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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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Shake Up Your Fitness Routine: How to get a perfect mix of exercises in 2014

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/14/2014 12:04 PM

shake it up lifeway kefir

We know fans of Lifeway like to shake things up and those of you who are keeping up with your kefir habit are feeling good and ready to get fit in the New Year. Deciding which road to fitness to take can be overwhelming, with regimens ranging from fun and sassy
Prancercising to Russia’s manly kettlebell training.

To help guide the way, we’ve categorized some of our favorite workouts by four main categories with a quick explanation of the benefit of each. Try incorporating different types of workouts to get a variety of health benefits. Most importantly, set yourself up for lasting success by choosing a workout plan that is fun and doable for you!

Don't forget to fuel up with healthy foods!
 Pack your smoothies with probiotic Lifeway Kefir or recover from your workout with a tall glass of delicious, tangy cultured milk!

Endurance/Cardio/Aerobic

Also called Cardio or Aerobic training, Endurance workouts increase your heart rate and breathing rate and help you burn calories. These exercises help you maintain a healthy weight and are associated with a lower incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

Brisk walking or jogging
Swimming
Cycling
Basketball
Elliptical Trainers or Stair Climber Machines

Strength Training

Strength training or resistance training is an anaerobic workout that makes your muscles stronger. By adding resistance to your muscle contractions, you’ll build more strength with fewer repetitions than in an aerobic workout. Not only will everyday tasks like carrying groceries or shoveling snow be easier, this type of exercise can also increase bone density and boost metabolism.

Lifting weights
Circuit training
Gymnastics
Plyometrics
Resistance band exercises

Flexibility

Keep your muscles supple and your body limber with flexibility exercises. Stretching tight muscles can help with overall soreness, relaxation, and help you accomplish other types of exercises.

Stretching
Yoga

Stability

Stability or balance training exercises your core muscles and keeps your body aligned while resisting unwanted joint movement. Not only will these exercises make other workouts more efficient by eliminating the use of superfluous muscles, they help make everyday physical tasks easier and less dangerous, especially as you age.

Dance
Tai Chi
Pilates

Drink on, get happy!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/13/2014 12:50 PM
You know that drinking kefir makes you happy. But did you know that the probiotics in kefir actually have the power to impact your mood in a very real, scientifically-measurable way? We spoke with Trudy Scott, a certified nutritionist based in Folsom, CA and author of The Anti Anxiety Food Solution, about kefir and her other favorite mood-enhancing foods:

Read More »

ProBugs Blast Off Into Lunchbox Orbit

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/10/2014 12:44 PM

ProBugs Blast Organic Kefir Friends

New Lifeway Organic ProBugs Blast pack out-of-this-world nutrition into a tasty, tangy, on-the-go kefir smoothie. Each portable bottle contains a supernova of calcium, protein and beneficial probiotics, with 12 live and active cultures working hard to keep your tween’s digestive universe in balance and battle any yucky invaders. ProBugs Blast are low in sugar, gluten free and 99% lactose free. Grab these galaxies of good bugs at Whole Foods, Costco, Mariano’s and other fine retailers!

Try all 4 fun flavors:
 Cherry Lime Supernova, Strawberry Kiwi Comet, Peach Mango Moon, and Grape Galaxy!

Probugs Blast Organic Kefir

Are you anti antibacterial?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/9/2014 10:12 AM


It’s flu season, you’re at work, and a colleague stops by to see you. He shakes your hand. Suddenly, he bursts into a coughing fit all over your office, and wipes his feverish brow with his sleeve. “I’m sorry - I have an awful bug,” he says. “I probably shouldn’t have even come to work today.”

Ummm...ya think? But no biggie, because your office has a bulk-sized pump of antibacterial soap in the restroom. So you race down the hall, lather up, and rest assured that the foreign-sounding chemicals on the label will kill any nasty bugs and keep your Sick Days safe.

Not so fast. The flu is caused by a virus, not a bacteria, so the soap probably won’t help combat your coworker’s carelessness. Yet millions of people rely on antibacterial soaps, believing they’ll be protected from the common cold, flu and other everyday illnesses.

