CEO Julie Smolyansky
CEO Julie Smolyansky
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/3/2013 3:31 PM
Well-known for his writing on holistic health and spirituality, but with roots in Western Medicine, Deepak Chopra easily weaves together his knowledge of contrasting ideologies and uses the tapestry as a foundation for his guidance through contemporary life. With a growing, global audience, Chopra counts Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz and Lifeway CEO, Julie Smolyansky among those inspired by his teachings.
Drawing from traditional, alternative medicine and modern scientific breakthroughs, Mr. Chopra’s new book, What Are You Hungry for? delves into topics such as how food affects our brain. Familiar with new research on how gut bacteria can affect psychology, we are excited to find some complementary perspectives on how easy it is to eat well and feel well.
The holiday season is a particularly apt time to be mindful overindulgence. It's easy to overeat when you're surrounded by friends, family and lots of delicious food. Taking steps (literally, too!) to be mindful of consumption habits over the holidays is important for keeping up with your healthy routine. A probiotic boost from Lifeway Kefir can be a tasty way to help support digestion, and the immunity benefits of probiotics like those found in kefir may help you fight the flu this season.
For our fans in the Chicagoland area, we are excited to offer one of you a first-hand telling of the latest Chopra wisdom! Tell us what flavor of Lifeway Kefir you are hungry for in the comments and you’ll be entered in our drawing to win 2 tickets to see Deepak Chopra and get a copy of his newest book! The event, An Evening with Deepak Chopra, is on November, 12th, 2013, at 7pm at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theater in Chicago (travel expenses will not be covered). Mr. Chopra will explore the relationships between one’s physical, mental and spiritual hungers and Ms. Smolyansky will kick off the evening with the introduction and bring with her some free samples of our favorite Lifeway kefir treats to share!
We'll be choosing a winner on the morning of Monday the 11th, so make sure to supply an email address you check frequently!
If you're planning on purchasing some tickets anyway, try this special offer!
25% Off Tickets
Ticketing Link: http://bit.ly/15mehHR
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/24/2013 10:36 AM
Today is UN Day! A day to reflect on why and how we support the United Nations as it celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. Here at Lifeway, we have many reasons to love the UN.
Our CEO Julie Smolyansky, as a member of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, is passionate about advocating for global health initiatives and the UNF’s Shot at Life campaign as well as getting US girls involved in promoting global gender equality through Girl Up. The UN contributes so much that listing every good deed would exceed the size limit for this blog post. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Other staff at Lifeway are passionate about determining which global issues are important to all citizens of the world with the MY World Survey. Finding out which issues people care about will help world leaders plan future initiatives to battle poverty and inequality.
Did you know that regardless of gender, age and country of origin, more people put access to a good education in their top 6 priorities than any other issue?
Take the MY World Surveyand share your cares with the UN!
Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #UNDay!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/17/2013 9:37 AM
This week Lifeway opened our doors to the intellectual playground known as Chicago Ideas Week! The city-wide event brings together over 25,000 attendees to talk, listen and inspire, with curated talks and innovation labs at some of Chicago’s greatest businesses and organizations.
We love coming up with wackyideas here at our Niles, Illinois offices, but we love even more to get our friends and fans in on the fun. For Chicago Ideas Week, our CEO Julie Smolyansky gave a talk on Lifeway’s history and our plans for dairy innovation in the future. We then welcomed guests to put their lab goggles and thinking caps on and create a new flavor of Lifeway kefir!
Armed with Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir, a little sugar, and dozens of fun flavor essences like marshmallow, tomato, passion fruit and ginger, our guests came up with some great concoctions! Last year we brought to life our favorite flavor, Honey Fig! What flavor would you like to see kefir-ized on your supermarket shelves?
Special thanks to our friends at KIND who provided their KIND Healthy Grains as a topping for our frozen kefir!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/9/2013 6:37 AM
Has anyone ever told you to girl up? A feminine twist on “manning up,” you might say that to “girl up” is to tackle tough challenges just as fearlessly but also communally. The United Nations Foundation group, Girl Up is dedicated to doing just that. They assemble groups of American girls who are passionate about empowering women and girls in developing countries to earn an education, access healthcare and realize their full potential. To spread the word about the global issues facing women today and what we can do to tackle them together, Girl Up is celebration 11 Days of Action that will culminate with the International Day of the Girl on October 11th. Click here to register!
Lifeway’s CEO and UN Foundation member Julie Smolyansky is excited to be a special guest at the International Day of the Girl’s Chicago event. Girl Up gives us a full rundown of the star-studded event:
There will be a special appearance by Danni Allen, the current winner of NBC’s Biggest Loser, and a musical performance by teen pop stars Megan and Liz. The event will also feature an exclusive screening of Girl Rising, a film and global action campaign that advocates for educating girls in developing countries. Lisa Parker from NBC5 Chicago will emcee.
