Brewin’ Kombucha 

So I remember when kombucha was just starting to become a trend in the mainstream health and wellness world. I was SO not interested. It looked disgusting and its description sounded disgusting. Nope. Not for me.

However, I am like that kid at the dinner table that, if you introduce to a veggie that they despise enough times, they’ll eventually try it. Kombucha is suddenly all over the place (heck, lots of tap rooms offer this stuff in their own growlers!) and as it has made its mark, I somehow got sucked into the idea that I wanted to give it a fair try. Low and behold…I love it! 

Not only am I seriously a fan of the taste (really enjoying all the different types and flavors available EVERYWHERE) but I am super impressed with its benefits! That just makes it taste even better to me somehow. 

Here are just a few of the touted benes:

Improved Digestion

Weight Loss

Increased Energy

Cleansing and Detoxification

Immune Support

Reduced Joint Pain

Cancer Prevention

All I can say is that I love that I am ingesting a probiotic and that it offers a more natural energy source (I am not a stranger to energy drinks so this is awesome). I just feel GOOD drinking it. 

This stuff is not cheap, however. I’d say $3 a bottle is a good average for 12-16oz. Nope…not cheap. But amazing. So, what’s a girl to do?? Make my own of course! 

I won’t lie, I tried this once before and it didn’t work. I didn’t get enough of the right info and I didn’t talk to anyone in depth about how they personally made it. I got this fly verbal tutorial from the lady I bought my original scoby from and I tried to marry that info with stuff I found online and it just. didn’t. work. I felt way confused and it ended up growing mold. Oops. That happens.
Since then I got some great advice from a friend who has been making it since long before it was ever popular. She also sent me a link to some directions that she trusted. I appreciate that because I need stuff written down and in front of me!! 

So…Kombucha: take 2


I did some  Christmas shopping on Groupon and stumbled across a Groupon for a Kombucha kit! Hello! Had to get it. Merry Christmas to me. It was only $15 and I got a scoby, 3 dark bottles for my finished product, 2 different types of tea and some evaporated cane sugar. Not bad! My hubby had bought me a really cute jar for my original batch. So, I was set!

What to do:

Find some scoby. What the heck is scoby?? It’s essentially the starter. Just like sourdough bread. It has all the awesome cultures you need. It looks gross, but that little guy is what holds all the good stuff you need for it to be so stinking great for you. 

Here’s the place I got mine from through Groupon: Kombucha brewing supplies

They have great products and great costumer service. However, they are in NY, and there are lots of local places to get your supplies from. In fact, if you don’t know someone who makes their own who can give you your own scoby, people sell it on Craigslist and Amazon. 

Once I got my stuff, I heeded the advice of my friend and followed the directions she sent me the link to: Oregon Kombucha

One major thing I had overlooked was temperature. I didn’t make sure that mine was staying at the optimum temp. I also let it brew too long. 

What you need to start:

  • A large jar or glass/ceramic container: gallon size 
  • Black or green tea
  • Sugar 
  • Scoby
  • A plan to keep your Kombucha at the right temp

When you follow the directions you will learn that Kombucha brews best between 75-90 degrees. Yup. Missed that part the first time around. 

Our solution, since we don’t have a nice safe spot in our place that is a consistent temp, was to put it in a cooler. We have a large glass measuring cup full of hot water that we change out 2-3 times a day to keep it toasty in there. Found that idea online and it seems to be working! 


So there you have it. I am not going to go into detail with the directions, as I gave the link to the ones I used and they are great!

Would love to hear about your adventures with Kombucha making!! We’re on Day 3 of this batch so I will be sure to update! We will start checking on Day 7 to see how it’s doing…just a taste test. You let it go longer if you want a stronger, more tart taste. That is what we want!

Stay tuned!

xoxo, Jess 

Crockpot Meatloaf – 21 Day Fix Approved ✅

It is definitely the time of year for crockpot food! Mmmmm. Living tiny also is a really good motivator for easy food. However, we’re not willing to compromise our healthy choices or taste! …definitely not taste! 

I have been craving some meatloaf for probably a couple of weeks now. It is a little funny to hear myself say that. I was vegetarian several years ago for probably 5 years. I was doing it for “health reasons” or so I thought. I am a big fan of giving my body plenty of protein from animal sources nowadays. Of course clean options are what I go for. I switched over to grassfed beef a couple of years ago and am shocked at how different it tastes!! It is amazing! Plus I feel far better about what I am putting in my body without all the antibiotics and pesticides…

I’m at the end of day 3 of my January 30 day challenge, and part of that means I follow the balanced, portion controlled, clean eating plan provided by the 21 Day Fix. So, here’s a yummy 21 Day Fix approved (& hubby approved) meatloaf recipe! 

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs grass fed, ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup no sugar added tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch each of salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Grease the inside of the crockpot with olive oil or butter.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well…using your hands is the best method! 

Shape into a loaf…I have a circle crock pot and it worked fine…but I do think an oval shaped cooker would help it cook a little better/faster. 

Place loaf into slow cooker, cover & cook on low 5-6 hours: until meat thermometer reads 160F.

