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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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Aiding Typhoon Haiyan Victims with Charity Miles and Lifeway

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/12/2013 12:03 PM

As holiday gift giving approaches, we look forward to expressing love and gratitude for our loved ones, our friends and family. What better time of year than the holidays then, to extend our gratitude beyond our social circle. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday take care of our gift-giving shopping lists, Lifeway decided to celebrate ‘Giving Tuesday’ on December 3rd, a day to make charitable donations to causes close to our heart. Tying in our passion for healthy eating and living, Lifeway decided to sponser the Charity Miles app, making a donation for every mile users run, walk or bike during the notoriously sedentary holiday season.

The recent tragedy in the Philippines, however, left 4.5 million people affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Driven to move our philanthropic efforts up in the calendar to help those in need, Lifeway decided to sponsor Charity Miles donations to the United Nations World Food Programme early this year, from November 12th  through December 17th. When you use this app to track how many miles you walk, run or bike during these five weeks, Lifeway will donate to the World Food Programme for every mile logged.

world food programme haiyan relief

The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, mobilizing food and logistics supplies and communications equipment to assist the government-led emergency response to Typhoon Haiyan.

Our President and CEO Julie Smolyansky, who is also a member of the United Nations Global Entrepreneurs Council, expressed the motivations behind Lifeway’s decision, “The World Food Programme is tackling the massive logistical problems caused by the storm, as much of the transportation infrastructure was damaged and many supplies will need to be airlifted. The aftermath of the storm is shocking, and we knew we had to do contribute to help provide desperately needed food and equipment supplies to the region.” In addition to the Charity Miles donation, Lifeway is also contributing $20,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme.

To participate in the Charity Miles fundraiser, download the app on your smart phone, select the World Food Programme organization and your phone’s GPS will track your miles as you run, walk, or bike your way to doing good. A few miles of walking a day can help victims of this natural disaster thousands of miles away.

To participate in the Lifeway Foods fundraiser, download the Charity Miles app in the iTunes App Store or Google Play and log every run, walk or bike in the app. Join others supports the Phillippines by using hashtag #GivingTuesday.

This spring, Lifeway and Charity Miles worked together to support The One Fund Boston fundraising initiative benefiting victims of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. We were thrilled with how many people participated, showed their support, and did a little good for their own health at the same time!

Time to Purge! November 15th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/11/2013 8:34 AM


Turkey Day is just around the corner. What better way to prep for all that scrumptious grub than by celebrating National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day? Remember: You’re not Jonas Salk, and Penicillin has already been discovered, so nobody needs your moldy cheese and stinky month-old lunch meat. If your fridge has become home to any unfortunate science experiments gone awry, take everything out and give it a proper scrub down. Then, item by item, peek at the expiration date and make sure you only return foods that are still safe to eat by human, non-college-student standards. (Chances are your condiments, bottled beverages, peelable fresh fruit and Lifeway kefir, which has an impressively long shelf life due to the probiotcs and fermentation process, are all safe to bring back; things like opened packages of hot dogs, double-dipped tubs of cream cheese, mayo-based salads, non-fermented dairy and non-peelable produce like leafy greens and berries might need to be tossed.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following guidelines to consider when asking yourself, “Keep or Toss?”:

Toss after one to two days
Ground beef/meat and fresh poultry (all uncooked)

Toss after three to four days
Cooked meat or poultry
Pizza
Soups and stews

Toss after three to five days
Salads containing eggs, chicken, ham and the like
Lunch Meat (opened)

Toss after one week
Hot dogs (opened)
Bacon

 

 

Apple-Kefir Breakfast Quinoa

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/7/2013 12:20 PM
apple maple kefir quinoa

Here’s a breakfast Johnny Appleseed could be proud of! Based on three types of superfood seeds and some favorite fall flavors including apple cider and maple, this bowl is not only full to the brim with flavor, but also with healthful omega 3 fatty acids alongside probiotic kefir.

Quinoa is said to stand apart from grains more typical to the American diet, for starters because it’s not really a grain, but a seed! Like other seeds, quinoa has more fat that grains and is a richer source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. It also has more diverse amino acids in its protein structure, making it a rare plant source of “complete protein.” Dairy products like kefir can also provide all the essential amino acids, even in a meatless diet. Amino acids are important because our bodies cannot produce them, so it’s essential that we incorporate them into our diet.

