By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 5/7/2014 9:15 AM
Lifeway is celebrating #MotherCulture this Mother’s Day, with our Lifeway Team and our legions of kefir fans. Tonight we are hosting a Twitter Party at 7pm CST to get the #MotherCulture spirit flowing. Dress code is mom jeans casual, but the door birdie is pretty relaxed about attire. Just follow the #MotherCulture hashtag and chirp in with your thoughts on moms!
We’ve interviewed a few Lifeway staffers and IRL moms to get you in the #MotherCulture spirit.
Marina Nikolenko, Vice President of Marketing
What does #MotherCulture mean to you?
For me #MotherCulture is spending quality time with my kids, whether it’s going outside for a walk or reading a book at bedtime. Those moments are really special to me.
What are some of your favorite Mother’s Day traditions?
To me this day is about my Mom. I thank her for everything she does for me and for my family.
We usually host a brunch for Mother’s Day at our house and it’s a chance for my husband and I to try out new healthy recipes and treat our moms to a fun day with the family.
What is your little one's favorite Lifeway product?
My daughter loves Lifeway Frozen Kefir Bars, she thinks all ice cream is made from kefir.
Maria Adamovich, Accounting
What does #MotherCulture mean to you?
Finding balance between kids and work
What are some tips for getting your family or kids to eat healthier?
Not giving them any junk food choices as an option to begin with :)
How do you encourage your kids to be active throughout the day?
Going to play outside at least twice a day
What is your little one's favorite Lifeway product?
ProBugs, hands down!
Thanks for chatting with us, Lifeway Moms!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 5/5/2014 7:19 AM
Lifeway operates three cosmic cafes in Chicago called Starfruit. The local hot spots serve up soft-serve frozen kefir to hungry Chicagoans who need a break from hot dogs, beef sandwiches, and deep dish pizza - the only other foods served in the Windy City.
In addition to delicious sundaes in fun flavors like Pear, Green Tea, and Blood Orange, Starfruit mixes up some of the most delicious smoothies in town. Creamy frozen kefir, a splash of Lifeway liquid gold, and fresh fruits and veggies are whirring together all day long in signature and custom blends. One of our favorite new menu items of 2014 is a Mediterranean dream. The Calypso’s refreshing cucumber and mint, along with a hint of coconut and a tart & tangy kick are a new local favorite.
If you can’t make it to Chicago to try one out this summer, all you need is a quick trip to your local grocer’s freezer aisle and a pint of our Lifeway Tart & Tangy Original Frozen Kefir will get you on the right track. Happy Blending!
1 cup Lifeway Original Tart & Tangy Frozen Kefir
½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Coconut Chia Kefir
½ cucumber, cut into pieces
6 mint leaves
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 5/2/2014 9:19 AM
Share your images, recipes, pictures and stories of #MotherCulture!
Lifeway is proud to unveil our #MotherCulture campaign with a series of ads featuring real moms who drink real kefir. Everything, including kefir, starts with a mother. We’re sharing our real stories, now we want to hear from our friends and fans. Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky is utilizing her leadership role to make the world a better place for her kids to grow up and for all mothers to build healthier communities. She is dedicated to empowering families across the country to bring wholesome, nourishing foods to the table and to their busy lives, while sharing the stories of how real moms strengthen and inspire every day.
Participate in the Conversation! Sample Tweets:
• I believe every child deserves access to healthy food, a good education and a safe world to fulfill their dreams. #MotherCulture
• As a working mom, family dinners aren’t always possible, but every Sunday my kids and I enjoy a grand brunch! #MotherCulture
• My kids always treat me to flats of flowers on Mother’s Day because I love to garden and enjoy seeing them all summer! #MotherCulture
• My doula introduced me to kefir during my first pregnancy and I’ve kept up the habit! Now my 5 year is crazy about ProBugs! #MotherCulture
• I’ve saved every handwritten note my daughter has given me on Mother’s Day – my box of 33 notes is my greatest treasure! #MotherCulture
Look forward to seeing your favorite probiotic treats advertised in some of your favorite magazine publications. It’s Lifeway’s biggest ad spend to date! A #MotherCulture message might find its way to some of your favorite websites, plus on May 7th, we’ll be hosting a #MotherCulture Twitter party for our loyal fans and all maternal members of the Twittersphere. Join us!
It all starts with the #MotherCulture and what better time to celebrate the origins of life than Mother’s Day! Lifeway looks forward to celebrating the diverse cultures our fans represent in the future!
So please, tell us what #MotherCulture means to you!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/30/2014 8:37 AM
If froyo is hot right now, Lifeway Frozen Kefir is on fire. Our soft serve probiotic frozen treat is making its way to a chain of Pride one-stop-shops in the Chicagoland area with a few brand new Lifeway Culture Shoppes. The Pride store of Hinsdale is open 24 hours so you can get your Lifeway Frozen Kefir fix with all the fixings at any hour!
