Hi there, friends! Sorry to leave you high and dry last week. Seems like my crazy schedule from the past 2 weeks finally caught up to me and my brain just said “no more!” Luckily, I had a nice, relaxing weekend to recoop [before another crazy week.. such is life!] First things first, congrats to Brittney for winning my She’s Losing It! giveaway!
Our weekend mostly began on Friday; Nathan took the day off and I only had a 7 a.m. client. It was amazing to be done by 8 a.m., be able to hit the gym, run a few errands, and then just kick back. We had to make a Costco run and thought it would be a much better idea to do that on a Friday afternoon than Saturday. When we first moved out here, someone said to me “people in San Francisco have jobs, but no one ever works.” Man, did that ring true. Costco was still crazy! Luckily, we had gone out to lunch before and had a little liquid stress-relief.
Mine came in the form of 50/50 citrus ginger kombucha & Sierra Nevada Kellerweis. I’m not sure why I’ve never thought of mixing my own kombucha with beer at home but it’s definitely going to happen now! Easiest way to make beer healthy, right?
We had a few quiet nights including a little wine + movie night action.
I’ve been singing Sledgehammer since I got the bottle..
Sunday was for work and meal prep. I’ve been having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to create a meal plan that can work for both of us. This vegan thing is totally throwing me through a loop, but I’m hoping this week goes a little smoother. That said, Nathan took some of it into his own hands and made a beautiful porchetta.
I’m making him save me some 😉 In the meantime, I have a few vegan options planned out for myself this week.
I’ve been slacking. But I’m blaming my phone. It’s time for a new phone for sure and I’ve been keeping it plugged in pretty much all the time. That said, it’s not in always in my hand to take quick pictures of my food so today’s WIAW is [almost] all about the recycled pictures. Thank goodness I eat so much of the same food all the time, right?
Monday was another flip day at Athleta so that meant another early morning. I didn’t get my workout in at the gym, but with all of the running around we do at the store and lugging boxes of new merchandise, I think it’s safe to say I did, in fact, get a workout in for the day!
I have a new bite recipe to share! It’ll be up later this week but for now, I’m trying not to eat the whole container. Often times, pre-workout snacks focus more on healthy fats and carbs to fuel the workout so when I’m making my bites, I try to stick with a coconut/peanut flour and peanut butter base. Makes for a delicious and creamy treat! –>
[Breakfast] Protein rocks! <– [Best commercial ever.] But for real, this is my favorite breakfast, workout or not. It has the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fat for refueling and keeps me full for hours. It was just what I needed.. especially piping hot at 5:30 am.
After all of my running around, I scarfed down a Salted Caramel ThinkThin bar. I’ve always loved ThinkThin but this new bar is by far my favorite. It’s basically like a little treat!
[Lunch] Big ass salad, anyone? I pretty much throw the contents of my fridge on top of whatever greens we have and call it lunch. They mostly end up looking like this because wouldn’t it be the worst to have a salad without avocado?! I always make sure to have 4-6 oz of protein and some healthy fats with my 10 tons of veggies.
I’m so bad about drinking water when I’m at work. Because I’m running around, I can’t have my water bottle with me all the time. I got home and chugged some homemade kombucha that I’ve been rationing out until my next batch is ready. Thankfully, we’re all a go for the second fermentation and in just a few more days I’ll have another gallon’s worth!
Something new! Nathan’s been requesting buffalo chicken and I figured roasted broccoli and okra would compliment nicely. I’d never made okra before but decided to give it a shot. I ended up eating pretty much the whole batch so I’d call it a success.. for me, at least.
Carbs and fats [clearly in nut butter form] are easily my faves so I think it’s the perfect way to end the night. I’m really digging the chunky peanut butter right now too!
And even though this is from last night, not Monday, I thought I’d share anyway..
because how can I keep my homemade peanut butter cups all to myself? 😉
Food for Thought
Are you a food creature of habit or do you switch it up regularly?
