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Kefir Kommunity

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Welcome to Kefir Kommunity! This is your one-stop-shop for nutrition news from around the blogosphere. If it’s got to do with kefir or probiotics, chances are, it’s here. But you’ll also find cutting edge information, articles and links to stories about all things health – from workout trends to cool food science research, delicious recipe suggestions to expert Q & As. We love to share our passion for what we do with the best customers in the world, while offering you exclusive info on special events, deals, promotions and all sorts of other happenings at Lifeway HQ and beyond. We encourage  you to tap into the power of Kefir Kommunity’s blog by reaching out to us or fellow kefir fans with comments or questions. So make yourself at home, pull up a chair and stay a while. We promise to treat you right. 
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Nutrition




Feeling a little (coco)nutty?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/24/2014 11:23 AM


Wonder Woman, Batman, The Hulk and Captain America have some competition; a new superhero who goes by the name of Coconut Oil Man.

Honestly, is there anything coconut oil can’t do? A fantastical new health claim pops up every day, with fans claiming the liquid gold can do everything from sooth skin to shed weight to whiten teeth.

Smile brightening: Oil pulling is the hottest trend to hit mouths since Miley Cyrus’ tongue got its own Twitter account. According to the ancient practice, you swish coconut type of oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes a day, with the goal of whitening your teeth and preventing bad breath. Just be sure not to spit it out in your sink; the oil will harden and could clog your pipes.

Tasty baked goods: Coconut oil is extremely heat stable, meaning it tolerates high temperatures well. Use it to stir fry Asian veggies, in fragrant Indian curries, or as a substitute for butter or shortening in muffins, brownies or scones. Beware: It’s solid at room temperature, so you’ll need to melt it down first (you can just set the jar in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.) Or leave it as a solid and…

Supple skin: …rub it on your elbows, knees and heels to soften your skin. You can also add a few spoonfuls to a hot bath, or smooth a tiny amount over your hair to ease frizz. 

Weight loss: Coconut oil has long been on nutritionists’ hit lists, thanks to its higher amounts of saturated fat. But the types of triglycerides it contains are metabolized differently in the body from other saturated fats; they’re typically used for energy rather than stored as fat. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that women who ate four teaspoons of purified Medium Chain Triglyceride oil (the type of fat found in high concentrations in coconut oil) daily for four months lost twice as much weight as those eating the same amount of olive oil. In fact, Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr has revealed that she consumes four tablespoons of coconut oil every day.

Coconut oil too…oily for you? Lifewat kefir makes a tasty lowfat Coconut Chia Kefir and Tart and Tangy Frozen Coconut Kefir Bars. Feel free to swish. 

Demented Fermenters - Contest!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/4/2014 9:18 AM


When we read a story in a recent Saturday Evening Post about a foodie movement made up of passionate probiotic fans who call themselves the "Demented Fermenters," we had to hear more. Also profiled in the story was natural foods pioneer Sally Fallon Morell, the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

In her book, Fallon Morell describes her technique for DIY vegetable fermenting that’s so easy, it will turn anyone into a Demented Fermenter. Haven’t dipped your toes into the sauerkraut pool yet? Try her recipe for Ginger Carrots, then go bolder was you cultivate a taste for these pickled treats:

Homemade Ginger Carrots

4 cups grated carrots, tightly packed

1 T freshly grated ginger

1 T sea salt

4 T whey (if whey is not available, use an extra 1 T salt)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl; pound with a wooden pounder of meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sixed, wide-mouth mason jar, pressing down firmly until juices cover the carrots. (The top of the carrots should be at least one inch below the top of the jar.) Screw lid on tightly and leave on kitchen counter at room temperature for three days, then transfer to the refrigerator.

This method can be replicated with cabbage for sauerkraut. (Use one medium cabbage, cored and shredded, plus 1 T caraway seeds.)

Want to try Fallon Morell’s zingy recipes? We are giving away a copy of Nourishing Traditions! To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling us your favorite pickled veggie, or the pickled veggie you’ve always been too scared to try. We’ll notify the winner by Valentine’s Day.

Be an Olympian!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/30/2014 11:53 AM
When Michael Phelps won an incredible eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, people started paying attention to everything from his 12-pack abs to what he ate for breakfast (he was rumored to throw back 12,000 calories a day; a myth he later debunked.) With the 2014 winter Olympics fast approaching, athletes are no doubt searching for the most effective foods to complement their rigorous training schedules.

