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 

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

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! 😍

We’re Better Together: Part 2

I have had the privilege of health coaching a man recently who is just so darn dedicated it makes my heart happy! From day 1 he just put his head down and went for it and so far he’s 30 pounds lighter and, according to him, has 5x more energy! Freaking awesome. 

What’s more freaking awesome than that? His girlfriend is the one who connected him with me and she comes into the sessions (I adore her). She is very supportive and encouraging without a hint of “shoulding” on him. Tonight at the end of our session he paused before walking out the door and said “I couldn’t do this without her” as he gave his girlfriend a hug. **Hello water in the eyes!! 😢❤️** SO sweet! It has been beautiful to watch. 

I’ve been reminded recently of how important it is to be able to share this stuff with your person. I have that guy and man do I feel blessed!! We have SO. MUCH. FUN. nerding out on health and fitness together! It’s a ton of fun playing, creating, sweating our butts off and setting new goals all the time. Love it!

  
Having health and fitness be a shared thing in a relationship is HUGE! It should be a requirement! Haha! I kid but seriously….the benefits are rediculous. So often couples just get into a mode where life is lived on auto pilot and things happen by each other but not WITH each other. To struggle through things together, work hard to become better, explore together, step out of your comfort zone together….PRICELESS! 

If you don’t have this in your relationship…go get it!! Make it happen! Start small. Just go outside for heck’s sake! Go on a walk…go on a hike….get on your bike… You don’t have to go run 10 miles. Really. Just get out there and breathe the fresh air and get your heart pumping a little and PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE (unless you’re doing a handstand…then we must have pics🤓)! Be present and see how that feels. 

If your person isn’t interested in any of this stuff…DO IT ANYWAY. Do it and keep doing it. Hopefully they will be inspired. But there’s always the chance that won’t happen. You will be better and happier for it regardless and that alone will benefit your relationship!

I have to end this by telling my guy THANK YOU ❤️You’re my favorite person to get fit with and I look so forward to lots  more exploring, creating, and being dorks together all while working hard and reaching more goals as a unit! 😘

Now get out there people!! YOU ARE WORTH IT!! 

XOXO, Jess

Better Together…part 2

I had a health coaching session tonight with a guy who is doing AMAZING! Super proud of the progress he’s making and his dedication! He’s lost 30 pounds by eating cleaner, consistently and less. But beyond that is the fact that his girlfriend comes in with him and supports him every step of the way. She very much gives him room to be himself (not pushing him into something he’s not interested in) as she gently supports him toward reaching his goals. It’s awesome. At one point he took a moment tonight to recognize that he wouldn’t be able to do this without her support. Makes my eyes get a little misty! ❤️ 

Naturally I think of my own relationship and how thankful I am to have someone who loves to live vibrantly with me! We have so much fun playing outside, trying new recipes and creating goals together. I know not all people have someone to share these things with and I just can’t imagine it being another way!

Beyond having that support…pursuing health and fitness as a couple does pretty cool things for your relationship! It enables you to dream big together. It’s awesome building strength and stamina and being creative together. It seems far too easy for couples to fall into funks where they do things around each other but not truly WITH each other. 

What a great way to grow closer, by challenging yourselves, working hard together, cheering each other on, trying new things together. And the energy you get for life ROCKS! I firmly believe it is an integral ingredient in any strong relationship! 

So if your relationship feels stagnant and health & fitness are lacking…I encourage you to incorporate it and see what happens! It could be as simple as taking regular walks together. It could be popping in a workout dvd a few days a week and doing it side by side. I love when I see couples in my class too! Hike together, bike ride…the options are endless!

If you are that person in a relationship with someone who is less than excited about the notion of being more active and eating healthier…do it anyway! You don’t have to change your entire lifestyle, but start doing small things to bring health into your life together and see what happens. Either you will find you are inspiring your person…or, you might realize you need to network with other people who share your interests in this part of your life. And that’s ok. The bottom line is for you to not let lack of support stop you! You will be happier for it no matter what. 

I have to close this post by saying THANK YOU to my guy for being that person in my life! You’re my favorite person to nerd out on health & fitness with!  I am thankful ❤️😘

  

Getting my head in the game

It’s November. It’s getting chilly out. We just passed Halloween so we all know we are officially in “the Holiday season”. This is when life gets crazy hectic. Crazier and more hectic than usual (“is that possible” you’re asking yourself, right?). We rush through this time of year, maybe more so than the rest of the year, or maybe it only feels that way. Regardless, it’s here and it will be gone before we know it…leaving us standing here, wondering “what just happened?” and “how could another year have just passed by?”
January is on its way. Close your eyes and you’ll open them to 2015. It’ll happen that fast. But, last night as I took some time to veg by the fire I realized I have some decisions to make. I don’t want January to come and to feel that I have to undo all the wreckage from a careless holiday season in which I just let things go because, after all, it’s the holidays.
I am choosing to live this holiday season with purpose! Rather than getting on the crazy train and just flying through the season with the flow of traffic…I’m going to make it what I want it to be. I am focused on my goals regardless of the time of year because I want them that bad! If it’s not the holidays deterring me, it’s summer or I’m too busy or…you name it. But this year will be about being conscious of living with purpose EVERYDAY.
My pastor said something like this today, “do you want to do something extraordinary with your life? Or do you want to remain distracted?” I want to do something extraordinary. And for me that means living on purpose, being present with my son and my loved ones, helping people reach goals and feel good about themselves! This is going to happen regardless of the obstacles in my path…because there will ALWAYS be obstacles!
Now…how about YOU? Remember: you are entirely up to you!!!

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