More than anything else this week, I’m absolutely most excited about going home on Friday! Since my mom had the chance to play with my niece yesterday, we got to skype and seeing her smiling, giggling, and bouncing around just made me that much more excited to finally get my hands on her. This trip is going to be a short one since we’ll be home for a week and a half at the end of August so we’re not really going to be seeing people other than my family and I’ll definitely be soaking it in. But before I get caught up too much [more] in next weekend, let’s recap this weekend.
Friday night I went to the Summer Solstice event hosted by Sweat Guru and Sweat Republic. It was great to see all of the Sweat Guru girls again and it was a really nice event complete with kombucha cocktails, spray tans, makeup demos, and more.
One of the instructors at Sweat Republic was demoing 15 minute sessions of Surfset. I probably should have laid off of the kombucha cocktails before my turn 😉 And after hearing so many wonderful things about Shauna Harrison in Baltimore and out here, I finally got the chance to meet her. It was her first time on a Surfset board too.. can you tell?
She’s pretty freaking amazing. I’m really good at standing on the board. Ha!
Saturday, Nathan and I went to the A’s vs. Red Sox game and decided to do a little tailgating before.
We picked up some bahn mi for Nathan and I grabbed a grilled pork vermicelli roll. I needed something to wash down the vodka!
One thing we didn’t think about bringing was sunscreen. And you can really tell I was wearing sunglasses. Whoops! Hope it fades soon!
Sunday was a quiet day. We were both busy with work so other than braving the grocery store, we just stayed in and watched the World Cup and some baseball. It was nice to have a quiet day with all of the running around we’ve been doing lately. I rounded off the day with a delicious bowl of baked turkey meatballs and brussels with a little feta. It was pretty perfect.
These meatballs are awesome; I always get 2 lbs of turkey so we have some to throw in the freezer just to have in the house but we always end up eating the whole batch within just a few days. This time I got 3 lbs of turkey.. let’s see how long that’ll last us! Hopefully we’ll be able to freeze some so we’re not completely out of food when we get back after our trip.
Weekly Meal Plan
Sunday – Baked turkey meatballs with honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts Monday – Turmeric chicken with grilled veggies Tuesday – Leftovers Wednesday – Mexican grilled chicken and cauliflower rice bowls with black beans, salsa, guacamole, and baked tostones Thursday – Leftovers Friday & Saturday – HOME!!
Food for Thought
Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
What’s on your menu this week?
I’m seriously a lightweight when it comes to waking up crazy early now. I guess I’m not really expected to have a ton of energy waking up at 4am when I couldn’t fall asleep till midnight, but I passed the heck out after work yesterday! It took everything I had to make myself lunch when I got home and keep my eyes open long enough for a conference call but once I hung up, it was lights out. Or really, zonked out on the couch. At least the 5am shifts are only once a month.
I’ve got some blog reading to catch up on from yesterday, but in case you missed some great posts from last week, I’m here to help!
The Art of Food Tracking (Part 1) – Workout Nirvana
I’ve been a bit MIA on the social media scene for the past few days since my parents have gotten into town, but I make up for it with pictures!
Biking is good for your ass.
First view of the bridge!
Biggest sweet potato I ever done seen!
Feeding the fam before a day of drinking. Killer frittata!
Bear Republic beer samplers! #1 and #2 for the day.
Doin’ wine country.
Mom and Dad doin’ wine country.
Lagunitas beer sample #1.. #3 for the day.
Lagunitas beer sampler #2. Made it #4 for the day and Dad could hardly wait 😉
Dragged em to the beach.
The boys went climbing and we took a sit.
One of the many beautiful dishes at Iyasare.
Ran around town with Mom while the boys took a rest day. So much good food!
GET ME OUT! Oh.. there’s the door.
He looks a little too happy to be behind bars. Ha!
Blueberry kombucha on tap to top off a delicious lunch at The Plant.
Buena Vista Cafe. Home of the original Irish coffee.
We may or may not be drinking and walking them into the ground. And you bet your butt we’re headed to more breweries and doing lots more walking tomorrow. But we’re having a great time and I love having them here!
