Kombucha For Beginners

Chances are if you have not tried Kombucha, you have at least heard of it.  Having been around for centuries, it first made an appearance in US health food stores sometime during the 1990’s. Gaining popularity, probably due to the reported health benefits, Kombucha can now be found at most local grocery stores. 

What is it?

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), black tea, and sugar.  The SCOBY consumes 90% of the sugar during the fermentation process which usually takes between 7 to 12 days. Once the process is complete you are left with a tangy beverage full on vitamins, beneficial acids, probiotics, and enzymes known for the positive effects they have on your health.

Benefits of Kombucha

While there have been numerous benefits reported on the nutrient dense beverage, from better digestion to arthritis prevention, it is important to note that there is still much research to be done. Here are some of the most common benefits believed to be found in Kombucha in layman’s terms

Detoxification

Full of enzymes and bacterial acids, it is believed that Kombucha can aid in the bodies natural detoxification process. Gluconic Acid found in Kombucha binds to toxins and helps to expel them from the body. Glucaric Acid, produced during the fermentation process  may help boost the efficiency of the liver.

Aids in Digestion

Good gut bacteria can be depleted over time by such factors as alcohol use, antibiotics and stress. Kombucha helps replenish some of this good bacteria that aids the body in the digestive process.

Boosts the immune system

Probiotics found in Kombucha help cultivate a healthy gut and strengthen our defenses against harmful microbes and some forms of illness. It is also a natural source of antioxidants which can help detoxify the body and help to protect against diseases.

Joint Health

Glucosamine, which is another compound found in Kombucha, enhances hyaluronic acid production, which helps to protect cartilage and reduce arthritic pain.

While it’s too soon to be declared a cure all, it definitely seems like a great addition to your diet.

Steps to Make Your Own Kombucha

While it can be found at your local market, it may be beneficial to try your hand at making your own. Here is an easy process:

Utensils

  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Sugar
  • Black tea
  • SCOBY ( available from many online sources. I got mine from poseymom.com)

Directions

  1. Gather sterilized equipment
  2. Make  1 gallon black tea
  3. Add 1 cup sugar
  4. Pour brewed tea into glass jar once it has cooled
  5. Add 1 cup brewed raw Kombucha (which usually comes with Scoby
  6. Place Scoby on top, ideally it will float on top to seal air, but it will grow over the course of fermentation
  7. Cover with cheese cloth and store in a warm dark place
  8. Allow to ferment for 7 to 12 days.
  9. Remove Scoby and 1 Cup of Kombucha. The original Scoby (mother) will have formed a second scoby (baby). Use the baby along with the cup of Kombuca to start a new batch.

Some people flavor with juice and added fruit.  If you choose to do this it would be 1 part juice to 4 parts Kombucha. You will then need to cover and let sit for 1 to 2 more days.

Precautions

As with any fermented product those pregnant, or nursing and those with health conditions should check with their doctor before consuming.

If made incorrectly, Kombucha can contain harmul bacteria that could be dangerous. This is rare, but caution should be taken when brewing at home.

Some bloating may occur do to the presence of probiotics and carbonation.

Reflecting on 2017

As another year draws to a close,  I reflect on the experiences that have shaped 2017.  There have been both good and bad.  If I had to pick one word to describe this year it would have to be CHANGE.

I would have to say the event that has had the most impact on my day-to-day life is the decision to step away from a career I had spent the last 7+ years developing. This has been one of the best decisions  made, as it was consuming all my time and energy. After much prayer and pondering, the decision was made that it was time to make that change. I haven’t regretted it since.

We were blessed with another granddaughter this year!  Her joy can be contagious! As you see her smile from head to toe, you find you can’t help but smile too! I treasure the time I get to spend with both of my granddaughters. It was probably the biggest factor in deciding to leave my job. 

I also, had to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends to cancer this year. Her departure has definitely left a void that I feel daily. I choose to fill that void with cherished memories and the knowledge that I will see her again someday.

The time I get to spend with family and friends is something I am extremely thankful for. It is not something that is lost on me, as it was very limited over the last 7 years.

I realize a career change is not feasible for everyone, nor maybe desirable for all. The only thing I wish to convey is spend time making memories with those you love to the best of your ability and cherish every second!

Steps To A Clutter Free Home

Have you ever looked around your home and wonder where  all the stuff come from?  I have! I’ve also thought about all the time and energy it takes to keep it cleaned and organized and the money I wasted on it!

They seemed like a good deal at the time but the contentment   is short lived. The cute shoes that we on sale aren’t as cute strewn by the door.  The legos you got for the kids lose appeal as you step on another one in your bare feet for the third time in one week.

 

 

Here is a process that will help you win the battle of clutter and keep it under control for good!

 

THE PROCESS

Take an Inventory

  You are literally going to have to go through your belongings and decide what you are going to keep and what you are getting rid of.  Be ruthless about it, the more stuff you keep, the more you have to maintain.

Get rid of those things that you are not using, they are cluttering your space. If you haven’t used something in the past year, chances are you are not going to need it.

Purge yourself of things that you have duplicates of.  Figure out what quantity you actually need and get rid of the rest. For example, how many jeans do you need? Or how many towels? We tend to accumulate large quantities of certain thing.  Be realistic and only keep what you need.

You may also run across some sentimental items, you will have to use your discretion for this. Be realistic about it, if you are going to regret getting rid of an item that is sentimental and cannot be replaced, its better to hold on to it a little longer.  Just remember its the memory that is bringing you joy, not the item.

Go  through this process until you have completed each room. Some people decide to complete this step in a day, some in a weekend or a month.   Personally, I find it easiest to go through the whole house in a day and repeat the process in a week or two if needed.

 

Decide What to Do With Items That Must Go

As you are going through this process and have identified the items you will be parting with and sort them into three piles: Donate, Sell, and Trash (for items that are no longer usable.

Donate – Consider donating your items to charity. Local animal shelters are usually always looking for towels and blankets. Call them to find out. Some charities have local drop off locations and some will even pick your items up curbside.

Another option for donating is to people you know personally that can benefit from your items. Let someone else enjoy it for awhile.

Sell –  Sell some of your items to recoup some of your hard earned cash.

  • Have a yard sale
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Ebay
  • Take your items to a consignment shop
  • Rent space at a flea market

 Organize Kept Items

Everything you keep should have its own place.  You should be down to only the items you use and love.  Further purge if you are finding this is not the case.  You are going to continue to have clutter if you continue to keep stuff you don’t have a place for.

 Clean Your New Found Space

Once you have finished the process of purging and organizing you should find you have much more open space than previously.  Clean thoroughly, it will be much easier without the clutter.

 

After Decluttering

Implement A System to Prevent Future Clutter

You are going to have to implement a system to prevent this from happening aging. Your future self will thank you for it.  It could be something as simple as making a rule that prohibits bringing an item in without sending one out.  Really think about your purchases. Do you really need it? Can you do without it?

Lastly, find fun and creative ways to spend your free time other than shopping. These are the things that make memories!

 

 

Cherish each other, not things!

Please share any tips or methods you have tried by commenting below. I would love to hear from you!