Health Benefits of Drinking Kombucha

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by Jocelin Higgins

Have you savored any kombucha lately? It is getting so tasty these days as it increases in popularity with a wider variety of flavors being available to you for consumption. Plus, it has many reported health benefits from its connoisseurs and drinkers.

So, what exactly is kombucha and why is it supposedly good for you? Let’s explore…

What is it?

 Kombucha

Humm’s Strawberry Lemonade kombucha

Kombucha is a tangy fermented tea made with either black, oolong or green tea. It was once called mushroom tea because of the SCOBY, which is an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that resembles a mushroom or a pancake. This mushroom forms during the process of the tea’s creation. By slicing the “mushroom” and transporting it to another jar, you can also create another batch of this fermented wonder. It’s current name comes from a Korean physician named, Kombu who treated the Emperor, Inyko with the tea and then “cha” at the end of the word for tea.

Where did it come from?

When did it all begin? It’s a bit unclear, but according to the organization, Seeds of Health in the UK,  it dates back some 2,200 years ago to China during the Tsin dynasty about 212 BC. They drank it because of a belief in it causing immortality due to increased health, longevity and well-being amongst their populations. News of its purported health benefits spread along trade routes to India and Russia and in Japan it became the drink of samurais, an elixir of life!

So, what are these so called “health benefits”? Let’s look at a few from drinking the raw version of the liquid, which has more of the live cultures in it.

Kombucha Health benefit #1 (It calms you down):

Well, first of all, I must say from my experience that I love the way it calms me down and eases my nerves. I tend to be a bit on the anxious side and I find that after drinking a glass of this effervescence concoction, I feel so much more relaxed. Plus, I even get a little buzz from it. It may partially be due to the slight amount of alcohol (from 0.05-1%) or perhaps its other properties-who knows! Nonetheless, as well as its tonic effect it is refreshing and an ice cold cup after a stressful situation is great to quench your thirst as well.

Kombucha Health Benefit #2 (It detoxifies the body)

Detoxification is a process of removing toxic substances from your system so that your body reaches a state of homeostasis (balance). Because of our exposure to so many toxins (from pollution in our cities to preservatives in our food) it is necessary to flush these out of our blood stream. Kombucha allows us to do this, which in turn builds up our immune systems so that you will experience fewer colds, have more energy and just feel better all around! All of the incredible organic acids that comprise kombucha also aid in reducing candidiasis and other yeast infections like thrush.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3 (May prevent cancer)

It is full of antioxidants which are known to reduce free radicals(activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells) that occur in our bodies. These can break down your immune system, which could lead to the formation of cancer. Studies from Germany and Russia have concluded that it has a higher amount of antioxidants than green tea alone.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4 (It improves digestion and weight loss)

It addition to being active and getting enough exercise, drinking kombucha can also assist you in losing weight by improving your digestion. It is considered a pro-biotic, like other fermented foods such as yogurt, that allow healthy flora to reside in your digestive tract, which in turn allows for a better processing of foods and getting rid of waste quicker. It also contains many B vitamins which aid in your metabolism, thus probably allowing you to lose weight.

Although, much of the above claims are debatable and lacking in much-needed scientific research here in the United States, the fact that many people drink kombucha and share their stories of its healing properties is definitely worth a mention. Some people have reported side effects, but these appear minimal. Do contact your health care provider if you are concerned or have an adverse reacting to drinking the beverage.

Now, here are a few lists of my favorite makers of kombucha and a couple of  interesting books: one from the creator of WonderDrink Stephen Lee and the other from authors Eric and Jessica Childs, owners of Kombucha Brooklyn. They contain some recipes for home brewing which can be very inexpensive.

1) Kombucha Revolution: 75 Recipes for Homemade Brews, Fixers, Elixirs, and Mixers

[amazonjs asin=”1583335315″ locale=”US” title=”Kombucha!: The Amazing Probiotic Tea that Cleanses, Heals, Energizes, and Detoxifies”]

2) A wonderful new brewer here in Portland is SOMA and they are creating some really yummy kombucha these days. I’ve been filling up my growler at my local Green Zebra store!