Food for Thought
What is your favorite thing to do when you have out-of-town visitors?
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a steady stream of pretty fabulous looking meals. And it’s true, we have found some really delicious food to try in all of our exploration.
What you don’t always see is my daily budget eats from the hotel. I mentioned before that the hotel includes breakfast everyday and dinner/drinks Monday-Thursday and we try to take advantage of that as much as we can. So in true WIAW fashion, let me show you how we do 😉
Oatmeal with banana, hard boiled egg whites, granola, & Tru-Nut
The hotel oatmeal isn’t the greatest, but I do love my morning oats! They have bananas here too so I mash up 1/2 banana and break up a couple egg whites to mix in. The granola is pretty tasty and I switch up my peanut butter options by the day. They have Skippy packets here which I use most of the time, but my treats are Tru-Nut, Justin’s packets, and now some PB & Co. too.. all winnings!
One of my favorites!
Have you ever had this yogurt before? It’s so tasty and I love that the fig & date is separate from the yogurt so I can add as much or as little as I want.
The salad bar is one of the best parts of the dinner buffet and I brought back some mixed greens, baby carrots, and tomatoes. When it was lunch time, I dressed it up with my goodies from Whole Foods and had a wonderful lunch!
Microwave this baby for 10 seconds and you have yourself a tasty treat!
One of my new favorite kombuchas!
Call me crazy, but I packed up my stash of bars and brought them with me to the hotel. I always love having them on hand and usually have a few in my purse with me wherever I go. I’ve also been treating myself to a kombucha a little more often recently. Love trying all of the new-to-me brands and flavors!
Huge salad plate from the salad bar, mixed veggies, & red wine
Teriyaki chicken & rice pilaf
We almost always take advantage of the salad bar and drinks [the red wine and IPA are darn tasty!] and sometimes they even have a decent veggie side too. I’m really not picky when it comes to the veggies, so the frozen mixed veggies are perfectly fine by me!
Monday night we had planned on having dinner at the hotel—teriyaki chicken and rice pilaf—but we had a change of plans. We did, however, make it back to the hotel before they stopped serving dinner so I ran downstairs and packed up a couple of plates for us for Tuesday night [no shame]. I ended up filling up on so much salad and veggies that I only had some of the chicken and left my rice for Nathan. I even got enough chicken for 3 meals 😉
Fuji apples are my fave and they have them available at the hotel. It’s my perfect night time snack.. and one less thing to buy!
So at the end of the day, I’ve really only purchased some veggies and protein for lunch, a bar, and a kombucha. I’d say it’s not a bad way to get by for a month! [Especially with the free wine..]
Food for Thought
Would you take advantage of the freebies at the hotel?
I have to admit, while I hoped to participate fully in Elf 4 Health, it’s been really tough. I’ve been doing so much running around over the past week looking for a place to live and any downtime that I have is spent searching for more places to visit or skyping with my family. Or doing both at the same time. That said, today’s Elf 4 Health challenge is to make a list of 20 things I’m grateful for. I just couldn’t skip this one.
Skype. Maybe it seems weird that this is first on my list, but since moving across the country, I couldn’t be happier to have this technology. I talk to my parents on skype a few times a day and have been able to see the rest of my family and some friends.
Jilly. Speaking of skype and the rest of my family, the baby is here!! I’m sad I wasn’t able to be at the hospital with everyone but I did, at the very least, get to see the baby girl when she was just hours old. She’s such a cute little nugget and I’m so incredibly happy for my brother and sister-in-law. They couldn’t be happier and I know they’re going to be amazing parents.
Really, how perfectly adorable is that face?!
Nathan. Obviously I’m a fan, but he’s been really great with this move. He has his job and is starting to create his routine while I’m trying to figure everything out. He couldn’t be more encouraging and supportive of me trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Not to mention he knows how to make me smile and takes me on road trips to breweries!
Our first farmers’ market trip. Many more to come!
My parents. To say they weren’t thrilled about the move is an understatement but they’ve been great. They put us up at their house for a few days before the move and the day after Thanksgiving, they woke up bright dark and early to take us to the airport. They have given all the support they can possibly muster up and I love em.
