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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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Can Artisan Toast be Eaten Mindfully?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/6/2014 7:37 AM

lifeway frozen kefir bars yoga

We know that the kind of food we put in our body effects our health, but we rarely consider the impact of the way in which the food arrives to our tummies. Taking note of all the psychological and spiritual processes of dining, or
eating mindfully, is becoming an ever popular take on dieting that doesn’t require deprivation of a single item of food.

Does this mean that sommeliers and connoisseurs of the latest artisan toast trend are on to something spiritually and healthfully enlightening? Taking the time to taste your food is certainly one of the main pillars of eating mindfully, but mindful eaters are non-judgmental tasters.   Mindful eating is more about turning off external distractions to bring your mind to the act of eating more consciously. When you put away your phone, turn off the TV, and even pause conversation while you chew, swallow, and sit, you are more likely to notice what food your body is craving and when you’re full.  

It’s easy to miss the sweet nuances of a slice of whole grain toast with fresh, amish butter when you’re eating it during morning traffic, or the sparkling tang of a Cherry Lime ProBugs Blast when you are packing lunches for your family of four. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to eat mindfully and possibly, in the process, feel a little better between meals, too.

 

Turn off the TV, computer, iPad, light bright, screens of all sorts.

Eat in silence. If you are blessed with talkative eating companions, try one snack or meal a day that you can eat alone.

Take a deep breath, count to ten as you exhale, then eat.

Engage your sense of smell. Take in your food’s aroma and notice how it adds a layer of meaning to your meal.

Put your fork down between bites.

Chew each bite 20 times.

Practice Yoga, just maybe not while you’re eating. Yoga can increase awareness of your body’s dietary needs or it can be a satisfying way to take a break from your day without snacking.

Eat off of real plates with real utensils. Show your foods you cherish them with a nice frame.

Sit at a table. Set the table with cutlery, beverages, and maybe a vase of flowers to spruce up your delicious, meditative space.

Hold the side of judgment. Forget about scales and calories. Eat a french fry dipped in mayo, savor the combination of textures and flavor, stop when you’re satisfied, note how it makes your body feel.

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.

Zesty Kefir Taco Dip

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/3/2014 3:37 AM


At Lifeway we decided to change up the simple taco dip recipe and incorporate some of our favorite probiotics. This skinny taco dip is light and flavorful so don’t be surprised when there aren’t any leftovers!
What you’ll need:
-8oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
-¾ cup Low Fat Plain kefir
-¾ cup mild salsa
-3 teaspoons taco seasoning
-2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
-2 large tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
-1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
-2.25oz sliced black olives
-Tortilla chips

Directions:
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, kefir, salsa, and taco seasoning
Spread the mixture on the bottom of a shallow dish
Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and black olives.
Serve with tortilla chips
Dig in!

More Superfoods in A Bowl: Buffalo (or Seahawk!) Wings and Blue Cheese Dip

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/1/2014 2:37 AM

Lifeway Kefir Blue Cheese Dip

Buffalo wings are made from neither bison nor sea hawks, but sea hawks at least have wings and they represent one of this year’s contenders in the big game, so to meet halfway between identifying the correct species and getting in the spirit of the football post season, why not serve up some Seahawk Wings with Blue Cheese Dip at your Superbowl party?!

Whatever you call them, wings are delicious with creamy, blue cheese dressing and crispy vegetable sticks served on the side. Our dip of course includes a little Lifeway Kefir to bump up that tangy zip and cut some of the fat you would get using sour cream or mayonnaise.

Kefir can also be used as a great marinade for chicken wings, for both its tenderizing and flavor enhancing qualities. Any chicken wing recipe that calls for a buttermilk marinade can use kefir as a substitute!

 

Spicy Wings

This recipe from Chow is easy, spicy, and baked to avoid the mess of deep frying.

