Posts tagged raw sauerkraut

Q and A Series: People, Products and the Health of Our Planet – Interview with Willow King CEO Ozuké: Fine Pickles, Sauerkraut and Kimchi

For the tenth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Willow King CEO of Ozuké: Fine Pickles, Sauerkraut and Kimchi.

My comment: I found this company when I read about a new product that was being carried at the OB People’s Co-op in San Diego, Ca. I liked what I read, so I decided to look up the company online and read more about the products they make. I then sent a email and Willow was gracious enough to send me a few of the products, including a couple of the sauerkruats, kimchi and pickled vegetables. You will have to go to my youtube channel: for my review of their products. Just to let you know, they are so good and the unique flavor profiles make them pleasing to the palate.

Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

I have always loved nutrition and health and when I got into fermentation it seemed like a wonderful thing to share with the world at large.

Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?

Wow, that is tough. Some poetry- maybe Neruda or TS Eliot, Sunglasses, water, a machete (in hopes that I could find coconuts, mangos and avocados) and some kim chi.

Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well being and longevity?
So much of vibrant health comes from within. Of course it is important to eat life giving food, drink lots of water and get good exercise but I have met many amazing soul that radiate health just by letting their hearts shine and by being willing to be open and vulnerable to the world.

Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?

I know I am partial, but I think fermented foods and drinks are huge addition to any diet. They balance ph, boost immunity, help regulate hormones, sleep, moods and they taste great!

Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?

We make 7 flavors of live, raw, vegan, organic kraut and kim chi. These products are easy to add to salads, sandwiches, rice dishes, noodles, dumplings, soups, burritos- you name it. We are sold in the Rocky Mountain region, Northern and Southern California and the Midwest.

Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?

It is my hope that we learn to enjoy foods that are better for the planet. Eating more plants and grains and allowing the balance to return to ecosystems that have been de-forested, over grazed or otherwise overused. I just finished reading “Diet for a Hot Planet” very intense and inspiring. Simple, clean, food- less packaging, less damage done.

Question #7: Who is your greatest hero and why?

I have to choose one? My Grandmother who has done yoga for 50 years is a heroine of mine. She was eating healthy, stretching, doing breath exercises and practicing the power of positive thinking before it was cool. She is 96 and such a bright light in my life.

Ozuké - Fine Pickles, Sauekraut and Kimchi

Ozuké – Fine Pickles, Sauekraut and Kimchi

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all these products that I do a tasting of:

To find out more about all the great products from Ozuké, go to:

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Company Review: Farmhouse Culture – Fine Fermented Foods

Farmhouse Culture Raw, Organic and Fresh refrigerated fermented Krauts and Kimchis in business since 2009

Tagline from their website: “We make the best darn kraut on the planet by infusing regional organic ingredients with wildly imaginative flavor profile.”

At the Natural Product Expo in Anaheim, CA I always find great new products to share with my readers and this company is definitely one of them. There are so many things to see and there is not enough time to see it all. I am glad I found this one. I love sauerkraut/fermented foods because it is yummy and also is great for your “gut” health. Our intestinal flora needs to be continually renewed and cultured food is a way to do it right! I would rather eat food then take a pill. It also helps if you are dealing with any issues of gluten/celiac (which we probably all have, even if we do not get tested) because it has to do with inflammation in the colon and high quality fermented foods help a lot!

When I tasted the krauts from Farmhouse Culture, I wanted more. They are so good and the flavors are so unique. Even more then that, is their packaging. It is not in a jar, as with most companies, they actually use a pouch that does not leach harmful chemicals (no BPA’s, PVC plasticizers or phthalates). It is commonly used in Europe and this company is the first to use it. What makes it special is the patented Ferment-O-Vent which releases the buildup of pressure without harmful bacteria entering and allows the healthful micro-organisms room to grow. Also, the pouch gas a lower carbon footprint and takes less energy to produce and transport then glass.

