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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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Spring clean your belly!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/9/2014 11:02 AM

lifeway kefir spring cleaning

Your kitchen cupboard wasn’t the only thing growing dust bunnies this past winter. All that time spent curled up on the couch, indulging in comfort food while donning elastic waist sweatpants catches up with you, and come Springtime, your gut could use a good cleaning out.  We’re not promoting extreme “cleaning” methods, like colonics or juice fasts, but more gentle, sustainable clean-up efforts.

Spring cleaning tool #1? Probiotics. These good bacteria keep things smoothly moving through your GI tract (think of gunky winter snow melting in the April sun, rather than creating a muddy eyesore on the side of the road.)

Some other here-comes-the-sun clean-up methods, gathered from around the web:

Go green: "Raw, steamed, sautéed , chopped, shredded—no matter how you eat them, they have lots of nutrients that will help make your skin glow, rid your body of toxins, and rev up your immune system," says board-certified health coach Arielle Fierman. "They're loaded with fiber and phytonutrients to help your organs do their best work. My favorites include frozen spinach blended in a smoothie for breakfast, hummus and veggies wrapped in a collard greens for lunch, and kale sautéed with coconut oil and sea salt as a side dish for dinner." -

Get your sweat on: "Choose an exercise that you love—dance, stretch class, biking, swimming—and do it just for 20 to 30 minutes per day,” Fierman suggests. “Sign up for a group class or pre-pay so you don’t have an excuse not to go. Pack your workout clothes with you when you go to work—or better yet, wear your workout tank under a cute blazer and you'll be half ready to hit the gym later on." -

Try meatless Mondays: Some health experts believe that meat and dairy products create an acidic environment within the body, paving the way to disease. Vegetables are considered more alkalinizing: Try plant-based foods like leafy greens, broccoli and asparagus. -

Head outside: According to naturopathic physician Kim McQueen, “Sunlight converts cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D. It’s difficult to get enough of the right sun exposure (especially in the winter) to provide the body with adequate vitamin D. Vitamin D is fat-soluble and best consumed as supplements or through foods like eggs, salmon and soy.” - Huffington Post


From Sea to Kefir Sea

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/4/2014 3:21 PM

Lifeway recently debuted its frozen kefir across the Atlantic in the UK, and our new international kick is extending beyond the freezer aisle – we sponsored Girl Up London, a UK charity event, and are hosting a Russian mentee in Fortune Magazine, Vital Voices, and the US State Department’s mentorship program for global entrepreneurs.

girl up uk frozen kefir lifeway

girl up uk frozen kefir lifeway

Girl Up London was a big success! The voices of women refugees from Ethiopia were loud and clear, raising awareness for the difficult issues women face in tragic political circumstances. Our CEO Julie Smolyansky met with  Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai who refused to clip his daughter Malala’s wings and allowed her to protest the Taliban for girls’ rights to education. Other women came to support the Girl Up cause and enjoy a scoop of Lifeway Frozen Kefir, like Disney’s High School Musical star Monique Coleman.

zhanna sharipova lifeway

zhanna sharipova lifeway 2

Back at Lifeway headquarters in weird, wonderful Niles, IL, we are hosting Zhanna Sharipova, a marketing professional from Moscow who came to the US for a little business entrepreneurship inspiration exchange with our CEO Julie Smolyansky and her team. Kicking off her two week stay with a cocktail party in downtown Chicago, Ms. Sharipova is touring all of Lifeway’s kefir-riffic facilities and even squeezing in a little fun, like the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field Opening Day  baseball game!

Lifeway Attends #WomenLeading Philanthropy Symposium

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/2/2014 8:37 AM

Women leading philanthropy symposium

Leaders in philanthropy, business, and government are gathering this week in Chicago for the 2014
#WomenLeading Philanthropy Symposium, part of Chicago’s newly proclaimed Women’s Philanthropy Week, March 30th – April 4th. Lifeway’s CEO Julie Smolyansky is proud to attend the symposium, representing the growing faction of female leaders who are dedicated to integrating philanthropy into running a successful business.

The timing of the event falls perfectly in line with Lifeway’s participation in Fortune Magazine, Vital Voices, and the US State Department’s mentorship program for global entrepreneurs. Lifeway is happy to host Zhanna Sharipova, one of Russia’s top business women to shadow our own fearless leader, Ms. Smolyansky. We are proud to show Ms. Sharipova the support Chicago gives to women leading in business and philanthropy at this week’s event.

