Showing posts with label Healthy snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthy snacks. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Drink Kefir? If You're Not Including this in Your Diet, You May Want to Rethink That...

Are You Familiar With Kefir?

If you haven't read up on Kefir, you're going to be surprised by all it's benefits.

In case you aren't familiar with Kefir, Kefir is fermented milk. Hey, I heard that gag.

I remember when I first told my mom about Kefir, and used the words 'fermented milk' to describe it, she about up-chucked on the spot.

However, stop right there, it's not sour milk .... it's more like drinkable yogurt.

Kefir comes from the Turkish word 'Keif' which means, "good". So that settles it, it's good.

So Why Drink Kefir?

I tripped upon Kefir's benefits about two years ago while researching inflammation remedies for a very unexpected health matter. Since then, it's been a daily (or almost daily) inclusion in my diet.

According to Healthline there are a number of Benefits to Kefir - Here's a summary of a few of Kefir's good stuff:
  1. Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics
  2. There are approximately 30 strains of good bacteria that help protect against bad bacteria overgrowth, tumors, leaky-gut syndrome and more.
  3. It helps to boost immunity. One of the ingredients that's unique to Kefir is Lactobacillus Kefiri which aids in the protection of other harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli.
  4. Another ingredient in Kefir is Insoluble Polysaccharide, also known as "Kefiran" and Kefiran is said to be an antimicrobial that guards against Candida. (Candida is a type of Yeast Infection that's mostly found in the mouth, vagina, intestinal tract, mucus membranes and skin). By the way Candida can give you a lot of symptoms - A white coating on your tongue, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, gas, bloating, chronic sinus issues and more.
  5. Kefir is made from Whole Fat Dairy and has high levels of Calcium. Due to it's make-up it also helps you better absorb the calcium. All of this is good for your bones, especially if you're battling Osteoarthritis.
  6. It's anti-carcinogenic benefits make it a good cancer prevention addition to your diet.
  7. All of the above components give it the traits that aid the fight of Allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as improving your skin.
  8. This one benefit may be hard to believe considering it's made with milk, however, it is said to help those who are lactose intolerant. Like yogurt does, Kefir does this more effectively: It's live microorganisms help your immune system suppress allergic responses.
So How Does It Taste?
Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.
There's plain Kefir and flavored Kefir. I've had both, and tried many flavors. As mentioned above, it tastes like drinkable yogurt, but has a slight tang to it. However, it's not tangy, it just has that hint of difference from other typical drinkable yogurts.

Drink it or Make Smoothies With It

If you can't stomach drinking Kefir (and once you start drinking it, you'll oddly begin to crave it) - then make smoothies with it.

I like to keep a flavored Kefir in my fridge when I'm not in the mood to make a smoothie, and I keep a bottle of plain Kefir for smoothies. I find plain Kefir too hard to drink, but added to smoothies it's ideal.

My Favorite Kefir Smoothie Recipe:

In my Vitamix:
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Pitted Cherries (buy them in the frozen fruit section of your local grocer). The frozen cherries replace 'Ice' - If you use fresh cherries, you'll have to add ice - (too much work)
  • 1/2 Cup of Kefir (honestly I don't measure, I just kinda pour it in)
  • I'll add one single cherry flavored yogurt cup (any flavor is fine - buy regular fat yogurt, don't use any of that '0 percent stuff'- it's all fake sugar!)
  • About 1/4 cup of lemon water (we always keep lemon water in the fridge - just water with two whole lemons cut up in it) - use plain water if you must
  • Optional: a handful of spinach
  • Adjust the thickness you want by adding more or less of any of the above ingredients - just play with it. If you want a richer cherry flavor, add more cherries.
By the way, I'm not a doctor or health professional! Because of my own health issues I had to become informed on the right foods to include in my diet, and Kefir hit my radar.

