Due to my interest in health, I’ve always loved traditional foods.  My aunt gave me a Lebanese yogurt culture when I was 23 (1983) and I kept it going for a decad. Then one day the incubator I was using (an old fashioned glass thermos) broke and I lost it forever. Then in the mid 90s when my children were young, I always had a mushroom (SCOBY*) to make Kombucha. I had the mushroom until the year 2000 when I went travelling around Australia for two years and it didn’t survive. When I got back in 2002, I couldn’t find a mushroom in my local community.

Because my mum was from a German heritage, sauerkraut was a food that we had when I was a child as well as pickles – we had pickled everything because she also had some American heritage.

Throughout the years, I’ve had water-based kefirs and have made my own cheese and sourdough breads. And this was not because of my knowledge of the microbiome and health of the GUT, but rather because these were traditional foods and part of the burgeoning culture of health.

My mother had a pot of stock brewing after every meal with bones. She would freeze the stock and then use it for her recipes – but little did we know that her ferments and broths were keeping us out of the doctor’s office. Gravy was something she made from the juices of the meat rather than from a box. And today, having being brought up with her traditions and following them myself, I am 55 and have never had need for any antibiotics or painkillers or anti-inflammatories; nor have my adult children.

It was The Body Ecology Diet Book that alerted me to the importance of the microbiome some 10 years ago, and ever since then I can’t get enough understanding of our complex ecology within the GUT and body.

The fact is current hunter gatherers like the Hadzas have no bifidus and the Hunzas have diverse variety in GUT bacteria in the thousands, yet Western diversity is lacking. Diseases can be prevented or progressed all due to the GUT bacteria. In fact there is new research showing that antibiotic resistant bacteria can be neutralised by species within the microbiome. We will stop focusing on antibiotics and instead look at probiotics for our treatment of disease.

We are in a terrible way. Over the last decade our children are getting sicker, so much so that allergies, asthma, autism, ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, anxiety and other physical and mental disorders are increasing within our children and autoimmune diseases are increasing in the adult population.

The use of Roundup as a herbicide in the last decade – with the active ingredient glyphosate – not only destroys soil ecology but human ecology, the microbiome (Seneff). And this chemical is being used more and more. Add to that, the amount of antibiotics being dished out to humans and domestic animals that we consume and the chemicals in our home and food as well as the highly refined carbohydrates with man-made additives and preservatives, we are decimating our microbiome and as each generation passes we see it getting worse.

Being aware of the problem is the first step. Fixing the problem is easy for some, but for others it is going to take a lot of work.

The fermentation of foods and liquids increases nutrition and digestibility and allows access to many nutrients that are sometimes locked up in the food without this process.

If we just learn from our culture and tradition and do what our ancestors did in order to survive millions of years, we just might be able to help future generations.

*SCOBY – A symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast

Happy changing habits,


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Cyndi O'Meara

Founder at Changing Habits
Not your typical nutritionist, Cyndi disagrees with low-fat, low-calorie diets, believes chocolate can be good for you and thinks cheating and eating yummy food is an important part of a well-balanced diet. Cyndi must be doing something right because she maintains a healthy weight and has never (in her whole life!) taken an antibiotic, pain-killer or any other form of medication. Cyndi is a passionate, determined and knowledgeable speaker on health issues and uses her education and experience to help others improve their quality of life so they too can enjoy greater health and longer lives.
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