It’s been almost five years for our family taking one whole foods probiotic supplement, ever since I finally beat back my candida overgrowth after about six months of trying a LOT of things, including a few other commercially available probiotics. Today I get to SHARE with you!
We decided we’d try this one when I had the opportunity to listen in on a teleseminar with the formulator of the Miessence probiotics, a pioneer and expert in the field. I was captivated, and I wanted to try the probiotic he formulated and has been perfecting for over a decade. It’s a powder made of 26 different fermented foods…and it’s green as green can be. (That will come into play soon)
Why This Probiotic?
Since the Miessence InLiven probiotic is a bit of a pain to take – because it’s so green (see below for my tricks) – you might ask: “Why this one, Katie? What makes it so special?”
Here are just a few of the reasons:
- certified organic
- made with food, made of food
- includes a prebiotic (food for the healthy bacteria) with the probiotic, which is essential – if the probiotic doesn’t have its own food within the supplement, they’d die before they got to you
- acid resistant bacteria to ensure safe passage through the stomach and into the intestines and thereby into the bloodstream
- made with “educated bacteria” – no summa cum laude diplomas exactly, but for 15 years, these bacteria have been stressed out. What I mean is that the creators of the probiotics took the fermenting bacteria and stressed them with things that would kill them so they created natural immunity. They’d grow a colony and douse it with fluoride. When they were almost all dead, they’d take whatever was left and start a new colony, over and over, until the bacteria became completely resistant to the problems, including antibiotics, birth control, steroids, preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers and more – those are all the things that kill healthy bacteria, including the ones inside our bodies that we want to stay there. This is a huge step that no one else does with their bacteria.
Besides that, within a short time of taking a teaspoon-ish a day, my candida rash disappeared completely, and my husband’s Crohn’s symptoms also stopped flaring up (and haven’t returned since last fall). Read more about my journey to cure candida naturally HERE.
That was beyond expectations, and I ordered more when we ran out.
I also wasn’t sick that first winter that I started taking this probiotic regularly, even though we had plenty of colds, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, and stomach viruses in the family that winter and two bouts of pneumonia that we cured naturally in my nursing toddler. I took other measures to stay healthy, but this probiotic is probably the only strategy I’d never done in other years. For a while I was the only one in the family taking it every day, but for years it’s been a family affair for sure.
When someone feels a little sick, the first thing I do is give them an extra spoonful.
Some stats on the superfood probiotics, in a recent conversation with Miessence HQ:
- InLiven averages between 20-40 million CFU’s per gram
(with 2 teaspoons per serving (we just take one-ish), that’s about 100-200 million CFUs per serving)
- FastTract averages between 150-240 million CFU’s per mL
(there are about 5 mL in a teaspoon, so let’s say 750million to 1.2 billion CFUs per normal serving)
To say there is a static number is impossible since the bacteria are alive and vary batch to batch. And although the numbers may seem small compared to laboratory-made probiotics, the QUALITY and ROBUSTNESS of these bugs is incomparable, due to the mother culture being challenged by heat, cold, salt, carbonation, and preservatives that would normally kill probiotics. They are a super-breed of bacteria that can withstand challenges that other probiotics cannot.
Because liquids can hold a much higher concentration of bugs than a dried powder, FastTract is purely a concentrated source of probiotics, great for really hitting an ititial super-dose of probiotics.
The key differences between InLiven and FastTract is that InLiven also has the pre-digested, concentrated prebiotic nutrition from the 26 fermented whole foods. It’s best as the long-term maintenance product.
Who Needs Probiotics?
This post on the effects of antibiotics really clinched in my mind the need for good probiotics in our family, and the follow-up is excellent too. If you’re thinking that you don’t have a digestive issue that would warrant probiotics, you might be surprised. It seems that every time I mention any ailment of any kind on Facebook, I can’t believe the number of times people reply with, “Are you taking a good probiotic?” That always used to intimidate me, because I wasn’t sure what a “good” probiotic meant.
After taking four pages of typed notes as fast as I could keep up on the talk that I heard before trying the probiotic, I feel like I finally know some answers. I’m excited that I got interview the formulator about the subject of probiotics – You can still get the recording if you request it HERE.
- “90% of cells that make up our body are not human cells. Most of them are trillions of microbacteria that make up our…symbiotic relationship with our microbes.”
- The balance of bacteria should be “85% good and 15% bad. As long we provide the proper environment, the body will heal itself. When you have too much of the bad, your body doesn’t make use of nutrients. You could have the greatest diet in the world and perfect nutritional supplements, but if your bacteria balance is off, you can’t utilize it.”
- Infants: Probiotics can be used to support a baby’s developing digestive system. In America 24% of babies are born via C-section and do not go through the birth canal. They miss the opportunity to pick up bifidus bacteria there, and many babies also start life with a broad spectrum antibiotic that sterilizes that early immune system.
- The elderly: “At age 60, there’s 1000 times fewer friendly bacteria than in younger adults. This causes a susceptibility to bowel disorders and infections; antibiotics are often used, which further damages bacterial balance. It’s especially important for the older generation to be on good probiotics.”
- People with food sensitivities: “Many food and digestive disorders are really a root cause of not getting probiotics right.”
- Everyone: “People have 100 trillion cells, and each cell performs 6 trillion functions per second, which means our body is performing 6 to the 26th power functions every second. In all those functions, probiotics are involved. Even if one is missing, no functions happen.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m totally fascinated by all this. Please grab the replay and listen to it on your phone while you’re busy doing all the things moms do!
Some of the questions asked include “What’s better: a supplement or fermented foods?” “Why would someone consider taking probiotics?” and from a reader, “How can a probiotic get through the acidic stomach to the colon to be absorbed?”