My Review

Overall impression: Love the colorful packaging/stand-up pouches with the peek-a-boo windows to see what is inside. All the products are great! It depends on your taste buds and how much “heat” you can handle whether you would try/like the spicier krauts and kimchi. I live the unique flavors/ingredients used as it perks up/excites your palate!


1- Garlic Dill Pickle

This is my all time favorite! #1 for me! It reminds me of Gus Pickles, a company on the Lower East Side of NY where I used to go as a child with my Dad and siblings to get fresh pickles out of the barrels. This is better because it is organic, too. It is so good, I could eat the whole bag. I also love dill and the flavor is great! This is another really good one if you do not want a spicy kraut.

2- Ginger Beet

This is my 2nd favorite! I love the color of this product. It is also high in Vitamin C. Be careful because it may stain you since it has the red color from the beets. Since it is fermented, it actually smells like cooked beets. It also has ginger, which is warming to the body and has medicinal benefits. This flavor is very good and it not too strong for me to handle like the chili and jalepeño in the other products.

3- Classic Caraway

This is my 3rd favorite! This is really good with only a few ingredients. It is simply delicious. For those of you who do not want a spicy sauerkraut, this is a great option. They carry it in a larger pouch, 22 oz size, as it is probably one of the most popular and perhaps was their first product sold.

4- Horseradish Leek

This is my 4th favorite! High in Vitamin C and A. I am familiar with horseradish, as I eat it on Passover, called “marror” or bitter herbs. I like this flavor and it does not taste bitter to me. It has a slight “bite” and not overly strong where I can not eat it.

5- Smoked Jalapeño

This is my 5th favorite! High in Vitamin C. It has daikon radish which is a very good food for the body. It is known to “cut the fat” when eating fatty/oily animal foods – you would grate it finely and eat with your meal. It is also used medicinally – the greens are dried for a hip bath for feminine issues, the radish is also sun-dried and used in cooking. This flavor was spicy for me – hot! It is tasty and flavorful and has a nice crunch. After a short while I got used to it and wasn’t too hot for me.


Spicy Wakame Ginger

This is my 6th favorite! it is high in Vitamin C. It has wakame seaweed which is used in Japanese culture, mostly in miso soup and helps get rid of heavy metal toxicity in the body and high in minerals. It also has ginger which is warming and medicinal to the body. This one was Very Hot for me! The chili powder is more powerful in the heat index then is jalepeño, in my opinion. It is super intense and still is good. The way I can handle it, is by eating a little hit at a time.

Farmhouse Culture - Fine Fermented Foods

Farmhouse Culture – Fine Fermented Foods

Farmhouse Culture - Raw, Organic  Krauts and Kimchi

Farmhouse Culture – Raw, Organic Krauts and Kimchi

To check out more about this great company, their awesome products and where to buy them, go to:

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all these products that I do a tasting of:

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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The Transition to Food and My New Raw Vegan Food Plan/Regimen…Week 3

