We don’t have store bought salad dressings or dips in our house. I can’t remember the last time I dipped anything in ranch. I usually subject myself to plain, raw veggies at lunch for a couple of days before my body is like, “Screw that!” […]
Month: July 2017
After reading the title, I know that some of you are probably thinking, “Uhhh. I don’t know about these. I don’t know how much cashews can really taste like cheesecake…” You’d be surprised. I’ve made these bad boys for about a dozen people now, asking […]
When I first started talking about this website, Ashton insisted that I have a section called “Bro Meals” with super simple, quick recipes that any guy could make. He even enthusiastically said, “If you post recipes like that, even I could cook them!!” Not sure why he’d need to cook since his amazing wife cooks for him every night…
Have you ever gone out to eat at a restaurant and said to yourself “I’m ordering something healthy. I’m not getting the cheese soaked nachos or deep-fried chicken wings this time,” only to end up ordering something equally bad and feeling like crap as you walk […]
Even if you’re not a fan (yet), you’ve probably heard of the popularized drink known as kombucha. It’s pretty funky, so based on taste alone many people don’t care for it. What gives it its “funkiness” is the fact that it’s fermented, therefore it can have a vinegary smell and taste, is carbonated, and often has little bits floating in it.
How is Kombucha made?
It’s made by combining three things:
- Black Tea
- Bacterial Culture
The bacterial culture is referred to as a “scoby,” an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, and is the culprit for the floaties in the beverage. These ingredients are left to ferment for a little over a week, at which time the scoby is removed and additional flavoring can be added.
Today, there are endless flavors of kombucha. While most are fruit flavored, others have more exotic twists like root beer and lavender. It is also common to see chia seeds in some variations.
Where did Kombucha originate?
The drink originated in China, where it was consumed as early as 220 B.C. for medicinal purposes. It made its way to Europe by way of Dutch and Portuguese explorers in the early 20th century.
So is Kombucha good for me?
There are many purported benefits of kombucha but very little research to back these claims up. “Much hype and very little scientific evidence,” said Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Thomas Bosch. However, there have been some studies conducted on rats that indicate that kombucha may indeed contribute to immune system health, mental health, cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention.
Regardless, there are two benefits kombucha does provide:
As with other fermented foods, kombucha is a good source of probiotics: microorganisms that help the body maintain healthy flora in the gut which help with digestion. However, probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables can be healthier overall because they contain many other additional nutrients not found in kombucha.
One of the most potentially beneficial components of kombucha, according to Registered and Licensed Dietitian Kris Coughlin, is its antioxidant qualities. As I explained in my post about eating a variety of different colored fruits and veggies here, antioxidants help protect the body from cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. “Most diseases that we have in North America, the chronic disease, stems from inflammation in the body,” said Coughlin. “So if we can combat that inflammation by getting antioxidants from kombucha, then who knows, we may be able to reduce some of those chronic diseases.”
The Bottom Line
While we don’t yet know for sure if it’s the elixir that many make it out to be, you can’t really go wrong with Kombucha.* The sugar added at the beginning and the caffeine from the black tea are generally used up in the fermentation process, making the drink quite low in sugar and virtually caffeine-free. So, if you’re in the mood for a cold, carbonated beverage and want to avoid sugary drinks like sodas and juices, kombucha is a great option.
*There are higher risks of contamination if brewing it at home, so extreme caution must be taken.
- Kristi Coughlin Registered & Licensed Dietitian ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thomas Bosch PhD RDN LDN ~ email@example.com
When you’re at the grocery store buying your low-fat milk, yogurt, granola and cookies, have you ever wondered why you’re buying the low-fat versions? Well, in the 1970s, the government issued a recommendation, based on scientific evidence at the time, telling people to reduce the amount […]
Going out for brunch is the best. Breakfast restaurants always have fresh coffee brewing, delicious mimosas and everything from savory eggs benedict to sweet treats like waffles and pancakes. While I’m always tempted to get the banana bread french toast with a mound of whipped […]
For the past 5 months, I’ve been self-conscious about working out. I know, I know, an Olympian scared to workout? Well that’s precisely the problem. When I retired, I was super excited about the freedom I had to do all those fun workout classes other women did: yoga, spin, barre, OrangeTheory…
However, the first OrangeTheory class I attended was a nightmare. I was already nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Then some lady came up to me and said, “You’re that track star, right? Oh, you’re gonna KILL this!” I wanted to walk out. I was already nervous and uncomfortable in this new workout environment, one that was DRASTICALLY different from what I was used to, and now I had people recognizing me and expecting me to absolutely demolish it? Shit!
My body is used to speed/power workouts; sprinting hard for short distances with full recovery, explosive gym exercises with light weights. I was specialized to do my event really well, not all sports and workouts really well.
I didn’t demolish the OrangeTheory workout. In fact, it demolished me. I was doing the endurance intervals on the rower, barely able to breathe and with that white, spitty slime building at the corners of my mouth — just on the edge of functioning. After that, I had to lay on the couch for the rest of the day; my whole system was totally fried.
The biggest misconception among the general public is probably how often and far Ashton and I run. People think that we could run a 10-miler or jump in a marathon no problem. Let me put it this way, when we were training for the Olympics, we would complain about a 5-minute run, saying that “our calves got too tight,” “our feet hurt,” or “it’ll make us slow.”
So when Michael Chitwood from Team World Vision called 2.5 months ago and said, “So you ready to run a marathon with us?” I laughed out loud. We’ve been going to Africa with him for the past two years to see all the work World Vision is doing to bring clean water to people in need. I love the organization, but I could barely do a 1 hour endurance workout at OrangeTheory, how the hell would I do a marathon?! He was out of his mind. He told me to “think about it.”
Well…I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The more I thought about it, the more appealing it was to me. First, because doing it would benefit someone else, it would help me stay fit, it’d give me a workout routine and structure, and I could challenge myself in a way I’ve never done before.
So I committed. I committed to running the Chicago Marathon with Team World Vision at the beginning of October, and I’m training like a madwoman because I’m terrified. At some point during every long run I do I think, “Wtf did I get myself into?!” I can barely feel my legs at the end of those runs, but it’s super rewarding! I actually look forward to doing them now.
I’ve had people say, “you’ll qualify for Boston,” or “you’ll easily run under 4 hours.” I actually have no idea what either of those mean. I don’t know what the Boston qualifying time is and I don’t know how fast my miles would have to be to run 4 hours. I don’t care either. I don’t care what other people think or what their expectations are. I’m doing this to raise money for a great cause and to challenge myself.
So if any of you are having the same problem I was: the fear or embarrassment to work out because of what people will think of you, SCREW IT! Who cares about those people. Do it for you, do it for your health, do it for your happiness, or do it for someone else or a charity. Committing is the hardest part, but once you get passed that, it’s honestly really rewarding.
If you think I’m crazy, stupid, awesome, nuts, inspiring, off my rocker or badass for doing this, please support me in this marathon by helping me raise enough money to provide 60 people in Africa with clean water. You can do that HERE.