 

Blue Cheese Dip

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

½ cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup water

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup Lifeway Original Kefir or Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

1/3 lb creamy blue cheese (we used Point Reyes Farmstead Blue)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a small pot, bring vinegar, water, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Combine hot mixture and chopped onions in a heat-proof bowl. Cover and pickle in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Stir together kefir and chives. Crumble in blue cheese and incorporate into the mix by pressing the crumbles against the side of the bowl with the back of a spoon, leaving a few crumbles for texture. Drain the onions and add to the mix, along with remaining salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and serve with celery and carrot sticks.

 

 

Superfoods in A Bowl: Denver Broncomole

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/31/2014 5:37 AM

guacamole broccoli kefir

You know and love
guacamole and you’ve heard of its cousin broccomole, but you’re hosting a Superbowl party for fans of both greasy taco joints and diet-conscious veggie lovers and you want to please everyone. Enter, Denver Bronco-mole!

This delicious dip is made with rich, creamy avocados; fiber rich, green broccoli; and probiotic packed Lifeway Organic Kefir. You don’t need to be a Bronco fan to love Broncomole, but you do need a food processor!

We doubt you’ll have any leftover after a hungry hoard of football fans start snacking, but if you do, try some in your next Breakfast Burrito for an authentic Denver delicacy!

Bronco-mole

1 medium head of broccoli (about 2 cups cooked)

1 large avocado

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ medium red onion

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

Place the chopped onion in a bowl of chilled water to sit for about 10 minutes. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and boil for about 3 minutes until bright green. Drain well.

Combine the broccoli, kefir, salt, and chili powder in a food processor and mix on high until smooth, with only very small pieces of broccoli left. Add the avocado and blend until combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the onion and cilantro, reserving a few pieces of each for garnish. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with onion and cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.

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 »

Having some #Felfie Fun

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/28/2014 9:37 AM

Selfies aren’t just for James Franco anymore. After achieving the almighty word-of-the-year status in 2013, selfies have made their way into our American lexicon, our daily habits, and the hearts of everyone with an Instagram account. Along with space-age looking milking machines, apps to manage livestock, and ditching the old rooster weather vane for weather reports on a smart phone, even farmers are embracing technology and the art of the selfie with their own hashtag, #felfie.

Some farmers’ bovine photobombers are so adorable, cats of the internet might want to watch their backs! Right now all of the Guernsey cows providing Lifeway with GMO and hormone free milk are hiding inside, sheltered from the second wave of the polar vortex chill that is blasting the Midwest. So we recruited some of our favorite characters from the office to snap an indoor felfie. Xander the ProBug, visiting from the Grape Galaxy, posed with his pal from Lifeway’s new dairy in Wisconsin.

lifeway probugs felfie

The Benefits of Probiotics: From Babies to Bubbies

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/27/2014 8:52 AM

probugs for everyone

A new year brought several new scientific studies on the effects of probiotics to the mainstream media. Both look at the effects of gut bacteria on health, but their subjects span from babies to bubbies.

While Twitter was abuzz last week about a crying baby at the fine dining establishment Alinea, researchers in Italy published a study showing that giving probiotics to newborns can decrease episodes of colic (crying), constipation, and regurgitation. Maybe the Alinea baby forgot to pack his Lifeway ProBugs? Whether you’re dining out or just trying to catch a little shuteye, a colicky baby is never any fun and new ways to calm the tears are likely worth a try.

On the other end of the age spectrum, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging published a study looking at the immune response to an overload of gut bacteria in aging flies and discovered that managing the bacterial balance will alter the immune response to prolong the lifespan of the flies. Considering the intestinal immune response’s association with diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and cancer, this study has the potential to spawn more research, possibly developing new treatments that could increase longevity in human populations.

Thankfully, probiotic Lifeway Kefir is fun for all ages, with sippable ProBugs pouches for little ones and heart healthy BioKefir shots for cardio conscious adults. Our 12 live and active cultures love your guts, and this new research suggests life is a little better when your guts love you!



Hollywood Star Spotting and Movie Snack Makeovers

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/24/2014 5:37 AM
Award show season is upon us and Lifeway is foregoing televised broadcasts and sweatpants for pre-red carpet beauty lounges and mountain town film festivals!

