Kombucha Sunday: Why I Drink Kombucha

It all started with my good friend Sarah messaging me in early October 2017, “Tash!! Will you please come!!!!” She was overflowing with excitement for me to join her at a Kombucha workshop later that month, run by Karen Stoyles, a local Registered Holistic Nutritionist. At the time, I really did not know much about the benefits of fermented foods and to be honest, the thought of it just kind of grossed me out. I remember when I started seeing Kombucha at local coffee shops, I didn’t understand what all the hype was about, besides, I didn’t like Iced Tea, so I doubted I would like this. Well, Sarah does not give up easily, so a couple weeks later she was at it again, “you’d looovveee it!!!!” I still wasn’t convinced, but she followed it up with, “Brewing kombucha is so you!!”  I thought, maybe she is right, why not, it can’t hurt to learn a bit more about this Kombucha thing. So, I registered for the workshop, I got passed the gross looking SCOBY and am I ever glad I did!


Fast forward a few months and now preparing the next batch of Kombucha every Sunday is part of my weekly routine. I look forward to trying out a new flavour for the second fermentation process, experimenting with new Green or Black Teas, and sharing stories like the one where I accidentally left a bottle of lemon ginger flavoured Kombucha ferment for too long and so much carbonation had built up that almost the entire bottle sprayed out uncontrollably all over the kitchen. Oops!


So what is this Kombucha stuff anyway? Well, it is an ancient beverage that has been consumed for over 2000 years. It is not anything new, just more popular. You make it from green or black tea, sugar (I like to use organic cane sugar or coconut sugar), and a Symbiotic Culture of Acetic Acid Bacteria Yeast, otherwise known as a SCOBY. Yup, this is the really gross looking thing that grows on the top of this mysterious drink. During the fermentation process, the organic compounds of the tea turn into vinegar and other acidic compounds. It is these new compounds that provide the health benefits Kombucha enthusiasts rave about.


What are these health benefits? Why drink Kombucha at all? A brief google search has not provided me with very much scientific evidence behind the health claims of Kombucha, or at least, I was unable to find any studies based on kombucha and humans, but rather just with animals. That being said, there are some health benefits we can’t ignore. These would include the benefits you would get from any fermented food. GUT HEALTH!. Fermented foods are filled with healthy bacteria that colonize our gut which can apparently improve a variety of bodily functions, including level out moods and stress levels, and perhaps even help with weight and cravings for food. I have definitely seen significant changes in all of these areas within my home since starting to brew my own kombucha. Can I guarantee that Kombucha was the only factor in these improvements, nope, but I feel strongly that it definitely played its part.


The following are a list of potential health benefits of Kombucha I’ve found are consistent with multiple online articles. The potential for any or all of these benefits to be true are reason enough to give it a try or to keep on drinking it, just in case it really is doing all these things for our health.


  • detoxifying the blood
  • improve digestion: a combination of organic acids, enzymes, and probiotics promote healthy digestion and soothe upset stomachs (I find this one to be true, especially when flavoured with lemon and ginger)
  • immune system stimulation
  • arthritis prevention: the compound glucosamine is found in Kombucha which protects cartilage
  • cancer prevention
  • reduce cholesterol levels
  • reduce blood pressure
  • protect against diabetes
  • antibacterial effects
  • energy enhancement: small amounts of caffeine from the tea along with vitamin B and iron.
  • weight loss: similar to the claims made of apple cider vinegar, kombucha is believed to increase metabolism when consumed before meals.
  • enhanced athletic performance: raises energy levels during exercise, aides in post-workout recovery, alleviates joint pain.
  • mood enhancement: B Vitamins can help battle depression, stabilize mood, enhance concentration. The vitamin C can inhibit the release of stress hormone cortisol.


So, why do I make a new batch of Kombucha every Sunday? Why do I continue to drink it regularly? If for no other reason, than it is tasty, refreshing, fun to make and experiment with, and essentially it is a fizzy drink I make myself. It can’t get better than that!

Six Weeks In!

Woah, six weeks into triathlon training already! It has been several months since I took the plunge and joined the Iron North Triathlon Club and only several weeks since I committed to completing a 70.3 Ironman race rather than an Olympic Distance, either of which is a challenging endeavor. How is it going you may ask? What challenges have I faced? What have I learned?

Let’s start with the highlights so far. Number one on my list of triathlon related accomplishments is my new relationship with swimming. As many of you who may know me personally, or have read my previous blog post, swimming just isn’t my thing. I used to groan at the mere thought of having to go to the pool. The whole process was a drag; packing up my stuff, getting into my swim gear, showering, the actual attempt at swimming, and then the whole shower and pack up process after. Simply put, I DID NOT WANT TO DO IT. Let’s fast forward a few months later where I follow, as close as I can, the training plan Iron North has laid out for us and I am attending weekly swim sessions with Geordie McConnell from the Ottawa Triathlon Club (OTC). Not only has heading out to a swim workout 2-3 times a week just become a part of my weekly routine, I honestly don’t dread it anymore. I just do it, and sometimes, I even catch myself enjoying it. Secondly, in just six weeks, I already feel stronger and confident that if I were to complete any of the smaller triathlons I participated in last Summer,  tomorrow, I could do it, and I would totally rock it!

Alright, so, it has been six tough and enlightening weeks. Here is what I have learned and found works for me when it comes to balancing training with all that other life stuff. Continue reading

Motivation: And What It Has To Do With Triathlon

I jump in and instantly I am overwhelmed by the sheer coldness of the water. Not to worry though, once I get moving I will warm up…I think. So I dunk my head in, start counting my strokes. One, two, three, breath. One, two, three, breath. One, two, three,  breath…just like I’ve been practicing. One, two… just breath, I’m sure my heart will stop racing soon, but it doesn’t. I can’t seem to catch my breath. I have to stop as the other swimmers overtake me. Their arms knock into my legs, their feet splash water on my face. At least I was ready for this part, they did say not to be alarmed if another swimmer touches you. I let everyone pass, I am still hyperventilating, freestyle is out of the question, so I move forward at an agonizingly slow place using the breaststroke while my uncontrolled breathing is audibly strained. The volunteer pulls up in the canoe next to me and asks if I am alright. I can’t answer her, so I keep moving forward, slowly making progress, waiting for the first instant my feet can touch the bottom. Finally, what felt like hours later, my feet make contact with the sandy bottom, I stand and trudge through the water until I am out. I’m the last one, but I’m done. That horrific experience is over. I give a weak smile to my friend who is enthusiastically cheering me on as I slowly walk to the transition zone, get on my bike, and pedal off into what turned out to be a fantastic Triathlon experience.

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