Hello friends! How are things?
I sort of disappeared for a couple of weeks, right? The fam and I went to California for almost 3 weeks. That’s right. Pretty epic. It was a great trip! We saw lots of family, showed off our kiddos to some friends, and even enjoyed a wedding sans children. It was a nice, long trip, but we’re happy to be home and back into our regular routine.
Speaking of routine, trips can definitely throw you off your game when it comes to workouts and eating right. I feel like there’s always so much to do, so many people to see, delicious foods to eat, etc. that the time flies by and you find yourself missing your regularly scheduled workouts.
Like I said, my husband and I were able to sneak away for a wedding weekend. We stayed at a hotel, so I definitely tried to make the most of their gym. Most hotel gyms are pretty weak, but hey, at least it’s something! This hotel actually had a few items that were really helpful like a bosu ball, swiss ball, cable machine, and (small) weight rack.
I put together a couple workouts for our time there and they were actually really hard!! (<—my husband was not a fan). No slacker hotel workouts here! Of course, you can do this workout at your regular gym or even at home if you have some equipment. Here’s a breakdown:
There are two sets of exercises. Perform the first set of 4 moves as many times as possible in 7 minutes. Once your timer goes off, head into the next set of exercises (for 7 minutes). Then repeat the whole thing one more time for a total of 28 minutes. This workout structure (the 7 min. chunks) is basically how Kayla Itsines outlines her workouts.
Ten reps for each exercise
- Squat with Cable Shoulder Press
- Skater Jumps with Medicine Ball Twists (10 reps both sides)
- Reverse Lunge with Cable Row (10 reps both sides)
- Bench Jump with Burpee
- Lunge Jumps with Medicine Ball Twist
- Swiss Ball Roll-Ins with Leg Lift
- Bosu Burpee
- Pushups with Medicine Ball
Some of these sound a little complicated so I’m going to break them down further:
Squat with Cable Shoulder Press- So, you’re going to need a cable machine, which can be found at probably any gym.
This is basically the same thing as a squat and press, which is typically done with free weights. Instead, you’re pressing with the cables. (If you don’t have this machine accessible, you can use free weights). So, you’re going to stand in between the cables with them set pretty low (you’re facing away from the machine).
Squat down, grab the cable handles and bring up above your shoulders. Once you stand, press the weight up, then squat back down. Repeat.
Skater Jumps with Medicine Ball Twist- Grab a medicine ball (or 1 free weight). Starting on the left foot, jump to the right landing on your right foot (try to keep the left off the ground), and twist the medicine ball to the right. Jump off the right foot back to the left twisting to the left.
Reverse Lunge with Cable Row– Start in front of one of the cable handles. Hold the handle with your right hand. Lunge your right leg back and when you come back to standing, row the cable, then right back into the lunge.
Bench Jumps with Burpee- Stand in front of a bench or sturdy box. From there, jump onto the bench, landing lightly with knees slightly bent. Then jump back onto the ground and immediately perform a burpee. Repeat.
Lunge Jumps with Medicine Ball Twist- Grab a medicine ball. Start in the lunge position with right foot in front holding the medicine ball at chest level. Jump up and switch legs so the left foot is in front. Twist the medicine ball to the left. Repeat.
Swiss Ball Roll-Ins with Leg Lift- This is an ab exercise. Get into pushup position, placing your feet on top of a swiss ball. From there, use your abs and legs to roll the ball in towards you, then roll back out. Once back out, lift one leg, then the other, squeezing your glutes. Repeat the roll-ins.
Bosu Burpee- Grab a bosu ball, black side facing you. Lift it up over your head and perform a burpee with it. So, you’ll bring the bosu ball to the ground, jump out into pushup position, jump back towards the bosu, then come back to standing and lift the bosu overhead.
Pushups with Medicine Ball- Grab a medicine ball and get into pushup position placing one hand on the medicine ball and the other on the floor. Perform a pushup, then roll the ball to the other hand and perform another pushup. Switch back and forth.
Sometimes these exercises are difficult to explain in text so if you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email!
This was a great, hard workout. Exactly what I was looking for! I hope you try it!