The focus of this year’s symposium will be reflection and a survey of what has already been done in regards to increasing the representation of women in business and how that has effected philanthropic pursuits. To start out, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s office has collected a few facts on where we stand:



Ø  The Nonprofit Times annual list of the Top 50 Power & Influence in the Nonprofit World included 23 women in 2013. 

Ø  Nonprofits with a female CEO averaged 50% female representation on boards. Nonprofits with male CEO averaged 37% female representation on boards.

-2012 Board Source Nonprofit Governance Index

Ø  In nearly every income group, women give more than men even though women will live longer than their spouses, are likely to make less money over their lifetimes, and are likely to spend less time in the workforce than men.

-Women Give 2010 and 2012,

Ø  In 2007, annual company charitable contributions were 28 times higher in companies with gender diverse boardrooms. Fortune 500 companies with 3 or more Women Board Directors allocated $27.1 million versus $969,000 in companies with zero women directors. 

-Soares, Marquis, and Lee (2011), “Gender and Corporate Social Responsibility:  It’s a Matter of Sustainability,”

Ø  The 2014 Forbes list of the world’s billionaires includes 7 women in the top 50.  

Chicken Salad, hold the chicken

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/1/2014 12:30 AM
 chickpea salad no chicken

This light and simple lunch is loaded with fiber and protein from garbanzos (aka chickpeas) and a healthy dose of fruits and veggies mixed in. Using half kefir and half mayo for your dressing gives your salad a light coating of flavor, without all the fat. Plus opening a can of chickpeas is way easier than preparing chicken breast from scratch. We think that having the first five letter in common also makes chickpeas a perfect substitute in your chicken salad sandwich.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

1 ½ cups chick peas, drained

½ cup celery, diced

½ cup red grapes, halved

2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper

 Mash the chickpeas lightly with a fork in a large bowl, leaving about half the chickpeas whole. Add celery and grapes. In a separate bowl, whisk together kefir, mayo, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine. Serve on bread, in a pita, or over mixed greens for a delicious light meal!

Calling all Talented Junior Chefs and Lifeway fans

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/26/2014 9:00 AM

kids cook with Lifeway

When we heard about the amazing opportunity for the kids of America to represent their state at the White House “State Dinner” and showcase their amazing cooking skills, we knew we had to share the news! Below are some details about the
Epicurious 2014 Healthy Lunch Time Meal Challenge and a few recipe suggestions for inspiration.

If you are the parent of a budding chef between the ages of 8 and 12, you’re invited to work together and send in your child’s original lunch recipe inspired by the USDA’s MyPlate. You and your child could win a trip to Washington, D.C., and you may have the opportunity to represent your state at the Kids’ “State Dinner,” hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House.

Your recipe should be:


Veggies and fruits should make up half of your recipe, and be sure to also include low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein


Keep it fresh, simple, and yummy


We want your own creative dish, not one from a published source


No fancy ingredients needed


Tell us the story of how you came to make this dish



Entry Period: March 5–April 5, 2014

Winners Notified: June 2014

Trip to Washington, D.C., and opportunity to attend Kids’ “State Dinner”: July/August 2014

Recipe Inspiration:

Funfetti Frittata

6 eggs

½ cup kefir

2 cups chopped veggies

·         Onion

·         Garlic

·         Peppers

·         Green beans

·         Asparagus

·         Eggplant

·         Tomato, etc

¼ t Salt

¼ t pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cheese (parmesan, cheddar, gruyere)


Salad with kefir ranch dressing

2 cups Mixed greens

¼ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

1 tablespoon olive oil

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Dried dill

Dried parsley

Herbs of your choice



Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together eggs, kefir, veggies, salt and pepper. Heat a large, oven proof skillet on the stovetop to medium and coat the bottom with oil. Pour in egg mixture and stir as the mixture sets, keeping the bottom of the pan coated with egg. When it starts to set in the middle, transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes more to melt the cheese and fully cook the eggs.

To make the salad dressing, whisk together kefir, a pinch each of the herbs of your choice, salt and pepper.

Serve frittata with a green salad and kefir dressing.


Breakfast for lunch

Kefir pancake sandwiches with fruit

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups 
Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir
1 cup  puree (banana, pumpkin, squash, carrot etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed)

Thinly Sliced fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries, etc)

Honey or maple syrup

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine kefir, puree, vanilla extract, and eggs. Add to dry mixture and mix just until moistened.
Pre-heat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly grease griddle and spoon batter on.
When tiny bubbles appear on the top of the pancake, flip over and continue cooking: 2-3 minutes each side.
Spread with nut butter, fresh fruit, and syrup and stack a second pancake on top of sandwich. Serve with kefir smoothie and fruit salad.