But the truth is, the Food and Drug Administration has just announced that it has no proof that common antibacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs – and they’re giving the makers of Dial and other companies until late 2016 to show that their products won’t actually harm consumers. (Studies suggest that triclosan and other common antibacterial soap ingredients are fueling the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and may interrupt hormone levels in animals and possibly humans.)

"I suspect there are a lot of consumers who assume that by using an anti-bacterial soap product, they are protecting themselves from illness, protecting their families,” said Sandra Kweder, deputy director in the FDA's drug center, according to an AP story. "But we don't have any evidence that that is really the case over simple soap and water."

There you have it: Sometimes the most basic, traditional remedies are the most effective. And this is further reason to not be afraid of welcoming some bugs into your life.

New Year’s Food Resolutions that Don't Require a Scale

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/8/2014 5:37 AM

lifeway loves your guts

This year, we gathered some of our favorite food resolutions that aren’t about losing weight. We are not going to advocate depriving yourself of a tasty treat here and there, or recommend waking up before the dawn breaks to fit in a weightlifting routine in your basement.

We think our tips will help you feel great without having to think about your weight.  Because with all the knowledge and technology the human race has developed to steer us toward a perfect diet, we really shouldn’t be letting a $10 bathroom scale dictate our dinner menu.

Eat Less Meat

The environment will thank you. Meat requires many more natural resources than plants to raise. When looking at the water footprint alone, it takes 2000 gallons of water to raise just one pound of beef and only 108 gallons grow a pound of corn. Think of all the bubble baths you could take with 1,898 gallons of water if you choose a pile of polenta over a steak!

Drink Your Probiotics Daily

Vitamins are out. The supplemental kind have recently gotten a bad reputation as ineffective money-wasters. Probiotics are in and they come in all sorts of your favorite foods like kefir, kombucha, and miso soup. They can work wonders on balancing digestion, enhancing immunity and even boosting mood.

Eat your veggies

Vitamins are in! They’re IN the veggies, and they’re better absorbed when they’re eaten as a part of a whole food. Try sneaking a few extras in your Green Kefir or make a green smoothie at home.

Go Natural

Say no to GMO and artificial ingredients. Cutting out potentially dubious additives will help you feel good about yourself and good about what you’re feeding your family.

Drink More Water

Every cell in your body will appreciate it. Staying hydrated helps your digestive system flow and keeps your skin from drying out. It’s not just a summertime necessity!

Plant a vegetable garden

Renew your love for tomatoes and eat them straight off of the vine. Not only are they more full in flavor than the kind from the supermarket, they are higher in essential nutrients. Plus you’ll get a little exercise and soak up some sun in the process! Just remember to put on some SPF – you want to eat the tomato, not look like one!

Recipe Roundup: Cleanse-friendly Smoothies, Soups & Salads

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/7/2014 8:48 AM
If you’re doing a cleanse to kick start your healthy eating habits in 2014, congratulations on cleaning out all that gunk! Whether you brought home half of your grocer’s produce section and juiced it or just cut out refined sugars for a few days, you’ll want to make sure to maintain your sense of digestive balance with healthy probiotics, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, and lighter fare for a few days. 

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite smoothies, soups and salads that are easy to digest, high in probiotics, and full of fiber to keep things moving through your gleaming guts. Make them a part of your junk-free diet or make that healthy feeling last throughout the year by incorporating probiotics into your everyday meal plan!

cleanse recipe roundup with kefir

Smoothies 

Strawberry Banana Frozen ProBugs Smoothie

Tropical Fruits Smoothie

Beet and Spinach Smoothies 

Persimmon and Kale Smoothie

Psychedelic Smoothie 

Apricot Kiwi Smoothie

Black and Blue Berry Smoothie 

Salads

Kohlrabi and Cabbage Slaw

Mood Boosting Soul Bowl Salad

Kale and Citrus Salad 

Pasta Salad with Peas

Soups

Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

Baba’s Chilled Beet Soup

Killing your cold and flu with kindness, naturally

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/3/2014 8:12 AM

kill your cold with kindness

You gave it your best. A serving of probiotics every day to boost immunity. Hand sanitizer in every coat pocket. Wearing a surgical mask to family Christmas. But you still got sick. Drat.

