Why I bake bread + how it won't kill your gut


When I moved to Tahiti in 2012, Pau'ou, the owner of the pearl farm, would make fresh bread every day. He would make a huge loaf to leave on the counter for all of his workers to eat after a long day in the ocean. We would spread grassfed butter from New Zealand on it. I remember the bright yellow color. And the warm smell.

During my time on the farm, I struggled with a severe eating disorder. I had moved from my controlled vegan lifestyle in Boston to an island where I had no choice what I was eating and no grocery store. 

I remember writing down everything I ate each day and scribbling "BAD" next to it when there was bread. I would punish myself because in my broken world, carbs and bread would make you fat and sick. 

My eating disorder didn't stop during my trip to Tahiti. It took years after to slowly recover. But reflecting on that time in my life, I can say that I learned something very important that I probably would have never learned otherwise.

"To pause in the pursuit of happiness, or those perfect moments are going to pass you by."

I look at pictures of my 22 year old self on that trip to Tahiti and think, if only I could just see how perfect I was. Instead of the imperfections that blinded me.

If only I could have smelled the warm bread fresh from the oven and thought, this bread is made of love and ingredients that will sustain my activity in the ocean today.

If only I could have looked at my behavior and thought, these rules that you place on yourself and your body and hurtful and are causing you pain.

And lastly, if only I could have paused in the pursuit of happiness, as I look at the breathtaking sunset, to just be happy. 

This week, I fermented my own sourdough bread. It brought back lots of feelings. And it reminded me how far I have come. Part of my life mission is to rely less on the outside world and do my best to create what I can for myself; starting with bread!

Many of you may be thinking, bread is bad for you. And that it will make you fat and sick. Well, I would have said that 5 years ago but I have learned so much more. Not all breads are created equally and they do not have to be off limits in your diet.

What makes sourdough bread superior to other breads?

  • Sourdough breaks down gluten which can cause many people to be bloated or have stomach pains. This bread is easier to digest. 

  • The lactic acid produced during the fermentation process predigests the grains for you causing less stress on the digestive system.

  • Because of the fermentation process, many of the simple sugars present in the grain are eaten up in the process. This process makes the bread easier on blood sugar levels. The fermentation process also makes the bread higher in nutrients, especially B vitamins.

Find my recipe here and enjoy an experience that will bring you back to your roots. 


Andrea Rodgers