Tag Archives: health

Kombucha Overload

2014-05-02 20.57.42There was a time I’d only seen this mystical liquid on the interwebs. Everyone was drinking it and it is supposed to be a magic elixir of health and good feeling. It took some time but I found it randomly in a supermarket a bit to the south of me (read: too far for a regular trip). I bought some and it was good, but not the best thing I ever tasted.

I recognize that Kombucha has some health benefits and some less publicized health risks. The moral of the story is if you are going to drink, start slowly and  speak with your doctor if you have problems with your kidneys or liver.

So, I gathered some supplies and SCOBY from an online source and brewed my first batch. It was pretty good! A no frills, straight up fizzy tea…better than I expected. I didn’t think the hubs would like it, sometimes I think his taste buds are from outer space because he doesn’t seem to like delicious food sometimes. I was pretty surprised when I found him drinking a glass of it that I didn’t pour for him. He chose it willingly! I had to hide my amazement.

Here is what I did not anticipate in my first couple tries:

  • As you prepare your first batch for secondary fermentation, the SCOBY will have to be moved to a second batch so you should already have a cooled batch of sweet tea.
  • The SCOBY grows pretty quickly (what the heck am I going to do with all this stuff?)
  • You can add fruit, spices during the secondary fermentation to jazz up your drink . I like raspberry and ginger.
  • It’s best to have larger jars and a non-metal funnel. I didn’t have larger jars (I only had the one huge one for brewing) so when I did the secondary fermentation, I quite a few small ones and it was a bit cumbersome.

I got a little worried about the growing SCOBY situation. Unfortunately for me, the people I know in town aren’t willing to try Kombucha, so giving some of the SCOBY to them (I would have been thrilled) is out of the question. I put some in the compost heap–going back to the Earth couldn’t hurt. I went to the only expert I know – Google- because surely those can’t be the ONLY options. Here’s what I found:

Via Mockingbird Meadows:

1. Use it as a facial –put it on your face for 15 minutes

2. Dry out and give it to your pet as a chewy treat.

3. Put a small piece under a band-aid to assist in healing cuts and burns

4. Dress plants that like a high pH with it directly

5. Blend a small piece of it into a smoothie

6. Add a small bit of it to flower vases in order to rejuvenate your flowers

Via Holistic Quid:

7. Make SCOBY Jerky- this post has pictures and everything

And finally- for the Crafty Folks:

8. Make some jewelry- Check them out here and here. It’s incredible. Who knew?! The internet literally has everything.

I may get bold one day and try some of this. Especially the facial thing. It skeeves me out right now, but if I’m two glasses of wine deep, I might try it 🙂

Today I’m going to prep a batch for secondary fermentation, maybe with blueberries this time, and make a SCOBY Hotel for some of the extra. I didn’t realize that you could just KEEP some.

I’d love to hear about your Kombucha experience! What advice or ideas do you have?

 

Sweet Sunshine

I finally got outside yesterday. Our poor landscaping has been under inches of snow all winter and looks like it needed some love. A few days previous I noticed that the weeds were abundant so I decided it was time to get after it. It didn’t really matter what I did in the yard, the task is endless. While I was out I contemplated my favorite thing that day. It wasn’t too windy. It wasn’t too hot. The birds were chirping- it’s been a long time since I paid attention to that.

photo_9780_20090316Then I got excited! It’d been so long since I was out in te sun!  I remembered how good it feels to have the sun on my skin. Has winter been that long? How could I forget this?I have alway been so careful to shield myself from the sun. I always heard how bad the sun is for you, that is causes skin cancer, you will get wrinkles (egads!) and so on and so on. In my early 20s, I of course disregarded that nonsense but after some time I became religious about slathering on the sunscreen and always sat in the shade.  A good line of defense to be sure, but as it turns out, a little bit of sun exposure is really good for you.

With some sunlight we can enjoy:

  • Increase in Vitamin D levels- don’t forget this is a fat soluble vitamin so we need to eat fat in our diet.
  • Lower Blood Pressure due to an increase in nitric oxide productionwhich will reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Improve sleep – morning exposure gets your circadian rhythm on track.
  • Elevate Mood– sunlight therapy is used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, but you don’t have to suffer from SAD to reap the benefits
  • Other lesser known benefits include: pain relief, treatment for skin diseases, & regulating body temperature

The takeaway here is to make sure you get back outside but be smart about it. Indirect sunlight is okay! In fact it’s probably the preferred way for a lot of people. Some people can only be outside for 10 minutes before their skin starts to get damaged. If your pink, you’ve been out too long. Take your sun exposure in increments. If your skin can handle a bit more, go for it! For more specific recommendations on sun exposure, this Dr. Mercola article is a good resource.

I’m pretty sure I will be singing a different tune once the Summer gets here, but I will try to remember this feeling.