*I originally posted this back in 2013, but thought it was a good one to revisit. The “diet” struggle is real friends*
These tips can apply to starting/keeping a workout habit OR your eating patterns. I, personally, don’t have a problem with the workout aspect but the diet, yes, yes I do. Not huge problems, but it could absolutely be improved. Unfortunately, diet is a huge part of leaning out and getting in shape. Probably more so than working out. I’m sure you’ve all heard the terms “abs are made in the kitchen” and “you can’t out exercise a bad diet”…what a shame! That would be super convenient.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m going to really try to stick to a workout AND diet plan. Since I’ve never really done this before, it’ll be interesting to see what the results will be (if any). Part of being able to see results is (obviously) sticking to the plan. Really committing to it!! Not committing for 2 days then giving up like I may or may not have done in the past..oops. I’m hoping posting it on the blog will help keep me accountable!
So, how am I going to keep myself committed? Lord, I wish I knew…just kidding here are a few things I’m trying to keep in mind to help me out:
Set Small Goals
This is huge for me. Basically, taking it 1 day at a time is soooo much easier for me than thinking, “I’m dieting for 3 months.” For some reason, long term changes to my diet intimidate me and I give up easily. So, instead, I’m going to focus on smaller chunks of time. For example, “I’m prepping my meals and writing my workouts for this week.”
Since I’ll be breaking up my goals into smaller chunks, I’m also going to try and record the weight (amount and reps) I lift each weeks and what foods I’ve been eating. Then at the end of the 3 months (or whatever) I can look back over the progress I’ve made.
One day at a time is way less overwhelming than “for the next few months” or even 30 days. Isn’t that funny? You’d think a 30 day challenge would be no problem since it’s really not long at all. I’m sure it depends on your personality. For me, it’s tough.
I’ve prepped my meals a couple of times lately and I have to admit, it helps a ton!! You basically have no excuse when there’s 6 pounds of chicken breast already cooked in your fridge (and veggies cut, and fruit, etc.). It’s also pretty nice to just open your fridge and have food waiting for you to stuff in your face.
That being said, chicken breast can get old. It’s a favorite of fitness folks since it’s high protein and low fat but man, it can get old. Some other great options to have around to mix it up are fish, lean ground meats, tofu, turkey breast, and eggs!! I love eggs. Hard boiled eggs are basically the best snack ever-delicious and high protein!
(For more meal prep ideas check out Lindsay’s blog. She does meal prep Sunday every week!).
This takes time and planning, but if you can bang it out on one or two days a week, it really will save you time and headaches during the rest of your week.
Meal prep for me also means planning to-go snacks. We are in the car a lot and those are the days I struggle the most. If I don’t plan and bring food with me, I find myself sneaking chocolate graham bunnies out of my kids snack bags. It just gets too difficult. Gotta plan!
Eat Every Couple Hours
I like this one the best (since I like to eat 🙂 ). This is a great idea because it never really allows your body to go hungry. When I get famished, that’s when I pig out. When you eat 5-6 mini meals a day, you’re always keeping your metabolism rockin’. Not to mention it helps you keep your energy up and it’s fun to eat.
When I say “mini meals,” you can theoretically eat a mini meal like some chicken breast and salad. Or you can make yourself a nutrient dense snack like cottage cheese with almonds or an apple with almond butter. Both will keep you feeling satiated without packing another 500 calories to your day.
Exercise in the Morning
Obviously this is not always possible. We all have different schedules and sleep is so darn important that sometimes, it’s worth sleeping an extra hour in the morning. If you can swing it though, it’s so much better (and easier). I’m sure you’ve all been there: planning on working out in the afternoon, then it comes and you’re so tired it’s just not gonna happen. That pretty much happens to me every time I plan to workout later in the day. So, if you can make it happen in the a.m., it’s definitely worth it! It sets the tone for the rest of your day too. I definitely think if I have a great workout in the morning, I’m more likely to eat healthy throughout the day. I especially feel like this when I take a yoga class. Anyone else? Yoga majorly changes my mood-for the better! Now that I’m writing this I realize I need to do more yoga.
Measure Your Progress
Take a picture! Grab a tape measure and literally measure your biceps. That sounds kinda weird, but when you measure them again after a few weeks of working out, you’ll feel pretty good about yourself when you’ve seen how far you’ve come. It’s important to measure the progress you’ve made because sometimes, it’s hard to tell since you see yourself every day. Literally measuring your muscles and knowing you’ve become stronger is a great motivator!!
