The Switch: Kombucha

According to Google’s dictionary kombucha is: “a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria”. So if you know anything about beer this sounds quite similar. It’s even served on tap and bottled in growlers. What is kombucha really though? What does it do to/for your body? What does it really taste like? These are all questions I asked when my kombucha kick started about a month ago. I am grateful for what it has done for me, so I have decided to share my findings with you!

What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a drink for health that originated over 2000 years ago. It is rumored to have been dubbed an immortal elixir by the ancient Chinese. There is no scientific evidence proving the benefits of drinking kombucha, so it’s different for everyone. This goes for all intake though- being receptive to your body and the things going into it is an important lesson. Trying a small bottle of kombucha and drinking it over a few days is a good idea. If the results are desirable, a growler might be in order!

What does kombucha do to/for your body?
Kombucha could be considered one of those health kicks that eventually fades away. It’s not proven to be healthy, it can be “harmful”, and it doesn’t necessarily taste great, so what is so great about it? Why bother even considering? DO consider, because it is great. Science hasn’t devoted much time to this elixir but many years of human consumption have, and we’re loving it. Kombucha naturally contains thousands of happy bacteria, acids, and vitamins that our body typically needs more of- which help us with detox, gut health, joint care, wrinkle prevention, immune health, and general uplifting! That is a list I can love! Improving gut health was my initial reasoning for my new kombucha lifestyle. Improving your stomach flora with natural probiotics can help with anxiety and depression, weight control, boosting immunity, and more. So as you can see, the positivity list goes on. The negatives that you might find while searching the internet are from a small number of incidents where someone was doing a bad job home cooking kombucha.
If you’re still feeling uncertain but want to give this lovely drink a try, talk to the nutritionist at your health food store (they may even have kombucha on tap!). A lot of the information I’m sharing with you today came from snippets given to me by the ladies at the Lake Placid health food store- the Green Goddess (they have kombucha on tap!).

What does kombucha really taste like? 
There are hundreds if not thousands of different types and flavors of kombucha. It can be made with different teas, and even different textures. Chia seeds can be added make a chunky and somewhat sweeter brew- some consider this type slimy so beware if texture isn’t your thing. The brand I have been buying on tap is Aqua ViTea and it’s smooth and effervescent. I have been getting a growler of the Strawberry Sage every Wednesday for about a month now. It’s their summer seasonal and extremely tasty. I highly recommend it for first tries of kombucha because it’s a bit sweet and tastes fresh. There is a bitterness/ tartness along with the sweet, something along the lines of a glass of wine or light beer. If your first few tastes aren’t lovable but you’re willing to continue for purpose of health, just try drinking an ounce or two ounces once every other day. I recommend buying a small personal bottle of a flavor that catches your interest, or trying a glass of it on tap nearby if that’s an option. The acquired taste comes quickly. My partner did not like any of the flavors at first. He tried it 3-4 times and now we both share a glass every morning. We absolutely love how it makes us feel.

Personal Discoveries 
It hasn’t been anything crazy, I don’t suddenly feel like I’ll live forever, but I feel great. Coffee is no longer necessary because the small serving of kombucha I drink has lots of vitamin B12 which awaken me. I have replaced my morning juice with kombucha, getting rid of lots of unnecessary sugars and unhealthy ingredients that come along with certain juice brands. I also have gotten used to not having anything other than club soda, water, or hot tea to drink for the rest of my day. Although I don’t have much consistency at this point in my life in regard to sleep and eat, my stomach feels balanced and happy. I also know I’m getting a dose of vitamins I used to forget to take daily.

As for pricing, the small bottles ARE expensive and it will look like an unaffordable vitamin at first- but I beat the system for you. Growlers are inexpensive at $13 for refills, and depending on your health food store you can bring your own glass container. We go through about one growler a week, which is a small 4-6 oz. glass every morning. The bubbles last about one week in the fridge so it’s been the perfect schedule for us, and at $2 per day it’s totally affordable! You can also get yourself a “mother” or “scoby” and home brew!  All together, this is something I would recommend everyone giving a “shot”, even once a week! πŸ™‚

Hugs and Backpacks full of Fermented Tea,
BB.

