“Our research shows that people look to increase their immunity and self-defence against illness during the winter months"
- Natasha Bowes, CEO and founder of Bio-tiful Dairy
WHAT IS KEFIR? The chances are if you've been to Eastern European or Arab countries you've probably already tasted Kefir (pronounced similar to the Arabic world "Kathir" - meaning plentiful). I used to drink it all the time oblivious to the health benefits whenever abroad, and never considered its lack of availability in the UK.
You may also know it was Laban, Labneh its a cultured milk drink, made by fermenting milk with 2000-year-old kefir ‘grains’ (cultures) that are a natural symbiosis of a large number (40+) of beneficial bacteria strains and several types of beneficial yeasts. As a result of the process, Kefir contains billions of live gut-friendly bacteria and therefore has unparalleled probiotic properties and is naturally low in lactose - making it suitable for lactose intolerant consumers.
When the Boss tells you to Plank and punch - you best plank and punch. Planking is one of the exercises I find the most difficult - it uses all of my weakest muscles - upper body - haha. It was nice to train in a group and I actually find it much more motivational and fun, although I actually thoroughly enjoy the gym and classes in general to be honest but I felt so pumped for this session!
After our intense workout we all went over to Grind enjoy our hard earned breakfasts! I honestly kid you not when I say ALL of our arms and legs felt like JELLY after this session and it comes as no surprise because our trainer put us through one of the most testing works outs to kick start our winter metabolisms! We had a fiesta of warm beverages, oats, granola, warm bread, avocado and Kefir of course! These kinds of spreads are what I live for.
x6 Pad Punches
x6 High Knees On Pad.
x6 High Kicks On Pad.
WHATS IN KEFIR?
Biotiful Kefir is naturally packed with essential vitamins and minerals (including B12 and B2), is high in protein and calcium and free from artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It’s a similar consistency to yoghurt however a lot more powerful than as it contains over 40 strains of gut-friendly bacteria (while yoghurt typically has only 4).
WHY IS KEFIR AN IMPORTANT EDITION TO MY DIET?
Due to the colder weather and impending over-indulgence across the festive season (WE'RE ALL GUILTY),according to Biotiful's research 47% of us say we fall ill more often, and almost half (49%) of us put on weight in the Winter months. In attempts to prevent this, Bio-tiful Dairy’s study found that although one in four of us tries to lose weight in November, pre-toxing is a popular theme as Winter descends however 82% of the people surveyed admit they don’t do enough to support their overall gut health.
HOW DO I ENJOY MY KEFIR?
When I was younger I would enjoy Kefir on its own, Biotiful have created flavoured versions which make them all the more yummier to have on its own. However I mostly love to have my Kefir in the morning as part of my regular diet. I've been enjoying it for almost a week now and love the original and cherry flavour the most! There are so many delicious recipes on the Biotiful website : Here.
MY MORNING BOWL : Soaked Oats, Blueberries, Strawberries, Granola, and CO-Q10 milled nuts from the Linwood - this is your daily minimum of nuts and and I put a table spoon of this milled powder in everything, smoothies, porridge, on toast etc, it doesn't really have a taste but its SO good for you. Then I pour Kefir all over and mix it all up and enjoy! Kefir is the perfect replacement for my usual bowl full of milk (which isn't all that good for you anyway).
I usually have a shot of lemon, Ginger, Honey to accompany my breakfast (also great for keeping illnesses at bay).
The good news is Biotiful have just launched in Tesco and Sainsburys this week. They have been available at Harrods and Selfridges for about a year, however the Natasha's (the founder) reasons for beginning the business were firstly accessibility, and so Natasha worked hard to make sure Kefir is available to ALL.
Lastly I'll leave you with some top tips which I found very useful from Lucy Jones, an award-winning Dietitian and Broadcaster who joined us at breakfast:
1. Eat a range of colourful, vitamin rich foods with every meal to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs. Vitamins A and C can be found in a brightly coloured diet, including a range of fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E has anti-oxidant properties, and can be added to meals by using nuts, seeds, and olive and rapeseed oils.
2. Zinc supports immunity and can help in fighting colds, and reducing how long you are ill. It can be taken as a supplement, or easily incorporated into diets by eating lean meat, fish and seafood, nuts, seeds and beans.
3. Friendly bacteria, found in fermented foods and supplements, can support the body’s defences against viruses and how long they last. Kefir contains high levels of these bacteria and different strains, as well as being high in protein and vitamins.
4. Make sure you’re getting sufficient calories when following a healthy diet, and getting a range of different foods, which will all supply different nutrients. This is crucial for energy and mental performance.
5. Adequate sleep, to complement a good diet, helps support the immune system and maintain necessary energy levels. Although many people can function well enough on little sleep, research suggests a minimum of seven hours is needed to keep you functioning at your best.
6. Keeping active, alongside a healthy diet, can boost your immune system. However, extreme exercise can put increased pressure on your body and reduce immunity temporarily, making you more prone to illness. Make sure to adjust your diet according to your activity regime.
7. Many foods are especially helpful in promoting good health, rather than there being any singular ‘superfood’. Oranges, for example, are a great source of Vitamin C, and garlic has antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties, again thought to help our natural defences against poor health.
Nutrition should be a top priority for us all, but its sadly often the last thing we think about due to our hectic lifestyles. I've recently made the switch to strictly organic produce myself. We owe it to ourselves to give our bodies the fighting chance they deserve - our bodies are our one chance vessels in this life.
Give your Gut a fighting chance this winter and roll with the punches!
Website : www.biotifuldairy.com