New Years Day – what does that look like for you?
For most people I know and myself it looks something like this:
Sleep in, nurse champagne hangover, go for a brisk walk outside, review resolutions, and settle in for a day of football with a steaming plate of pork and sauerkraut…
(For my clients and myself, same scenarios but sub a green juice for coffee and nix the pork! Squash and sauerkraut anyone?)
So what part of that January 1st rundown should get play everyday?
Did you guess…….SAUERKRAUT?!?!?
OK, OK it was a trick question. There is actually more than one idea to keep all year from that description
- Reviewing resolutions (aka GOALS) should be done every day, week, month, etc. What lazy bastards only make goals once a year?!?
- You should get outside in the sunshine for a few minutes every day to soak in the rays Vitamin D.
- Rest and recovery is essential to your fitness regime.
However, these are topics for another time.
(Resolution “conquer procrastination” didn’t make my cut this year)
Right now I wanna talk about the joys of fermented cabbage! Yay!
So what is so great about sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It is made by pickling the cabbage so that the natural lactobacilli bacteria present on the cabbage leaves ferments the sugars inside the cabbage.
Therefore sauerkraut is a natural probiotic and full of enzymes that are really good for your digestion.
Probiotics help friendly bacteria to flourish in your stomach. They help to digest both grains and protein. I.e. you’ll “Eliminate”/ aka go to the bathroom more often! :-p
I’m all for fast and healthy digestion that but how am I going manage eating kraut every day?
Mix it up!
- Throw it into soups after you cook the soup. Don’t cook it into the soup. It will just get mushy and rob the probiotic benefits.
- Put on top of salads.
- Try mixing in different flavors and spices like ginger, curry, cayenne, and lime.
And by the way–eat it at the START of your meal so that it can create a nice base to help digest the protein or starch to follow.
Where do I get sauerkraut?
- 1. You can make your own at home but I haven’t had much luck with that myself yet. Will need more lessons from Mom on that one. There are plenty of youtube clips on making sauerkraut at home if want to try it out though.
- You can find some really creative and tasty ones at farmers market and natural food stores. I’ve seen variations flavored with rye, curry, ginger, and ones made with carrots and beets in them as well. Yum!
- In big grocery store chains the kraut can be found in bags in the frozen section or in glass jars in the “kosher and ethnic foods” aisle.
What the hell was with this blog post?
I’ve never even heard of eating sauerkraut on New Years Day!
It might sound silly but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that this meal isn’t EVERYONES New Years tradition. Oh myopia. Everyone I grew up with did it- but upon and moving out of PA and doing some research – I found out that the whole pork and sauerkraut thing is actually a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.
Italians have the seven fishes, southerners do black eyed peas and greens, and there are tons of other traditions that I don’t know about.
Try out the sauerkraut for a happy and frequently eliminating belly. But I’m also curious what other healthy traditions you and your family do to ring in the year? Let me know below.
Happy 2012. SP