Attendees will have the chance to virtually travel around the globe and learn about issues facing girls through games, activities, and unique physical challenges. This multimedia tour provides an opportunity for people in the United States to experience what it is like to be a girl living in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia and Malawi.
If you can’t make it to this event, there are still many great ways to get involved! Girls anywhere can start a club and anyone can make a donation to help girls in developing countries get essentials like school books, solar lamps and adequate health care to make getting an education possible.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/24/2013 7:43 PM
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.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/2/2013 9:50 AM
Summer berries are at their best right now and when we don't finish them off before the groceries are even unpacked, our baked goods get a fresh twist at this time of year! This Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scone recipe from the kitchen of Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky makes a perfect summer breakfast with a spot of tea or kefir on the side!
Like all berries, raspberries are chock full of antioxidents and have anti-inflammatory superfood powers! At peak season, it's easiest to find very ripe raspberries which have been shown to have even higher levels of antioxidents--top notch flavors aren't the only benefit to eating seasonally! Bumping up the delicious and antioxident factors in this recipe for scones is a little sprinkle of dark chocolate chips. A splash of kefir in place of a classic buttermilk gives the pastry a delicate, tender texture.
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Kefir Scones
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup plain or Madagascar Vanilla Lifeway Kefir
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces)
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
Preheat oven to 400. Mix together flour, cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse with a hand mixer until pea-size pieces form. In a small bowl, whisk together kefir and egg yolk. Slowly pour kefir mixture into flour mixture, mix using hand mixer until dough just comes together.
Sprinkle raspberries and chocolate chips on top. Knead three times to fold in raspberries & chocolate chips. With your hands, mold together dough into 2-inch pieces. Place pieces, about 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets and sprinkle tops with raw cane sugar.
Bake until golden brown, 20 minutes. Let scones cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/18/2013 3:01 PM
This weekend, Lifeway attended the S.H.E. Summit, the Leadership & Lifestyle Event for Women. The two day event took place in New York City, where motivational women’s lifestyle expert Claudia Chan brought together over 40 inspirational speakers and over 300 empowered attendees.
Lifeway’s CEO Julie Smolyansky participated in a panel on Why Investing in Women is Investing in the World. Julie’s experience being the youngest female CEO of a publicly traded company gave her first hand insight into what makes a female led company distinct and how to make that distinction work in favor of a growing company.
Filling the stage with empowerment, Julie was joined by three other accomplished women whose work is focused on investing in women in various ways.
Elizabeth Gore, Resident Entrepreneur at UN Foundation, led the panel discussion. Ruma Bose, Partner at Innovators Fund was inspired to advocate for women during a summer internship with Mother Teresa helping girls in India enroll in school. As a members of the UNF's Global Entrepreneurs Council, Julie, Ruma Bose, and Elizabeth Gore, lead Chairperson, came to the event with a shared connection as entrepreneurial advocates. Joining them was Maz Kessler, the Founder and Creative Director at Catapult, a crowdfunding website dedicated to tackling gender inequality around the world.
After hearing the panelists’ histories and plans for investing in women in the future, the discussion wrapped up with a challenge to attendees. In what way can you give back 10% to helping women and girls? How can you pay forward the time, money or authority you possess to advance equality for women?
In Julie’s case, she is giving back by launching the Test400k initiative. Their mission:
To empower healthy and safe communities by ending violence against women and children. Step 1 is to provide accountability and justice to victims. Test400k will raise awareness, advocate, lobby, and push for innovative new technology to be used in ending the backlog of untested rape kits and make sure communities and law enforcement provide immediate and swift response time to victims of sexual assault going forward.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 5/28/2013 4:20 PM
On Friday, Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky paid a visit to our local news studio, ABC 7, for an interview with Chicago’s favorite foodie, Steve Dolinsky, aka The Hungry Hound. On topic were the health benefits of kefir and probiotics and on the menu were two very delicious frozen kefir recipes.
These treats are the perfect way to cool down in the summer, indulge in something sweet and stay on track with your diet. Using Lowfat Plain Kefir and Original Frozen Yogurt, these treats are lower in fat and sugar than traditional ice cream and gelato. Plus they offer a hearty dose of healthy probiotics to balance digestion.
The Lifeway team had a blast shooting the live news segment and to top off our Hollywood experience, William Shatner stopped by our set to try our frozen kefir! The Priceline Negotiator himself, already a fan of traditional kefir, enjoyed the frozen treats and we think you will too!