You can also use apps like My Fitness Pal. I know some people are critical of “counting calories” or tracking your food, but even just doing it for a few days or a week is a great way to see what you’re really eating. This is another one where it depends on your personality. If you feel like tracking your eating habits may trigger something serious in you (like disordered eating), stay away from it.
Consistency is Key
I wish one week of good eats and workout resulted in a 6 pack but it just doesn’t. Think of it this way: it took several months to gain the weight, it’s going to take several to lose it. Stick to the plan! Stay consistent! Workout and eat right….it works…that’s basically the bottom line.
Any advice for sticking to healthy eating or working out?
That’s right…sweet hummus. Have you every tried this? I personally think it really works and is delicious. I find myself eating it with a spoon but also serve it with sliced fruit. I love it, but my kids like it too so it’s a win-win.
I’ve made maple hummus before (recipe here) but this time around, used less sugar. My first time I used maple syrup AND a little brown sugar, this time just maple syrup. I also added natural peanut butter instead of sweetened pb so overall, the sugar content should be lower.
It is definitely sweet enough for me, but by all means, if you want it sweeter, add more maple syrup or even a little brown sugar.
Sweet Maple Hummus
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, and germs taken off
- 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. of natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
My advice would be to taste along the way. If you like more cinnamon, add a little more, maybe a dash of vanilla, possibly nutmeg, more/less sugar, etc. Lots of possibilities!
I’ve also made pumpkin pie hummus in the past and that is delicious too. I’m tellin’ ya, sweet hummus is where it’s at. My husband was grossed out by the idea but then he tried it and agreed it was tasty :). He’e usually a hater so you know it tastes good if he likes it!
This is great way to get some more fiber into my kids diets too. If I can get them to dip apple or pear into the hummus, that is a perfectly healthy snack. Makes for a happy momma.
Have you tried sweet hummus? Do you ever make your own? Any fun flavors?
New workout day!
I wanted to create a lower body workout that uses heavy weights. It’s easy to underestimate what kind of weight you can move especially when you’re a chick. Your legs are made up of the biggest muscles in your body…put those babies to use! Not only will they grow stronger, but you’ll be torching tons of calories.
It’s tough to go heavier when using free weights or in this case, kettlebells. Barbells are great for adding on more and more weight. That being said, you can still push yourself and the weight you typically use when picking up kettlebells. My challenge to you for this workout is to challenge yourself. if you usually pick a 25lb. KB for squats, pick a 30 or 35. Go as heavy as you can and perform as many reps as possible. You can always drop down in weight. Here’s the workout:
You’re going to perform each set (the 2 exercises paired together) as a superset with a total of 5 rounds. Yessss 5 rounds. Your leggies should be jello. Once you finish your fifth round, move on to the next set of exercises. As you can see, this workout is a leg exercise paired with 30 seconds of a classic double KB move. If you’re not comfortable using two KB at once, you can do these with one arm (switch at 15 seconds).
Here’s a breakdown of a few of the exercises:
First up: kettlebell squat.
My three year old demanding more popcorn. I swear kids can sense when you’re trying to do something NOT related to them. They must have a radar.
This Kettlebell was heavy for me: 80 pounds.
There are different variations of a KB squat, but since I’m using one very heavy weight, I kept the weight in front of me the whole time and squatted from there. Just make sure NOT to round your back. With each squat, I would tap the Kettlebell on the ground then lift back up.
Kettlebell Deadlift (single leg or both)
So, I’m showing this as a single leg deadlift. SL deadlifts are more difficult since you’re really isolating one muscle AND throwing in balancing on one foot. If you’re up for the challenge, try SL. Just keep in mind that you’re hinging forward at the hip, keeping back straight, then really using that standing leg (hamstring and glute) to bring yourself up to standing. Don’t forget to keep your hips square too.
If you’re doing a regular deadlift with both legs, the same rules apply (back straight, hinge at the hips). Choose a weight that’s heavy and challenging for you!
Grab a KB that’s heavy, but light enough that you can hold it up in front of your chest. For this entire exercise you will be holding that KB in front of your chest. Try not to rest it on your body. Yes, your arms will start to burn a bit along with those legs.
Your legs are slightly wider than hip distance apart with feet turned out (see above). Squat down as low as you can go…ass to the grass 🙂 while keeping proper form. So, whatever is low enough for you.
Here’s a link for descriptions on the other exercises (those are tough to take pictures of): http://healthyhungryhappy.com/2016/01/trx-and-kettlebell-workout/
I hope you try it! Let me know what you think!
By by the way, who watched the Super Bowl? Probably every person in this country? Can we talk about the best part? Yes, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Oh and Coldplay was there too..ha! I think we’d all be ok with Beyoncé just doing the show every year…right? Right.
I love arm day, anyone else? I can’t get enough of that arm pump and feeling sore makes me feel like I really accomplished something. For some reason, it’s harder for me to get excited about leg day…but that’s a different story.
Anyway, when it comes to weight training, sometimes I fall back on the same exercises. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with using the same exercises as long as you’re increasing your weight over time, but sometimes it’s nice to shake things up. Enter: the drag curl.
Have you guys tried this? It kills my biceps and I love it. I show the move using free weights but you can use a barbell too. Here’s how to do a drag curl:
Start holding weights, standing nice and tall with shoulders down.
Keep elbows behind your body and close by. Begin the curl by “dragging” it along your body basically until the weight hits chest height.
Keep elbows back the entire time and think about squeeeeezing your bicep at the top.
Bring back down to starting position.
- Think about dragging the weight along your body.
- Squeeze your bicep at the top of the curl.
- Keep your elbows behind you.
- Keep your shoulders down.
- Perform the move slowly so you really feel that burn. This helps you concentrate on squeezing your bicep too.
Add this one to your next workout!! You’ll love it, I swear!
What’s your favorite arm exercise?
Ohhh the challenges of home workouts. They’re actually challenging…period. Kids, no kids, whatever. There are plenty of distractions at home, so it’s easy to convince yourself you should be doing something other than working out. Throw kids into the mix and it can just flat out not work sometimes. That being said, it can be done!
I actually do most of my workouts at home these days although personally, I’d prefer to be at the gym (for all its’ resources and daycare <— God bless ’em). I do them at home because we live far from the gym and we’ve managed to throw together enough equipment to make for some good workouts.
Some days are better than others. Sometimes, I breeze through my workouts, tear/fight free. Other day, I have to straight up stop my workout and try again later. Most days though, I get through the workout with a few pauses here and there. Here are some strategies I implement to keep the kiddos busy AND happy:
This may seem random, but when I throw Pandora on for my kids, they love it! Sometimes I put on my workout station, other times Disney music, whatever it is, they love it. They’re both pretty into dancing so the music keeps them beboppin’ around the room while I get some exercise in.
- Have Snacks and Drinks Available
There have been many times when I’ve had to stop my workout because someone was hungry. So, before I start, I usually make sure each kid has their drink and a little snack. Then they typically come into my bedroom with me, eat their snack, and listen/dance to music. (see above picture 🙂 ).
I usually only workout for about 30 or 40 minutes-40 is pushin’ it. Some days I do want to do longer workouts., for example, strength training and cardio. On those days, I’ll break the workouts up into a morning workout and late afternoon one-both about 30 minutes.
I’d prefer to bang out an hour long workout at once, and sometimes I do, but when I feel like I can’t pull it off, I’ll break them up.
- Workout Early in the Morning
Ugh. This is the worst, but can also be the best. If your kids sleep in relatively late, like 7 or 8 (when did this become late??), you could get up at 5:30-6 and get your workout done.
This takes some getting used to, but it is soooo nice to have it done before anyone wakes up. I’m sure you’ve seen this a million other places but it really is true. Then it’s done and it won’t weigh on you the rest of the day.
I don’t personally do this often. Ha! I don’t because my 1 year old wakes up so damn early. Lately, its been 5:30. So, nope, not waking up at 4 to workout. But if your kids sleep later, try it!
That’s right I said it. Mother of the year here. Sometimes my kids watch TV. Well, really just the 3 year old. The baby isn’t really interested, which is fine.
