Beverages, Breakfast, Healthy Living, Recipes, Snacks

Probiotic-Rich Blueberry Banana Kefir Smoothie with Avocado! (My Eczema Healing Journey Update # 3)

April 27, 2013

I know I haven’t had an Eczema update in a while (read update one and update two). To be honest, there hasn’t been much to report and I suppose I haven’t made too many changes. Things aren’t better, but they are not worse.

My Eczema Healing Journey

I have cut back on my natural sugar consumption, but I have not eliminated it totally. I also still eat grains, but they are mostly all sprouted or fermented. I have also been studying for my medical coding certification…which means I have spent most of my time either working, blogging, or burying my nose in a textbook. So I have slacked on reading up on how to heal my eczema!

Which is precisely why I love documenting my journey here on my blog, it keeps me accountable when I slack. I still have the itchiness here and there, and I can still see the small red, dry patches of skin on parts of my body (there is this tiny patch just by my shoulder that packs a lot of itch despite its small size!). I know I still must heal my body and I can’t keep slacking any longer.

Eczema Update

I must be doing something right to keep my eczema almost at a “baseline”. I have increased the amount of Cod Liver Oil I take as mentioned in previous updates. As many of you know, I have also been reading the amazing book “The Eczema Cure”. Emily Bartlett talks about how eczema and “Leaky Gut” are related, and after reading up on it. I think I do in fact have “Leaky Gut”.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky Gut can be caused by many factors such as stress, inherent proneness to leaky gut itself, having taken antibiotics, eating the wrong foods, etc.

“Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition where the lining of the small intestine is damaged. This allows incompletely digested nutrients, toxins, bacteria, and wastes to ‘leak’ through the intestines and flood the blood stream. The foreign substances entering the blood then cause an autoimmune response in the body, which leads to inflammatory and allergic reactions such as headaches, joint pain, psycho-emotional imbalance, respiratory issues and digestive problems, and skin conditions – like eczema…

…Diagnosed or not, Leaky Gut Syndrome is likely the root cause of your eczema.” (“The Eczema Cure”, pg. 7)

My Goals

Over the next few weeks, I plan on continuing with my Cod Liver Oil supplement, eating only fermented and sprouted grains, limiting my sugar consumption even more, and READING more of the “The Eczema Cure”. After explaining what leaky gut is, she has four great tools to start kicking eczema to the curb. I am going to try to implement these four tools to get my eczema under control for good.

I know I also mentioned that I would be finding a top-notch probiotic supplement to take. After much research, I could not find a probiotic supplement that I was happy with. Most had disgusting additives and I looked at several stores in town, online, on blogs – you name it, I checked. I decided to go with nature’s probiotics: lacto-fermentation, kombucha, fermented dairy (think yogurt), and the newest addition in my house: milk kefir!

What is Milk Kefir?

Milk Kefir is used for culturing dairy, it comes in the form of little grains, and is jam-packed with probiotics. They are live cultures that are made up of a symbiotic relationship of bacteria and yeast (which gives it antibiotic power!). It is primarily used in milk but it can also be used to culture coconut milk. Kefir can become slightly bubbly (or effervescent) from the culturing process.

Culturing the milk by way of making kefir gives milk an extra nutrient-dense punch! It breaks down  the difficult to digest casein (protein) in milk and also increases the enzyme content of the milk. The vitamin B and C content of milk increases with the art of culturing. If the milk has been pasteurized (which mine has), it helps to restore the milk’s natural lactase content, which the body needs to break down the milk sugars called lactose. By culturing my milk, I am also providing my gut with healing, good bacteria and lactic acid.

I just add the grains to the milk and let it culture in a warm spot in my kitchen for 24 hours or so – and boom! I have probiotic-rich milk kefir. I use the grains over and over to make more batches of kefir. It definitely is an acquired taste to drink on its own (a taste I do not have) as it is pungently tart. But, in smoothies, you can’t even tell it’s there!

Which is why I bring to you…

Probiotic-Rich Blueberry Banana Kefir Smoothie with Avocado!

Probiotic-Rich Blueberry Banana Kefir Smoothie with Avocado

The Fundamentals (makes two smoothies)

2 organic bananas, sliced
1 organic avocado, diced
1 cup organic, frozen blueberries
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 milk kefir
whole milk or more kefir to make desired smoothie consistency

In a blender (or using an immersion blender), combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Drink the creamy, deliciousness to give your gut the goods!

I will keep you posted on future healing updates!

emily_bartlettTo learn more about how to heal your eczema, pick up a copy of the eBook “The Eczema Cure” by Emily Bartlett. She has exquisite information on healing from the inside out and is a definite must-read if you or a loved-one suffers from eczema – click here to learn more!

What is your favorite way to get probiotics?

Sources: Milk Kefir, Nourished Kitchen: Milk Kefir, “Nourishing Traditions” pg. 80-81.

This post is a part of Sweet Saturday, Sunday School, Party Wave Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Tasty Traditions, Well Fed Wednesday, Small Footprint Fridays, Real Food Wednesday, Homestead Barn Hop, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Healthy 2day Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Homemaking Link Up, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, simple Lives Thursday, Old-Fashioned Fridays, Fresh Bites Friday, Little House Friday DIY, Fitness Friday, Foodtastically Friday Up in Here, BFF Open House, Sunday School, Fat Tuesday, Small Footprint Friday, Homestead Barn Hop, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday.

