Sunday, January 30, 2011


The Kombucha is back! And it is a delicious batch :)

Have you ever heard of a SCOBY? Do you hide anything in a cupboard to let it ferment? Do ever open a cupboard and get a whiff of vinegar stench?

Well, if you go into our kitchen and open the cupboard where we keep our large pots, our blender and the Cuisinart, then that is exactly what you will get.

Since we have so many people who like to drink the Kombucha, we make it in mass quantities. Not all of us drink it, but the half of us that do, love it and drink a lot... Well, we usually love it... Sometimes we have that bad batch that is so sour that we can't even drink it. Last time we made it, we let it ferment for way too long and couldn't drink it. So for me, it feels like forever since I had a glass.

I could go to the store and buy a bottle, but that would mean spending $3.49 for a couple minutes of delicious healthy drinking. Just about the same as if I bought a latte every morning from Starbucks. Thank goodness my parents have the resources for me to make my special drinks without spending money! (Benefits of still living at home!)

But still, even if I did this on my own, Kombucha is cheap and easy to make! It involves a SCOBY, green tea and lots of sugar.

The SCOBY is the interesting part. The SCOBY is a Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Yes, the main ingredient for one of the healthiest drinks out there is bacteria! It floats on top of the two gallons of green tea and feeds off the sugar, and that is what ferments the tea. It is the cause of the transformation from sweet tea to Kombucha.

Why do we drink Kombucha?
First, if we make a good batch, it is absolutely delicious. (If we make a bad batch it tastes like vinegar. Not sure what we do to ruin it.)

But what really got us into it in the beginning, were the health benefits. I started drinking Kombucha when I moved back home after college.  If you drink it before a meal, it helps with digestion. This definitely assisted me in losing a few of those extra college pounds. Digestion, weight loss, immune support, detoxification and energy boosting are among the benefits.

According to the government, there is a negative. When Kombucha ferments, eventually traces of alcohol can be found. When the Kombucha is made and put in bottles, it still is fermenting. It ferments on the shelves slowly. Last summer Kombucha was temporarily taken off the shelves completely. Lindsay Lohan used it as an excuse for why she had alcohol in her system. Surprise, surprise.

To read more about Lohan and her Kombucha bust, visit the following link:

To learn how to make your own scoby, visit the following link:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

¿Cómo?... What?

So I have this reoccurring dream... The location and situation changes all the time, but the concept is always the same.

The Dream:
I am talking to another person. I desperately need some important information, but when the person responds, they are speaking in Spanish. The problem is...... I don't understand a word they are saying!

Real Life:
I studied Spanish in college and even traveled to live abroad in Spain. I obviously know Spanish! When I dream, I am making up the conversation with my own knowledge.

Why would I create a conversation with my own mind but also make it so that I don't understand a word that is being said?!?

Is this normal?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sleep vs. Sleep Deprivation

Me at the Madrid train station
I'm laying here with a pillow and a blanket sooo tired. Last weekend I was in Chicago for my friend's birthday and therefore didn't post on here. Now today, I'm just exhausted from last night. (I went to the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture show with a whole bunch of crazies!)

While I have been laying here, wishing I was sleeping, I've researched several future posts, but nothing that I'm ready to complete or post today. What is written, I don't even like yet.

I  finally decided to pick a whole new topic all together! I typed into my google search, "sleep benefits."

Like brother, like sister... J can sleep anywhere!
Here is what I've found (This list is kind of boring and predictable... So if you want to get to the good stuff, skip to the second list!):

1.  Sleep helps reduce stress. (Duh! I get so high strung when I'm sleep deprived.)

2.  Sleep can help you lose weight. This is due to the fact that it helps control your hormones. (Wonder if the hormones have anything to due with my stress)

3.  Sleep decreases inflammation. Lack of sleep causes stress. Stress causes inflammation. Therefore, sleep eliminates inflammation.

4.  Sleep helps control a body's chemicals and thus also reduces the risk for depression.

5.  Sleep gives the body time to repair itself. 

6  Sleep improves your memory and can make you smarter.

7.  Sleep keeps your heart healthy. No heart attacks or strokes!

8.  Sleep may help prevent Cancer.

9.  Sleep makes you more alert. (Again, Duh! I'm no longer sleep walking!)

S can sleep anywhere too!
While looking through repetitive articles all listing the same health benefits from sleeping, I came by a hilarious and creative countdown of 10 benefits from sleep deprivation (Seriously, you should read the original article! I didn't write everything down here, since I didn't want to steal the whole thing.):

10.  Sleep deprivation allows you to speak your mind.

9.  Sleep deprivation provides more time for productivity.

8.  Sleep deprivation lets your family see your emotional side.

7.  Sleep deprivation can lead to lack of rationality, which can lead to creativity.

6.  Sleep deprivation gives you excuses to try gourmet coffee.

5.  Sleep deprivation provides you with an excuse to nap.

4.  Sleep deprivations gives you a free pass when you forget important information.

3.  Sleep deprivation allows you to fast forward through boring situations

2.  Sleep deprivation can give you a pretty good buzz by the end of the day.

1.  You can see the sunrise and the sunset in one day!

To read this hilarious blogpost, which, like I said, is 100x funnier than my summary, visit the following link:

To read more about the health benefits of sleeping, just google "health benefits."

