Fermented for LIFE .... making the Kefir

Here is the step-by-step process ...

What you need: Kefir grains (pictured in blue bowl), nylon strainer (very important as any metal will kill the grains), Milk (see more below), mason jar (size depends on how much you want to make), spatula, coffee filters or cheese cloth

What you need: Kefir grains (pictured in blue bowl), nylon strainer (very important as any metal will kill the grains), Milk (see more below), mason jar (size depends on how much you want to make), spatula, coffee filters or cheese cloth

1)Place kefir grains in jar 2) Add Non-homogenized, not ultra-pasteurized whole milk. This will be a 1 to 7 ratio of grains to milk.  Pictured is a national brand that can be found at most Whole Foods.  After the grains are done with the milk it will become dairy and sugar free.  

1)Place kefir grains in jar

2) Add Non-homogenized, not ultra-pasteurized whole milk. This will be a 1 to 7 ratio of grains to milk.  Pictured is a national brand that can be found at most Whole Foods.  After the grains are done with the milk it will become dairy and sugar free.  

3) Cover your jar so that it can still breath. I use coffee filters because they are easy. 

3) Cover your jar so that it can still breath. I use coffee filters because they are easy. 

4) Let sit for 24-48 hours on your counter. Generally, 24 hours is good but if your home is very cool you can leave out for longer.  You can watch the fermentation process happen.

4) Let sit for 24-48 hours on your counter. Generally, 24 hours is good but if your home is very cool you can leave out for longer.  You can watch the fermentation process happen.

5a) Strain the grains.

5a) Strain the grains.

5b) Separate using a spatula until only the grains remain.   6) Repeat starting at step one. Don't go starving those grains ... ;-) 7)The liquid left in the bowl can now be put into bottles and refrigerated.  Kefir, when made fresh, is fermented so it does not go bad. Just adjust the amount of milk to the amount you want to drink.  There is a little bit of effervescence to the kefir, so it will fizz when opening.  When I started, I only drank a small cup a day. Now I drink a pint glass.  You can make smoothies and all sorts of things with it.   *If you are traveling you can add the milk to the grains (they always in need of food, hungry little guys) then either freeze them or refrigerate them to slow down the fermentation process depending on how long you are gone. Cheers to a cup of good health every morning!! If you want to read about all the benifits of these amazing little grains that could click on Kefir ... Little grains that battle gut health!

5b) Separate using a spatula until only the grains remain.  

6) Repeat starting at step one. Don't go starving those grains ... ;-)

7)The liquid left in the bowl can now be put into bottles and refrigerated.  Kefir, when made fresh, is fermented so it does not go bad. Just adjust the amount of milk to the amount you want to drink.  There is a little bit of effervescence to the kefir, so it will fizz when opening.  When I started, I only drank a small cup a day. Now I drink a pint glass.  You can make smoothies and all sorts of things with it.  

*If you are traveling you can add the milk to the grains (they always in need of food, hungry little guys) then either freeze them or refrigerate them to slow down the fermentation process depending on how long you are gone.

Cheers to a cup of good health every morning!!

If you want to read about all the benifits of these amazing little grains that could click on Kefir ... Little grains that battle gut health!

Kefir .... Little grains that battle gut health

All the necessary supplies for fermenting 

We always start with WHY …. what makes this different?  And then there is WHAT is it really???

As my patients know, I am not one to jump on the next new fad in social nutrition.  Just like the medicine I practice, there are traditions in nutrition that date back to the history of nations. Kefir is one of those great treasures.  Coming from the northern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains, it was once called the ‘Grains of the Prophet,” believed that Mohammed gave the grains to the Othodox people to protect their strength.  Kefir grains were regarded as part of the family's and tribe's wealth and they were passed on from generation to generation.

SO what is exactly kefir??? The “grains” are gelatinous white or yellow particles that contain bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein and complex sugars.  It contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found such as Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. There are also beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines.

Let us break down some basic nutritional facts from a 6 oz serving: 6g protein, 20% of calcium, 20% of Phosphorus, 14% Vitamin B12, 19% of B2, 5% of magnesium, and Vitamin D.  In addition there have been several studies have shown that kefir and its constituents have antimicrobial, antitumor, anticarcinogenic and immunomodulatory activity and also improve lactose digestion, among others.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has listed these common uses also:

1.     Kefir contains 30 – 50major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, kefir is a turbo charged energy-anti-biotic-colonic cleanser drink. Yogurt is a mild nutrient rich drink that pre-digests the lactose helping the body better assimilate the good stuff.

2.     Digestion – Kefir can help you digest everything. Kefir’s active yeast, good bacteria and excess digestive enzymes provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods you eat. Constipation is a thing of the past. If you drink Kefir at night no acid reflux.

3.     Eliminates constipation

4.     Reduces or eliminates allergies

5.     Reduces or eliminates asthma symptoms

6.     Reduces or eliminates cold and flu illnesses

7.     Cures acne

8.     Treats yeast infections

9.     Promotes a natural “good” feeling

10. Effective as the strongest natural antibiotic without side effects

11. Replenishes the body with good bacteria after antibiotic use

12. Treats diarrhea

13. Aids lactose intolerance

14. Promotes deep sleep

15. Heals ulcers

NOW let's get fermenting ..... click in the next note titled Fermented for LIFE

New York Style of Life

While I was in Guatemala, I woke up everyday did my Qi Gong exercises and meditated. The day involved treating hundreds of people, yet I did not get worn out. Now I am back in New York, still doing my morning practice yet feeling less peaceful and grounded. So I got  to thinking; does everyone in New York live with this daily stress and not even realize it?

So I guess you could call this the how to survive NYC without anxiety, stress, or the need of a pause button (or at least a way to deal with it all): hence a NYC survival guide.

  1. MEDITATE: I know you have heard it before but it really does help. Yes, Yes your busy, I get it. I am too but you have to heal yourself first. Its like taking out the garbage, if you don’t do it everything just starts to mold and smell. In your mind everything just get cluttered and you can not see a clear path. Take 15-30 minutes every morning and let go of it all. Nothing else matters and you have everything inside of you to be free.
  2. MOVE: Workout, dance, run, or ride your bike to work. Cardiovascular movement moves Qi that can become stagnant and result in the feeling of “hitting your head against the wall.” Outside activities are even better,  Vitamin D from the sun, makes it a two from the price of one.
  3. EAT: Not pizza but food that will support and nourish your body. Head over the the Green Market in Union Square and check out the seasonal fresh wonders of summer.
  4. SLEEP: Your body is designed to recharge while your sleeping. Hitting the pillow before 11pm will allow your liver to properly detoxify your system.
  5. GET ACUPUNCTURE: or massage, something that will help work out your daily stresses. A little self love goes a long way.

We all live with day to day stresses you do not need to live in the big apple. Everyday we wake and make a millions choices that set the tone of the day. YOU are responsible for your life and you can change its course at any moment in time.