3) Another excellent local Portland, Oregon choice as well isTownsend’s Tea Company

brewdrkombucha.com/

4) We also have bought our kombucha from Garden Home Growler and  The Portand Fruit Stand West that sell my favorite new fantabulous kombucha maker called Humm and they are out of Bend, Oregon.

**Check out the incredible variety of flavors…oh la la! (The Strawberry Lemonade is featured in the above photo)**

So, take some time and sample and explore this delicious and good for you beverage and let me know what you think!

Does it make you feel better? We want to know because we strive to be a wonderful source of all things that aid in your happiness and well-being.

*If you have enjoyed what you have read, please consider clicking on the affiliate links, so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) to support this site. We only refer our readers to books or advice that we support and believe in.

References:

Michaelis, K. (n.d.). Kombucha Health Benefits. Retrieved from    http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

Unknown. (n.d.). The Kombucha Culture. Retrieved September 20, 2014, from  http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kombucha.shtml

Unknown. (n.d.). Hand Crafted, Organic, Raw Kombucha|9 flavors on tap and bottle. Retrieved September 21, 2014, from http://hummkombucha.com/

Get in Shape: Running Beginners over 40

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Something Better Than the Gym

Beginning Runners Over 40, natural remedies for depression

An ideal spot for a run.

by Michael Lee Howard-Mayhew

I hate gyms!! Yet I knew that with the encroaching age of the big 4-0, I had to start working on what was the best way to keep my body in shape. I had worked very hard on my spiritual, mental and job portions of my life but I needed a way to increase my health stamina.

I would like to say I am not one of those stereotypical gay men that go to the gym religiously and people know if I’m not at work or home that they can find me getting healthier at a gym. That is not me at all!

I am intimidated by gyms and the whole idea of going to a gym and showering and watching everyone doing precise workouts and having amazing bodies while I sweat like a wild man, hoping I just don’t have the extra layer of cake, cider, and hot chocolate around my mid-section.

This led me to a crisis of sorts. How do I get in shape and move and continue to be active while not gymming it?

How it All Began

It was a cold Portland September and I was driving to work thinking,“Look at all these people running … I can do that.” I walked in to work and said… “That’s it! I am running, now I need to know how.”

I instantly began my research, okay let’s be honest… I googled “starting runner” on the inter-webs and my brain just about imploded with all the information. So going onto my trusty Facebook next, I got a few responses from friends of where to start and I picked one. The Couch25K app  was what I started using. I swear that first run,  I thought I would die and never recover.

Why Goal Setting is a Good Idea

Goal setting was my main objective and I made a lofty goal that I would run a 5k. The main reason for this is because that is what everyone told me was the norm. I had no idea how far it was at the time (by the way,  it is 3.1 miles), but I made the decision to run with it (see what I did there).  I met and accomplished my goal and then I made the lofty decision by asking myself… “Hey, why don’t I do the local Shamrock Run? I signed up for a 15K and honestly I am sure I wore myself out more than one could ever imagine that sunny March day.

Having started out hap haphazardly, I have begun a whole new regimen with running.  I want to share it with you so that you don’t have to suffer by making my mistakes, especially for other running beginners over 40.  But, it’s solid advice at any age:

“Michael’s Beginning Guide to Running”:

**First of All, Be Realistic with Your Goal– If you push yourself too hard and too fast you will end up either hurting yourself or failing to reach your goal and in effect beating yourself up.

**Next, Get Good Gear – the best thing you can do is get a good pair of running shoes, shorts and a good running shirt. Always look for deals or find friends that work in discount places. I am fortunate that both my husband and I get Adidas discounts of 50% off at the employee store.  It is also a great idea to make sure you get your feet measured to make sure you are wearing the right size.

**Use Modern Technology – The app I started with for running was great but there have been a few others along the way that also work well.  Runkeeper This is a great way to stay in touch with your friends that are running. You can also set goals and keep track of your progress. Charity Miles. Look at this… you can run and raise money for a favorite charity for free. Map My Run  This is a great app for keeping a  map of your route, add friends, know when to change your shoes out. I would suggest checking out getting a fitbit. This is a great way to keep track of your daily steps. I also recommend keeping a running log so you can track your progress You can also do daily challenges, track your sleep, water intake, and food intake. It’s great for people on the go. The only thing with fitbit is that you do have to purchase the equipment whereas all the other options are free. But, it’s well worth the price.

**Have Fun – There is nothing more exhausting than feeling like you are not having fun and that you are dragging along. The truth is that some days you will not want to go and you will have to fight yourself to get out, but I assure you that once you start going, you will feel great with another goal accomplished.

**Stretch & Pace – When running,  if you feel like you have to stop and do some stretching … remember our muscles are part of the complex system called our body. Running without any stretching will cause damage as will over doing yourself. It is okay to have a slow day and know that you do have to start somewhere.

**Support – Yes, you will become one of those people who tells others about your time from the last run you did or how you can’t wait to run that 5k or half marathon. That is awesome! The best way to keep your goal alive is to get support and to make friends that are runners as well. Who knows? You may get someone else started on running as well.

The Many Benefits of Running

Whether you are just starting out, just know that there are other running beginners over 40 or people who have never even walked a block let alone have run a marathon–just get yourself out there and get healthy. You deserve to treat yourself right and your body will love and appreciate it. The short-term effects of running are increased mental clarity, a boost in energy, and improved sleep. The long term effects include prevention of strokes, diabetes and heart disease, weight loss, lower blood sugar, and lower cholesterol and this could be your natural remedy for depression!

The best part is all you need is your own body. No gym is required thankfully!

Now go out there and get healthy and you can even run for the meditative aspect of it. A wonderful and insightful book I would recommend would be this one by Sakyong Mipham,

[amazonjs asin=”0307888177″ locale=”US” title=”Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind”]

*If you have enjoyed what you have read, please consider clicking on the affiliate links, so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) to support this site. We only refer our readers to books or advice that we support and believe in.

On Imperfection

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Are You Afraid of Success?

By Jocelin Higgins

Have you ever felt like you are not good enough to make your dreams come true? Perhaps in your mind you’ve told yourself that you are worthy and that you really want to change your life in some way, but then this feeling of inadequacy creeps in and causes you to postpone or worst yet, not even attempt the things that you want to do.  Or, perhaps these limited beliefs may cause you to procrastinate doing these very activities that would allow you to get closer to your goal or dream. They infiltrate your mind like dark clouds move in to block out the sun.

You Are Not Alone

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” Brené Brown

Such is my dilemma at times. When I  sit down and write, my thoughts can come in and talk me out of it. I will end up surfing the internet and getting distracted by other activities that are not related to my task at hand–writing. A practice that I love. Then, why is getting motivated to do it a chore at times?  The culprit is perfectionism.  This asinine belief system that people suffer from that can be a real drag to creativity and production. It says, “Why bother? No one will read it.” Or, “You don’t have what it takes to succeed.”  Well, I’ll tell you what…it is a load of BS! And, it is so important to ignore these messages and embrace your imperfection and that of others. Refuse to listen to the lies entering your mind that you are not good enough.

You Are Good Enough

It may sound like a silly Stuart Smalley quote (If you remember him) but, it is the truth. It is completely acceptable to be imperfect! It is totally okay to be in a state of constant learning. In fact, this is a wonderful attitude to possess. It’s never too late to learn something and it’s never too late in life to be successful! It is your right to be able to work toward your dreams and you can be your best friend and coach at any age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or nationality! It’s in the comparing with others that causes us to lose hope. You are unique and you are the ONLY  YOU in this world, on this plane of existence, so honor being special and embrace your imperfections.  Then, let it push you toward excellence instead of perfectionism.

Discovering the Law of Attraction

Once upon a time, well, a few years ago…I learned about this metaphysical law called, The Law of Attraction.  It’s not some dating technique, although you could apply it to that.  The name was originally coined by Prentice Mulford back in 1891 and he began using it in his essays on the effects of thoughts on health.  It’s a belief system based on the principle that we live in an energetic world and our thoughts are catalysts for creation on an energetic level. Thought precedes action!

Law of Attraction

Manifesting Butterflies

A Simple Explanation

So, in simple terms, if one dwells on positive thoughts of what one wants to create in one’s life, these are more likely to happen then allowing negative thoughts of lack or failure to penetrate one’s mind. It puts the responsibility of the person having and controlling the thoughts rather that on external influences. It resonates with me because I began to realize that I have more responsibility for the reality of what exists in my life. Therefore, I strive to meditate on the goodness and wonder of all I want to enter into my realm of consciousness and existence.