Here's to your health *clinking kefir glasses*



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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits to the Rescue: A Review

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits came to my rescue this morning.  I had hardly slept all night because of health problems. Sometime during the night I started having mild heart palpitations and I had to keep changing positions because sometimes my sleeping position aggravates them.

I woke about 6 am with a call of nature and took the pills I need to take on an empty stomach.  I keep them handy in a small pill organizer in the bedroom for convenience. Then I went back to sleep.

I woke up again about 9:45. This time, as I was waking, I got one of those very painful leg cramps in my calf. Of course, nature was also calling urgently again, but I couldn't walk right away. I had to hold my hands over the cramp to keep it warm so it would relax, while at the same time I was trying to flex those leg muscles. The cramp finally relaxed enough so I could walk to the bathroom, but I was still feeling faint from the pain I'd been in. I used the walker for support.

While I was on the white throne, I almost passed out. I thought my husband had gone to church,  but he heard me after I had finally made it back to bed and came to check on me. I still felt weak and faint and didn't dare get up. I knew part of my problem was that I hadn't eaten anything for about twelve hours. I needed energy and water, quick. I asked Hubby  to bring me a package of BelVita Biscuits, a banana, a cup of tea, and a glass of water, and he did.

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits to the Rescue: A Review
BelVita Breakfast Biscuits by My Bed,  © B. Radisavljevic

I raised the head of my bed so I could sit and eat the makeshift BelVita breakfast and drink the tea. The banana was too hard to peel and didn't really sound good anyway, so I skipped it. I sat and absorbed the nutrients so I'd gain some strength. 

It worked. In about fifteen minutes I was able to go to the kitchen and drink a lot of water and have a bit more food. You'd better believe I'll be leaving a pack of BelVita cookies beside my bed from now on, just in case, along with what's left of a small bottle of water the dental hygienist gave me on Tuesday.  I can refill as needed. I hope I won't need these again, but better safe than sorry.

Big Box of BelVita Breakfast Biscuits in My Pantry,  © B. Radisavljevic


We first discovered BelVita Breakfast Biscuits at Costco in a box like the one above, except they were the blueberry flavor.  I always read labels, and I was pleased to see that these breakfast "cookies" have only 320 calories for the four breakfast biscuits contained in an individually wrapped package. There is no high fructose corn syrup. Each package contains 4 grams of protein and three grams of fiber, so when you need breakfast fast and portable, one can just add some  milk or yogurt or nuts and some fruit and be ready to eat.

When quince and apples are in season, I make a fruit compote with them and that is a perfect accompaniment for the breakfast biscuits. You can see how I prepare it in my post Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table. I often pair the BelVita cookies and the fruit compote as a bedtime snack, as well.

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits to the Rescue: A Review


The BelVita biscuits are cookies you don't have to feel guilty about eating. They are delicious without being overly sweet. They pair well with apples or pears or sweet strawberries. As I experienced this morning, they provide the boost of energy and nutrients on needs to start the day.

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits come in many flavors.  Kosta likes blueberry  best, but they no longer carry any flavor but Cinnamon Brown Sugar, so we buy that. I recently discovered that Smart and Final and Food 4 Less had started carrying BelVita and had more flavors, but they were in smaller packages that made them more expensive. I did try the chocolate flavor, but didn't like it as well as the other flavors I had tried. Kosta thinks he might like to try the Cranberry Orange variety. We will probably buy at least some of our BelVita at Amazon now, since they currently have a good deal on the Blueberry flavor.

 belVita Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Biscuits (15 pk. 4 ct.)
These are just a sampling of all the Belvita varieties available. There are so many sellers and packaging configurations one has to read the boxes and descriptions carefully to make sure of getting the best deal. Whichever size box you get of BelVita, though, you can be sure that the contents will be yummy. If your local stores don't offer this brand, order some at Amazon so that you will be prepared with something healthy next time you need to grab breakfast in a hurry. BelVita Breakfast Biscuits can also  come to your rescue next time you have a hunger emergency.




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