Chicago friends might be familiar with Lifeway’s Starfruit Cafes, serving up soft serve frozen kefir in 3 bustling Chicago locations since 2011. The same great treats are a perfect fit in any quick service business with space for a soft serve machine – cafeterias, coffee shops, movie theaters and more! Contact Lifeway’s Culture Shoppe Manager Vince if you want to start your own!
On the topic of Starfruit Cafe, our #KefirTruck will be hitting the road shortly. We'll be kicking off the season at the official City of Chicago Food Truck Rally on May 5th. Come see us!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/28/2014 3:32 PM
The tiny chefs of Common Threads are teaming up with Lifeway once again! This time, they’re bulking up their tiny biceps by helping scoop frozen kefir at the Common Threads World Festival in Washington DC. This annual event is a fundraiser for the organizations programming in DC, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles, where they teach kids in underserved communities cooking and healthy living skills. Perfectly plated by DC’s finest culinary disciples, Lifeway Pomegranate and Original Frozen Kefir was a hit!
To recreate these perfect probiotic bites at home, grab a pint of Lifeway Frozen Kefir at your local grocer, scoop, and top with chocolate chips, blueberries, and popped quinoa. The quinoa is a fun, crunchy topping that’s healthy too! Just toss a spoonful of quinoa in a pan over medium high heat and give the pan a gentle shake while the seeds pop like tiny popcorn kernels. Check out popped quinoa tutorial for tips. They won’t expand as much as regular popcorn, but they will certainly give your kefir sundae a good crackle!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/24/2014 11:23 AM
Wonder Woman, Batman, The Hulk and Captain America have some competition; a new superhero who goes by the name of Coconut Oil Man.
Honestly, is there anything coconut oil can’t do? A fantastical new health claim pops up every day, with fans claiming the liquid gold can do everything from sooth skin to shed weight to whiten teeth.
Smile brightening: Oil pulling is the hottest trend to hit mouths since Miley Cyrus’ tongue got its own Twitter account. According to the ancient practice, you swish coconut type of oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes a day, with the goal of whitening your teeth and preventing bad breath. Just be sure not to spit it out in your sink; the oil will harden and could clog your pipes.
Tasty baked goods: Coconut oil is extremely heat stable, meaning it tolerates high temperatures well. Use it to stir fry Asian veggies, in fragrant Indian curries, or as a substitute for butter or shortening in muffins, brownies or scones. Beware: It’s solid at room temperature, so you’ll need to melt it down first (you can just set the jar in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.) Or leave it as a solid and…
Supple skin: …rub it on your elbows, knees and heels to soften your skin. You can also add a few spoonfuls to a hot bath, or smooth a tiny amount over your hair to ease frizz.
Weight loss: Coconut oil has long been on nutritionists’ hit lists, thanks to its higher amounts of saturated fat. But the types of triglycerides it contains are metabolized differently in the body from other saturated fats; they’re typically used for energy rather than stored as fat. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that women who ate four teaspoons of purified Medium Chain Triglyceride oil (the type of fat found in high concentrations in coconut oil) daily for four months lost twice as much weight as those eating the same amount of olive oil. In fact, Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr has revealed that she consumes four tablespoons of coconut oil every day.
Coconut oil too…oily for you? Lifewat kefir makes a tasty lowfat Coconut Chia Kefir and Tart and Tangy Frozen Coconut Kefir Bars. Feel free to swish.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/24/2014 7:37 AM
There may be dozens of ways to say “kefir,” but there is only one açai (and that’s, ah-sigh-EE)! Some people call açai fruit a berry, but it’s really a drupe, a “stone fruit” of sorts, with a pit in the middle and fleshy fruit on the outside like a cherry, nectarine or even an olive. They are eaten in both savory and sweet applications in the Amazon and are renowned for being very high in antioxidants.
You can find açai pulp in the freezer section of any good health food store or ethnic grocer. It is sold pre-sweetened and packaged in individual plastic pouches for measuring convenience. The purple pulp will stain everything, including your teeth and countertops, so be swift and deliberate in your smoothie making movements. Not great for business meetings, but a perfect refreshing start to a day at the beach, even if you’re not in Brazil!
Mango Açai Kefir Smoothie
½ ripe mango, cut into pieces
3.5 oz frozen açai
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Mango Kefir
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/23/2014 3:37 AM
Stretch the life of your baby spinach by freezing the leaves raw in a plastic bag or put cooked spinach into an ice cube tray. Kale, chard, or collards can also be frozen.
Preserve your herbs
Ice cubes with a few herbs in the middle add a refreshing kick to your drinks. Try mint, basil, tarragon or parsley for a savory twist.
Ice your tea
Brew your favorite caffeinated or decaf tea or herbal blend and pour into an ice cube tray for extra flavor and energy in your smoothie!