If you’d like, at last 15 minutes or so of cooking, add a mixture of a small amount of ketchup/Worcestershire sauce over the top of the loaf.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 

21 Day Fix Containers per serving:
1 red, 1/4 yellow, 1/4 blue, 1/8 purple.

Delish and great along side a big salad or asparagus! 

Homemade Sports (electrolyte) Drink

Something we all are aware of is that during exercise our bodies lose electrolytes along with water through sweat. Often times people will pick up a sports drink, such as Gatorade, to remedy the problem. The unfortunate thing is that most sports drinks contain a crazy amount of sugar and artificial ingredients.

When electrolytes become off balance we can experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiff or aching joints
  • And more…

Electrolytes include calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, potassium and sodium. Maintaining a good balance results from the particular foods and drinks we consume combined with our activity level, weather and any illness we might be fighting. You can also throw off your electrolyte balance by drinking TOO MUCH water believe it or not. 

 Here is a natural electrolyte recipe that you can use and allows you to choose just how you want yours to taste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart liquid (water, coconut water, green tea, etc.)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt (this kind includes particular trace minerals but regular table salt will work)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed calcium magnesium tablets or powder*
  • 1/4 cup natural fruit juice (lemon, lime, pineapple, Apple, etc)
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener* (honey, stevia)

*these ingredients are optional

Directions:

  • Slightly warm your base liquid in order for other ingredients to dissolve well
  • Add all remaining ingredients and mix or shake very well
  • Store in fridge until needed 

I made mine using a mixture of lemon and lime juice and honey for the sweetener. I also added the calcium magnesium powder as magnesium is something I personally don’t get enough of (calcium is needed for magesium absorption). I also garnished it with a mint leaf. 

  
I had mine after a hard 5 mile run and felt like it really helped me bounce back quicker. I’ll be using this more for sure!

Here’s to happier, healthier ways to do things! 

xoxo, Jess

Homemade Greek Yogurt Pops

Who doesn’t love a creamy popcicle? Is that what these are? Maybe a creamcicle? Anyhoo….they make for a delicious and healthy treat! Simple ingredients (heck there are only 3!), cheap to make and perfect for a sweet something when you’re having a craving but offers something that you can feel good about.

  
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fruit (we used strawberries and bananas)
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt (we used vanilla)
  • 2 tbsp honey

Directions:

Blend fruit & honey in a food processor or blender. We left ours slightly chunky, but you can blend yours more to make it more smooth if desired. 

  
Gently stir in Greek yogurt. Pour or spoon mixture into popcicle molds and freeze about 6 hours. They come out of the molds easier if they are frozen solid (I tried at around 4 hours and that did not work out so well). 

**we got a cheap set of popcicle molds at TJ Maxx**

  
Run the mold under warm water in order to loosen the frozen pop from mold and get your treat outa there and into your mouth! 

Next we will try layering the fruit and yogurt rather than mixing and see how that turns out!

Enjoy!

xoxo, Jess

Energy Bites

I’m all about healthy, bite sized, craving crushing, energy giving snacks!  I love making stuff like this and putting them in the fridge or freezer and just grabbing them for on-the-go “treats” to help keep blood sugar levels stable and hunger at bay between meals. This is adapted from a beachbody recipe for carrot cake energy balls. I swapped out several ingredients, using chocolate rather than vanilla Shakeology was just one altered ingredient and I love it!!

  
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 scoops chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 6 dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until “dough” is mixed evenly. 
  • Roll into 15 balls (I use a small cookie dough scoop)
  • Done! Enjoy! 
  • Freeze or refrigerate the rest ❤️

xoxo, Jess

Banana Coconut Overnight Oats

Hmmmmm. These things have intrigued me and kinda scared me all at the same time for quite awhile now!! But, don’t knock it till you try it, right? I’m the kind of person who HAS to try something for myself before I decide anything about it. It’s good to hear other opinions…but…. 
So I decided tonight’s the night 😊 Although, I had to find a recipe that really appealed to me (and that I already had ingredients for!). I basically took some from here and some from there and made this one up. A lot of them called for either chia seeds or flax seeds and I used neither this time around.   

  
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 mashed banana 
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Mix all the ingredients in small bowl then transfer to medium sized (abt 16 oz) mason jar. Screw lid on tight and place in fridge overnight! 

Ok…I’ll be trying this in the morn…but I hear you can have them cold or warmed up and even garnish with extra fruit (I might drizzle some peanut butter over mine! 😍) 

I’ll let ya know my verdict in the morning… 

I’m the meantime I want to hear your favorite recipes if you’ve tried this!!

xoxo,

Jess 💜

Healthy Chicken Salad 

This is DELISH! I imagine it will be a favorite summer recipe for us this year! Good on romaine, good in a wrap…good all by itself! 

I LOVE easy recipes and this definitely qualifies! We grilled the chicken tonight but it would be even easier on a busy night of you grabbed a rotisserie chicken and cut your time down even more 🤗

  
Ingredients:

2 cups chopped, grilled or baked chicken breast

1/2 cup slivered almonds

2 of your favorite tart apples,  finely chopped

1/2 cup red grapes, cut in half

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 

One serving = 1/2 cup salad:                         1/2 red, 1/4 purple,  1/4 blue

ENJOY! 😍