Here's the footage from last year's Kids' State Dinner...


Good things happening to America's health

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/25/2014 7:37 AM
kefir cap flag lifeway

The Partnership for a Healthier America just released its 2013 progress report
, and the results are good enough to inspire jumping jacks. Dedicated to helping ensure a health young generation, with a focus on solving the childhood obesity epidemic, the PHA unites leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, led by honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama, responsible for spearheading theLet’s Move!campaign. Among the highlights of this year’s PHA report:

-       After rising for decades, the obesity rate among low-income preschoolers has finally started to level off; 18 states are actually demonstrating small declines.

-       70,000 children in daycare are now eating healthier meals

-       More than 370 new grocery stores have opened up food deserts (neighborhoods with low access to nutritious, affordable food).

-       The Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association teamed up with PHA, pledging to use Elmo to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption among kids. (“Elmo loves artichokes!”)

-       About 400 hospitals have joined the PHA’s Hospital Healthy Food Initiative, delivering produce- and grain-packed hospital meals to more than 40 million patients.

-       Last year, Let’s Move! Active Schools was launched in collaboration with Nike, Reebok and Kaiser Permanente, training and encouraging parents, teachers, and community leaders to build more physical activity into their students’ day.

But it’s not all sunshine and daisies: Childhood obesity rates still rose in three states and remained stagnant in 20 others. One in five African-American preschoolers and one in six Hispanic children are obese or overweight, making them more likely to become obese adults with a heightened risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a host of other dangerous medical conditions.

Lifeway is dedicated to keeping America's kiddos thriving. The "good bug" probiotics in our kefir may even help fend off obesity later in life: a Britiish Journal of Nutrition study found that pregnant women who consumed probiotic supplements may reduce their offspring's chances of becoming obese as adults by reducing moms' chances of having gestational diabetes. And research also shows that peppering your day with dairy (milk, kefir, yogurt, cheese) can help you keep tabs on your weight.

We salute the PHA for all of their hard work - let's keep moving and eating well, America!



London Calling, Lifeway Answering

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/20/2014 4:37 AM

lifeway frozen kefir in holland & barrett

Lifeway Frozen Kefir is expanding to 339 Holland & Barrett stores across the UK this week! We are excited to reach the refrigerators even more lovely Brits, who are soon to discover the probiotic bliss experienced after enjoying one of our Mango or Original varieties in a convenient single-serve size.

Lifeway is also proud to maintain a dedication to social justice, even as our business grows and reaches new corners of the world. Lifeway is sponsoring Girl Up Live from London, the UN Foundation initiative Girl Up’s first soiree outside the US. A longtime supporter of Girl Up, Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky will be speaking at the event alongside London's leading ladies and men. The event will raise funds to aid young women refugees in Ethiopia, who face women’s health issues exacerbated by devastating circumstances.

So head to your local Holland & Barrett for some frozen kefir and navigate your mouse on over to and get tickets for night of inspiration -- with frozen treats provided by Lifeway, of course!

8 New Innovations for Staying Healthy Naturally

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/19/2014 9:37 AM

expo west lifeway 2014

Lifeway isn’t the only company coming up with awesome new natural food innovations like our Veggie Kefir, Kefir with Oats, and Perfect12 Kefir sweetened with stevia. Our new products made their debut alongside a veritable panoply of food and healthcare items at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim last weekend. Movers and shakers in the natural foods industry were delighted by the distinguished formulas and stand-out flavors of the new Lifeway products, a true feat when faced with the variety of food, beverage, and beauty products on display at the show – from over 2,600 exhibitors!

Our team had a chance to walk around the exhibit and check out all the great products that help us maintain the healthy, natural lifestyle we passionately promote at Lifeway. Here are a few of our new favorites that we think you should keep an eye out for:


the cream

The Cream

This skincare line flipped their name on its head because they are from “down under,” a.k.a. New Zealand. They’ll also flip your idea of what dairy can do on its head with their colostrum based creams and serums. Colostrum is a concentrated superfood packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals that cows produce for only two days after birthing a calf. With colostrum making up around 60% of what goes into each bottle of The Cream, the remaining ingredients are 100% natural, too. We love seeing what dairy can do for our health, inside and out!

