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Truth about Sourdough

Think you can’t eat gluten…. Think again.


If you or someone you know is sensitive to gluten you might be surprised to know that you may still be able to enjoy some wheat based breads.

Canberra locals, Lisabeth Gavins and her Naturopath Husband, Mark have been teaching Sourdough Bread Making and Fermented Foods Workshops for around 15 years. Over the years they have received overwhelming feedback from gluten sensitive people who are able to eat wheat bread, made using the authentic Sourdough method that they teach, with no symptoms. “But be warned”, says Lisabeth, “there are a lot of fake sourdoughs out there!”

So why is sourdough more digestible?

Many years ago the only way to make bread was with a “mother” Sourdough Culture that was passed down through generations and shared throughout communities. These live bacteria cultures were made up of wild yeast species and broad range lactobacillus bacteria. These cultures not only made the bread rise, but the bacteria pre-digested the gluten content in the grain through a fermentation process called lacto-fermentation, making grain more easily digestible and the nutrients more available.

“When bread became commercialised the sourdough method was forgotten. This was the start of all our problems with gluten. Our digestive systems just can't handle grain that has not been fermented first,” said Health Kultcha Founder Lisabeth Gavins. “This is why gluten intolerance and Coeliacs is a modern day disease. We stopped fermenting our grain.”

These days wheat is sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, it's irradiated for long term storage, it’s processed so the wheat germ and bran are removed, it’s bleached, and worst of all, it's no longer fermented. 
So is our problem wheat, or what we have done to it?

“Major bread brands know that Sourdough is trending right now, and some have been busted adding vinegar to their loaves and calling it “sour” dough. This is completely deceiving as there is absolutely no lacto-fermentation taking place whatsoever.” Said Lisabeth

Baker’s yeast is one single bacteria species that was isolated, initially to brew beer, and later found to make bread rise quickly. So Bakers could say good-bye to the 4 – 6 hour proofing period used in the traditional sourdough method.

Lisabeth and Mark are the proud owners of a 120 year old Ancient Sourdough Culture that originates from Germany. It is available to purchase online at www.healthkultcha.com.au & through Health Food Stores Australia wide.

Just in time for Easter, why not try these.

Sourdough Spelt Hot Cross Bun recipe.


¾ cup active 120yr old Ancient Sourdough Culture visit www.healthkultcha.com.au/sourdough for full instructions)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
60g honey
50g melted butter (cooled) or oil
1 egg (optional)
1 cup Water or milk
150g currants, raisins & sultanas, or mixed dried fruit
4 cups Organic white or whole Spelt Flour – or a combination of the two.


Activate the culture
Combine all ingredients in order listed
Mix flour in 1 cup at a time, stir in until it is too stiff to turn by hand. Leave a little excess flour for kneading.
Knead dough for a few minutes
Cut into 9 or 10 even pieces and roll into balls.
Place on a greased tray.
Place in a warming cupboard for 2-6 hours between 29 and 35 degrees C
Once risen, make up a thick paste with flour and water, thick enough so the mixture doesn't run off the buns.
To make the crosses use a cake decorator, or a plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner
Bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes.
Glaze the top of the buns with 50/50 melted honey and water.

Serve warm with butter – best eaten fresh from the oven

Swiss Show the Way With An Integrative Approach To Healthcare

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When I think of Switzerland, my mind conjures up images of snow clad peaks and bubbling pots of fondue, Swiss Army knives and delicious chocolate. Yet within this country famous for its impartiality and civic order lurks a radically progressive model of healthcare.

 In 2017 the Swiss government recognized that complementary medicine modalities including homeopathy, traditional Chinese Medicine and herbal medicine met sufficiently high criteria of quality and safety to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Act on Health Insurance. This ruling guaranteed Swiss citizens universal access to complementary medicine

 Surprisingly the sky did not fall in. In fact, the Swiss Society of General Internal Medicine and the Swiss Medical Association along with the major political parties, backed the interior ministry’s decision. Not surprising really given, that in Switzerland, it is commonplace for GP’s and specialists to prescribe natural remedies like herbs and homeopathic medicine.

 How are the Swiss faring? They’re very well thank you in fact they enjoy the second highest life expectancy in the world (just pipped by Japan).

 Contrast that to the situation in Australia, where our government is on April 1st preparing to axe health fund rebates for a swathe of complementary medicines including herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, pilates, tai chi, and yoga. It seems that, whilst the Australian public has embraced complementary medicine, our political parties and health institutions seem intent on dragging us back to a 1950’s white picket fence model of conservative health care.

 In 2018 Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) commented that “People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk, if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.”

I wonder what the 27% of Swiss GP’s who prescribe homeopathic medicines alongside pharmaceutical medicine think? Can such a large cohort of highly educated and well-trained physicians be blindly putting their patient’s well-being at risk or are they finding that the natural remedies they use are both safe and effective when used judiciously.

 I’d like to think that in 2019 its time for Australia to be embracing a Swiss style progressive medical landscape where we support and celebrate the wide choice of health modalities we have available.

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Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stressanxiety and depression
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of meditatewithwes.com an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist.