What is Kefir?
It's fermented milk drink. Some call it yogurt, but really - that can be somewhat misleading. And I'm not here to mislead you! It's a probiotic, nutrient filled milk drink. It does have a yogurt like flavor- and you can make yogurt out of it if you let it ferment long enough, but generally you leave it out 24 hours, which gives you a smooth, thickish liquid.

What do you do with it?
You can add it to Ice Cream recipes, make Smoothies, make it into cheese, sour cream, butter etc. And it's all super ridiculously healthy!

Where do you get it?
Well.....you gotta have the Kefir Grains. You can't buy these in the stores. You can usually find somewhere online and spend $20, OR you can find someone you know who already has some, and get some oftheirs for FREE. These little grains multiply like crazy - and before you know it, you have more than you can deal with. You can only consume so much kefir, and since they are a Living Food, you have to keep feeding them. So most either eat the grains themselves, or share them. I choose to share them - because I'm a big fan and I love introducing others to it!

How do I make Kefir?
I use a clean mason jar, add my grains in the bottom. Then I add about 2 cups of RAW milk (if I have it, if not I add Borden 2% Hi-Protein. You can use any milk that isn't ULTRA-PASTEURIZED). Then I cover with cloth (or coffee filter) and set aside on the counter. It generally takes about 24 hours for it to ferment. In the winter it takes longer. In the summer - shorter. I like mine semi-tart. If you like it more tart, let it sit longer. Wanna make cheese, let it sit 3 days.Then when it begins to coagulate or smells sour - taste it - if you like, then strain it to save your grains - and drink the freshKefir. Place the grains in a glass again and start again!
Ill do more information and recipes with Kefir soon - I'm trying to get enough together in order to do cheese!:)

While shopping at my favorite Grocery store...well....make that my favorite LOCAL grocery store, because my real fav is always Central Market, I came across EDIBLE FLOWERS in the produce dept. All of you who thought I was a nutball, can now see that it's not THAT uncommon to eat while edibles, it's just up to you if you wanna pay nearly $3 for a small amount, or find them wild and get them for a mere $0. They also had Dandelion Greens for $3 a bunch - but I didn't buy them to prove my point, I have too many free ones in my yard.
So now that you see I'm not crazy - go try some edible flowers in your next salad, on a cake, sugared, or floating in your punch!
Now and then I get cravings for something salty. Rather than reaching for crackers or a bag of hi-carb and fattening chips, I reach for Olives. Now, I realize that a lot of people in this world just don't like olives, well PBTH! It's salty, low-carb, healthy fat, low cal, veggie!
Here is a picture of the olives I most love to munch on. But if you wanna try some different kinds - I have found that Spec Fine Food and Spirits is an excellent place to shop for your olives! They have some that are stuffed with Jalapeno, Garlic, etc. Marinated, in a brine, etc. Wonderful Olive Heaven!
If you don't like green olives - you can always go for black as well. If you think you hate olives - give a different type a try. There are olive bars in most HEB's now and that would be the perfect place to sample different kinds without committing to a full jar.
If you are now throwing a tantrum and stomping your feet because you freaking HATE OLIVES, then try popcorn. It's crunchy, and sometimes salty (if you get butter flavored). Or even give roasted peanuts, cashews, almonds or pistachios a try!***Warning***If you are post-plastics (especially lipo) like I am, salt can put you into swell hell in such a special way that only you understand. Avoid it at all costs. If you are 6+ mths out then a couple olives while high salt - are generally safe. Find some marinated in olive oil - sometimes those are safer. Or get plain popcorn and then add Mrs. Dash!
***Don't let the vinegar freak you out. It gives it a sweet and sour taste that sounds awful but is freaking HEAVEN! Try this once and if you hate it - well...you wont - but if you do - you haven't lost but a small amount of ingredients!:)***

Ingredients:Part Skim Ricotta CheeseSplenda or Torani French Vanilla Sugar Free Syrup 4 Large Strawberries (quartered)2 tbsp Basalmic Vinegar (I use Pompei Pomegranate Flavor)A decorative Margarita Glass (optional)Directions:*mix a large spoonful of ricotta with a 1/2 tsp of syrup. And place in the margarita glass (the glass is optional, but I love using it for small portions and I got it for $.05 at a garage sale!)*Place the vinegar in a small sauce pan and reduce till it coats spoon (not thick it will pour but it should coat for a moment).*Place strawberries in vinegar and stir so they are lightly coated, then pour it all over the ricotta.I love this recipe! It's filling, full of protein, antioxidants, vitamin c, etc. You can try other fruits too! Or if you don't have ricotta, try small curd cottage cheese!:)Ill stuff the remaining strawberries tomorrow cause my littledarlin' loves to eat them!


1lb Medium Cooked Shrimp (deveined with tails off)2 Large Avocados1/2 large yellow onion2 cloves garlic, mincedV8 Low Sodium (I use Spicy!)2 large limes1 dash of Liquid Smoke (I use Calgon brand for 0 sodium)1 dash of Worcheschire SauceSalt and Pepper to Taste

Put thawed shrimp into large bowl. Peel and chop into 1/2-1 inch cubes, the Avocado. Chop the onion about the same size. Add garlic, and juice the limes into the bowl. Add your dashes (1-2tsp each) of the Liquid Smoke and Worcheschire Sauce. Then fill with V8 until everything is just covered in the bowl. Stir and serve cold!
I personally like my food super spicy and since my kidlet will not eat this meal - I add Tabasco to my already "spicy" V8, and sometimes some Mrs. Dash "Extra Spicy" blend (I think it's mostly cayenne and crushed red pepper.)
And of course - I serve it in my festive Cactus Margarita Glass!:)

This is not only full of LEAN protein, but also has healthy fats in the Avocado, it's all low sodium, and the V8 is veggie juice! The onions are even good, for they are believed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties!I kid you not - I ate this all day for 3 days last week and lost 4lbs. By all day I mean - I ate 6 times a day probably....I was NOT hungry at all - and wasn't intentionally trying to lose, but it'ssoooooo yummy!
Before I get started with the awesome recipes, I'd like to give you a growing list of substitutions that you might find helpful. These are items you can use "instead of" the unhealthy ones called for. They generally work the same in recipes, and taste very close to the original ingredient. 

Substitutions to a Healthier and SEXIER You!

0% Greek Yogurt (such as Fage or Oikos) instead of Sour Cream
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil instead of Vegetable Oil
Whole Wheat Flour or Almond Flour instead of White Refined Flour
Lemon Juice instead of Salt (it has a similar brightening of flavor as salt)
Kashi Cereal (unsweetened) instead of Bread Crumbs (just throw them in a food processor)
Sugar Substitute instead of Sugar (some recipes requiring you to melt the sugar down, will NOT work with a substitute)
Turkey instead of Beef and Pork ( it shaves calories and fat, but ups your protein! If you dont like the texture of turkey - try using half turkey and half beef)