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!
Strawberry Banana Frozen ProBugs Smoothie
Tropical Fruits Smoothie
Beet and Spinach Smoothies
Persimmon and Kale Smoothie
Apricot Kiwi Smoothie
Black and Blue Berry Smoothie
Kohlrabi and Cabbage Slaw
Mood Boosting Soul Bowl Salad
Kale and Citrus Salad
Pasta Salad with Peas
Chilled Sweet Corn SoupBaba’s Chilled Beet Soup
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/3/2014 8:12 AM
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.
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.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/1/2014 12:07 PM
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
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/31/2013 7:11 AM
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!
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.
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.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/27/2013 12:15 PM
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 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
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.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/24/2013 5:17 AM
“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a five-times-stronger immune system that sings!! Four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 10 moms a-clapping, nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 11 grams of protein, 10 moms a-clapping, nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 12 BioKefirs boosting, 11 grams of protein, 10 moms a-clapping, nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.”
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/23/2013 8:37 AM
The easiest way to deck the dining table with festive beverages is to line up our Organic Green Kefir, Lowfat Strawberry Kefir, and seasonal Eggnog Kefir. But if you’re looking to go the extra mile this Christmas, you can punch up the color and nutrition of your kefir with these red and green smoothie recipes.
We added maca to these recipes, a root vegetable native to the Andean region of Peru, for its reputation for improving mood, decreasing anxiety, and increasing energy. Who couldn’t use some of that to get a holiday celebration going? Don’t go too crazy around the mistletoe though, maca is also said to increase libido. You can find it powdered in the health food section of your grocery store.
Probiotic in a Pear Tree Smoothie
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
1 ripe pear
½ ripe banana
1 cup packed spinach leaves
10 fresh mint leaves
Juice from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon maca powder
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
Beets a Blending Smoothie
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
½ cup orange juice
1 cup cooked or canned beets (not pickled or sweetened)
½ ripe banana
½ teaspoon ginger
10 mint leaves
¼ cup packed spinach leaves
1 tablespoon maca powder
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/21/2013 6:37 AM
This year, new research emerged linking gut health to better brain function, pointing research on treating brain disorders in a potentially dietary direction. Disorders like chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Autism may have new avenues of treatment to discover, but the impact of this research could also help guide anyone through the psychological stress of everyday life.
As we head into the throes of the holiday season, loading up on probiotics might not only keep our digestive system moving smoothly after a few too many festive indulgences, but these good bugs may also help us keep our cool under last minute shopping pressure, relaxed in the presence of visiting in-laws, and calm in endless airport security lines.
While many of Lifeway Kefir’s friendly vendors sell gift cards that make great, non-refrigerated gifts, redeemable for our digestion enhancing moo juice, we compiled a list of a few other ways to share the gift of emotional peace in this holiday!
Lavender is often the go-to scent for relaxation aromatherapy, but around Christmas, we’re considering the wisdom of the nativity’s Three Wise Men. Frankincense was considered more valuable than gold in biblical times, and while we wouldn’t recommend turning down any gilded gifts this holiday, a bottle of this calming oil, said to relieve stress and boost immunity, might do us more good as we shop, travel, and entertain our way through December.
Harry Potter uses it as an antidote for the soul-crushing effects of Dementors. Cathy uses it to fuel herself through the zany world of adulthood. At Lifeway, we use chocolate in some of our favorite probiotic treats, but love a good truffle from time to time, too! Science is now backing up our anxiety busting experiences with research. The tryptophan in dark chocolate may help the brain produce more happiness boosting serotonin. It also has magnesium and theobromine reduce anxiety and caffeine to up your energy level.
Chamomile infusions are known to relieve stress and what better way to inspire the ones you love to distress than with a something pretty to sip from. Lifeway is partial to Russian tea sets, especially when they come in our signature blue!
Who wouldn’t love to let out a little holiday aggression? Stars are traditional holiday piñatas in Mexico, but we like to make our own like this silly little Santa.
As you bend, stretch and twist your body into a menagerie of poses, you’ll forget all about your inevitable flight delays and the siren call of Christmas cookies in the kitchen. Relieving stress and balancing digestion also go hand in hand when it comes to yoga! A yoga mat makes a great gift for any fitness minded friend.
A Funny Movie
They say laughter is the best medicine, so yuck it up with one of these DVDs:
The Dictator: Creator and lead actor Sasha Baron Cohen is a polarizing fellow, but we can all agree he is wise for shopping at a fine vendor of Lifeway Kefir.
Strange Brew: Fermented beverages are hilarious.
Home Alone: Did you know this movie was filmed just down the road from Lifeway Headquarters in Chicago’s North Suburbs? Do you think Fuller's bed-wetting could be cured by swapping out kefir for Pepsi?
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/20/2013 9:08 AM
It’s great news to see kefir and Lifeway in the news!
Dr. Oz battles bloat with probiotics
Dr. Oz, the great and powerful health guru, breaks down the best and worst health trends of 2013. In the weight loss category, he pits gluten free against probiotic and the good bugs come out on top! The benefits of probiotics in weightloss may be old news to loyal Lifeway fans, but we are always excited to see more people feeling great and getting their daily dose of fermented foods. He sheds light on the hidden calories in wheat substitutes, but foods like kefir are naturally gluten free and don’t have any hidden, high-calorie fillers if you feel better following a gluten free diet anyway.
Yahoo’s Daily Shot with Ali Wentworth also featured kefir as the first of five healthy foods you’re not eating. Finding this study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Ali’s guests saw that a diet including probiotic yogurt or kefir was associated with a greater weight loss than any other food in this 20 year cohort study of over 100,000 people. Sugary drinks were associated with weight gain, so Ali’s kefir was blended with antioxident and fiber packed blueberries for sweetness, yum!
The Chicago Tribune shared a few of our CEO Julie Smolyansky’s tips for staying active with a busy work schedule. Managing a dynamic business doesn’t mean your body can’t keep moving too!
Bootstrapping in America's Tom and Tony talk to CEO Julie Smolyansky about Lifeway Kefir. The business of creating a new category in the dairy aisle, from an idea, to public offering, to the company’s contemporary innovation strategies are on the docket.
John Cusack’s alter ego Shocko declares his love for Frozen Kefir, “The holy grail of frozen dessert treats.” A confection fit for King Arthur!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/19/2013 9:43 AM
You might go your whole life without ever hanging out with celebrated food writer Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma), world famous ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes or Mrs. United States 2011 Shannon Ford…but now your germs have the chance to become BFF with theirs. The American Gut Project is offering U.S. residents the chance to donate their microbes to science, and will use the results to further the study of GI disorders, the immune system and more. In other words, you might not be famous…but your microbiome can be.
By donating $99 to the project, you’ll receive a home sampling kit for swabbing various, ummm, orifices. Send the samples off to the American Gut Project Lab for sequencing, and in return, they will provide you with a list of your personal gut, skin and mouth bacteria, as well as tell you how you compare to others in the study, like Pollan, Karnazes, and the 6,000+ others who have joined. All donations go the Biofrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Earth Microbiome Project.
AGP’s team of experts is hoping that, with a diverse number of participants, they can create a sort of map of the American Gut. It might be cool to be a part of that – who’s game?