Lots has happened over the past year – I graduated college, traveled to Asia, and moved to New York City. Yup, as Jay-Z promised, the bright lights inspired me. Now that I have a bit of time on my hands after applying for Dental School, I decided to reignite my blog and journalize my adventures here. My most recent one involves making Kombucha.
Kombucha, commonly known as the ‘elixir of life’, is a fermented probiotic drink made from tea, sugar, and ‘the mother’. The mother is a term used for a colony of bacteria also called “SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and this produces health benefits for humans through ingestion of the tea.
- Improved Digestion
- Fights Bad Bacteria (i.e. Candida which causes Yeast Infection)
- Helps Arthritis
- Boost Immune System
While the elixir of health dates back almost 2000 years, there is mixed evidence on Kombucha. Brewing can be especially difficult since it can pose health risks if the process is done incorrectly. My advice is to try reputable Kombucha and focus on how it makes you feel. My favorite brand is GT’s and be sure to look for raw and organic brands because heat will kill the goodies. Once you finish the deliciousness you should feel energized and if not, then it may not be the right drink for you. Always follow your intuition!
How to Grow the Mother from a store-bought bottle of Kombucha
- GT’s Original Kombucha (can be any raw/organic kombucha)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon high quality, washed, Sencha or 1 bag of tea
- Wash and sterlize everything that will come in contact with the Kombucha
- Boil the water and sugar mixture until dissolved
- Add the green tea leaves and brew for 5-7 minutes
- Remove leaves and pour into 1 gallon jar
- Wait until cool to the touch
- Remove 1/3 of Kombucha liquid (you can drink this!) but try not to lose any of the floating bacteria at the bottom
- Pour the rest of the 2/3 into your jar with the sweetened tea mixture
- Place in a dark, warm area that is sanitary
My first Friday night back at Michigan State University during the last semester of my undergraduate career, and I spend it watching an educational documentary. Nonetheless, I do not regret this decision as I was able to stumble upon one of the most inspiring stories I’ve seen so far and the overall message from Joe Cross’s, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is quite genuine. However, while bias may influence my tastes, this documentary discusses the issues of diseases such as autoimmune disorders and other cardiovascular and metabolic illnesses that are near and dear to my heart. My father is diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and an autoimmune disorder known as Myasthenia Gravis, and my mother has a previous history of stroke and cardiovascular problems. What’s more frustrating than knowing that you have the power to fix a problem, is the fact that you still aren’t able to establish a change and ignite an epiphany. For those who can relate, or those who are interested,*caution spoilers!* ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ examines two main characters who follow a fruit/vegetable juice fast for 60 days. With a short period of struggle and pain, both characters undergo dramatic weight loss and discover the positive benefits associated with their dietary choices.
When I was home this past winter break, I saw how my dad’s autoimmune disorder changed him. I wanted to do everything in my power to help him, and started trying to make green (vegetable) smoothies. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep my word as our schedules differed. I’m glad I gave this documentary a chance and I forwarded it to both of my parents in hope that they’d watch it. Hopefully they take this to heart, because I wont give up trying to instill that health is a major priority.
Maybe someday I’ll attempt a 60 day juice fast and document the changes and feelings I experience on that journey. For now, if you’re interested in nutrition, fasting and health I would recommend this documentary. Afterall…
‘70% of the diseases that affect us now are caused by our life choices: how we exercise, if we smoke and what we eat.’ – Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead