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My first batch of Kombucha

I have been wanting to make Kombucha for a while but, in all honesty, I was a bit scared of the Scoby! I had visions of it growing so big that it blobbed out of its container and attacked me.

Of course, now I have my own Scoby I feel very protective of it and want to keep it fed and happy. And it is rewarding me with litres of wonderful Kombucha.

To make Kombucha you will need:

2 1/2 - 3 litre glass jar or pyrex bowl
12 cups/ 2 litres boiling water (or half boiling and half cold)
1 cup sugar - I use Billingtons Organic Cane Sugar
5 tea bags - I use Tea Pigs Green Tea as they have unbleached bags.
1 Scoby
1 cup starter tea from last batch of Kombucha (or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar if it is your first batch or use the starter that the Scoby arrived in)

So to start -
Boil 1 litre of water and steep the five tea bags for five minutes.
Remove the tea bags and add the sugar. Mix well. I put the mixture in to my Vitamix and whizz for a few seconds.

Add a litre of cool water to the mixture to bring the water down to room temperature or even cooler. Don’t let the water stay too hot or it will kill the Scoby.

Pour the mixture in to the glass brewing jar and add the starter tea and mix. Then add the Scoby. The Scoby might sink or float but either is fine.

Cover the vessel with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm space, undisturbed for at least 5 days. You might see a thick layer appear at the top of the liquid. Don’t worry about that - it’s evidence that the brew is doing its thing.

After 5 or 6 days days, check on the brew and see how it’s doing. You can do this by sticking a straw down the side, plugging the top of the straw with your finger and then dropping the liquid into your mouth. Don’t put your finger into the brew. It should taste slightly sour and a little sweet, if it’s too sweet then it’s not done fermenting yet and you should give it a few more days.

If it tastes right, remove the Scoby by putting it in to a glass bowl with some of the tea. You can either store the Scoby in sweet tea until you want to use it again, or use it again in a new brew.

The tea is right now for the second fermentation. A second fermentation is what will make your Kombucha fizzy, almost carbonated. During this stage is when you can get creative by adding different flavours to your brew using fruits or spices.

I poured the brew through a plastic filter in to a 2 litre Kilner clip top jar and added a cupful of frozen strawberries and left it to stew for 24 hours. After this time, I poured the brew in to a Kilner clip top bottle and left it for the second fermentation. I intended to leave it for 5 days but couldn’t resist drinking some on the 3rd day - and it tasted amazing.

Read no diet tips, recipes and more here. Find out how weight loss can be easy and effortless and, if you have any questions you'd like to ask me, contact me here.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Have you considered the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar? A natural, inexpensive, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral, metabolism-firing, immunity-building miracle worker, apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for its positive effects. I have two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Molasses in hot water every day and it’s delicious!
Speeds up Metabolism and aids weight loss

Apple cider vinegar is known to kick metabolism into overdrive! An effective fat burner, it helps reduce overeating (allows you to recognize when you are full quicker), speeds up the body’s metabolic rate and helps alkalize the body. For results, one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water should be consumed before each meal.

Shines hair
To remove the product build-up that dulls hair, wash your hair with normal shampoo, and then rinse with apple cider vinegar before conditioning.

Clear skin
I love what apple cider vinegar can do for the skin! For a natural astringent, apply a cloth soaked in diluted apple cider vinegar to your face. This will restore your skin to its proper pH level, and make your face feel smoother and less oily (even reducing fine lines in the process). If you have any specific trouble spots i.e. age spots or acne, a dab of neat apple cider vinegar will do the trick.

Doctors are reporting today that a whole host of ailments from a sprained ankle to Dementia could be caused by low level inflammation.

Normally, inflammation is a good thing as it clears up infection and helps our body to heal but the problems occur when the body's immune system gets fired up and stays fired up over time, attacking healthy tissue alongside unhealthy tissue. This results in chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation can cause heart disease, stroke, diabetes, even cancer but there are also subtle, short-term consequences, including weight gain.

But inflammatory cells don't always retreat: Sometimes they keep attacking tissue and your immune system remains in a state of constant stimulation, resulting in chronic low-grade inflammation. The scary part is that there are no telltale symptoms or indicators of chronic inflammation just unwanted symptoms like weight gain and lack of energy.

Doctors suggest looking at your diet to switch off the problem. Diets rich in processed food, trans fats and refined sugar boost inflammation whereas one rich in fruit and vegetables has been proven to reduce the inflammation.

Isn't it wonderful to know that the cure is in your hands - what are you waiting for?

But I love the taste of chocolate/cake/pudding.


Then have a taste. That’s right. I’m NOT encouraging to eat chocolate/cake/pudding but if you want a taste, I am encouraging you to have a taste of the things you think that you want and that you can’t have because you’re on a diet.


When we tell ourselves that we mustn't, can't, shouldn't we keep thinking about the thing we think we want. And, as you know, the more that we try not to eat the thing the more the thing is at the forefront of our minds.


Then have a taste. That’s right. I’m NOT encouraging to eat chocolate/cake/pudding but if you want a taste, I am encouraging you to have a taste of the things you think that you are denied and imagine you want.


So, if someone brings cake in to the office or if you’re at a dinner party and look longingly at the dessert, have some. You don’t need a large piece of cake or dessert, all that you really crave is the taste so cut off a small bite size chunk and eat it slowly.


Mind you, don’t take this to mean that I’m encouraging you to eat sweet foods! All I’m saying is that, rather than feel deprived and likely to eat a large slice of cake when no-one is looking, have a small taste and enjoy now and again.


Remember, food doesn’t taste better the more you have. If you had one creamy chocolate and then I gave you another and then another, by the time you were on your twentieth chocolate you would feel pretty sick. The taste wouldn’t get better then more you have.
Stick to a small taste - and enjoy it!

Why Diets make you Fat!

We know that diets don’t help us to lose weight. If they did, there would only be one and you would only need to go on it once. How many of us start a diet and get that initial feeling of euphoria where everything looks hopeful? But, after a few days, the thought of eating ‘sensibly’ stretches out into infinity and we feel as if eating like this requires too much effort and willpower. Who wants to eat cabbage for breakfast? Or only one food type forever? We get demoralised and this is why 98% of diets fail.


If you’ve been on more than one diet, you’ve probably already fallen into the trap of thinking that, “I can’t lose weight” and you have a Mind-Full of information about calories, points, or whatever your latest diet advocates, and your head is so busy with that information that you can’t hear your own wisdom pointing you towards the foods your body wants and needs.


Diets always make us feel guilty about eating because whatever food we eat contains calories. We have to eat to survive and so we shouldn’t feel guilty for eating but encouraged to choose the right foods to eat rather than having a prescribed list of allowed foods. One of the reasons that we fail on a diet is because diets all involve feelings of sacrifice and deprivation. We feel as if we are being denied the foods we like to eat. Diets feel hard and difficult. Diets involve using our willpower and self control and willpower is forced and heavy. Willpower involves forcing us to do something that we don’t want to do. If I had to use willpower to stop myself eating a chocolate cake, the thought of the cake would still be at the forefront of my thinking and I could try and change the thought but it would still be there. I’d have to keep trying new ways to change the thought, whereas if I accept that I am having the thought, and that it is just a thought, not a command, I can let it go.


There is no magic wand or pill to melt the fat away. Some people are so desperate to lose weight that they would rather undergo surgery than change the way they eat. This is looking outside ourselves again for a solution. Smokers sometimes buy medicine as a solution for their cough without addressing the fact that the cough is the symptom and not the cause. This is what happens with diets. People with an unhealthy attitude to food set out to change the symptom which is their weight and they go on a diet without recognising the cause which is the way they eat, and the way they think about themselves and food.


Recognise the habits of thinking that you have fallen into and that you can change them easily and effortlessly.

Are you having a good day?

Are you being good or bad today? I don’t mean good as in doing what you’re told to do and not answering back. Nor do I mean bad as in ‘borrowing’ a pair of scissors from the office stationery cupboard to take home and cut your fringe. Oh, wait a minute, was that just me?
I mean, if you grabbed a danish pastry or a sausage roll from the bakers on the way to work for your breakfast, does this mean that you’ve been ‘bad’. I’ll admit that this isn’t the wisest breakfast choice nutritionally, but does that mean that you’ve been bad or, even more, that the whole day has to be a ‘bad’ day?

I’ve had so many weight loss clients come to me and tell me that they have ‘good’ or ‘bad’ days and, when I ask them what they typically eat during the day, they even give me separate lists for their good days and bad days.

Making an unwise choice for breakfast doesn’t mean it has to be a bad day or that you have to continue making unwise food choices for the rest of the day. It just means that you made an unwise choice. Full stop. Holding on to thoughts about how bad you are because you had a sausage roll would be as crazy as holding on to an angry thought all day about how your other half should have put a new toilet roll onto the holder. And you wouldn’t do that. Would you?

Let go of thoughts about the sausage roll (and the toilet roll!) and remember that the quality of the day comes from the quality of the thoughts you are having and not from anything on the outside.

Have a good day everyone.

Are you a TOFI?

Are you a TOFI? I’m not talking about the brown stuff that sticks to your teeth. I’m asking if you are Thin Outside, Fat Inside?

This is when someone who looks an average weight is storing visceral fat inside. This fat is the stuff we should be concerned about and yet we always focus on the subcutaneous fat that we see in the mirror. Why is it that when we look in the mirror and breathe in, somehow, the fat that looks like it disappears from our stomach reappears around our rear?

Isn’t it strange how we focus on what’s on the outside without thinking about what’s happening on the inside? How many times do we look at the outside as a cause of the upset feeling we’re having on the inside? We blame the traffic jam for our stress, or our bad mood on the argument we had in the morning about where the last person to drive left the car keys. (Surely, I didn’t leave them next to the lettuce in the fridge?)

If you’re feeling less than healthy, chances are you’re eating the kind of food that is storing up trouble inside. If you’re feeling stressed or unhappy, chances are you’re not looking inside to see where that feeling is coming from and you’re assuming it’s coming from outside.

Instead of looking at what’s been created, the ill health or the bad mood, look at what’s doing the creating? What’s causing the build up of visceral fat? What’s causing your unhappy feeling? Getting an understanding of the inside-out nature of life prevents you becoming a victim of circumstance and, generally, when we feel better - we eat better. It’s win win.

So, instead of being a TOFI embrace the inside-out nature of life and become a HIHO, Happy Inside, Happy Outside - yes, I know, but it’s no worse that TOFI and I didn’t make that one up!