The Transition to Food and My New Raw Vegan Food Plan/Regimen

Week 3

Day 15 – Tuesday January 26, 2010

It is hared to believe that I am already starting the 3rd week since I ended my cleanse. I have been on a sleepless spree (not completely with out sleep) in the last few days and I am definitely feeling the affects. I woke up at 4 am to use the bathroom and actually went on back on the computer for a while (I had left it on when I lay down to go to sleep) and then went back to sleep till 9 am. I am still having mostly loose bowel movements and have at least a couple in the morning when I wake up. My head was feeling really off today from the lack of sleep and I plan to make it a much earlier night tonight (it is great to have the unlimited access to the internet at home, but my sleep means more to me then that and it can wait till tomorrow, so 10 pm is my deadline from now on!). I ate a kiwi and 6 oz container of blackberries this morning. The sun was out this morning so I figured I would get some laundry done (it was misleading because it didn’t stay out very long). I put it outside by about 10 am and the sun was only out for an hour and then it got cloudy. I hope my things will still dry, but if they don’t I will have to use my indoor wall heater to help out. I was planning to go and do some outside errands, but then I got busy with some other work. I ate an apple, pear, a container of plum tomatoes and some laver seaweed this afternoon. Since the sun didn’t last, I couldn’t do my sunning this morning or go for a walk. A friend called me today and I ended up going out and meeting with a new client to help him with shopping and start on a new food plan. I was home before 5 pm and it had not started raining yet. I did have to use the heater to dry my blanket (picked the wrong thing to hang outside and it took awhile for it to dry inside). I had a salad for dinner with parsley, dulse seaweed, cucumber, celery, large tomato and some juice of half an orange squeezed on top. The rain started at about 6 pm and it has been steady ever since, but nothing like last week when it was really heavy and intense for 5 days. I was hoping to get to sleep by 10 pm, but instead, I got to sleep at 11 pm (at least it was before midnight!).

Day 16 – Wednesday January 27, 2010

I woke up at 2:50 am to use the bathroom (loose bowels) and then went back to sleep till I woke up again at 7 am and had another loose movement. I went back to sleep till 10 am and then got up to start my day. It was great to sleep late for a change and my head feels much better than it did yesterday. I continue to have loose movements and many in one day. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was happy that I would be able to get outside today. I had a kiwi, 1 persimmon and 1 mango at about 10:30 am. I went outside to get my vitamin D for about 30 minutes. I ate some tomatoes and laver seaweed and then I went out for my walk on the sand at 1 pm. For some reason I was having some serious gas/bloating and I rubbed around my intestines in a clockwise motion to help my body release the distress. I allowed me to burp and pass gas which made me feel better. I had to use the bathroom while I was out and had to do a #2 and it was another loose movement. I did some food shopping and came home after 3 pm. I had a 6 oz container of blueberries and a red delicious apple. The bloating seemed to have dissipated and I have a couple of more loose bowel movements this evening. I had a wonderful salad for dinner with a whole bunch of cilantro (in case you didn’t know it is a chelator/heavy metal detoxifier), celery, cucumber, tomato and some raw sauerkraut (Rejuvenative Foods brand – salt free/organic; 1-800-805-7957). Tonight is bath night, yey! I am using bath salts and beeswax candle from the same company that I have mentioned earlier in my journal. I got to sleep at 10:30 pm (doing much better with my time of getting to bed!).

