Nutrition: Home Brew


Most people have something that they're willing to spend money on, even when they don't have money to spend: small vices--things that make us feel extravagant. Cigars, alcohol, chocolate, shoes. For me, it's kombucha. (I mean, I spend money I don't have on plenty of other things, too...usually cycling socks, cycling caps, and sunglasses). But kombucha is stupid expensive, and I buy it. On-tap, some of the cool new places in hip mountain towns charge more than $5 a glass! I rationalize it by reminding myself that I *don't* smoke cigars, drink alcohol, or care much at all about a shoe collection. Still, once I became the person buying the family-sized bottles of kombucha at Sprouts, I decided I should try my own hand at making it. 

Back in the day, my mother made her own yogurt, so I figured I had it in me to do this. Some friends gave me a "scoby" (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) or "mother" and that's maybe the best gift I've ever received. The scoby is...super gross: slimy and unappealing to look at or imagine ingesting in any way. And it grows. But also, it's super amazing! When put in a broth of tea and sugar, it creates a delicious effervescent beverage that's claimed to help everything in the body, but at the very least just tastes good.  


I've experimented quite a bit over the last 2 months. The first batch I tossed entirely. It was like pure vinegar. I hadn't put enough sugar in. The second batch was better but I didn't let it sit long enough before refrigerating, so it was mostly flat. But now it's getting good. I've been brewing 5 tea-bags of earl grey black tea with at least a half cup of white sugar. I let that sit for a day or two and then add it to the scoby. I test it with a straw after 10 days, but it can sit for up to 2 weeks. Then I add a little honey to individual bottles (recycled from purchased kombucha before I was in the brewing biz). I pour the 2-week-old concoction into the small bottles and let it chill. The earl grey and the honey work really well together. Next I'm going to start adding some fruits to the 2-week sit. 


I'm making a gallon (or 6-8 small bottles) of kombucha for less than I was spending on one at the store. Which is nuts. I've also started making my own hummus in big batches. So...I guess it's clear that I live in Colorado is what I'm saying. And that now I can buy more cycling caps. Let me know if you have any tips for kombucha! I'm excited to try new ideas/flavors. 

I'm In the Hive!

A few months ago Honey Stinger put out a call for (non-pro) athletes to tell their story, and to get sponsorship. I figured, why not? When I lived in NYC I worked part-time at a running/triathlete store. I had spent my whole life running, and had never used any nutrition--a lot of it didn't exist when I started putting in miles with my dad as a kid. In New York, we had a lot of reps come in to talk up their products. I started doing longer runs, and cycling a bit. When I was on the bike for hours at a time, I got shaky: I needed calories. Because I had access to all of the newest nutrition (where I worked), I tried it all (except the truly nasty flavored gels). Most people who knew me (and knew how active I was) couldn't believe that I waited so long to try "the goo." Some of it was ok--mostly it tasted like dessert, which isn't (always) bad. Cake icing, jelly donuts, and pie filling. But I never liked the fact that it was chemicals. I always felt like I'd rather be consuming something real and natural. 

It wasn't until I moved to Colorado last summer that I put an honest effort into finding nutrition that was real food; and I landed on Honey Stinger. I've never been the kind of person to preach about product--people tend to be obnoxious about it--but for me, having a natural/real food option works really well. I'm a purist: the classic "gold" is my favorite, mainly because it's just pure honey, water, and enough sodium to help with hydration. Plus there's really nothing better than getting to the top of a mountain and sucking down a packet of honey. I'm being serious. I love it.  

I'm stoked to be sponsored by Honey Stinger. I'm not going to wallpaper my bedroom with Honey Stinger packets...actually, now that I'm writing this...I might. But, it feels good to be part of something: The Hive. Now I guess I have to do that 70.3 don't I? 

#StingorBEEstung #HoneyStinger #HSHive