3 generations – baby girl, daddy, and grandpa.
My grandparents. I got to skype with my maternal grandparents when they were at the hospital visiting Jilly and even though everyone was totally confused as to how to hold the iPad and what to do, it was great to see them so happy with their great grandbaby. And I know my grandfather on my dad’s side couldn’t be more excited to visit the new family soon!
Jessie. She’s one of my best friends and knows what it’s like to move all over the country and away from family. She knows what homesick feels like and even though I was texting her last night at 10pm, I have to remember that it was 1am for her. Her texts may have been influenced by a bit of wine, but those are the best kind, right?
The gym. The hotel where we’re staying actually has a decent enough gym and my workouts are making me feel more normal. I like to pretend like I have some sort of routine 😉
I can only use one machine at a time anyway..
FREE FOOD! Our hotel has breakfast included everyday and dinner/drinks included Monday-Thursday. Breakfast is fine.. I always have my oatmeal but Nathan is learning to deal. Dinner is.. well.. we’ve eaten it once. But they do have a decent salad bar so I’ll take it. Free is free!
Whole Foods. There’s one right around the corner from Nathan’s office and I’ve been able to get a few small things to cook up quickly as well as some food from the hot bar and we’re practically living the dream over here! [I’m just happy to eat all of their roasted veggies!]
And they have kombucha on tap!
Beautiful scenery. I’ve been loving all of the views of the water and mountains as I’ve been driving through San Francisco by myself, but driving with Nathan yesterday and seeing his reactions really made it even more special.
The hills here are terrifying to drive!
Healthy lunches. They’re everywhere in SF! I love trying all of the new places.
Evolution Fresh has a cafe here and it’s amazing!
Almond milk lattes. Really, they’re just great.
Chocolate and peanut butter. And marshmallow! This homemade s’mores peanut butter cup was out of this world!
I need to make these.. genius!
Beer. Nathan and I took a little road trip yesterday to Lagunitas and Russian River. They both make some mighty fine beer and serve awesome food too! We split a roasted veggie pesto sandwich at Lagunitas and then a crispy crust vegan pizza at Russian River. Great way to spend a Saturday!
Our king size bed. We definitely took it for granted and didn’t realize until we started sharing a queen size bed at the hotel. I can’t wait to get ours back!
The rest of our furniture. I miss the cozy feeling of sitting on my own sofa. Soon enough, though. Soon enough.
PayByPhone. While I don’t love having to pay for parking everywhere I go right now, it’s definitely much easier when I can just pay my meter from my phone when I’m 10 blocks away!
Guestbloggers. Like I said, I’ve been slacking lately and it’s nice to have such a wonderful community to help me pick up some of the slack and keep you all happy 😉 [P.S. I have one more coming!]
Social media. I love reading blogs and haven’t been reading as much lately, but as Caitlin reminded me, they’ll be there when I get back to it!
You all! I’m so happy to have you reading my blog even with my lack of attention lately. Thanks for sticking around 🙂
Thank goodness for more wonderful blogger friends to keep me going throughout this week. I’m currently en route to California [I’m only partially freaking out right now..] and am so happy to share this guest post from another one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay. I’m slightly obsessed with her blog full of recipes, fitness tips, and Corny Cotter love. I mean really, check out this Carrot Ginger PB Bread.. looks amazing! Between that and the kombucha brewing recipe below, I can’t wait to get into a real kitchen again!
Howdy from Texas! I’m Lindsay Cotter from cottercrunch.com. I have passion for triathlon and supporting her husband, James Cotter, in his professional triathlon career. My blog subtitle pretty much sums up what I write about → life as a pro triathlete’s wife, nutrition manager & fitness consultant, kombucha lover, and wannabe wino who has a joyous passion for GLUTEN FREE cooking! I should also add in there “Sherpa wife.”