Day 17 –Thursday January 28, 2010

I slept very well last night and woke up at 4:15 am to use the bathroom (had loose movement). I went back to bed until my alarm rang at 6 am and had another loose bowel movement. I ate a kiwi, 6 oz container of blueberries and a persimmon. I had another bowel movement at 7:30 am and this one was solid. I washed the floors of my kitchen and bathroom before leaving this morning, so I can get a head start on my weekly pre-Sabbath house cleaning. I left my place at 7:45 am, as I had a busy day. My first appointment was to donate blood for research. Of course, I have to have good iron levels and I usually eat all the right foods to help with this (including spinach, parsley, seaweeds like kelp and dulse, grapes, etc) and have vitamin c foods along with this to help absorb the iron (such as tomatoes, citrus on the greens, kiwi, etc). I had an 11 0z container of coconut water about ½ hour before I was to donate blood, as I wanted to make sure that I am hydrated. Before I donate blood, the nurse tests me to make sure my iron levels are in the right parameters, as I give a considerable amount (but not as much as when you give at the blood bank). I had not doubt that my levels would be good, but this time they were much lower than usual. I tested at 12.1 and my last donation in October 2009 was at 14.3 (my feeling is that I have been having consistently loose bowel movements since I have completed my cleanse and that signifies that I am not absorbing the nutrients in my food and when I have had solid movements, I know that my body is working optimally). I was still able to donate blood as my number was fine for females. I ate a pear and apple after that to get some nourishment in my body before I start my 1 day a week dry fast. I usually like to start the fast from the night before when I go to bed, but since I was giving blood this morning, I could not do that. After I finished there, I had another appointment for a couple of hours and then went to visit with a friend. I had the chance to weigh myself, but it was on a digital scale, The time was about 12:30 pm and it said I weighed 110.4 lbs (minus my clothes, I would say is at least a pound or two, so I would say 108). I seem to have maintained fairly close to what I weighed when I finished the cleanse and I am happy about that. The main reason I know, is because I am eating very low fat (have 1 avocado, 1 day a week). It was another magnificent and sunny day outside. I made sure that I got home in time to go for a walk while the sun was still out (I missed a connecting bus because the bus I rode was a couple of minutes late and then I had to wait another half hour- besides that my earlier appointment went over by half an hour, so I lost a total of 1 hour), but it was later then I had planned. I had another solid bowel movement before going for my walk at 2:30 pm. I enjoyed my walk very much and was re-energized. I find that when I fast even for 1 day (especially with dry fasting) that I have to get rid of more mucus from my throat and also have more wax buildup in my ear. My conclusion, is that because I am not giving anything to my body, it can eliminate faster what it finds to be toxic and that is a good, no great thing! I left again afterwards to go shopping at my co-op/health food store. I didn’t stay out that long and returned home by 6 pm. I saw a friend of mine on the bus I was riding. Tonight I plan to go to sleep early, as I feel the need to rest more when I am not eating. I am happy to say that I went to bed at 10:40 pm tonight!

Day 18 – Friday January 29, 2010

I slept very well last night and woke up at 7:40 am and used the bathroom and my bowel movement was half and half (loose and solid). I was still on my fast, so I started doing some other things till I would eat at 10 am. I had another movement at 8:45 am and solid small pieces this time. I put a clay mask on my face and then I did some dusting. It was a bit overcast outside and I hope to still get to do my sunning. At 10 am I ate a kiwi, 6 oz container of blueberries and a persimmon. I had some grape and cherry tomatoes a little while later and some kelp and nori seaweed. I felt satisfied and continued with my day. I noticed this morning that I had a bit of an odor in my arm pits. After eating I had solid bowel movements at 11:10 am and 12:10 pm. I did get out to do some sunning in the early afternoon and then finished my cleaning. I went for a walk and then did a couple of errands before coming home. Tonight I get to relax and rest, as my Sabbath is here. Yey! Yesterday was no food day and now from tonight till tomorrow night (follows the lunar calendar) is no work day! I ate dinner this evening with iceburg lettuce, celery, pepper, tomato, cucumber, 1 avocado, lime juice, kelp and dulse powder. I read quite a bit tonight before going to bed at 11:30 pm.

Day 19 – Saturday January 30, 2010

I slept well last night. I woke up at 1:40 am and had a solid BM and went back to sleep till 6:55 am to use the bathroom again and had another solid BM. I decided to get some more rest and slept till 9:15 am. I had a loose movement this time. The sun was already shining outside and I was happy because I’d be able to do my sunning and go for a walk later. I ate at about 9 am and had a kiwi, 6 0z container of blueberries, a persimmon (only have 1 left in the freezer) and a small ataulfo/champagne mango (yellow skin color) which actually wasn’t the best tasting I have had. I went outside to do my sunning for 30 minutes and then got ready to go to services at my synagogue. I had another loose movement at 11:25 am. I went to the synagogue and they were having a special weekend with 300 students from different university/college campuses. At first I didn’t see anyone I knew until after the services ended. I didn’t stay around for lunch (they don’t have food I would partake of, anyway). I went for my walk at 1:30 pm and it was very pleasant. I got home and ate a couple of apples and pears, cherry & plum tomatoes, laver and dulse whole seaweed. I read when I got home , until the Sabbath was over. I had another loose movement at 4:55 pm. In the evening, I got busy with phone calls, internet and ate dinner salad with red leaf lettuce. At 7:10 pm I had another loose movement (as you can tell, I have many movements in one day, as my body tends to have consistent eliminations and gets rid of what it doesn’t need). I had another late night as I had quite a bit of work to do and did accomplish a lot, so it was time well spent. I went to bed at 2 am (yikes!).