Why Hide a Powdered Probiotic Supplement? (Our Family’s Story)
I’ve tried to hide a lot of things in a bowl of yogurt, and the children always notice.
And asking your kid to close his eyes and let you feed him about five bites of applesauce will only work once or twice.
Mary Poppins may have had splendid luck with a spoonful of sugar and a happy song and dance, but in my experience, sometimes getting the “medicine down” is quite the difficult parenting song and dance – even when it’s adults taking the medicine! And since the spoonful of sugar would feed the bad bugs we’re trying to fend off by taking probiotics, that’s not really an option here.
You may have heard me talk before about our family’s experiences with cod liver oil, so you know we’re not wimps about things that taste awful (except my DH, who won’t come near the stuff if it’s not in a capsule).
Even with that experience, there was a little learning curve in going from a capsule to a teaspoon of green powder that doesn’t really dissolve in liquid…because it’s food, not sugar or salt or any crystalline substance.
Tasty looking stuff, isn’t it?
This was my first attempt at getting it down. I mixed the powdered probiotic into the yogurt after taking this picture, but there’s a definite taste to the probiotic, and for me, it just ruined my yogurt so that I couldn’t enjoy it. In general, my philosophy with things that don’t taste very good is “less is more,” so mixing it into something else that then requires 10-15 bites instead of just one is never preferable. I figure it’s always easier to take one or two really yucky bites of something than a whole bowl that tastes mostly yucky.
Ultimately, this probiotic has too much flavor to mix into either yogurt or applesauce. Others that don’t taste like anything would be good candidates for the mix-it-in treatment, with applesauce generally hiding things slightly better than yogurt, perhaps because there’s some texture.
For my 4-year-old daughter, I tried putting a bit on a spoonful of applesauce and covering it with a bit more applesauce to somewhat encapsulate it. I wasn’t very adept at the covering process, but I don’t know that it would have mattered. The 4-year-old girl made quite a face and said, “That’s awful!” but she got it down and accepted another bite the next day, even though it was still awful. She’s a tough cookie!
Mixing it into straight water is also not so great because it’s really quite gritty, and just not for me.
The easiest way to get the probiotic in is to whiz it up in a smoothie, but unless you’re making smoothies for one, it’s hard to gauge exactly how much people are getting in each serving. (Although you could fairly easily mix a spoonful into individual servings as I don’t think the blender is doing anything particularly magical in the mixing process.)
I discovered my favorite method as quite a surprise, considering I thought it was awful in water.
Here’s what I do:
ice in the glass…
eye up about a teaspoon of the probiotic powder…
pour in water kefir – this is our cherry-flavored version, but I prefer lemon with the green stuff…
mix heartily with a fork…
The green granules don’t really dissolve at all, so they’ll start settling almost immediately. I keep stirring as I go and expect that my last few sips will be very heavy on the grit. Sometimes I need to pour in another splash of liquid to clean out the bottom of the glass.
I’m to the point where I actually enjoy the flavor, at least while mixed with the kefir. If you don’t make water kefir, I highly recommend water with a squeeze of lemon as the delivery vehicle, preferably with ice. I don’t know why ice makes a difference in the enjoyment factor, but somehow it does. (If you’re interested in water kefir, another way to get probiotics into your family for cheap, here’s my latest how-to video.)
John, 19 months, loves everything Momma has, so he’ll happily sip quite a bit of this mixture and probably gets a good dose of probiotics for his little body.
For the big kids, who take the probiotic too, we offer the liquid version, called FastTract, which is formulated similarly but is gluten-free (the powder has fermented wheatgrass in it). I like that because I can just put a bit on a spoon without having to plan out how I’m going to mix the powdered form with something else, etc., etc.
Since it’s fermented, there’s some mild carbonation going on. My kids think it tastes like pop, which is pretty awesome and really helps my cause.
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What About Probiotics at School?
When school started, I felt like my hands were tied – in the hustle and bustle of dinner, I almost never think about supplements, and suddenly my kids were far far away from me at lunch! What’s a real food mama to do when you want to get supplements into the kiddos at two different times of day?
Sneak them in the lunch box, that’s what.
If you’re a smoothie maker, no doubt you’ve already figured out that “smoothie” is the modern day word for “Trojan horse” when it comes to getting good stuff into your family: kale, spinach, sweet potato, coconut water, maybe some hemp or chia seeds, and often kelp powder will make appearances in our smoothies – along with the powdered probiotic, which is even less expensive than the liquid, win-win!
Once all that good stuff is in a smoothie, it’s really not that hard to think about sending supplements to school – and most of the time your kids will think you’re sending a treat!
My kids love their Squooshi pouches (above) and the Kinderville popsicle molds, and I’m telling you – it’s really all about presentation. I sent a smoothie this week that had been frozen in glass 1-cup containers simply because I ran out of the fun packaging. Both came home half eaten. Apparently spoons are way too boring.
So make your power-packed smoothie, freeze in fun containers and send probiotics with happy children to school!
Don’t worry about killing the probiotics by freezing, by the way. I can vouch that I’ve made yogurt from a starter that had been frozen for months and months, and it still worked – proof in the pudding that the bacteria were still alive after their deep freeze.
To recap, the best ways to take a powdered probiotic are:
- Use the liquid for kids – it only takes a tiny serving!
- Whiz in a smoothie, perhaps individually by the glass (or frozen in a school lunch).
- Mix into water kefir or lemon water.
- Mix into one bite of applesauce.
Disclosure: I am a “rep” for Miessence because I use the products, want to share them with my readers, and hope to get my own products more or less covered (and you can, too). So those links go to my “store” and Lacey will be the rep who answers all your questions. I wouldn’t have signed up for the program if I wasn’t using the probiotics regularly myself though. See my full disclosure statement here.