Producers of Real Kefir made from Grains
In April 2006 our founder Deborah tasted kefir for the first time. It was the beginning of a journey and adventure that changed her life and led to the start of Nourish Kefir.
Since 2009 we have been producing kefir made from fresh organic cow's milk and kefir grains, right here in London! No we don't have our own cows (yet!), but we buy Organic Soil Association certified whole cow's milk. We specialise in culturing and preparing the grains (with love and devotion) and then fermenting them in milk.
Making kefir is part art and part science as each batch is unique.
The bacteria in kefir multiply during fermentation, and each bottle contains billions of these. There are many different strains and these grow as nature intended, not forced or manipulated, but freely and naturally. We just create the right conditions for this to happen. Our production is increasing year on year as more and more people are finding us and discovering the difference of kefir made from grains!
I began suffering with IBS symptoms when I was around 24 years old. I'm not sure of the exact cause, but I was perhaps a bit anxious and stressed at that time. Possibly a collection of things from life pressures of being a working single parent, to poor diet and a bad bout food poisoning all contributed? Prior to that I had always been fit and well - never sick. I did my best to manage the symptoms, some days were better than others, but if I felt stressed I was always ill! I really wanted the IBS to stop and was so disappointed to be diagnosed with crohn's disease (in addition to IBS) a few years later!
Both gastro-intestinal conditions were causing painful spasms, bloating, diarrhoea, problems digesting food that lead to tiredness, anaemia and mineral deficiency. It affected my confidence and mood - it was just not something I could easily talk about or explain to family and friends - it was difficult for them to understand what I was going through!
There is a range of medication prescribed to ease symptoms and inflammation for crohn's sufferers, and I tried the full range of these under supervision from the hospital consultant, however these drugs did not work for me. With the agreement from the consultant I started trying alternative therapies such as Kinesiology, Vega testing, and elimination diets cutting out gluten and dairy to see if it would help. I have been on a spiritual journey as well as a nutritional quest to be well. Getting B12 injections and taking L-Glutamine for my 'Leaky Gut'. All of these things helped a bit, but I was still living with or managing the symptoms as best I could.
Then one day in April 2006, totally by chance a friend from Slovenia had some kefir grains fermenting in a jug full of milk and covered with a t-towel. I never hear of kefir before and I asked him what it was? ... He must have said that it is good for you, because I googled the word and was impressed to read so many good things about how kefir can help with gastro intestinal problems. I asked if I could 'borrow' the kefir grains (cultures) and try it for my self - and that was it. I never looked back. The kefir I used to make in my kitchen was really strong tasting and over fermented, but I didn't care. I had some every day. I believed what I had read that it could help the gut and I wanted to try it for myself.
Not an overnight success, but a gradual improvement and reduction of symptoms such as bad wind and rushing to the loo. I managed to digest food better and put on weight (I always heard that crohn's is a skinny persons disease!), and eventually to go the the loo normally once more! At the beginning I was still on an exclusion diet of no wheat or dairy, and gradually I started to re-introduce these foods. Today I eat a totally normal diet. I love food and am able to enjoy it all without suffering!
Looking back I can't quite remember exactly how long it took to get well, but I recall that I was gradually improving with every drink of kefir. I started drinking it in April 2006 and by August 2006 I quit my job and decided I wanted to start a kefir business in the UK. If it could help me it could help others, I knew it was something I wanted to do! By September I had an agreement with a specialist kefir producer to make our kefir from grains (I didn't yet know how to make it on a large scale), and I set about getting the business going and researching into the scientific studies on kefir and what makes it so good. I chose the brand name Nourish, because that is exactly what I feel kefir does. It Nourishes our insides to help them to work normally again. It helps get rid of the bad stuff and supports our digestion and metabolism, and it is naturally loaded with billions of magnificently diverse range of live bacteria.
By March 2007 we launched our Nourish Kefir at the IFE trade show and soon after the wonderful Whole Foods Market began to stock it. Gradually we learned the science and art of making kefir so that in 2009 we opened our own dairy here in London. Making kefir has been a challenge and a blessing. I am so grateful to have kefir in my life as it truly is the main thing that helped me to get well again! And it is a wonderful experience to share stories with so many people who feel the same way after drinking Nourish Kefir. Thank you!
Meet our Team
We are left to right: Becky, Lisa Gary, Deborah, Neil, Tasha and Pascale ! Our small but perfectly formed team!
We are a SALSA approved food producer