Thriving Thursday

Ready to thrive?! Let's drink some kombucha and kefir! :D

Things to know:

-  They are different! Kombucha is a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. Kefir is a sour-tasting drink make from cow's milk fermented with certain bacteria. Of course, you can use any type of milk or tea and there is lots of different recipes and ingredients, but that's the gist. 

7 FACTS about Kombucha

  1. It fights cancer!
  2. It strengthens the immune system!
  3. Promotes weight loss!
  4. Eases joint pain and arthritis!
  5. Detoxifies!
  6. Boosts energy!
  7. Helps the digestive system!
7 FACTS about Kefir
  1. It also fights cancer!
  2. Supports detoxification and DNA health!
  3. Boosts immunity!
  4. Builds bone density!
  5. Helps IBS and other tummy issues!
  6. Assists allergies and asthma!
  7. Improves lactose intolerance!
There are a lot of the same benefits with each, but here are some differences:

Their appearance: The Kombucha starter culture is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (scoby), held together by polysaccharides. Its appearance is similar to a mushroom cap, which is why the culture is also referred to as a mushroom, though it is not a fungus. Kombucha is known to contain a variety of yeast and bacteriaWater kefir grains are also a colony of bacteria and yeast, though their appearance is quite different, small and translucent. The term "grains" describes the look of the culture only. Kefir grains contain no actual grains such as wheat, rye, etc. Water kefir grains are also known to contain a variety of bacteria and yeasts.

Preparation: Kombucha is prepared by adding starter tea and a kombucha culture (scoby) to sweet tea. The mixture is fermented for up to 30 days. Water kefir is prepared by adding water kefir grains to sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water and culturing for 24-48 hours. (Or milk!)

Taste: Kombucha is tangy, slightly sweet, and can be effervescent. The flavor varies greatly depending on the culturing time and tea used. The culturing time determines whether the kombucha tea has a very mild taste or a very strong vinegar-like taste. Drink the kombucha as is or add juice or fruit for additional flavoringWater kefir can be fairly sweet, depending on the sugar used for culturing. We recommend flavoring water kefir made with sugar water prior to consuming, as the taste of plain water kefir isn't particularly pleasing.

Kombucha can be an aid to digestion. In addition to the beneficial bacteria, it also contains some acids and enzymes to aid in the breaking down of food. Kombucha tea can contain caffeine, depending on the tea used. Water kefir is more of a general probiotic beverage. While it does contain enzymes and acids, they don’t seem to have quite as strong an effect as those in kombucha. However, water kefir contains a greater number of bacteria strains than those found in kombucha.
Both beverages are beneficial in aiding natural systems of the body, and both are great for hydration. Depending on your needs, consuming one or both is a matter of individual taste.

Workout Wednesday

My favorite way to exercise is yoga. I have been doing a lot of it lately! My friend was talking about taking a barre class, and that sounds fun, I might try that soon. As of late, I've been working on these hard yoga poses!

Fifrefly Pose, Sidecrow, and Sidestand B. The workout below has a few tips and trips for doing this! 

Thankful Tuesday

Today I am thankful for FAMILY.

My family is far away, in spirit and in miles, but we do manage to see each other now and then. I am also thankful we are getting together for Christmas! My grandparents FINALLY get to meet Jay! :)

Typically, when I speak of 'my family', I mean the people who birthed me and raised me. However, as of late, I have been meaning the people that care generously about me. I have three specific people to be thankful for today; that are or that I consider family.
1. My boyfriend. I know you probably don't want to read a mushy gushy "he's perfect" paragraph, so I won't do that. Just know that he is. <3
2. A cousin. I don't know what I'd do without her. She is so selfless! Her and her husband are fostering a little boy right now - if THAT isn't selfless, I don't know what is! I am so proud of her for the woman she has become. Her life hasn't always been easy, and I admire her strength.
3. A helper. When I first moved out from my parent's home, I needed a little assistance with life! Thankfully, a woman from work was right there, by my side, helping me get my SS card, helping me get a car, helping with rent and food. I owe her SO much! <3 

What are you thankful for today? Who do you consider family?