Last month I drove a 400-mile round trip to visit Shann Nix Jones on her farm in West Wales. Why? Well, mainly out of curiosity. I suffer from poor digestion after eating certain foods, which manifests itself in belching and acid reflux. This is uncomfortable and unsocial, but bothers me because I take great pride in my health and my digestion is the one area that isn’t working well. So, when I saw a Facebook ad which offered a natural remedy for indigestion (among other benefits), I clicked the link to a website for a company called Chuckling Goat.
What is Chuckling Goat?
Chuckling Goat is a company run by Shann and her husband, and it provides goat milk kefir and products based on essential oils and goat milk such as soaps and lotions. The products are all natural, and the benefits of the kefir go far beyond digestive problems. The kefir is made in the traditional Russian way, and has been proven to be effective for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), autoimmune conditions like eczema and asthma, bronchial conditions, depression and autism.
You can hear Shann’s story first-hand by listening to the podcast I recorded with her or watching the video on YouTube or on our Facebook page. One of the reasons I was willing to drive to the farm in Wales, was to meet Shann and hear her story in person. I’d already read her book, so had an idea of the story, but I was also intrigued to visit the farm and see how it all worked.
Shann moved to the US over ten years ago with her then husband. The relationship ended, and Shann moved to a small village nearby to consider her options. She met Rich, a neighbouring farmer, and then became a couple. During this time, her son Benji contracted a bronchial infection, and Rich suggested getting a goat. After explaining his reasons, they bought a goat and began to feed the milk to Benji, who got better. This left Shann with spare goat milk in the fridge, so she researched how to make kefir and the company was born. They now serve 60,000 customers in 28 countries and are expanding rapidly. Everything is still done by hand by the team at the farm though.
What are the benefits?
Our guts are colonised by bacteria – some friendly and some not so friendly. Scientists are now discovering more about the gut every week. We know there are links between the gut and the brain for example, and therefore connections between our gut health and mental health for example. Some people call the gut the second brain and others challenge that school of thought by claiming the gut is the first brain. There are links between autism and the gut, and it’s believed that autoimmune conditions affecting the skin like asthma and eczema can be helped and even cured by addressing the types of bacteria in the gut and diversity of bacteria. Goat milk contains good bacteria, and because it doesn’t have a protein called A1 casein, which many people are allergic or sensitive to, most of us can tolerate it really well.
What’s changed for me
I’ve been taking the goat milk kefir every morning for a month at time of writing, and it has helped with my digestion. I’ve also started using the soap (made from goat milk, kefir, lavender, essential oils, roots, herbs and clay).
My skin is much softer and doesn’t dry out as much, and I use the soap for everything – face, hair, body. I will take the small dose of kefir every morning now as I believe it’s helping and feel better for it. I plan to take the kefir every morning for the immediate future because the benefits are worth it and the daily dose costs less than a cup of coffee.
Digestion is one of our Six Signals®, which we believe are key indicators of good health. Whilst digestion isn’t the most exciting thing people want to talk about when they consider health, it is fundamental to our sleep, mental health, energy levels and body composition.
What’s your Health IQ?
If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.
Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.