Flax seeds are touted for their high omega 3 content as well, and also offer a prebiotic hand in this complete meal. Prebiotics are the types of soluble fiber that healthy gut bacteria eat. As you send your kefir off to the microflora war inside your belly, you’ll want to make sure they bring along rations in the form of flax seed husks.

The third seed in this breakfast trifecta are toasted pumpkin seeds for their delicious crunch! These instructions also cook the quinoa to a fluffy pilaf, retaining the crunchy pop of the seeds, while the kefir stirs in for a creamy consistency without the mushiness of oatmeal. Watch out Quaker guy!

 

Apple-Kefir Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained

¾  cup cold water

¾ cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice, chilled

Pinch salt

¼ cup ground flax seed

½ cup cranberries

½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

2 cups Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

Grade B Maple Syrup (to taste)

Instructions:

Cover rinsed and drained quinoa with cold apple cider and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, covered until all the liquid has evaporated (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle flax over quinoa, then fluff with a fork.

Divide prepared quinoa into 4 bowls and garnish each with ½ cup kefir, 2 tablespoons cranberries and 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds. Sweeten with maple syrup to taste.

Hungry for Kefir

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/3/2013 3:31 PM

Deepak Chopra in Chicago

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

Code: 25DISC

100 Thousand Dollar Kefir

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/31/2013 6:39 AM

Candy fads come and go, but there are some classic confections that have survived the test of time. Some seem to have stuck around despite being left at the bottom of the trick-or-treat pail year after year – who keeps making those funny banana flavored peanuts? But some candy bars will gladly never go away because they have struck the balance between sweet sugar and bitter chocolate, gooey caramel and crunchy crispy bits perfectly.

The 100 Grand Bar is one such candy bar. When it comes to healthy eating, however, we can’t justify eating too many while maintaining a wholesome, balanced diet. In order to continue enjoying this luscious blend of caramel and crunch, we gave it a healthy makeover in the form of a spoonable kefir smoothie! If your trick or treaters take all the good stuff, you know you’ll still have this yummy treat all to yourself!

Lifeway kefir fun size 100 Grand

100 Thousand Dollar Kefir

Makes 4 servings

1 pint Lifeway Original Tart and Tangy Frozen Kefir

8 oz Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup crisp brown rice cereal

Instructions

Blend all ingredients except cereal in a blender until smooth. Stir in the cereal and divide into 4 glasses. Serve immediately and garnish with a sprinkle of cereal.

Kefir Candy Corn Smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/30/2013 6:37 AM

Even if you don’t like eating candy corn, it’s hard to deny how cute the little guys are! But whether you’re skipping the sugary kernels for your health or for your taste buds, you can still enjoy an adorable striped Halloween treat in the form of this kefir and fruit smoothie!

All the added sugar and empty calories in Halloween candy can seem pretty devilish, and it turns out that sweet candy treats have been demonized on the level of illegal, illicit substances for quite some time. In her new book, Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Samira Kawash delves into this sticky topic and looks at how candy has fit into our culture and diet throughout the last 100 years. Once the trick-or-treaters have dispersed and you’ve blended up a healthy kefir smoothie, this book would make an interesting and timely read!

candy corn Lifeway kefir smoothie

Kefir Candy Corn Smoothie

Serves 2

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Peach Kefir

½ cup orange juice

1 large banana

1 cup frozen mango pieces

½ cup carrot juice

½ cup heavy whipping cream

1 packet monk fruit sweetener

Instructions

Blend ½ cup kefir, oj, banana, and mango until smooth. Pour ¼ cup of the mixture into 2 separate clear glasses. Add carrot juice to the remaining mixture until smooth and spoon the mix into the glasses over the yellow layer, dividing the mixture evenly. In a small mixing bowl, whip cream, additional kefir and sweetener on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon 1 tablespoon of whipped cream onto each layered smoothie and enjoy!

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!

 

Ferment the rainbow, taste the rainbow.

