How To Make Homemade Kefir

Kefir in a mug

After several years of being mostly dairy-free, I decided to broaden my horizons and add homemade milk kefir to my routine. I had heard many success stories about kefir, especially its ability to heal the digestive system, which leads to secondary healing like clearer skin, less creaky joints, and improved mood. All that just by introducing more healthy bacteria to the GI tract!

It didn’t take long for me to experience positive results. Mostly I noticed that my stomach stopped making so much noise during digestion. I didn’t even know that was a thing until it stopped. I guess you could say I bonded with kefir right away. I’ve made it part of my evening ritual and I look forward to it.

Several people have asked me how to get started making homemade kefir. Once you have the supplies you need, it’s easy to make kefir. Your part takes just a few minutes a day. The kefir grains do all the work while sitting untouched on your kitchen counter.

The Supplies

You might already have some of these supplies in your kitchen. I ordered everything from Amazon and I’ve included the links here for you.

Kefir “grains”

Kefir on a plate

Kefir is created by little bundles of bacteria and enzymes known as “grains.” They eat up the lactose (sugar) in milk. After sitting undisturbed in milk for about 24 hours (depending on the temperature of the room and the amount of milk they’re sitting in), they create a nutritious, probiotic beverage. Kefir restores gut bacteria, which leads to improved digestion and immunity. Even if you don’t consume dairy regularly, kefir can be a worthy exception.

I bought my kefir grains from Fusion Teas because they got great reviews and came with an eBook. When the grains arrived in the mail they looked lifeless, but once they got “in the groove” (about a week later), they started making thick, tangy kefir that tasted better than the stuff I was buying at the store. I was thrilled!

Glass jars

Glass jars are great; I use them for all kinds of things. If you’re making kefir, glass jars are a must (at least 2 of them). I always have one jar sitting on my counter making kefir, and one finished product chilling in the refrigerator. It’s helpful to have a few jars on hand in case you want to make more kefir, or to store other things.


These are the lids for the glass jars. When the kefir is sitting on the counter, place the lid loosely on top of the jar to allow air to escape. Making kefir is like having a science project sitting on your counter. Tighten the top to store it in the refrigerator.


This is the best nylon mesh strainer I have found for making kefir. Simply place it over a small glass bowl, pour your kefir into it and stir with a wooden spoon. Don’t worry if your kefir has separated. The finished product will be fine once it’s strained and stirred.

Glass bowl

Strain your kefir into a glass bowl and gently stir back and forth. The little grains will be left in the strainer, and the kefir beverage will be in the bowl below. Your beverage is ready to drink, but I recommend putting it in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill.

Wooden spoon

Kefir doesn’t like metal, so always use a wooden spoon when straining.

Now you’re ready to make kefir!

Once you’ve got all of your supplies on hand, you’re ready to make your first batch of homemade kefir. Use the best milk you can find. I use organic milk from grass-fed cows. It takes about a week or so for the kefir grains to perk up and start making a drinkable product. When it’s thick and smells like kefir, have a taste test.


Step 1: Place your kefir grains in a glass jar and add about a cup of organic, grass-fed milk.

Step 2: Put a lid loosely on top and place in a safe, comfortably warm place in your kitchen.

Step 3: Let your kefir work its magic for 24 hours. I usually check on mine after 12 hours and give it a stir. Unless it has separated, let it sit. If it has separated, strain it.

Step 4: Place your mesh strainer over your glass bowl and pour your kefir into the strainer. Using your wooden spoon, stir until nothing is left in the strainer except your grains. There might be more grains than before. They grow!

Step 5: Pour the kefir beverage from the bowl into a glass jar with a lid and put it in the refrigerator. Once it’s chilled, it’s delicious!


Jenna loves kefir

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Help! My kefir separated! Is it okay?
A. Yes, it’s ready to be strained. Next time, use more milk or strain sooner.

Q. I’m going on vacation, what should I do with my kefir grains?
A. Place your kefir grains in a large, glass container with plenty of grass-fed milk and store in the refrigerator. It will grow slowly in the colder environment.

Q. My kefir grains are multiplying. What should I do with them?
A. Happy kefir grains will multiply. You can safely eat them (they’re highly probiotic), you can share them with friends, or throw some away.

Enjoy your kefir!

When friends, family and clients share their health news

Last night when I was talking on the phone with my dad, he proudly told me he’d started drinking kefir and he was feeling a lot better. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled! My dad, drinking kefir! Then I got on the phone with my stepmom, Helen, and we talked about how fun and easy it is to make homemade kefir. When I hung up the phone with them, all I could think about was how happy I am that so many people around me are taking their health seriously, making changes, and loving the results. When they call me up to share the good news, nothing makes me happier or more proud. It’s AWESOME and WONDERFUL to reclaim your health. Tell the whole world about the positive changes you’re experiencing, or just tell a neighbor, a friend. Or me. I always love to hear about your success on the journey to health.