From Chef Scott of Canyon Ranch
Chocolate Kefir Gelato
· 2 QT Lifeway lowfat kefir plain
· 1 T vanilla extract
· 2 bananas
· 3/4 cup cocoa
· 1/2 c coconut milk
· 2T sugar (dissolved in 2T water in a saucepan to make simple syrup)
· 1 tsp cinnamon
Blend everything together in a blender. Pour into an ice cream maker and set according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Lemongrass Kefir Ice Cream
· 1 pint frozen Lifeway kefir original
· Zest of one lemon
· 1/4 c lemon juice
· 1 1/2 T minced lemon grass (steep in the simple syrup)
· 3 oz sugar (dissolved in 3 oz water in a saucepan to make simple syrup)
Blend everything together in a blender. Pour into an ice cream maker and set according to manufacturer’s instructions.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 5/7/2013 8:37 AM
Sure, they assigned us boatloads of homework and wouldn’t let us talk during class, but teachers deserve way more praise than they get. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to count our change, identify all 50 states on a map or hold a discussion on Martin Luther King, Jr., and this blog would read like gibberish. Add to that the fact that they function like substitute parents, mentors, therapists and peacekeepers, all for a salary that amounts to a tiny fraction of the average NBA star's, and it’s obvious that teachers need to be showered with a little love and gratitude.
In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day, we asked Lifeway CEO to recall some of her favorite teachers from throughout the years:
Mrs. Puccini (now known as Mrs. Iris Kerbis)
Mrs. Puccini was our Homecoming committee sponsor in high school.
She taught me great leadership and team building skills. One of my favorites: Don't pick your friends to run your teams -- pick qualified people who can do the work well.
Muchos gracias to Señor Rosenzweig! Even thought I am fluent in Russian and English, for some reason, I just could not get the hang of Spanish and French. Señor Rosenzweig was my high school Spanish teacher and he was so patient, very understanding. He worked with me to make sure I passed. To this day, he's a good friend and he lets me know he is proud of my accomplishments.
My high school counselor. She was really ahead of her time in terms of leadership programming. So many kids passed through her office and we all came out better students and people. She paid me so much individual attention and was someone to talk to; a true mentor.
Professor Norma Moruzzi
In college at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Dr. Moruzzi was my women's studies teacher. I was always fascinated with her stories of women throughout history – stories which were excluded from my high school history books. Suddenly, it just clicked for me and I realized I did love history; and it's more about the way the story is being told. Now with my girls [daughters Misha, 2, and Leah, 4], I want their education to be all about teaching in the best way for each unique student.
Michael Smolyansky was not very patient, but he was incredibly knowledgeable on many subjects – art, politics, history. No matter what city we were in, he would take us to the museum and tell us all about the artists. I wish I could have soaked in all of his knowledge before he passed away but, like many kids, I wasn’t ready to be taught. But today, my love for art comes from him, as does my passion for news. CNN was always on in our house growing up, and the same thing goes for our current home.
My daughters have taught me patience - to let go of plans and go with the flow; to look at things through a fresh pair of eyes, with a new lens and childlike wonder. They teach me the amazement of discovering something new. It's like being reborn through them. They are two of the most awesome teachers you could ever ask for.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/26/2013 11:19 AM
Lace up your running shoes, because for the next two weeks, every mile you walk, run or bike can earn money for One Fund Boston. Lifeway Foods is proud to announce our sponsorship of Charity Miles, a free iPhone/Android app that enables people to earn money for charity when they walk, run or bike.
Our CEO Julie Smolyansky is an active member of the Charity Miles community who runs frequently to benefit some of her favorite organizations, such as Girl Up
and Every Mother Counts
. Two weeks ago, Julie ran the Boston Marathon and was a half-mile from the finish when she was diverted due to the explosion
. Fortunately Julie and her family were safe, but she was deeply moved by the compassion and heroism shown in Boston. Like many of you, Julie and the rest of the Lifeway team wanted to do something to help.
Here’s what you can do:
Download the Charity Miles app on your smart phone. Then walk, run or bike to earn money for the charity you choose. Bikers earn 10 cents per mile; walkers and runners earn 25 cents per mile, courtesy of Charity Miles and Lifeway Foods. For the next two weeks, Lifeway Foods is sponsoring your Charity Miles, plus an additional 25 cents per mile for One Fund Boston – up to $10,000!
Looking for a great post-run recovery drink? Kefir is widely regarded as a preformance-boosting food
for runners! Try this Antioxidant Berry Smoothie made with Lifeway Frozen Kefir. Antioxidant Berry Boost Smoothie
- 1 cup Lifeway Frozen Kefir, Original
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup strawberries
- 1/4 cup green tea, chilled
- 1 Tbs ground flax seed
- honey or agave nectar to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.