The ABC’s of Kombucha Brewing
Anyway, I am excited to write a guest post about Kombucha for Brittany today. You know what that means, right? I’ve finally been termed a “booch mamma!” That, my friends, is name I will do my best to hold high! 🙂
So let’s get back to real purpose of this post, KOMBUCHA! Kombucha has been a HUGE life saver in my life and for so many reasons, and needless to say, I am passionate about it! So I thought I’d share some of the ABC’s of Kombucha and how to brew it. Stick with me here, k?
What is it? – fermented tea, an ancient elixir consumed for thousands of years by civilizations all over the planet.
What are its benefits? – Kombucha Kamp has a great article on the benefits of Kombucha. Here are just a few that I have noticed in my own consumption.
*Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalinize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating
How? – It is recommended that you should start drinking 4-8oz of Kombucha on an empty stomach 2x a day followed by plenty of water to clear out all the toxins. Once your body has adjusted to it (over an extended period of time), you can increase your intake.
Okay, now that you have an overwhelming amount of information. Let me tell you a little bit of how I use it and why.
You see, for years I had been struggling with a lot of digestive issues from a parasite and a gluten intolerance. I turned to kombucha for gut healing (along with other natural supplements). I had been drinking it on occasion before, but this time I decided to use it for more of healing reasons.
It was also about that time that I decided to start making my own batches. I spoke with Hannah over at KombuchaKamp.com a lot and she guided me through the process. After a few weeks, I had my ownscoby and was ready to brew!
Here’s my BREWING tutorial. I have gathered this from lots of other websites and tweaked it to make my own flavoring. I’ll type out the instructions below as well. Let me know if you brew!
You can easily buy a starter kit online or even buy a scoby from craigslist. Just make sure they are not moldy or damaged when you buy them. Once you have a mother scoby, you are ready to brew.
KOMBUCHA – Here’s How:
Wash all utensils with hot sudsy water and rinse well.
Boil three quarts of purified water.
Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.
Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black and/or green tea. (Must have caffeine in tea which the scoby feeds on).
Steep about 30 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn’t hurt to steep the tea longer). Cooling is about 3 to 5 hours from time you turn stove off.
Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.
Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch.
Place a cloth over the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.
Allow to sit undisturbed in a well-ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 – 15 days. I keep mine in a closet.
To make sure the tea is ready to harvest; pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test. I usually test it by sticking a plastic straw in and sipping a little bit.
Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days – Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days – Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days – Vinegar taste becoming prominent.
When the tea is brewed to your taste, pour the tea into glass bottles and cap then place in the refrigerator. This can now be second fermented with fresh juices, or pieces of crushed fruit, or crystallized ginger. Store bought juices are pasteurized and may effect healing quality of finished kombucha product, so I’d stick with 100% fresh juice. Sometimes I use sparkling water too.
Make sure to leave enough starter tea from your last batch (about 1/2 cup) to make another batch of tea. Repeat directions and add this to your starter and culture to start the process again. **Note: the cultures my float on the surface or sometimes it sinks to the bottom. Either way is fine.
To this day I still think of it as my healing tonic. I drink 16-20 ounces a day. Yes, this seems like a lot but my body is used to and can handle a higher dosage.
My Newbie Tips:
It definitely takes an acquired taste, so be open minded.
If you would rather buy Kombucha to try out first, look for fruity flavors. These have added natural juices to them, like GT’s cranberry, passionberry, or strawberry. It will help you get used to the taste. Even though I’ve ALWAYS loved the taste. I am weird like that though. 🙂
Drink 4 ounces at a time to begin. Maybe just try a little mid morning or afternoon. Sometime during the day where you usually need a little boost.
Give it time! Drink slowly and allow its natural detox benefits to nourish your body. Try it for a week before knockin’ it!
And finally, BE GENTLE! Kombucha needs care. It is carbonated do not shake the bottle and open slowly. I’ve had some dangerous explosions, and as much as I like Kombucha, my clothes do not.
Alright, I’m off to go finish my last bottle. Better brew again tomorrow! Feel free to email me with any questions. And thank you, Brittany for letting me blab away about scobys and smelly tea.