I feel guilty about this sometimes, like I’m plopping my kid in front of the TV to get rid of her. But in my opinion, 30 minutes (or even longer) of TV is not going to hurt her. Sometimes, the alternative is I try to workout, she drives me nuts, I get mad…etc. etc. At least in this scenario, no one is upset. She watches a little TV, I get to workout. A win-win.
Sometimes, ya gotta throw in the towel. If it’s pretty obvious the little one needs a nap, then I’ll call it a day and let her rest. It’s just not worth the fight of getting in that 30 minutes. On a good day, I can try again later in the day.
There you have it! That’s what helps me get through my workouts at home. I’m sure things change a bit based on your kiddos ages, etc. Do you workout at home with kids? Any advice?
Hey guys! I have a new workout for you today so get excited (I think I say that every time). I’m hoping to be more consistent about creating new workouts each week, probably posting each Friday. What do you guys think? Is that something you’d be interested in? I love to find new workouts so I figured others might too!
This one involves two of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment: the TRX band and kettlebells. You can usually find both of these at most gyms. Sometimes I notice the TRX bands are for classes only so if that’s the case, you can order one online too (hello Amazon). We actually don’t have the TRX, we have a different less expensive brand. The TRX runs for like, $150 bucks which seems ridiculous, so we bought the WOSS trainer which is about $40. We really enjoy it so far! Alright, let’s get to it.
This workout consists of 3 sets of 3 exercises. You’re going to perform 15 reps of each exercise in the set, going through the whole set 3 times. Then move onto the next set.
Here’s a breakdown of a few of the exercises:
Curtsy Lunge with TRX
It’s hard to see, but my knee is off the ground.
The curtsy lunge is different than a typical lunge because you’re lunging a leg backwards and to the side of your front leg. When using the TRX, try to keep that back leg off the ground the entire time.
TRX Pistol Squat
Can you believe people do this without holding on to anything? #goals.
Anyway, start standing up holding on to the TRX band. From there, you’re basically going to squat all the way down while simultaneously lifting one leg off the ground. These are basically single leg squats.
TRX Mountain Climbers
Take your mountain climbers to the next level!! You could actually just stick your feet into the TRX and hang out and plank…that itself is a workout.
Both feet are in the TRX band. From there, bring one knee in towards your chest then quickly switch legs.
TRX Hamstring Curls
I actually tried these the first time at an Orange Theory class and they were so horrible. In a good way 🙂
You’re going to stick your feet into the band with legs straight. Lift your hips off the ground and curl your legs towards your chest, then straighten again. Try to keep your hips off the ground the entire time.
Here are a couple links to the kettlebell exercises:
Double Kettlebell Swings
Double Kettlebell Cleans
Double Kettlebell Snatches (This site teaches a kettlebell snatch. The double snatch uses two kb. Feel free to try single arm snatches if that makes you more comfortable).
I hope you guys give it a try!
I’d love to know if you guys want to see more workouts…what do you think? Thanks!!
Hey guys, what’s happenin’?
We have been enjoying some nice weather over here (sorry East coast). By “nice” I mean like, 25 and sunny. Yay! It’s like, basically spring here.
Do you wanna build a snowmaaaaaan? Name that movie!
Anyway, let’s talk about food.
Food understands me.
I think it’s fun to see what other people eat throughout their day. Is that weird? It can’t possibly be weird given the popularity of sharing food pics on instagram and every other mode of social media. I personally think it’s fun because it gives me fresh ideas. I’m sure we all find ourselves in “food ruts,”so gaining food inspiration from others is a great way to break out of the rut.
In the spirit of sharing meals, I thought I’d share some of my recent ones today! First up: breakfast!
Those Flap Jacked Mighty Muffins! I love ’em. I’m eating one right now. They aren’t the cheapest breakfast on the planet, but I love the taste AND the stats: 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, about 220 cals. Not too shabby. They’re great on days when I’m kind of in a hurry (they’re ready in 35 seconds!).
Normally, we eat eggs for breakfast, specifically scrambled eggs with spinach. Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly cray-cray, I add cottage cheese.
My scrambled eggs, spinach, and cottage cheese!
The cottage cheese thing sounded a little funky at first, but if you add it while your eggs are cooking, it melts a bit and is yummmmy. That being said, my husband doesn’t like it, so may not be for everyone. I love that adds even more lean protein to the eggies. Can’t go wrong with that.
On to lunch!
This obviously could have been breakfast, but it was lunch on Saturday: scrambled eggs with honey smoked salmon on top of some spinach (with sriracha, duh). I bought this honey smoked salmon from Costco and it is amazing. I see it at the regular grocery store too so I think it’s sold most places.
Shredded Salsa Verde Chicken! Super easy and versatile too. I just throw some frozen chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cover it with a jar of salsa verde. I cook it for about 6-8, then shred and let cook a little longer. You could do this too with regular salsa or something like Rotel-whatever your heart desires!
This is great to have in the fridge throughout the week! I usually eat it on a salad with black beans, corn, cilantro, cheese, and salsa. My husband loves to make quesadillas with it so you can use it in different ways.
Lightened up chicken salad! I love this stuff. I especially love throwing some Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans on top-they’re sooo good!
Pink lady apple with organic, natural peanut butter. So simple and so good. It’s almost a “throwback” kind of snack because it’s so easy I sort of forget about it, but I’m bringing it back.
I try to drink a green smoothie every day (at least lately). This baby was spinach, frozen banana, cottage cheese, peanut butter powder, some ice, water, and protein powder.
Today, I made a green smoothie with frozen banana, spinach, little cucumber, ginger, cherries, cottage cheese, and protein powder. As you can see, I’m on a bit of a cottage cheese kick.
I blend the smoothie up before adding the protein powder so I can give some to my kids. These little ones need all the fiber they can get (see below) so I think the green smoothies are a good way to eat their greens.
Ribye baby! We rarely eat beef so this was sort of a treat. It was a delicious treat too. I ate the whole damn thing too. We served it up with some roasted red potatoes and mashed cauliflower.
Homemade pizza night!
I’ve made pizza-crust and all- twice in the last month. It’s actually pretty easy, just need to make sure you have a decent chunk of time. It’s pretty amazing too (duh). I made it with whole wheat flour and added spinach so that means it’s healthy :).
This is now my nightly dessert: cottage cheese, banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, and a little honey. I love it!
On to the Mac and Cheese!
So, both our kids have suffered from constipation. My three year old is actually much better than she used to be. It only effects her every once and a while now (usually when we’re traveling). My one year old, on the other hand, struggles with this daily.
I feel like the kids eat a pretty good diet. It’s certainly not perfect, but I get some healthy foods in there AND (I think) plenty of fluids. It is the worst thing ever though to see that baby struggle with this and then cry when she finally goes. I really want to help her.
My 3 year old loves her mac and cheese so tonight, I decided to make some of the usual but ADD something that is a little more nutrient dense: butternut squash!
I happened to have a bag of frozen butternut squash in the freezer so I microwaved that up, then pureed it in the blender.
I added almost 1/2 cup of squash to the mac and cheese then served it up to the kiddos!
You can definitely taste the squash-so heads up. My advice would be to slowly add some and taste along the way. If the taste will turn off your kids, maybe add a little less. If they won’t notice, add all of it!
I really want to start thinking of other ways to sneak in vegetables. I give the kids smoothies each day too so they get good veggies/fruit there. For breakfast, I’ve recently been giving them oatmeal with raisins or banana.
Any suggestions on ways to get kiddos to eat more veggies? I’m also taking advice on dealing with baby/toddler constipation! 🙂 Thanks friends! Happy Hump Day!
I made it…and it actually tastes great.
I’m surprised because usually it takes me a solid 3 times before I succeed at making just about anything.
I actually thought for sure that I blew this. My ‘bucha started growing something white on top and I thought it was mold. Turns out, it was another scoby. I guess I should have figured as much, but I was thinking the baby scoby grew underneath the surface of the kombucha and only mold grew on top. No mold here though! Win!
Let’s start from the beginning: I bought a little kombucha kit from a local health food store (Natural Grocers-I think they’re around Colorado, not sure where else). It came with a scoby in a little plastic bag and some black tea bags. The only thing I needed to provide was the sugar, container for brewing, and a towel to cover the brewing container.
Long story short, it sat in my pantry for like, 5 months and I continued to buy store bought bottles of kombucha. My favorite, GT’s, is delicious by the way. Delicious, but expensive. They usually range somewhere between $2.65-3 something. So, they add up.
Finally, for some reason, I decided to go for it. I ordered a 1-gallon USDA Fermentation Glass Jar from Amazon (about 10 bucks) and some Chef’s Star CASE OF 6 – 16 oz. EASY CAP Beer Bottles – CLEAR to get started. Looking back, I wish I would have just kept the glass GT’s bottles and used them to bottle up the ‘bucha but it slipped my mind. So, if you have glass bottles from old drinks, keep those around for bottling yours (if you brew it).
Then I got started. It was really pretty easy. I brewed the tea bags in a stock pot then once it started boiling, turned the heat off and let it sit until the tea was room temperature.
Once it was, I added the sugar and mixed until it dissolved. Then, I poured the tea into my gallon jar and added the scoby. I covered the jar with a breathable kitchen towel and fastened it with a rubber band.
Next comes the most complicated part…at least for me. So, apparently, kombucha should brew for like, 15-30 days depending on your taste. Before it ferments, it tastes like sweet tea. Somewhere after 15-30 days, it should taste more like kombucha. If you let it ferment longer, the less sweet it will be.
The key to fermentation though, is the correct temperature. I started my jar off in our garage because it is heated and generally dark . I stuck it next to our water heater. After 15 days, I tried it, and it tasted very sweet to me. We let it ferment for another 10 days. I tried it again and it was still very sweet. So, I moved it upstairs onto the floor (it is heated).
It did grow a scoby (as you can see), but was pretty sweet.
After another 5 days, there was no difference. I wasn’t getting the temperature quite warm enough. Luckily, my husband had a heating pad to start growing seedling plants on. So, I took the kombucha back downstairs, placed it on the heating pad, and covered it with a box that I poked holes in. So, now it was definitely warming up more AND was consistently staying in the dark. Finally, my kombucha was ready!
I think we grew like, 3 scoby’s (unless I’m wrong..I’m a beginner).
So, I think overall it took like 35 or so for this batch. Once it was done, I bottled it up in the bottles I bought and actually let the bottles sit out for a few more days. Apparently, doing so adds more carbonation.
As for the scoby: we took the new scoby and 2 cups of the new kombucha and placed it in the fridge to use for the next batch. We tossed the other scoby’s because I didn’t really know what to do with them. Looking back, I wish I would have kept them because I could brew more.
As we speak I have my second batch brewing downstairs. I can already see the new scoby growing on top! Yay!
My husband was really curious about this scoby business. I have to say, it’s pretty bizarre. He actually tried taking a bite out of it (because he’s disgusting) and it was like pure rubber. It’s funny we just saw on Bizarre Foods (anyone else watch that?) that some guy sliced up a scoby and fried it! Ha. I guess anything is good fried.
I’m pretty excited about this little kombucha experiment. I’d love to add some pureed fruit to my next batch.
Yessssss to homemade kombucha!!
Have you ever made kombucha? Any fun flavor variations?
I got another home workout for you guys!
Im posting this on my iPad, so forgive any typos or weirdness. We are sitting in a hotel in Denver headed to the airport in a couple of hours. We left the night before because apparently we are supposed to get a major snowstorm today up in the high country so the highway is probably no Bueno.
Hotels are basically torture, by the way, with little kids. Our three year has the hardest time sleeping in these places. I’m not sure if the new place excites her or having her parents soooo close in proximity is distracting, but it’s rough. Sleep is nonexistent. Ugh.
Anyway, enough complaining! We are headed to Phoenix and I am excited for some nice weather! I’m hoping to get outside and do some running and maybe family mountain hikes too!
I do have another quick, Bodyweight workout though for those busy days I (or you) can’t get outside. Like I said, it’s only Bodyweight so no equipment necessary. You’ll just need a timer!
Perform the first move for 1 minute, then move onto 30 seconds of the cardio move. You can perform the entire thing 1 to 3 times.
Just a few moves…but should still burn! Performing anything for a minute is usually pretty tough.
Let me know if you try it! Merry Christmas and happy travels to you all!