Delicious Paleo: 4 Basic Ingredients

Colorful Paleo Foods

From my experience, the secret to making Paleo work long-term is to fall in love with the food. You can do that by learning to make a handful of Paleo recipes that you really, truly love. These days, there’s no shortage of recipes available online. Memorize a few and make your own.
Start with fresh, high-quality proteins and produce because they’ll do most of the work for you. Then focus on 4 basic ingredients that will make your savory Paleo dishes outstanding, even when you have limited time and resources.

1. Sea Salt

Adding sea salt to food is not meant to make it taste salty, but rather to bring out the natural flavors of the other ingredients. Learning to season food with salt is one of the most important skills in the kitchen. Lightly sprinkle a pinch of salt with your fingers during food preparation, instead of at the table. I use Celtic sea salt.

2. Natural Fat

Fat tastes good and gives food texture. Natural fats are also highly nutritious and teach your body to burn fat as fuel (that’s why Paleo eaters get so lean). Most animal proteins naturally contain fat, but sometimes you’ll need to add fat during food preparation. Use natural fats like organic extra-virgin coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, nut butters, avocado, ghee and grass-fed butter.

3. Herbs & Spices

Herbs and spices add flavor and nutrition to your meals and make cooking more fun. I usually keep things simple and use traditional flavor combinations, but sometimes it’s fun to experiment and just see what happens. Some of my all-time favorite meals were created this way.

4. Acid

You’ve got the salt, fat, herbs & spices. Now you need some acid. Acid gives savory dishes pizzazz. In the same way that salt is meant to enhance and bring out the flavor of the other ingredients, acid will balance and brighten your food.
For dishes like roasted chicken, turkey or fish, use a squeeze of lemon. For soups, stews, marinades and side dishes, try apple cider vinegar. Don’t worry, apple cider vinegar makes the flavor “brighter,” not vinegary. It’s amazing what one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar will do to a big pot of stew!
Use these 4 basic ingredients in all of your savory Paleo dishes and you’ll fall in love with Paleo food.


“Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea.”

Nature Heals

Hudson River, NYC

A beautiful view of the Hudson River, NYC

Spending time in nature can have a major affect on your health and well-being. Enjoy the feel of sunlight touching your skin, breathe deeply and connect with your environment. Dip your toes in the sand, the water, the grass. Look for the beauty in your surroundings. When you look for it, you will find it!



Real Food


Eating real food is the key to a healthy diet. But what is real food? We’ve become surrounded by processed food products marketed as healthy, and given so much conflicting diet advice, the idea of eating real food has become foreign to many of us. Nina Planck’s book, Real Food will reintroduce you to traditional foods, and explain why they’re far superior to all the fake health foods we’ve been eating. I happily devoured this book and I think you’ll love it too.

Buy the book


Good Calories, Bad Calories


If you have questions about what to eat and why, Good Calories, Bad Calories will give you the answers. Personally, this book started me on an excited journey that led me to where I am now. I’ve heard several people working in the nutrition field say that this book changed their way of thinking about their approach to health. It’s not a quick read, but it can be used as a reference for understanding carbohydrate metabolism, diabetes, cholesterol and obesity. I highly recommend this book!


Buy the book


10 Great Moments From Cereal Killers


Cereal Killers is a documentary film about a cool guy named Donal, whose high-risk genetics and inquisitive nature lead him to try a high-fat diet. The journey is fun to watch, and the results are fabulous.

I first heard about it on Twitter, rented it online, and fell in love. This movie demonstrates the importance of keeping an open mind about what makes up a healthy diet. I hope you’ll see it and spread the word.



10 Great Moments from Cereal Killers:

1. Professor Timothy Noakes, M.D. tearing the pages out of his book, Lore of Running, where he writes about the importance of eating carbohydrates.

2. Donal hanging out in the spooky (and lonely) metabolic chamber. Hey, anything for science, right?

3. The inside of Donal’s refrigerator. Whoa, that’s real food!

4. Donal’s first week weigh-in. He actually lost weight eating a high-fat diet and doing one 8-minute high-intensity workout. 

5. The graph showing how Ancel Keys manipulated his research results to “prove” countries with the highest consumption of saturated fat have the highest rates of heart disease. The real results show no correlation.

6. The smile on Donal’s face when he realizes he’s hit a personal best at the end of his 8-minute, high-intensity workout. See what happens when you put a 41-year-old man on a high-fat diet?

7. Dr. Noakes explaining: “The more fat you eat, the thinner you become.”

8. Dr. John Briffa explaining what he used to believe about saturated fat, and what he believes now.

9. Donal’s final lab results! You gotta see this.

10. The scenery of Cape Town, South Africa where the movie is filmed.  Gorgeous!

Don't Fear Fat


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Learn how to go Paleo and get lean the easy way with my no-fluff eBook 7 Steps To Paleo: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet.

LCHF for Fat Loss


I was hanging out with a friend the other night, and as usual, the conversation made its way to diet and weight loss. This always happens when girls get together! I’ve been encouraging my friend to eat more natural fat, but like a lot of people, she’s resistant to the idea that eating fat is good for fat loss. When I mentioned the acronym “LCHF,” her ears perked up. “LCHF? What’s that?” she asked.