If your doctor sets you on the path to ride out your illness and eases you through by treating your symptoms, you may want to try some of these natural solutions. When pain medication adds to the problem by upsetting your stomach, or cold medicine leaves you too groggy to get through the day, these natural alternatives might do the trick.

Spice up your life

Real spices can make a real difference – plus they taste way better than cough syrup and pepto bismol.

  • Ginger is excellent for fighting nausea. Steep slices of fresh ginger root in boiling water or pick up a pack of ginger beer that lists real ginger as an ingredient.
  • Cloves can be used as a topical pain killer for sore throats when steeped in hot water.
  • Hot, spicy food will help loosen up mucus if you’re congested. Pass the peppers!

Bitter or sweet, sip on some antimicrobials

When your body’s natural microbiome is invaded by a bad bug, send in some antimicrobial troops to knock them out.

  • Honey is well known to sooth sore throats, and has natural antimicrobial qualities.
  • Raw garlic is a well-known folk remedy for colds and modern studies are backing up the tradition. If munching on whole cloves is too much for you (or the people around you!), try steeping slices raw garlic in hot water for a savory tisane.

Be a BRAT

Don’t be rude!

  • The BRAT diet is a guideline for stomach flu recovery, consisting of only bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Simple foods for sensitive tummys.

More fluids!

Have you noticed more than a few liquid recommendations so far? They’re not over yet! Hydration is even more important when you’re recovering from an illness and trying to flush out all the icky stuff.

  • Hot soup of any variety helps release congestion, but if dairy leaves you with more mucous in your throat, skip the creamy kinds.
  • Juice is great for getting vitamins and nutrients when solid foods aren’t willing to stay down or are difficult to digest. Citrus juices like orange or grapefruit are refreshing and high in Vitamin C, an important antioxident.
  • Tea is an antioxidant powerhouse and contains theanine which strengthens the immune system. Black, green, or white are all good options.

 

Shake Really Well! Wiggle your way to wellness with blender-free smoothies

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/1/2014 12:07 PM

kefir smoothie recipes

If you prefer your kefir straight out of the bottle, you’re not alone. Unadulterated and and silky smooth, Lifeway kefir already has a lot going for it. It’s high in protein and probiotics and comes in
dozens of delicious flavors. Plus our convenient 8 oz size bottles are perfect for when you prefer not to bother with a single dish or if you don’t want to worry about sharing from the same bottle as your family during flu season!

However in the spirit of starting the New Year off with a little extra health boost, we thought we’d share some of our favorite mix-ins to enhance your kefir’s nutrition. Each recipe is easy – give your 8 oz bottle of kefir a quick shake, twist off the top, take a sip, add your boost, close the lid tight, then shake for another 30 to 60 seconds. Be vigorous and alternate arms and you can skip your shake weight routine for the day!

For an even easier alternative, check out our BioKefir shots with a health enhancing supplements like fiber or antioxidants already incorporated for you. Our Organic Green Kefir is packed with 10 green vegetables in every serving and comes in fruity flavors – veggies for dessert never tasted so good! Even little ones will love it in our convenient ProBugs Organic Kiwi Kale Critter kefir pouches.

 

2 T Chia Seeds + 8 oz Peach Kefir

For fiber and omega fatty acids

1 t Cardamom + 8 oz Strawberry Banana Kefir

Can boost kidney function and lower blood pressure

2 T Cocoa Powder + 8 oz Pomegranate Kefir

An antioxidant and antidepressant

1 T Maca + 8 oz Strawberry Kefir

Boost energy and balance hormone levels

2 T Oat Bran + 8 oz Blueberry Kefir

Add fiber and heart healthy benefits

½ t Cinnamon + 1 T Honey + 8 oz Plain Kefir

Sweeten your kefir naturally and add a little spice for antioxidants 

What do Cultured Milk and a Cold Shower have in common?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/31/2013 7:11 AM

happy new year from lifeway kefir

Almost as ubiquitous as a champagne toast at midnight, hangovers on January 1st are a New Year’s tradition for many 21-and-over revelers. But that doesn’t mean you need to binge on a greasy brunch and push back your resolutions for a healthier New Year until the 2nd, there are plenty of wholesome ways to nurse your party-worn body back to health.