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  • Reply Janet April 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Have you tried water kefir? I am not a fan of milk, so when I learned of the water kefir I started experimenting with it. I really like it, it is light and bubbly!

    • Reply Katie April 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      I have tried it! I am still not a master at it and I could never get over the smell of it. But I need to try again! :)

      — K

  • Reply Janelle April 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I know a few people who took activated Vitamin B6 to cure their eczema, its worth a shot!

  • Reply Ameena May 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Really liked the look of your smoothie so gave it a go and thought it delicious. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Katie May 5, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Hope you enjoy it! :)


  • Reply Lauren May 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Katie,
    I just found you through Fat Tuesday. I too have been suffering on and off with eczema. Mine is concentrated on my hands. It gets so bad that I find it difficult to do many of the things I love. I’ll have to look into the book you recommend, but have you looked into trying a low histamine diet? I’ve read quite a few testimonies of people who have relief that way. I’ve found there are three categories of foods in relation to histamine: foods that contain histamine, foods that cause the release of histamine in the body, and actual allergies. It has been quite the song and dance to try and figure out exactly what is going on with myself, so I imagine you are in a similar boat. Anyway, I’m glad to have found you, and I look forward to reading more! :-)

    • Reply Katie May 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Lauren! I will look into the low histamine diet and see what I can find. :) I hope that you find relief soon!

      – K

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  • Reply Marina July 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    My son and daughter as well as myself all have problem with eczema. My daughter had it since she was a baby and she had a bad one. I was breastfeeding her, so it was what I ate effected her. I eliminated all grains, nut, seeds, any sweetener, all fruits and red colored vegetables and nightshades, cocoa, and dairy. Worked like magic. She and I cleared up in a week. Then I would add foods one by one slowly. The reaction to aggravating foods is usually pretty quick. I could only eat few of those foods again until I healed my guts: some nuts, some nightshades, only ghee and yogurt, and some fruits (not red or tropical fruits). I was fine with coconut. We are on GAPS diet for 1.5 years. We are in better shape, but we could never go back to cocoa and my son also can’t have any heat processed dairy (just 100% raw). Both things are hard to digest. Cocoa is unhealthy food though we hear a lot about health benefits of chocolate. There to many anti-nutrients and it’s a highly processed food. Raw cocoa is even worse since it has too many anti-nutrients as I mentioned before. I noticed that people could give up anything, but cocoa. Some just can’t imagine living without grains and dairy. If it is the food that makes eczema flare up, there is nothing else can fix the problem. Some food will be fine after guts are healed, but it is necessary to remove aggravating food until then. There is no magic bullet and we all different. You really have to learn your body response to food. Everybody have different cause of eczema. Try to find those foods and keep them out of your diet for a while (all of them) then you will heal and most of them will not give you any problem latter, but some you’ll be able to eat in small quantities and infrequently. Also, kefir can be a cause as well. It’s very strong for those who did not consume it since they were kids. It contains huge amount of good bacteria and east which can give you a strong detoxifying effect; maybe too strong for you. We had to stop milk kefir for 6 months until we could take probiotics in therapeutical dose well after GAPS Introduction Diet.

    • Reply Katie July 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story with your eczema healing journey, Marina! I really appreciate it. I will definitely look into elimination and GAPS-type diet – it might be just what I need. :)

      Thanks again,

  • Reply Amy July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I like Kefir, but yogurt is still my favorite. Just plain organic whole milk vanilla yogurt – then I can make it a dessert by adding chocolate chips or breakfast with fruit and nuts. I eat it probably once per day and it’s my main source of diary. I’ll have kefir smoothies once in a while and like to have real unpasteurized sauerkraut with beef for dinners. I’ve tried kombucha, but I don’t like it and it upsets my stomach in large doses. I also take a probiotic supplement and fermented cod liver oil daily and use cultured and pastured butter (yum! Can hardly believe it’s a health food!)

    • Reply Katie July 31, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Amy :) Mmm…vanilla whole milk yogurt is delish!

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  • Reply Laurie September 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I think I may have responded last spring to one of your blogs on eczema. I just thought I would let you know that I started constitutional homeopathic treatment last March. One of my issues was a patch of eczema behind my left knee. Well I am happy to report that it has disappeared over the last few months.
    Constitutional treatment takes time, so one will not usually get an over-night cure. It will be interesting to see what winter brings with all it’s dryness.
    I would like to add that homeopathy has helped me with many issues, so I do highly recommend it.

    • Reply Katie October 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Thank you for sharing your update, Laurie! I am glad to hear that you are making some definitely strides in healing! I am curious to see what winter will bring for me too…hoping for soothed skin for the both of us!

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  • Reply Tamara Atencio July 11, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Serious nobody has to do all that changing your diet and crazy stuff. I had eczema bad on my hands. I bought some Aquaphor at Walmart and some gauze and every night at bedtime I would pack on the Aquaphor and wrap it with gauze and in the morning my skin was almost cleared. Don’t scratch tho. And then get some oatmeal in the morning and warm water and just massage it into your skin for like ten minutes and wrap it with the aquaphor and gauze as much as u can. I did it for like 2 weeks and never got it again. I hope this helps you how it helped me.

    • Reply Katie July 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Tamara! I’ll have to try that. :)

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    Have you tried goat milk soap? I make a simple organic soap for my sister and she swears by it. If you choose to give it a try when you shower leave it on the affected area as long as you can.
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