Follow the Bluth Family Motto, “There’s always money in the banana stand” and keep a few frozen bananas on hand at all times. It’s a great way to save bananas before they cross over to the land of overripeness, just make sure to peel them before you put them in the freezer.
Add a couple berries, half a banana, and a handful of greens to a plastic sandwich bag and freeze individual “smoothie packs” to have on hand for busy days. Mix it up with whatever you have on hand or whatever is in season!
Lunch box double duty
You can blend a kefir smoothie and freeze in a reusable plastic bottle. Toss one in your kids’ lunch boxes and they work as a freezer pack during the morning, and a delicious slushie at lunch!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/22/2014 11:35 AM
In honor of Earth Day, we invited Amy Haddon, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Renewable Choice Energy to author this guest post. We are pleased to work with Renewable Choice Energy to get our company a little more green and spread the word on how Renewable Energy Credits help make the world a better place.
For the past eight years, Lifeway Foods has purchased renewable energy from our team at Renewable Choice Energy. This partnership has enabled Lifeway to continue its longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.
But just how does this partnership work? Lifeway buys what are known as renewable energy credits, or RECs, from Renewable Choice to offset the environmental impact of its purchased electricity. Lifeway purchases enough RECs to offset 100% of the electricity used to produce its products, an ambitious commitment that helps the company avoid over 3.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution annually. This reduction has the same impact as planting 44,034 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years, or removing 362 cars from the road for a full year.
RECs are how green power is tracked and traded in North America. While businesses are implementing onsite renewable energy production in increasing numbers, it is still cost- and operationally-prohibitive for many companies to do so. The alternative is to purchase RECs, which are produced at the same time clean energy is in a one-to-one ratio. While the clean energy itself gets blended into the power mix that we call the “grid,” along with electricity from carbon-based sources like coal and natural gas, the RECs become a tradable commodity that represent the environmental benefits of the clean energy produced. RECs are the standard and accepted way for companies without onsite clean energy options to help neutralize their carbon footprint, and are recognized (and used) by environmental agencies, including the U.S. EPA.
Because Lifeway purchases RECs to offset 100% of its grid electricity consumption, the company can make the claim that it is 100% wind powered. The RECs that are purchased by Lifeway are tracked, certified, and retired by Green-e® Energy, the leading renewable energy certifier in the U.S., which ensures that no other company can claim the environmental benefits attached to Lifeway’s RECs.
Purchasing RECs also helps to stimulate the development of a vital clean energy industry. The use of RECs provides financial feasibility for renewable energy facilities and their development. Voluntary purchasers like Lifeway have helped to significantly grow U.S. renewable energy in the past decade, keeping energy production here in the U.S., promoting job growth, and helping to reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and ecosystem degradation.
Alongside its green power purchase, Lifeway has undertaken additional steps as a leader in voluntary environmental action, including the use of local ingredients and biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials, both of which further contribute to a reduction in GHG emissions.
We’ve been a proud partner of Lifeway Foods and look forward to continuing to work together toward solutions for a cleaner, more sustainable environment. Happy Earth Day from all of us at Renewable Choice!
You can read more about the partnership between Renewable Choice and Lifeway here.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/21/2014 8:00 AM
When it comes to our fans, there’s room for everyone in the Lifeway family. But when it comes to the ingredients we use in our kefir, Lifeway is pretty picky. Our milk is crème de la crème of the Midwest, our flavorings and colorings our all-natural, our cultures are live & active & abundant, and our sweetener is a minimally processed cane sugar. We’ve recently added a pinch of pectin, a natural stabilizer, to the mix to keep things smooth throughout the seasons, so we thought a quick spotlight on pectin was in order for our fans.
With our commitment to keeping things natural and unprocessed, comes some natural variation in our non-homogenized milk, and in turn our kefir, as the seasons change. In the summer, cows in our Midwest region eat more fresh grass which adds more water to their diet and results in thinner milk and thinner kefir. In the winter, the extra thick milk can lead to extra kefir lumps.
This can be upsetting. Kefir is supposed to be thick, luscious, creamy, and smooth! You let us know on Facebook, Twitter, via email, on the phone, and with one sky written message over Lake Michigan, and we listened. We went on a mission to find a natural way to make kefir thick and delicious all year round. In came pectin to save the day!
The pectin in our kefir is a flavorless fiber derived from citrus fruits, added in a very small amount that doesn’t affect the nutritional profile. It will help to stabilize the kefir to avoid major lumping (but will still leave a few lumps for good measure), and thicken it a little when the consistency of our milk supply fluctuates.
We think you will notice a pleasant upgrade in the quality and texture of our signature drink and hope that you are enjoying this little tweak to our formula as much as we are!
Just remember, you’re not off the hook when it comes to shaking! The milk solids and pectin may settle at the bottom and a vigorous shake will keep your kefir and your biceps in great shape.