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/27/2013 3:24 PM

Halloween candy isn’t known for its nutritional density, but it’s hard to deny its deliciousness density! We took inspiration from some of our favorite fun size treats and gave them a probiotic makeover, cutting the more dubious sweeteners and adding a generous splash of Lifeway Kefir.

This drink is based on the fruity buttons known as Skittles! Does anyone else remember meticulously sorting their Skittles by color, lining them up in rows by rainbow order, then trying to eat every combination of two to five flavors possible? We do, too! We never regretted really going for it and popping all five in one mouthful, so for this kefir concoction we incorporated every flavor of the rainbow. Did you know they changed the green flavor from lime to apple? That’s bananas! Or apples… We went with the classic recipe here.

For the sticky, chewy element, we bought some instant tapioca at our local ethnic food market. These big gummies are different than the tapioca you use to make pudding. They were in the East Asian candy aisle and came in really cool rainbow colors. To prepare them, you boil them in plenty of water, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. To store them, we drained the boiling water, transferred them to a smaller dish and covered them with a little water to prevent them from sticking together.

rainbow kefir

Rainbow Kefir

makes 3 servings

8 oz. Lifeway Lowfat Strawberry Kefir

12 oz. 100% Grape Juice

Juice of ½ an orange

Juice of ½ lemon

Juice of ½ lime

¾ cup prepared tapioca pearls

Combine all ingredients except the tapioca and whisk to combine. Divide the tapioca into 3 glasses and pour equal amounts of kefir mixture into glasses. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday United Nations!

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:

un day 2013



un day 2013



un day 2013

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!


un day 2013 infographic

Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #UNDay!


Fifth graders have the best IDEAS

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/21/2013 8:33 PM
For Chicago-based Integrative Family Physician Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, food is medicine. She even teaches community classes based on the principle, teaming up with a chef to show community members howdelicious foods can work to prevent and even treat chronic diseases. So it’s no surprise that when she scored tickets to Chicago Ideas Week, an annual event bringing together hundreds of global thought leaders and more than 25,000 attendees, and she learned that Lifeway Foods was hosting a flavor-creation party, she jumped at the chance to attend. After all, Dr. Maker-Clark uses our kefir in her Food as Medicine classes, and has multiple bottles stocked at all times in her family’s fridge. When her 10-year-old daughter, Sahaara, heard about the event, and realized she didn’t have school that day, it seemed like a natural fit for her to attend, too.

sahaara experiments with kefir flavors

After CEO Julie Smolyansky gave a talk on Lifeway’s history, guests were invited to don their lab goggles and start mixing up new flavors of kefir. We chatted with Sahaara about her day playing amateur chef and the fifth grader spilled on her fave flavors, her school lunch of choice, and what she wants to be when she grows up.

flavor scientist sahaara

Lifeway: What different flavors did you experiment with?
Sahaara: I tried using cherry, caramel, root beer, marshmallow, blueberry, mango, peach, and passion fruit. But they weren’t all mixed together.

Lifeway: (Making note: Arrange focus group to test out Cherry-Caramel-Root Beer-Marshmallow-Passion Fruit Lowfat Kefir). And which one was your favorite?
Sahaara: Blueberry-mango-passion fruit-peach. It was really sweet.

Lifeway: Do you have kefir in your fridge at home?
Sahaara: Yes, we get it a lot from the store. Normally we have cherry, peach, strawberry-banana and mango. And Birthday Cake flavor. 

Lifeway: It sounds like your mom is really into yummy, good-for-you food. What’s your favorite lunch to bring to school?
Sahaara: Probably a sandwich on whole wheat bread, vegetables, nuts and sometimes a cookie or brownie, but not very often. 

Lifeway: What did you think of our CEO’s story?
Sahaara: I thought it was really interesting to hear how she made this business. It was inspiring: People came from Russia, and nobody here knew what kefir was, so it was new to America.  And it caught on.  

Lifeway: We agree – she is an inspiring CEO! So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Sahaara: I kind of want to be an author, scientist and engineer at the same time because I’m interested in writing, politics and physics. And an engineer I also like creating things of old humidifiers and blenders and recyclable materials.

 

 

 

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