But for now, Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ménage à Trois

Every once in a while, K and I crash Mom and Dad's Friday date night and go wine tasting with them at Whole Foods. It's great. For $4 we get five different wines with a different appetizer to go with each wine.
Not only is this a great little deal, but this simple event also gives me the chance to educate myself in the wine world! I can actually try many different wines, instead of picking out a bottle based on the fact that its cheap, it's red and the name is recognizable. And if the bottle has an animal on it, that's usually a bonus, too. What can I say?... I think the kangaroo is kind of cool.

No. At wine tasting, I discover that there are more than just Shiraz and Merlot. There were several wines that I really liked, even a white one. I don't usually like white wine. But, this isn't about that wine. This is about my favorite of the night, which was of course a red wine: Ménage à Trois.

A couple days afterward, I went grocery shopping with my mom. She and I decided to buy a bottle of that wine. We looked all over for it, but we couldn't find it. She mentioned that she didn't want to ask the guy restocking the shelves where it was... because of the name.

But I didn't hear that last part... the "because of the name" part... So naturally, when she asked me if I would ask, I jumped right to it!

"Why don't you ask him?"

"Ok," and I walked right over to the employee.

"I'm looking for Ménage à Trois," I said, "Do you know where I can find it?"

Yeah... As I was speaking I was realizing why Mom asked ME to go ask him about it. Could I have phrased the question in any better of a way? I've always thought direct was best... Maybe I should reconsider.

... By the way, don't type Ménage à Trois into google and expect only wine pictures to pop up...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feathers in my Hair

Things have been pretty normal around the household lately, so this week you get to meet MY bird!...
Meet Harry! 

Just kidding!

Meet Kirki :)

If you ever see any little blue feathers sticking out from under my hair, it's probably not an earring... It's probably my bird.

He loves neck scratches!
He's a parrotlet, also known as a "pocket parrot." He's small, he's quiet and he could fit in my pocket! Therefore, when he climbs up my arm, onto my shoulder, and then sits on my scarf, so that he can be completely buried in my hair to stay warm, you can barely even tell he's hiding.

K said that I'm like those celebrities that carry their dogs around in their purses... Only I carry my bird around in my hair! (Thank goodness there is a difference! Please don't compare me to Paris Hilton!)

There is a reason he sits on my shoulder 90 percent of the time! It's his favorite spot. Once, K tried to have Kirki sit on his perch, and instead the little guy sat on K's keyboard until K picked him up. And of course, as soon as he was picked up, he ran up to the shoulder and sat there quite contently... minus the fact that K doesn't have hair to burrow in.

Thank goodness he is so small that even when he sits on my scarf, his eye level is below mine! Otherwise, sitting on my shoulder so often would lead him to believe that he was my boss!

It's a bird thing!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dinner... More than one way to keep a Healthy Family!

I forgot about blogging tonight and now I am full from a delicious plate of "goup"  (old family recipe) and have enjoyed several glasses of wine. My mom, boyfriend and I were all laughing in conversation when the phone rang. My sisters needed a ride home from the church. Oops, Mom and I forgot that we needed to go pick them up. We should have avoided those last glasses! Luckily, my boyfriend, K, was able to help us out.

While I was riding along in the car for company, K mentioned that I still needed to blog. Yeah, I forgot. Seriously, if it wasn't for him, I would probably forget half the time. I think he likes to read them or something... I'm not sure.  Half the time, I blog in advance, save the post as a draft, and then finally post on the date (journalism degree can come in handy!) But at other times, on days like today, I just simply need reminders and it's all last minute.

When I came home, I started brainstorming out loud in the kitchen. What should I write about? My sister, B, said to write about how much I love her. Such a sarcastic girl!

I can't. This post needs to be about health. Her response was that it was perfect. (Again... so sarcastic!) I can write about how healthy it is to love my sister "sooo much!"

I walked out of the room laughing at her. However, after thinking about it, she had a point.

I am the oldest of six kids. If my parents would have allowed it, by the time I got to high school,  I probably would have been too busy to spend time with the family. My parents, however, had family dinners whenever possible, and then Sunday was always "family day."

