your gut health from Naturally Living Ideas. 1. Eat Probiotic Rich Foods Since ancient timespeople have usedprobiotic rich foods, which have been naturally fermented, to provide the good bacteria needed for a healthy gut and overall health. Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, natural yogurt andapple cider vinegarare all examples of fermented foods you can eat for a healthier gut. In fact, some of these couldn’t be simpler to make – here’show to get started fermenting your own foods. 2. Don’t Forget The Prebiotics You can elevate the effectiveness of your probiotic rich foods by consuming some prebiotic foods too. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that ‘feed’ the probiotics, encouraging them grow and multiply in your gut. Prebiotic rich foods include artichoke, asparagus, bananas, chicory,garlic, onions, tomatoes and whole grains. 3. Use Probiotic Supplements While fermented foods are the best and most natural way to get a healthy dose of probiotic bacteria, some people simply can’t stand the thought of consuming these cultures. In this case, probiotic supplements can be a good alternative. It’s very important to choose ahigh-quality supplement from a reputable brand. Conscious Planet has a premium blend of probiotics. Make sure it contains live strains of bacteria – which need to be kept refrigerated. 4. Cut Out Sugar & Processed Foods The bad bacteria in our guts go into overdrive when we eat too much sugar! They are also quite partial to the fats found in processed foods – including cookies, cakes, chips, fries and pastries. In 2010, researcherscomparedItalian children who ate a diet high in fat, sugar and starch with tribal African children who ate high fiber, plant based foods. They found that the African children had more beneficial bugs in their gut. 5. Go Vegetarian Cutting out meat from your diet has a huge number ofhealth benefits– from lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and diabetes to helping you shed pounds, improve mood and boost nutrient intake. Research now shows that a vegetarian diet can also alter the composition of your gut microbiome for the better. It’s so effective that these changes can be seen in a matter of days! A2014 study, published in the journal Nature, reports that the gut microbiome of subjects changed dramatically within four days of switching from a diet of animal products to a vegetarian one, and vice versa. The microbiota of omnivores, compared to that of vegetarians and vegans, produces more of a chemical that is associated with heart disease, inflammation and intestinal diseases. 6. Open the Windows We now spend more time indoors than ever before. Some surveys estimate that we’re indoors 90% of the time! Fresh air is so important to both the mind and body,as is sunlight, so spending time outdoors is important. But given how much of our day and night is spent inside, we need to be aware of the air qualityindoors too– and the effect this can have on the microbiome of our homes. It's important to open windows and increase natural airflow. This can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in the home, which in turn benefits our bodily microbes. 7. Stress Less While stress is an unavoidable consequence of our busy lives, how we manage that stress matters. The gut isespecially vulnerableto stress, which can affect gastric secretion, gut motility, sensitivity, blood flow and more. Our stress hormones can also influence how gut bacteria affects the production of hormones and the neurochemicals that communicate with the brain, including ones that influence appetite. Shifts in gut microflora induced by stress can alsoleave us opento infection. Long-term stress maylead tothe development of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach ulcers, IBD, IBS, and even food allergies. 8. Laugh! Whoever said that laughter is the best medicine was on to something! There has even beena studyto show that laughter can improve gut health. Researchers studied both healthy people and patients with atopic dermatitis – a disease typically associated with imbalances in gut bacteria. After watching funny movies daily for one week, the patients’ gut flora had actually changed and was becoming more in line with the flora of the healthy participants. 9. Consider if Antibiotics are Always Necessary Some estimate that half of the antibiotics we are prescribed are unnecessary. We already know that this over-prescription leads to drug resistant bacteria, but it may also beseriously impactingthe health of our guts in the long-term. Following a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, itcan take weeks, months or even years for the gut’s microbes to get back into balance. Shockingly, some researchersbelievethat antibiotics may even be causing permanent changes to the microflora of all people from generation to generation – passed on from mother to child. While antibiotics are obviously very necessary in some cases, quiz your doctor before accepting them without question. According tothe Mayo Clinic, common viral infections that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment include cold and flu, most coughs, most sore throats, some ear infections, some sinus infections and stomach flu. 10. Exercise Regularly Exercise has an important influence on gut flora. It not only increasesspecies diversityand reverses gutmicrobiota changesassociated with obesity, but it also works to reduce stress and the impact that has on the bugs in your digestive system. The earlier you start exercising, the better.New researchhas demonstrated that exercise in the early years of development has a significant impact on the diversity of the gut microbiome. That said, your intestinal bacterial continues to be influenced by your behavior as an adult so cycle, run, swim,start squatting or invest in a kettle bell– it all makes a difference! 