My One Last Favorite Product to Try- Kefir

2 more days.  2 more days.  2 more days.  I can’t believe it’s here- I feel like I just said, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll train for a marathon…”  Well, it’s right around the corner and I can just see it.  The big day I’ve worked really hard for.  I’m ready to see the finish line!  I’ve taken the past two days off from running, and I’ll run a very easy 2 miles tomorrow morning just to get my legs a little warmed up for their star performance (ha).  I don’t know why, but I’m so freakin’ nervous- but I’m excited just to see where I stand (or run, I guess). 

I’ll change the subject for now to ease my shaking nerves, and introduce- or at least expand upon- one last of my favorite products.  Do I think I’m Oprah or something?  Yes.  Yes, I do.

Kefir.  Have you heard of it?  Seen it in the natural section of Wegs or online? Ever wondered what it is, or are wondering right now at this very moment?  I have some answers, don’t worry!

I learned about Kefir in Grad school when I did a presentation on it- and almost peed myself with nervousness.  Kefir originated in the Caucasian Mountains- called the champagne of milk (now I don’t know about all that)!  Shepherds used to carry milk around in leather pouches and found that it fermented with kefir into this amazing substance sometimes.  “Aha”, they proclaimed, “Someday Jeannine Staples will write a blog post about this stuff, I bet!”

Kefir grains.

Kefir is a very thick smoothie-like drink made by fermenting milk and kefir grains.  These grains culture in the milk and make this little drink swimming with healthy organisms; bacteria (probiotics, that is) and yeast.  Yes, the same stuff yogurt has, but even more so.  These probiotics prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines (and stimulate the re-growth of the good bacteria- drink it especially when you’ve been sick or on antibiotics), so it’s really good for your digestive system.  It can aide in bowel movement and lessen gas.

It is a good source of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, essential aminos, Magnesium, and Calcium.  It contains Tryptophan, which can exhibit relaxing effects in the body, and it can strengthen your immune system.  I mean, what’s not to love?!

Another cool thing- the way kefir is fermented makes it almost completely lactose free, even though it contains milk.  YAY!  You can drink it if you have Lactose Intolerance- no excuses!  Some studies have suggested that people who add it to their diet (who do have L.I.) have less gas and abdominal pain.

And the research is obviously not extensive (yet), but kefir has shown in some to have anti-tumor properties.  Broken cancer cells can be at least partially restored to normal function by involving the work of lactic acid in the body.  Kefir can also help with AIDS, herpes, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD.  I sometimes believe I may have slight ADHD….Whoa.  Was that a bird?!

I know this might sound a little gross, but yogurt is the same thing, so don’t even think about drinking living organisms (think about the dead crap we eat all the time).  It has a slightly tangy taste, but it comes in all different flavors ( I don’t know if I could do plain).  Strawberry is my favorite.  I bought the seasonal Pumpkin Spice for Braxton the other day, and he downs that drink like it’s nobody’s business- score again for Mama.  There is also frozen kefir that I have yet to try (or I could freeze the stuff I have as popsicles?!), but that sounds pretty freakin delish!

I can also probably can find it at the new Trader Joe’s down the road (YES!!), but I’m steering clear until the mob crowds die down…besides, Wegmans, you have my heart.

Go out to your store today and grab yourself a bottle- try it out.  It tastes like a smoothie, and it’s good for you.  The shepherds will be smiling down on you as you enjoy it to the last drop:)  And so will Oprah I.

See, told ya.  I bet they’re comfy and smart because they just had some kefir.


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