LCHF stands for Low-Carb-High-Fat and it’s creating lean bodies all over Sweden. LCHF is slowly growing in popularity in other parts of the world too, as more people begin to understand the value of lowering sugar, while at the same time eating natural fat (and plenty of it).


Sound familiar?



Low-carb diets aren’t new. Our distant ancestors ate few carbohydrates, and even in modern times, low-carb dieting dates back to 1863, when  William Banting, published his personal low-carb success story, Letter on Corpulence. Following his lead, dieting in Britain became known as "Banting."




But LCHF isn’t just low-carb; fat is a big part of the equation. Since LCHF refers to macronutrient ratios, results can be achieved with a variety of food choices. Typically the focus is on eating real, whole foods while keeping sugars and starches low. Sounds like Paleo, right? The main difference is that in addition to meat, fish, eggs, natural fats, and leafy vegetables, LCHF emphasizes dairy and excludes fruits and starchy root vegetables, often seen in Paleo diets. However, a few berries are okay, and you can eat all the green vegetables you want.


The version of Paleo I prefer looks much like LCHF (“Paleo” referring to the types of foods, “LCHF” referring to the macronutrient ratios). It doesn’t really matter what you call it, the results of eating a diet low in starches, sugars and processed foods speak for themselves. Is this the diet for everyone? Maybe not, but it works for me and for my Swedish friends!




Not convinced you should be eating fat?



Check out Kris Gunnars’ 6 Graphs That Show Why the “War” on Fat Was a Huge Mistake.


What to expect on LCHF

If you currently eat a high-carb diet (whole-grains, low-fat foods, fruit, granola, juices, etc.) you will experience sugar withdrawal first. It’s not pleasant; withdrawal never is. But you will experience fat loss without hunger, and as your body begins to rely less on sugar, you will start to feel energetic and clear-headed. Welcome to the world of fat-burners! A body running on fat functions differently than a body running on sugar. I explain what it means to be a fat burner in the article Sisson Speaks.


Great resources for LCHF



Until next time, as the Swedes say, Lycka till (good luck)!



Learn how to go Paleo and get lean the easy way with my no-fluff eBook 7 Steps To Paleo: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to the Paleo Diet.


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Primal Fitness in 4 Steps

Hudson River Park, NYC

Are you ready to get primal? I thought so. Primal movement is fun, sexy and perfect for our hunter-gatherer bodies. We were designed for movements like pushing, pulling, jumping and climbing.

We all know the best way to reduce body fat is to eat a Paleo diet, but to truly thrive and live a long, healthy life, we need to add primal movement.

Here is a 4-step plan to incorporate primal movements into your daily routine. This is a long-term fitness plan, so take it slow and steady. The key to success is to create good habits, one at a time.

Step #1: Walk

Walking improves every system of your body, including your cardiovascular, circulatory, and endocrine systems. But the best part about daily walking is how good it makes you feel. I look forward to my daily walk because it relaxes me. Walking is one of the best antidotes for stress that I have found. Less stress = a longer, happier life.

If possible, walk barefoot through the grass or along a beach. Turn your walk into an adventure and a chance to think. A daily walk is one of the best habits you can create for yourself.

Step #2: Use Your Strength in a Primal Way

Have you ever lifted a heavy rock, pulled something with roots from the ground, climbed a tree or jumped over a puddle? You were using your strength in a primal way. Primal movements engage multiple muscles at once.

One of the best ways to use your strength in a primal way is doing bodyweight exercises. You don't need any equipment to push, pull, squat, and jump. There's no limit to what you can do with bodyweight exercises.

Kettlebell swings are also a primal movement. A swing is like throwing a heavy rock forward from a squat. This is a powerful movement that works a lot of muscles simultaneously.

Focus on movements that use your whole body rather than isolating individual muscles. Whole body movements naturally work your core and create a balanced physique.

Step #3 Play

Playtime is anything you want it to be as long as you enjoy doing
it and your body is in motion. This is your chance to HAVE FUN. Play soccer, go to yoga, take a swim, or do anything that gets you moving and smiling. Playtime reduces stress and makes you feel good. Playtime is not just for kids!

Step #4 Sprint

Remember sprinting? A sprint is short and intense. Sprinting can be intimidating, which is why most people don't do it. The upside is you won't be running from a predator. You also don't have to do a lot of it to get results. Start with one short sprint during one of your daily walks. Wait a few days and then do 2 sprints during your walk.

Sprinting can be done during other kinds of exercise too. Biking and swimming are both good for short "all out" sprints. The most important thing is to find a way to incorporate sprinting into your routine once or twice a week.

Primal movement feels good because it's how we were meant to move. Once you're in the primal groove, you'll want to incorporate more natural movement into your routine.

Combined with a Paleo diet and plenty of rest, Primal movement will give you a healthy, sexy, lean body.


"Exercise less, not more, but with greater playfulness and

Arthur De Vany, Ph.D.

Author of The New Evolution Diet



Hudson River, NYC

A beautiful view from the Hudson River, NYC


Ready to go Paleo and get lean? My new eBook 7 Steps To Paleo: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to the Paleo Diet is now available on Kindle. Get your copy here.