11. Get Enough Sleep Getting enough sleep isn’t always easy – in fact,one third of US adult don’t sleep for as long as they should, something which could lead to an unhealthy gut. A2014 study demonstrated that sleep disturbances and irregular sleeping patterns can negatively impact intestinal microbiota, which may lead to inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, the disordered breathing associated with the common condition of sleep apnea has been shown in studies to disrupt the health of the microbiome. Mice subjected to conditions which mimicked the effects of sleep apnea for six weeks showed significant changes to the diversity and makeup of their microbiota. This sleep-gut connection is a two-way street. Scientists believe the bugs in our gut can affect sleep in a number of ways: shifting circadian rhythms and affecting the hormones that regulate our sleeping and waking patterns. Get into a healthy sleeping pattern by letting go of these bad habits, filling your room with sleep promoting plants and establishing a healthy night time routine. 12. Don’t Be A Clean Freak Much like antibiotics alter the gut microbiome by indiscriminately killing all bacteria (even the good), so does our obsession with cleanliness. For example,researchshows that parents who cleaned their child’s pacifier by sucking on it instead of boiling it in water were doing their children a big favor in terms of gut health. These kids were less likely to develop allergies, thanks to immune stimulation by microbes transferred from the parent’s saliva. Children who grow up with a dog also have alower riskof allergies because dogs are associated with a type of house dust that exposes us to important strains of bacteria, like L. johnsonii – an essential species within the gastrointestinal tract. Household cleaners that are marked as antibacterial have got to go – as do mostother chemical laden products. Less toxic cleaners like vinegar,baking soda, lemon juice andcastile soapare much better options. 13. Start Gardening Finally, getting your hands dirty in fresh soil will introduce your immune system to the trillions of microorganisms on the plants and in the ground. Gardening also eases stress and gets you outside in the fresh air – two important factors in a healthy gut. Here are some great tips to help youstart your own organic garden. Ready to improve your gut health? Conscious Planet has a special on Colonyze Probiotics until July 31st or while supplies last. Two bottles for $100. Again, thank you toNaturally Living Ideasfor organizing this research so well.
October has been our cleansing month and now that we are squeaky clean, we need to replenish our bodies with lots of strong healthy microflora to build up our inner ecosystem. Besides taking Conscious Planet's Colonyze (probiotic) nightly, you'll also want increase your inner immunity by making your own homemade Coconut Water Kefir. The benefits of adding kefir to your diet helps to maintain a healthy inner ecosystem which greatly aids digestion and healthy regular elimination; keeps the immune system strong; gives shiny hair, clear skin, bright eyes and a flat abdomen. Equipment you'll need: Mason glass jars and plastic lids (sold in the canning section of Save-On-Foods, health food stores) Do not use metal lids as metal has been known to react with kefir in a way that yields unhealthful elements in your kefir and besides, the kefir will not ferment properly. Make sure you sterilize all materials that will be coming in contact with the kefir or at the very least, wash and rinse in very hot water. The last thing you want is to cultivate a fresh batch of kefir in a container that has traces of bad bacteria. Plastic or wooden spoon Recipe: In a glass bowl add: 1 liter bottle of thawed, unpasteurized organic young Thai Coconut Water - found in most health food stores in the frozen section. Do not use store varieties of coconut water that has been pasteurized. Best brand to purchase is 'Feeding Change'. The coconut water and coconut meat is frozen until ready to use, then thaw. Kefir Starter pack - you can find these in Choices Markets or other health food stores in the refrigerated sections. 1 single starter package 1 probiotic capsule - open cap and add to bowl of coconut water. Colonyze as a probiotic works great. In fact, you can also get consistent results with less work and expense by using a simple quality probiotic capsule without the starter pack if you have difficulty finding a kefir starter pack. Then you would add two capsules of probiotic instead of one. Try both ways and see which is favorable to you. Mix well with a plastic spoon until the starter and probiotic are dissolved. Pour into mason jars as in the picture below, put the plastic lid on jars. Wrap a towel around jars to keep dark. Place jars in your oven. Close oven door. Turn oven light on and the warmth from the oven light is perfect for helping the fermentation process. Its takes about 36 to 48 hour at most. During this time, the probiotics will feed on the sugar in coconut water and leave a slightly fizzy, sour, exlixir. When completed, store in fridge. Take 1/4 cup with meals which greatly aids digestion. Also 1/2 cup at bedtime will establish a healthy inner ecosystem. Studies show that during sleep overnight, the microflora reproduce faster. In the morning, combine a 1/2 cup of kefir with unsweetened cherry juice or black current juice as a great wake-up tonic. Be healthy, be happy, be smart...make kefir.