grower pete's

Grower Pete’s

Living foods are near and dear to our hearts, so we are excited to see them cropping up outside of the dairy aisle. Grower Pete’s Organic Butter Lettuce and Watercress make it all the way to your crisper with their roots attached, extending their hydroponic life all the way to your dinner table. If at home horticulture isn’t your thing, you can still get “freshly picked” greens right out of your fridge!

slow food for fast lives

Slow Food for Fast Lives

These bars appeal to our savory side. Paired with a Veggie Kefir, you can get a vegetable packed meal on the go with one of these nutrition bars, packed with global flavors and health-enhancing ingredients. Nuts, lentils, rice, and veggies combine to make one tasty and unique snack!

diva cup

The Diva Cup

This little cup may look perplexing at first, but The Diva Cup is simply a reusable menstrual care cup. An often overlooked area of natural health care, you might not have given much thought about the chemicals in traditional feminine care products, let alone the waste they create. Periods aren’t gross, but mass marketed tampons and pads can be loaded with unnatural additives and pile up in landfills. The Diva Cup is a great way to naturally care for your vagina and the environment, and continue to go about your normal business, whether it’s surfing or practicing yoga in white pants – The Diva Cup can last for 12 hours!

chapul bar


We have two new food bars on our list because variety is the spice of life. This bar can really rock your world by adding insects to your diet! While it may seem like a novelty to us, eating bugs is more main stream globally. Insects are a great source of protein that require a fraction of the water necessary to raise other animal sources of protein like beef, pork, or chicken, so you can nourish your body and be kind to the environment at the same time. Unlike the live and active “bugs” in our probiotic kefir, Chapul uses a flour made from insects, so the little legs won’t wiggle around or get stuck in your teeth. Sweet flavors and nutritious ingredients like dates and nuts will ease you into enjoying a cricket snack fix.

Because you're happy!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/18/2014 9:00 AM

There’s a reason Pharrell Williams’ song is so popular: People just wanna be happyThat includes theGeneral Assembly of the United Nations, which has declared March 20 the International Day of Happiness.

People are being encouraged to snap pics of whatever makes them smile and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #happyday.

In the meantime, we combed the research for fun studies that give us even more motivation to turn that frown upside down. Did you know that happy people... 

…have stronger immune systems. A Loma Linda University School of Medicine study found that watching a funny video increased antibody production by nearly 20 percent.

…volunteer. Philanthropy is linked with improved mental and physical health, and volunteers report being happier and less depressed than their non-dogooder counterparts. (Ever heard of a Helper’s High?)

…listen to relaxing music. A 2010 study found that lying down and listeing to enjoyable music reduced anxiety more than getting a series of ten hour-long massages.

…have happy friends on Facebook. A University of California-San Diego study found that happiness spreads among friends and even acquaintances on social networks by up to three degrees. That means that if your BFF’s sister’s cousin is having an great day,  her mood will rub off on you through cyberspace.

…feel warm all over. When 700 subjects were given drawings of the human body and asked to color in the areas where they felt warmer or cooler in response to various emotions, happiness made people feel warm all over. (Anger tended to register in the limbs.) 

…buy gifts for their friends. Spending your dough on others boosts your own happiness quotient more than buying stuff for yourself. 


It’s pretty easy being green! With St. Patrick’s Day Green Smoothies

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/17/2014 3:00 AM

starfruit green machine smoothie

We’re taking it a step beyond wearing
shamrock socks and dying the Chicago River green this year. We’re debuting a new Green Dream Smoothie at our Starfruit Cafés in Chicago’s Loop, River North, and Wicker Park neighborhoods. It’s based in our famous frozen soft-serve kefir and Organic Green Kefir and loaded with other great leafy greens. Plus, we’re offering double punches on Starfruit rewards cards for all green juices and smoothies on March 17. If you can’t make it to Starfruit to get a Green Dream or any of our delicious green smoothies and probiotic juices, try whirring up the blender and adding some of these green goodies to your kefir. What other green ingredients do you put in your smoothies and juices?

  •   Lime Juice
  •   Matcha Green Tea Powder
  •   Chlorophyll
  •   Avocado
  •   Pistachio
  •   Kiwi
  •   Wakame

Or try your hand at our Green Dream at home. You can find Lifeway Frozen Kefir in your grocer’s freezer section. Check our Store Locator for availability.

Green Dream Smoothie

½ Pint
Lifeway Original Tart and Tangy Frozen Kefir
1 cup Lifeway Organic Green Pomegranate Acai Blueberry Kefir
½ cup Spinach
2 leaves Kale
1/2 Banana

Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve immediately.

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