Marie Claire magazine included our very own “Fermented Milk” in their 7 Ways to Beat a Post-New Year Hangover. This might not be the best name to use when introducing our delicious cultured dairy to an ill kefir newbie, but it sure gets to the point.

In Russia, kefir is a common folk remedy for hangovers and it’s hard not to trust notorious vodka aficionados on the topic. But we have gathered some additional evidence to build a case for kefir and see if the science behind the tradition stacks up.

Soothe your Stomach

A glass or two of dairy coats the stomach and intestines and soothes any areas aggravated by alcohol. Even Bon Appetit’s editors compiled their list of cures in What We Eat and Drink to Kill our Hangovers, including “Really Cold Milk.” Did you know that kefir gets extra thick when it’s really cold? If you want something that sticks to your stomach, try kefir!

Hydrate

Many hangover symptoms are caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Increasing your intake of liquids, especially water but also kefir, will help get you back on track.

Protect the Stomach Lining

If you need to take a painkiller, coat your stomach with a little food or kefir. Both alcohol, ibuprofen and aspirin can irritate your stomach lining, so battle headaches responsibly with a little food or a hearty beverage like kefir. Remember to avoid acetaminophen when drinking to avoid overtaxing your liver.

Replenish potassium

Dehydration and loss of electrolytes like potassium can make your muscles feel weak and sore. Sports drinks and coconut water are often recommended over plain water for the boost of potassium and ability to rehydrate. Kefir also naturally contains 400 mg of potassium in every 8 oz serving. Bananas are another great natural source.

Get a Boost of B-vitamins and amino acids

Alcohol depletes both B-vitamins and amino acids in your body. To detox effectively, the pathways in the liver rely on B-vitamins, and like all dairy product sold commercially, Lifeway Kefir is an excellent dietary source of vitamin B-12. Similarly, amino acids help detoxify your liver. The essential amino acids, or those your body can’t make and are sourced from your diet, are delivered to your body as proteins. Animal protein like cow’s milk used to make kefir contain all the essential amino acids and help your body restore itself to a happy, sober state.

Sip some Probiotics

As always, the live and active cultures in kefir restore your digestive balance. It’s probably best to drink an extra glass in case your overindulgence depleted your intestinal reserves of good bugs! Kefir’s probiotic pals like miso soup and sauerkraut offer some savory alternatives.

Don’t skip the dip, ditch the chips

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/27/2013 12:15 PM

lifeway kefir onion dip

The moment the ubiquitous bowl of creamy onion dip and bag of potato chips land on the table is the moment where hanging out with friends and family becomes a party. Being the bearer of this delicious dip could make YOU the life of the party at your next holiday get-together. But in our increasingly health-conscious culture, a high calorie bowl of mayo and sour cream or a phone book of ingredients on a store-bought tub could make your dish to pass an unwelcome guest.

We gave this recipe a healthy makeover to ditch some of the calories and fat but keep the creamy texture and signature depth of flavor. Instead of instant soup mix, we caramelized a few yellow onions and seasoned the mix with spices. Real onions have the added benefit of being high in prebiotics, which probiotics eat to stay alive and healthy once they’re inside your gut, giving them a stronger chance of colonizing and crowding out any bad bacteria.

Finally, we substituted some crisp veggies for potato chips. Nobody wants to skip the dip, so don’t make your friends choose between indulgences. Endive leaves are very easy to prepare and the slight bitterness is delicious with the sweet and salty dip. Any sturdy veggies will do.

lifeway kefir onion dip

Lifeway Onion Dip

Makes about 1 ½ cups dip

6 small yellow onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

6 oz lowfat cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Pinch cayenne

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Carrot sticks, endive leaves, celery for serving

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet to medium high. Cut the ends off the onions, slice in half from pole to pole, and peel. From pole to pole again, slice the onions into ¼ in thick pieces. Add the onions and salt to the pan and cook until softened. Then turn down the heat to medium low and continue cooking until they are very soft and golden brown. Let cool.

In a food processor, mix cream cheese, kefir, spices, and soy sauce until smooth. Add the onions and pulse until the onions are finely chopped. Transfer to a serving dish or to an airtight container to store in the refrigerator.

Serve a little above refrigerator temperature with fresh vegetable crudité.

 

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