P.S. For added sweetness add fresh or frozen fruit. Surprisingly delicious ☺️

 

 

 

 

Diary of a New-Bee

Honing in on what I really love to do has been a serious focus for over a year now. I dearly wish I had learned to do this earlier in life, but my theory is- I’m still young and better late than never. 
This “self-discovery” time has brought me closer to my writing, closer again to nature, closer to my relationships, and closer to understanding my emotions. 

Today I’m most excited about my newest discovery: Beekeeping a.k.a. Apiculture.


The random way in which this hobby came into my life was almost cosmic- a mention from my beloved father, a call to the bee community nearby, a purchase of a suit, and finally, the hook, a meeting attendance. And now I’ve got the fever. 

So, you might ask, what’s so great about beekeeping? Well I’m super fresh to the bee world, but to me it’s great for a few reasons. Most of all, I’ve spent my entire life knowing I want to help the world somehow but didn’t know exactly how to contribute. 

Recycling & composting, using organic and locally grown foods and products, shopping small, not putting straws in drinks (😁) are things I’ve done for awhile. At one job I even made cases against their styrofoam usage and non-recycling practices. None of this feels like enough though. It has been time for awhile that I found a real cause. A cause like beekeeping. 

If you’re unsure of why beekeeping helps the earth- you should know that bees are on the out, becoming extinct. Without the bees the world will have no food- or barely any. And it’s as simple as that. 

So what else makes beekeeping great? I would say that my favorite part about it is the support for the female involved in their culture. The strength given to females in the hive is truly fascinating to me. The bees have recognized the power of females to reproduce and harvest food and have devoted their lives to the protection of this female. While male bees are still somewhat important to reproduction, the difference here is evident. Strong nature super organism with a female lead, what’s not to like? 


The last and not least thing that got me going for bees was the local community. This was by far the most welcoming group I’ve begun in life thus far. They made it easy to fall in love. It was a huge group of instant family, feeding me honey and home grown goodies, showing me their bee children, and inviting me to help with their personal hives. 


Something to consider on these journies to understanding is that it starts with a basic fact about you. I came to an understanding that I need to help the earth to feel complete. Beekeeping feels like an answer to that need for now, with more to come in the future! 

Hugs and Backpacks,

BB. 

A Quick Stop in Georgia

We were on the first leg of our trip back home (FL->NY) and had accomplished about 6 of the 24 hour ride. We were in Georgia. It was midnight. It was raining. We were exhausted. We had no plans for sleeping. So we looked for campsites as we drove up 75.
The first.. and second.. and third.. were duds. Closed, unavailable, and closed again. We were about to set up camp in a Walmart parking lot when we went just a bit further and BAM! There it was. The perfect campsite – with a big neon open sign and lots of sleeping RVs. 

The Red Gate Campground was everything we needed at midnight. The office was “check yourself in” and pay in the morning. There was a nice bathroom with a shower. We also were directed by sign to camp in front of the office which was extremely convenient. 

The rain had picked up when we stepped out of the office. The air had a chill unknown to our Florida nights. Georgia is different. The tent was worth it.. even for this very moment. In 5 minutes we were parked, it was open, and we were in bed, listening to rain drops falling. It wasn’t long before sleep overcame us. 

At sunrise, we realized we had set up camp next to a cage with a rooster. He was letting off his “cock-a-doodle-doo!” every 3-5 minutes like an original snooze button. We accepted it for awhile before getting up, paying, and hitting the road. Not before having a look at the beautiful cock who woke us up though πŸ˜‚. He was surrounded by chickens and baby rabbits in a lovely pen shaded by the branches of two huge southern oak trees. 

Just like that we were on the road again with a sunny day ahead. This was one of my favorite quick stops on the trip. The experience was really interesting. We learned a lot about finding a site, and about the ease of our magical tent. 

The biggest lesson here (and everywhere on a road trip) is to take a chance. Usually it works out.. and if not.. you’re still having fun! Life is good. 

Hugs and rooftents,

BB.