Sunday, February 23, 2014


About a month ago, I started brewing my own kombucha.  I was never a huge drinker of it, partly because of the cost, but I had heard a lot of really great things about it, and wanted to check it out for myself.

Things started out small, owing to the fact that I started from scratch by not purchasing the "scoby" but growing them myself.  (Type in "how to brew kombucha" on Youtube, and you'll get lots of videos on the subject).  As time went on, and I had more scobies to work with, my volume of brew...grew!

Stuff for growing the first two scobies (there's organic white sugar there too, just not in the pic):

A batch with a couple of toddler scobies doing there thing.  I use all organic ingredients:

The brew is expanding!

And two pics from today.  On top, two large bottles on their second brew--the one on the left was made today, and is peach, and the one on the right is blueberry, which I started drinking today; and the pic below that is my brew area.  I drank half or so of the blueberry bottle so put the other half into one of the green Grolsch bottles (you can see it in the right hand pic--there are three toward the front of the desk, and the blueberry is the darker one).  Empty bottles at the back.  The jars with "sweaters" on them are smaller batches of kombucha brewing (it's winter here), and the large jar to the left is what I hope will turn into a "continuous brew".  I didn't want to spent a lot of money on an "official" jar, so tried this one instead--it was $17!

So have I felt any benefits since starting to drink kombucha everyday a month ago?  You betcha!!!

Two things actually.  One, I can now breathe through both nostrils.  I didn't even realize this was an issue, until I suddenly had access to tonnes of Oxygen!  HAHA!  The other has had a profound effect on my life--after 40 years of pretty maddening sleep issues, I have fallen asleep all but 3 nights with no problem.  I have never in my LIFE had this much success with falling asleep.  It's ASTOUNDING I tell you!

Given the fact that each serving, despite being made with organic ingredients, is just a few cents per serving, and the benefits I'm already feeling, I can see myself brewing kombucha for quite a long time.  I can't wait to see what effect not having processed sugar, AND drinking kombucha on the regular will have on my life!

This is a year of change.  Big change if I have anything to do with it.  Big honking change, which will fundamentally alter the paradigm that is my life...BUT will enable me to become the person I've always felt I was, but was actively denying myself from achieving.

In order to change my paradigm, I have to be willing to be uncomfortable.  Perhaps very uncomfortable.  Comfort comes from the familiar, and since that will no longer be the case, I'm bound to be...uncomfortable.

It simply must be done, however.

Step One was to figure out what I wanted to accomplish this year, and I believe I've mostly figured that out, though it may be updated as time goes on.  Then work them into steps to accomplish.

Step Two is upon me.  Step Two is to deal once and for all with my processed sugar addiction.

The deets:

*  Stop eating processed sugar in obvious things like sweets.  I started Feb 19/14 and it will go for 2 months until April 20th.
*  Limit processed food.

I'm limiting processed foods for a few reasons.  One, there's processed sugar in virtually ALL
processed food, even things you wouldn't expect in, like savoury snacks and "diet" ready-made meals.  Two, I have found that if I eat less sugar, I crave more salt and unhealthy fats.  Since sugar, salt and unheathy fats are in all processed foods in varying amounts, limiting it seems like a good proactive step. :)

The reasons WHY I'm doing this are many, and in no particular order:

I enjoy it at the time, but shortly thereafter I have a lot of rather clear symptoms that tell me my body does NOT like processed sugar, including fatigue, mood wings, heaviness in my body, and of course ultimate weight gain.

The other part of it is I now know the APPALLING effects that processed sugar has on my long-term health.  When I was younger, I could kind of brush off the idea that consuming so much processed sugar was bad for me, saying that I didn't feel affected by it at all (which wasn't really true, because I didn't know how I COULD feel without it, thus had nothing to compare my supposedly "fine" feeling to), but now, as I enter my 40's, I'm starting to feel my body rebelling.  There are days when I feel like my body is falling apart.  And that is SCARY.  What in the world is my life going to be like when I reach retirement age?!

Premature aging is usually something talked about by cosmetic companies who mean what you look like on the outside as you get older.  But premature aging can also mean the speeding up of the aging of your body.  When your body is prematurely aging, it likely will lead to not only a diminished quality of life, but also a diminished quantity of life.  I already feel far older than I did
just a few years ago, and I know it's because of the not-so-good food choices I've made.  I do also eat healthy, clean, whole foods, so the fact that the "unclean" foods I consume has affected me so much is alarming, not only for myself, but for the many people in the world who eat FAR more junk than I do!

I also know that it can be reversed with good food choices, and moving my body.  The biggest part of that is the removal of the vast majority processed sugar from my diet, permanently.

So!  For these 2 months, processed sugar will be all but eliminated.  NO obvious things like sweets with processed sugar in them, and very limited processed foods since I know they also contain processed sugar (among other things).

Today is day 4.  I wanted to blog about this when I started, but I also wanted to have a few days behind me so I could talk about my experiences as I go.

Day one wasn't bad at all, since I've gone a day without processed sugar before.  Day two was a bit more of a challenge, as at the end of the work day I kept thinking that I'd stop by the grocery store after work and "pick something up" which of course means something either ready-made or pre-made that just needs heating in the oven.  AND lately has also meant buying chocolate.  You know, "Just this one time" which of course is a lot more than just that one time!

Day three was my first real challenge, because I was hungry at one point and wanted to "pick
something up" SO badly, and I was also really wanted chocolate.  It wasn't a full-blown craving, where you're doubled over, clutching your stomach (went through that was sugar in the past), but I really wanted it.  I didn't have it however.

Today is day 4.  So far it's been good, but I'm at home, and there's no junk at home.  There's junk at the store, which is only a block away, but I'm too lazy to go out in the cold and "pick something up" LOL!  Hey man, whatever you gotta do, right?

Up until about 2 or 3 years ago, I took FOUR sugar in my tea.  FOUR people.  I whittled it down and down, until I was to 1/2 a sugar.  Then one day when waiting for the bus, I thought that if I was at such a small amount, why am I taking any sugar at all?  So I started drinking my tea with no sugar.  If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd enjoy my tea with NO sugar, I'd think you were daft.  I'd tried going cold-turkey before with sugar in my tea, and found it disgusting.

My experience with my tea gives me hope that I can and will adjust my lifestyle to where I want it to be, I just need to keep working at it.  I know sugar (and processed foods my extension) are my biggest hurdle, and are also the things which are the worst for me, which is why I decided to tackle them first.  Get the worst part over with right away, instead of worrying about it in the future, right?
Onward and upward from here!  Here's a great video about processed sugar that I watched today.  You may never look at the "white stuff" the same again!