Read More »

Hold the Mayo?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/15/2014 1:35 AM

You probably have strong feelings about mayo. Most people either love it or hate it and have a hard time understanding folks in the opposite camp. One thing we may all agree on is that it’s not the healthiest condiment. Whether it’s your favorite indulgence or you haven’t let the stuff touch your lips in decades, you might find a substitute handy as we enter a new year and discover a new you. We’ve gathered some of our favorite mayo alternatives for a side by side comparison on flavor and functionality.

What’s your favorite healthy substitute?

Click here or on the image for a full-size verison.

Lifeway mayo substitutions

 

Can you fuel up with kefir?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/28/2013 8:24 PM


We recently received the following letter from a hard-working customer:

To whom it may concern,

I have started drinking Kefir for my health and absolutely love it. As I am trying to stick to a strict whole foods diet I only drink the plain and have found it is not only delicious but extremely nutritious. I have one question: As one of the rages right now is to drink chocolate milk after a workout (i.e. the carbs and protein are utilized to help post-workout stress) one thing I have started to do is drink Kefir after my workouts instead of chocolate milk as a post-work out replenishment drink.  I do this because of the higher protein content and that it is a 50/50 mix of carbohydrates to protein.  And as it is similar to whey protein (but unprocessed) I assume that it is as quickly digested.  And that is my question, is there any information available that would help back up my assumption?  Or anything that would show the benefits of Kefir as a post-workout replenishment drink?  Anything would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you from one satisfied customer,

R

 

Well, R, we're glad you wrote!

The reason chocolate milk has been touted for its potential in workout recovery is, as R notes, its mix of protein and carbs - both essential for helping your muscles heal and your body regenerate. Lowfat chocolate milk boasts an ideal 4:1 carbohydrate:protein ratio, which is similar to many commercial recovery beverages. It also has sodium and is a fluid, both of which are known to assist in post-workout recovery.

We asked San Diego-based exercise physiologist Pete McCall for his take on substituting choco milk with kefir and he confirms that yes, drinking plainkefir offers very similar recovery benefits as chocolate milk. McCall points out that, as our customer mentioned, plain lowfat kefir has a 1:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. McCall also likes kefir as a workout recovery drink because it’s “relatively easy on the stomach due to the probiotics, and has carbs for energy replacement.”

So what are you waiting fot? Go hit the pavement for a nice run and afterward, reward yourself - and your muscles -  with a tall, cold glass of kefir!

 

Eating to Beat Diabetes

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/16/2013 10:59 AM
This month's issue of Family Circle magazine features a story on diabetes-fighting foods, and we were psyched (but not surprised) to see kefir listed among their top 10. Many people know that salmon and kale are ridiculously good foods for preventing all sorts of ills, but not too many are aware that creamy, tangy kefir has a place in thwarting diabetes.

Read More »

Refocusing on Global Wellness at the Social Good Summit

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/24/2013 7:43 PM

Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky SGS2013

This afternoon, Lifeway's CEO Julie Smolyansky participated in the Social Good Summit's panel discussion, "Refocus Wellness: How Shifting the Basics Can Change the Course of Global Health." Her panel, along with many more on a myriad of social change-related topics, are all posted online for viewing at your convenience. 

As an advocate of probiotic foods like kefir, Julie's healthcare lens focused on getting people set up for health success before they get sick. She noted that "we don't have a healthcare system, we have a 'sick-care' system." Rather than waiting for health problems to become unmanageable, kefir and other probiotic foods can enhance our health rather than damage it like a lot of processed, less wholesome foods that make their way into our diets today.

To sum it up, our CEO quoted famous nutritionist and whole foods advocate Ann Wigmore - "Food is either the best medicine or the slowest form of poison." The kefir we make at Lifeway certainly doesn't fall into the latter category.

Moo U: Lifeway Milk 101

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/14/2013 11:25 AM

Lifeway’s 12 live & active kefir cultures deserve a lot of credit for creating the delicious, nutritious, probiotic wonder you know and love, but they’re really only half of the equation. Great kefir starts with great milk and Lifeway is dedicated to sourcing some of the best there is. This quick Q&A is here to shed some light on what makes our milk wonderful, why it’s good for you and good for the original “kefir-ization”—fermented milk!

Golden Guernsey cow waukesha
from great cows...

Lifeway Organic Peaches and Cream Kefir
comes great Lifeway Kefir.

1. What animals are we working with?

Lifeway kefir is all made from cow’s milk, but not just any cows! Every farm we source from is located in the Midwest, near our facilities in Illinois, and every animal is of the Guernsey breed. Guernsey cows are known for producing milk that is golden in color, due to a high level of beta carotene, an excellent source of Vitamin A. Their milk is also higher in butterfat and protein than most dairy cows. What makes Guernsey cow particularly special, is a higher prevalence of A2 beta casein protein than any other breed. Most dairy cattle today have the naturally occurring genetic variant, A1 beta casein, which has been studied as a possible cause of several health problems. Soon, Lifeway’s production will be expanding to the recently purchased Golden Guernsey dairy in Wisconsin, famous for their premium milk and fiberglass replica of the majestic Guernsey beast!

2. Is the milk pasteurized?

Yes, the milk is pasteurized before it is inoculated with kefir cultures, insuring that all the bugs are friendly and probiotic. Since many states heavily regulate the sale of raw milk products, Lifeway uses pasteurized milk so kefir fans across the nation can enjoy our product.

3. What do the cows eat?

The cows are fed a grass-based diet. Our milk suppliers have trusted relationships with the small farms that send them milk and supply Lifeway with grass-fed Guernsey milk.  In addition to being a natural, healthy diet for the cows, the feed is GMO free. The Farmer’s Pledge on our bottles tells you we don’t take GMO for an answer—we support GMO labeling by being enrolled in the non GMO project.


4. Are there Growth Hormones in the milk?

Nope! Lifeway does not use milk from cows treated with rBst, rBGH or any other artificial growth hormone.

5. Is the milk organic?

Not all Lifeway kefir is made with organic milk, but we do make lowfat and whole milk organic kefir in several flavors. The organic milk we use also meets every other stringent requirement listed above!

If the Blueberry joined Match.com

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/22/2013 10:22 AM


In recognition of
National Blueberry Month, we’ve taken the liberty of writing up an online dating profile for our favorite fruit. Let’s show Blue some love:

Full Name: Vaccinium corymbosum L.

Nickname: Blueberry

Astrological sign: (Anti-) Cancer

Last relationship:Violet Beauregarde, back in 1971. That did not end well.

Body type: Round and pleasingly plump but surprisingly fat free. Smooth skinned. I’ve been called “juicy” before and I didn’t mind one bit.

Kids? Kids love me!

Cause that’s closest to my heart: That’s easy - Every Mother Counts.

Pet peeve: Insects bug me.

Favorite actress: Halle Berry

Favorite childhood toy: Strawberry Shortcake


Willing to relocate? Yes, but only to Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, and North Carolina. Those are the states I thrive in.

If I wasn’t a berry, I’d be: A cobbler.

Ideal date: I just want a sweet muffin to grow old with, doing crossword puzzles* and fighting free radicals. Message me and we can meet for a smoothie.

Best way to reach me: Try me on my Blackberry.

* In one study, 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption boosted scores on two different tests of cognitive function, including memory, in older adults.

 

Ditch your diet soda

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/19/2013 9:37 AM

There’s a reason we don’t make Diet Soda-flavored kefir. Besides being filled with fake chemicals, diet pop cause gassiness and bloating, and has been shown to increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Now we can add another reason to the list: Diet diet soda (or “pop,” as we Midwesterners call it) actually causes you to gain weight.

lifeway kefir takes diet soda down

A brand new study in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism found that the artificial sweeteners in no/low-calorie soft drinks trick your body, making it think it’s getting real sugar. But when your system realizes no calories are coming in, it gets confused and basically forgets how to function normally. The next time you consume real sugar, your body forgets to release the proper hormones that regulates blood sugar and blood pressure, and voila…you gain weight. Ain’t nothing “diet” about that.

In fact, other recent research has shown that diet soft drink users have 70% bigger waist circumferences compared with non-drinkers; people who threw back two or more diet sodas a day experienced 500% greater increases! What would Sofia Vergara say about that?! The theory: Super sweet artificial sweeteners trigger the release of insulin, which lowers blood sugar. But because no calories are coming in, your blood sugar drops, triggering hunger and sugar cravings…and you wind up eating more.

More incentive to put the can back on the shelf: Caffeine withdrawal is now included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the psychiatric world’s umbrella list of official mental disorders), and many diet sodas contain caffeine. Researchers also now know that mixing diet soda with alcoholic drinks causes you to become about 20% more intoxicated compared to mixing with regular soda, and that can lead to all sorts of trouble. 

Listen carefully: Put down the can and step slowly away from the pop. Instead, grab an 8-oz bottle of kefir. We won’t make you pack on the pounds (in fact, we’ll probably

help you stay at a healthy weight); we fight gassiness and bloating; we won’t get you drunk and we’re only addictive in the best way possible.

 

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