Day 20 – Sunday January 31, 2010

It is hard to believe that the month of January is over and I am almost 3 weeks post cleanse. I slept well, but not enough. I awoke at 6:25 am and had a loose movement and then went back to sleep. I then woke at 9:15 am and started by day. I ate a kiwi, 6 oz of blueberries and 1 delectable mango that was sweet, juicy and heavenly. I had another loose BM at 9:40 am. I was glad to see the sun and went outside to do my sunning for 40 minutes. I had another loose movement at 10:20 am, 12:10 pm, 4:35 pm, 6:10 pm and 7:55 pm (now I have shared with you the whole days worth of elimination, in case you were wondering). I went outside for my walk at 1 pm and then went to do some food shopping. The temperature cooled down a bit, so I was glad to had an extra layer to put on. I came home and ate some apples and a pear and in the evening I had a salad with green leaf lettuce. I plan to get to bed much earlier tonight, as I have a busy day tomorrow with some travels out on the bus and some work in the evening. I went to bed at midnight (yes, it still is late, but 2 hours earlier then last night and that is great – so don’t beat yourself up if you have been doing the same).

Day 21 – Monday February 1, 2010

I slept very well last night and woke up once at 2:20 am and had a loose BM. I went back to sleep till my alarm woke me up at 6:30 am. I had another loose movement. I felt rested even though I could have slept more. Starting tomorrow, and from then on, I will be writing about specific topics, instead of merely telling you about my day and what I have been eating. I will discuss various areas that will help you optimize your health & wellness and fit it the scheme of my daily life (they are actually things I do most every day that I haven’t delved into in very much detail and/or I’d like to share more about them with you). I ate a kiwi and 6 oz blueberries this morning. I had another loose movement at 9:20 am. I had plans to go do some errands this morning, but I delayed them because the sun decided to come out and I wanted to do my sunning and walk on the sand. I had an pear and apple after my walk and then some cherry tomatoes and seaweed at home. After my walk, I came home and had another movement at 1:35 pm. I was finally going to get on the bus and do some errands, when I received a call that my evening appointment was canceled. I decided to walk to my co-op/health food store instead of taking the bus. It took me an hour each way and I enjoyed it, especially with it being a beautiful day outside. I had a unexpected tumble on the sidewalk when I was almost home. I was thankful that I was wearing a long skirt and also a jacket so I didn’t have much bruising, only a mild abrasion on my left knee. I always put my hands down in front of me, instinctually to protect my head. I also always carry a product with me called Rescue Remedy from Bach Flower Remedies (; 1-800-214-2850) and it comes in spray or dropper. It is a wonderful homeopathic remedy (it is not raw and does contain grain alcohol which is the best way to extract the essences) and is used when you experience any kind of physical, mental or emotional trauma/stress. It is taken immediately after the occurrence and is safe for all ages and even pets. Most times it is the stress that can kill someone more so then the sustained injury, that is why I would highly recommend everyone carry this product with them daily. I felt much more calm and balanced after taking it and then I continued on my walk. (Note: for these situation which are acute in nature, I take more then the directions recommend and I take it straight without water, if it is in liquid drops because I want to calm down as quickly as possible). I came home and had a great appetite. I ate a few apples and then made a salad with some baby spinach, as my greens for the day. I had another loose bowel movement at 7:10pm. I don’t have any plans for tomorrow, so I will probably stay up a bit later to get more work done and sleep in later tomorrow. I went to sleep at 2 am after being on the computer for a long time and listening to some very enlightening videos on health.

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