Even though I followed the rules, this seemed kind of silly at the time. Now, looking back, this has created an extremely good family relationship between us.

Obviously today is Sunday and we didn't get to eat together as a family, but just like with everything else, there are exceptions.

I remember being in college, and I think it was during a chapter meeting at my sorority that we had a speaker who asked us about family dinners. I don't remember exactly why she was there or what the point of  her talk was, but I do remember thinking it was interesting that she asked when the last time we had dinner with our family was. And she didn't mean a holiday dinner; she meant a normal dinner on a normal night. I thought this was an odd question, since we have family dinners in my house all the time. But it was actually a legitimate question. It's not quite as common as I thought.

Ends up, it is very healthy for a family to eat together. Who would have thought? Until then, I thought it was just my parents.

I can guarantee that when I have a family someday, I will most definitely require family dinner at least once a week. One simple way to keep a family healthy!

Here are some interesting facts about family dinners:
  1. Reduces the chance that teenagers do drugs.
  2. Reduces the chance that teenagers drink.
  3. School grades will be better.
  4. Provides an opportunity for parents to be sure their kids are eating healthy meals.
  5. Allows for parents and kids to connect over the daily details.
  6. Makes kids more likely to talk to their parents about their serious problems.
  7. Kids will feel that their parents have a greater sense of pride in them.
  8. Less tension will exist within the household.
  9. Helps prevents eating disorders. 
  10. And personally, I think my siblings and I get along more successfully and more often than we would without these dinners.
    To read an article from TIME about family dinner magic, visit the following link:,9171,1200760-4,00.html
    To read more about benefits of family dinner, Google family dinners or visit the following link:

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    My First New Year's Resolution

    From old...
    My New Year's Resolution: Buy a new computer.

    I've never been a New Year's resolution kind of girl, but I think I could get used to this! I called my friend R to help me pick out an Apple computer, and he told me that my resolution was one of the best New Year's Resolutions he had ever heard. I mean most people pick "lose weight," "start going to the gym," or "start eating healthier." Did I pick that? Nope! I'm buying an expensive new electronic! Next year R suggested I go even bigger and buy a car!

    I have been talking about this for at least 6 months... My computer is about 5 years old. It's not just one of those old MacBooks... No. It's an iBook!... Even older. The internet is now too advanced for my computer. It won't even play YouTube videos anymore. Actually, it won't play any videos at all.

    ...To new!
    As R said, it's time that I join the 21st century. My new apple laptop arrives tomorrow!

    I'm not going to buy a car next year, but I wonder what next year's resolution should be... I must keep this trend going!

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Twinkie Diet? Really?

    My uncle D acts like he's into nutrition. I mean, anyone who squeezes a lime into his water and then adds cayenne pepper and syrup is obviously doing that one cleanse, right? The Master Cleanse?

    Well, like I tell him all the time, it's not about the cleanse when he goes home after work and drinks beer! He doesn't do it for the cleanse (according to me), he does it to make up for a week of pizza and a weekend with his buddies!

    Recently, I came across an article of the top five most ridiculous and over- hyped diets of 2010. Yes, I printed it out and gave it to him for new diets to try in 2011 when he gets tired of his cayenne pepper drink diet "cleanse" thing.
    1. First listed was the HGC diet: Inject yourself with female pregnancy hormones and then stick to only 500 calories per day. I was definitely surprised that my uncle knew exactly what this was and explained it to me before even reading about it. He, however, assured me that he wasn't going to try it.
    2. Baby food diet: I would never get full if I were only eat those tiny baby size jars of food!
    3. Tapeworm diet: Well, he had heard of this. Isn't it an old fashion diet? I mean, I would love to eat 100,000 calories and not have to pay the consequences... but I don't want a 30-foot worm living inside me.
    4. Twinkie diet: Of course America would be interested in this diet! Don't pay attention to the nutritional information! Just count your calories! I don't think I could ever stick to 1500 calories though...
    I don't usually read the comments at the end of the article, but people definitely had some great things to say about this article. My favorite was from a lady who was pretty enthused about the twinkie diet:

    "I really like the twinkie diet that sounds so great. Let me lose some pounds and have my face look like pizza with all the nice pimples and have a crappy attitude while I'm on the diet. Wow that sounds like the perfect diet for me. 'NOT!!'"

    Uncle D and I definitely got a kick out of it.

    I'm not saying to follow my uncle's example of drink choices (unless it is solely for the cleanse), but if you have the popular new year's resolution of losing weight, do join him in snubbing these hilarious diets!

    To read the article about these ridiculous diets, visit the following link:

    To read about the cayenne pepper cleanse (Not recommending it, since I haven't tried it... and since I like food), visit the following link: