July 1, 2013

Manic Monday...and a Little Bit o' Booch

Shame on me. It’s been a full two weeks since my last post, despite my promise to myself to blog more. In my defense, it’s not like I’ve been sitting around doing nothing the past fourteen days. I’ve been hard at work watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory until way past my bedtime catching up on assignments for my certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and doing lots of fun things in the kitchen.

I recently signed up for “Email Mondays” from this gal, and in today’s installment, she said: BLOG! Even if you think no one’s reading. Even if you wonder why anyone in their right mind would give a rat’s patooty about anything you have to say. Just. Write. If you’ve noticed that I post lots of links to things at her website, I do. Probably because she’s awesome, and even though we’ve never met in person, I’ve had some really nice email exchanges with her and I so have the feeling that we’d get along great if we ever did meet. (That is, after she got over the creepiness of me being insanely nervous and uncomfortable at first, what with being in the presence of greatness.) Aaaanyhoo, she has a tendency to say things I really need to hear, just at the time I really need to hear them.

Like today. I’ve been feeling bad because I haven’t been blogging. I have so many ideas bouncing around my head, but there seems to be a disconnect between my excitement for those ideas and getting down to what writers call “butt in chair time” – sitting my happy keester down and actually writing something. Since I fancy myself a writer beyond this blog (having actually gone to the trouble of getting a degree in it from this place), you would think I’d be doing nothing but writing. Sadly, you would be mistaken. Chalk it up to sitting in front of a computer all day at my real job the place I happen to spend most of my waking hours during the week until this nutrition gig starts taking off more. (HIRE ME! You know you want to…Seriously – the slogan on my new business cards is, “The nutritionist who lets you eat steak!” Who doesn’t want a nutritionist like that?) What it boils down to is me not wanting to spend much more time in front of a computer once I get home. But until someone invents a way for me to instantly beam my thoughts directly into the heads of my loyal readers (all four of you), the only way for me to put stuff out there is via some electronic device or other. (Note:  we are probably mere moments away from being able to do that telepathy thing. Don’t you feel like the next step beyond the latest iThingy and Instamawhatchamacalit is installing chips directly in our frontal cortexes? Mark my words.)

So what does any of this have to do with anything? 


Well, I wanted to check in and say hello, and let you know that I’ll be back to blogging a little more in a couple of weeks. For the next few days, though, I’ll be cramming madly and doing studying I should’ve started weeks ago preparing for an upcoming workshop as part of the certification I mentioned earlier. But I haven’t forgotten about our deep-dive into the research paper where a biochem PhD concluded that saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease. I’ll have another post or two on that for future Fat Tuesdays, and I’ve got a couple of other interesting things in the works.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a pathetically amateurish delightfully childish picture of what I was up to in the kitchen tonight. I set a batch of kombucha to brewing about a week ago, and it was ready for bottling today. I’ve been making my own homemade ‘booch for a couple of years, and now that I feel like I’ve mastered the basic recipe, I’ve started tinkering with flavored versions. Last time, I made plain and ginger. The ginger was awesome. (All I did was add some fresh grated ginger to the bottle before filling with my brew, then I let it sit in the fridge for about a week before tasting.) So tonight I made two bottles of original, one with ginger, two with ginger and lemon (fresh squeezed), one with ginger and raspberry, and one with raspberry and lemon. Yes, that’s right, I got SEVEN bottles out of one batch. Considering this stuff regularly fetches over $3.00 (usually closer to $3.25) a bottle retail, I got $22.75 worth of potent homemade ‘booch for the cost of five teabags, a cup of sugar, and some frozen raspberries. Take that, Whole Foods! (Kidding, mostly. I’m pretty darn proud of my homemade stuff, but I’m not above buying the occasional bottle of GT’s.)

It's all homemade, I promise. I reused bottles from kombucha and kvass I’d bought in the past. You can see the ginger doing its thing at the bottom of a few, and the lemon pulp in the mason jar on the left. The bright red/pink color in two is from the raspberry puree.

I can’t wait to try ‘em! Homemade traditional foods—especially ones like this, that require patience (the magic of fermentation takes time)—are always rewarding. Good for the body, and even better for the spirit. As Ina would say, “How bad can that be?”

P.S. Curious about kombucha? This is probably a great place to start, as is the link a couple paragraphs back (“kombucha”). But I’ll ‘splain my own thoughts on this traditional beverage sometime when the connection’s a little stronger between my butt and the chair…

P.P.S. Trying to cut back on a soda habit? Kombucha might be your new BFF! It’s not carbonated, but it’s got a really refreshing and gentle fizz and natural effervescence from the fermentation process. If you’re gonna drink something, why not choose something that builds you up instead of depleting you? It’s especially invigorating after yard work or a workout in the summer heat!


  1. Amy... Just wanted to let you know I'm up way past my bed time, because I came across your blog, and just keep finding more and more I want to read. I was diagnosed type 2 diabetic last October, but was determined to beat it through diet and exercise. I gained quite a bit of weight after retiring from the military, due to becoming much more sedentary and letting my SAD go wild. So when I got my diabetes diagnosis, along with high cholesterol, I went on my own version of a low carb diet by cutting out all starches, pastas, breads, etc... Then further restricted to no sugar or processed carbs. So far so good. Down over 30 lbs and A1C dropped to from 7.2 to 6. Doctor still wanted me to start on metformin, but I refused. Then just after Christmas I found out about Keto. I've been very strict with it and realized from a few of your posts that I'm probably too strict. My weight loss has slowed, probably due to thinking I needed to add a lot of fat. I feel great, but I think I'd do better lowering my fat and adding more veggies. I hit my macro for protein and usually get a little extra, so no problem there. I may try some intermittent fasting next. Anyway, I'll quit rambling and just tell you how thrilled I am to find your blog, and happy to know you make your own Kombucha too. That was something I recently started doing. I use half inulin and half sugar as my scoby food. I found a study that used inulin instead of sugar, and it resulted in a final product with much lower sugar residuals, which is important to me. If you are interested in looking at the study, it is here: http://www.rombio.eu/Archive/2002/nr1/art6.doc Thanks for the great blog and all the work you've done. It's nice to see another military lady doing well for herself. I was in Iraq 2006-2008, at Camp Victory, so I can relate to your food situation over there.... Jean

    1. Hey Jean, thanks for writing! :) I no longer make or drink kombucha, but it was enjoyable while I did it. I just don't like it that much, so I don't bother making it anymore. (Just saying that so no one thinks I stopped because I think it's not appropriate for low carb.)

      Sounds like you're doing really well with managing/reversing your diabetes. Dr. Jason Fung's book, The Diabetes Code, is coming out soon. Highly recommended! Loads of important information & education in there.

      And thanks for your service! :)