Scooping Lifeway Frozen Kefir at the Golden Globes Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar
Scooping Lifeway Frozen Kefir at the Golden Globes Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar (photo by Bret Hartman)

At the Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar, Hollywood beauties like Jemima Kirke (Girls) and Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Twilight) stopped by for a quick manicure, blowout and bite of Lifeway Frozen Kefir before heading over to the Golden Globes.


taking a frozen kefir break before the Golden Globes
taking a frozen kefir break before the Golden Globes (photo by Bret Hartman)

Up next, Lifeway headed to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, setting up a pop up frozen kefir shop at the It’s So Miami Lounge and making sure the stars got their fill of probiotics between screenings. From breakout indie film stars like Josh Wiggens (Hellion) to celeb veterans like Kendra Wilkinson, Lifeway dished out Original and Pomegranate Frozen Kefir to independent film and fermented dairy fans alike.

Vincent De Paul, Cheyenne Jackson, & Jason Landau wait patiently for a scoop of Lifeway Frozen Kefir at Sundance
Vincent De Paul, Cheyenne Jackson, & Jason Landau wait patiently for a scoop of Lifeway Frozen Kefir at Sundance (photo by Tonya Wise)

Kendra Wilkinson snacks on a scoop of Lifeway Pomegranate Frozen Kefir
Kendra Wilkinson snacks on a scoop of Lifeway Pomegranate Frozen Kefir (photo by Tonya Wise)

As much as we love seeing our favorite stars and sharing out favorite frozen treats, we are excited to get cozy on our couch and check out all the amazing films that have been recognized. The experience wouldn’t be complete without our favorite movie time noshes, but we could do without the artificial ingredients, trans fats and other dubious additions to standard concession stand fare. That’s why we’ve compiled a few healthy twists on Cineplex classics that will satisfy your snack craving without all the guilt!

 

Popcorn

Sprinkle a little nutritional yeast over your popcorn. A shake or two of these single-celled organisms will add cheesy flavor and nutrients like Vitamin B without all the fat and salt of traditional butter and no scary trans fats or golden coloring from the butter flavored topping station. In this case you’ll want to avoid the active varieties in the baking aisle or you’ll have a little too much liveliness in your tummy.

 

Soda

Mix fresh squeezed juice and unsweetened soda water for a fizzy treat with less calories and sugar than fountain soda. Try it with fresh grapefruit juice and you’ll never be able to go back to Squirt again.

 

Dippin Dots

So tiny and so cold, Dippin Dots may have been the ice cream of the future in the ‘90s, but the aughties are over and we’re realizing that processing food into spaceship ready nuggets may not be the healthiest way to eat. Enter Lifeway Frozen Kefir! Kefir is an ancient, probiotic-rich superfood that retains all its live & active goodness and tart and tangy flavor after a spin in an ice cream maker.

 

Slushie

Try this Cherry Granita recipe from Martha Stewart. Since the mix is going back in the freezer, we don’t see anything wrong with using frozen dark cherries (especially since we are so painfully far away from cherry season).

 

Sour Patch Kids

Make supremes of your favorite citrus fruits - oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, blood oranges - and toss them together for a tart fruit salad. Challenge yourself with meyer lemons or limes if you miss the tear-jerking power of chewy children.

 

Skittles

Tapioca has a similar chewy texture and makes your beverages last much longer on account of all that chewing! Try our fun Fermented Rainbow Smoothie recipe to add a few probiotics to the mix.

 

Snow Caps

For some, there is no other candy worth eating than chocolate. You can make yours a little healthier and a little crunchier with the addition of hemp seeds! Try this Kefir Chocolate Truffle recipe, but instead of rolling yours in cocoa powder, use crunchy hemp seeds to get the snow cap effect. They also add protein, fiber, all the essential amino acids, and vitamin E.

 

Tackling a taboo topic

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/23/2014 10:26 AM
Lifeway's CEO was featured on the cover of Section 2 of the Chicago Tribune this week, but not for her kefir-making skills or business savvy.

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