How to Learn More

An excellent book to get started learning about this is called, The Law of Attraction: the Basics of the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks or another favorite of theirs that I refer to,  Ask and it is Given.  Esther also travels often, so you can go and see them live by checking their workshop schedule. Additionally, I have recently come across a couple of books by a witty and entertaining writer named Pam Grout. She strives to “prove” that The Law of Attraction exists and works by giving the reader a series of “experiments” to try on your own in order to see its work in action!  Her first book is called, E-Squared and the second one is titled, E- Cubed.  I’ve written a more in-depth review of the E- Cubed so stay tuned for that here on Feel Better Wellness.

Why Learn About The Law of Attraction?

My biggest take away from knowing about The Law of Attraction and applying it to my life is that I learned that I DO have the POWER to impact my life in ways that allow me to dream big and believe that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind on doing, regardless of my previous limiting belief programming, feelings of inadequacy or that nasty need to be perfect before I attempt something at all. Whew!

So, I encourage you to test the waters and see what you find! Be imperfect. Be vulnerable. Put yourself out there and embrace change. Dream big! Strive to reach these dream. Know that you will be accepted by the people who matter most. Believing in yourself is a liberating thing and when you stoke the fire of passion and momentum, so many absolutely wonderful events are bound to come of it! Keep your thoughts on what you want and monitor them often and before you know it, you are accomplishing so much more that you imagined.

I’d love to hear about your dreams or your manifestations or anything that you like to share. If you comment below, I promise to respond.  Aho!

*This post contains some affiliate links in which I will earn a commission but at no additional cost to you. I only refer my readers to books or advice that I support and believe in.

Natural Cures Instead of Pills?

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Want to Join the Natural Cures Movement?

What is the Natural Cures Movement?

by Jocelin Higgins

Because I’m interested in feeling better holistically, I came across this really fascinating free online event that ran from October 6th to October 16th, 2014. It’s available now to listen to any time by downloading in MP3 format. It’s called The Natural Cures Movement (Or, Summit). It’s an opportunity to listen to holistic health care experts share their wisdom regarding many ailments that can be treated via natural methods instead of resorting to expensive pills that can have terrible side effects. I quickly signed up to check it out and learn some new tips on how to be healthier–I’m really looking forward to it!

I did some research for you so you could find out more about it first. I’ll also give more background information on who is hosting it and the Read on….

Natural Cures

Join for FREE here: http://bit.ly/1CJ4cGG

Who is the Host?

It’s hosted by Dr. Josh Axe, of DrAxe.com, an expert in natural and sports medicine. According to the e-book that he cowrote with nutritionist, Cynthia Pasquella, called “Go Naked Cookbook“, he loves to prepare raw foods as well. This cookbook gives you free recipes just by joining the online natural health summit. He has also written three books: The Real Food Diet Cookbook, Superfood Super You, and most recently, The Secret Detox. Additionally, he also founded BurstFIT,  or BurstFitFIRE are interval training workouts for rapid fat-loss and he traveled to London with the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team as a physician.

So, Who Are These Other Holistic Health Experts?

Dr. Axe has brought together all of these doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and many others that entails an amazing line up of over thirty professional holistic health advisors in this summit. Some are here to guide you to feel better with natural remedies for your emotional and mental wellness. Others are here to help you get more relief from thyroid disease, autoimmune disorders, leaky gut, Infertility, Lyme or heart disease. Many more focus on detoxification and how to switch to a raw foods diet or overall better nutrition to feel better more often. They will show you which foods assist in preventing cancer or allow for regular balancing of your hormones. I learned so much from it!

Find Out Who is Speaking and When:

Really, the list of resources here is so vast. Most days include four speakers. You can easily listen while you are driving to work, playing in the garden, cleaning house or cooking. You can also order the entire event recorded so that you can listen to them anytime as well as many times over. I find this extremely useful because I like to remind myself of what I need to do and how to change an unhealthy habit into one that will make me feel better and be healthier. If you want to check out the whole program go here! You also get some FREE recorded talks JUST for joining!

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