Sober March Challenge #marchingtosobriety

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  • KombuchaKat
    KombuchaKat Posts: 134 Member
    @RaeBeeBaby @donimfp without hijacking this thread too much Kombucha is very easy to make at home and delicious! Store bought is usually a bit more mild, when you make it at home it's only as "tangy" as you let it get over time. Like apple cider it will turn to vinegar the longer it ferments. IM me if you want some more info on homebrewing, I've made my own going on 10 years. RaeBeeBaby I'm glad you got a full grown scoby, growing one usually does not work out. You can buy them online with starter liquid as well, in fact I started with a kit from Kombucha Brooklyn, which is a great resource for info as well (unfortunately I think it's more expensive now because this stuff is so trendy). Now I do continuous brewing with a vessel from Kombucha Mama, likely the most extensive source of info on Buch.

    For me it's a good replacement because I primarily drink beer and wine. Mostly beer. One of my friends makes it as well from a mother I gave her years ago and sometimes when I'm over there I drink her kombucha rather than an adult bev. I think I might make this an ongoing thing. I might also start bringing some of my own buch to share and drink when I go to other friends homes.
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    Day 17! Luckily St. Patrick's Day has never been a blip on my radar. I got some tart cherry Kombucha (made by Buddha Brew in Austin) yesterday. YUM! They have a zillion flavors and sell at our Farmers Market, so I am a new fan. Also bought some St. Croix "grapefruit flavored" water. If there is grapefruit in there, they sure hid it well. I am a tart/bitter (as opposed to sweet) girl, so looking for things that bring those and are not wine/alcohol. Have a great weekend, everyone. We're almost there (well, for us Lenten people, we're a month away, but March is half over). Man, I can't wait till I'm not counting down.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
    edited March 2017
    Day 17! WooHoo! It seems to be getting a little easier for me, at least the last few days. I've been out several times this week at places with lots of drinking going on. My niece was down from Washington working in a town nearby so we met her at a place (cowboy tavern) where the bar is center stage in the restaurant. Not really that tempted. Then last night I had a ladies group meeting potluck where wine is always served. I brought my own lemon water and only had a tiny little temptation. It probably helped that the wine was all riesling, which is not my favorite (too sweet). I'm also a tart/sour/bitter girl so anything too sweet just doesn't appeal.

    @KombuchaKat - I enjoy hearing about the kombucha! I go through phases with drinking it and not sure why. I really enjoy it but then I let a batch get too "fresh" (as my son calls it) and then I get sidetracked. My friend who gave me the scoby grew her original from scratch so I thought I'd give it a try. I've got one batch going with the new baby and am going to leave the other one sit and see if it will actually grow one. I've done some natural fermentation so am always keen to try things and see what happens. I've made my own apple cider vinegar for several years now. This past year I made pickled garlic, sauerkraut and kimchee. The kimchee was my favorite by far. It was delicious! All this talk about kombucha has me wanting to try the kimchee again, so I'm going to get some napa cabbage at the store today.

    @donimfp - whenever I buy the store brands of kombucha, my favorite is Brew Dr. Love. It is very different in that it has kind of a floral flavor with jasmine, lavender, chamomile and rose. I'm going to attempt to do a secondary fermentation of my kombucha with some lavender and see what happens. Love experimenting.

    Oh, and something funny to share. At my meeting last night we had a presentation by a doTerra essential oil person. It was interesting and she talked quite a bit about probiotics and natural healing. Mostly stuff I already knew from my own reading and research. The leader of our group kept saying stuff like "I'm sure Rae does that. Oh ya, Rae makes that or grows that. She's our hippie girl". LOL
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    My own "hippie girl" is my daughter. She is a music therapist by profession but is seriously into herbal medicine, natural healing, etc . . . has traveled to Hawaii for herbal medicine training, etc. When I told her on the phone yesterday I bought Kombucha and was loving it, she said, "Mom, I told you YEARS ago to drink kombucha and you said you were scared it would kill you!" I had to laugh, but if you look that $**t up on Wiki, you'd think you'd fall over dead if you drink it. I figured HEB wouldn't carry it if their customers were dropping like flies.
  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    I really like kombucha, I'm glad I've never looked it up on Wiki and got scared off (and I'm not gonna look now!). I've been on a real tea kick lately, trying to have herbal tea in the evening to stave off the desire for a drink.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
    edited March 2017
    I'm working my way through the tea collection. So far:

    Stash Pumpkin Spice
    Tazo Green Tips (a little bitter)
    Stash Strawberry Pomegranate
    Yogi Raspberry Ginger Digestive Vitality (meh)
    Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong (yum!)
    Planet Teas Planet Chai (spicy)

    and my all time favorite
    Steven Smith Teamaker Lover's Leap (incredible but only available in February)

    The Lover's Leap has a Ceylon black tea base so I'm using it for one of my Kombuchas. I'm so stingy with this tea that I won't even offer it to people. Maybe next year if I can get some extra. I bought the very last box they had and they are sold out now until next year.

    And just purchased today at the grocery markdown shelf:
    Tazo Organic Peach Cobbler (review TBD) :D
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    All the teas sound awesome. I'm headed to the nearby Farmers Market to try to get some Tangerine Sea Salt Kombucha. The Tart Cherry Melon is doing the trick. It's quite sour/tart. OK, I caved in to St. Patrick's Day yesterday (didn't take much to make me cave). I had 2 glasses of wine and one light vodka/Perrier. That's a lot of alcohol after 16 days without, although it's not much at all compared to what I typically drank/drink before March. Now my challenge is to go back to abstaining. It honestly wasn't all that great. I have a slight headache this morning. I hope today isn't back to as difficult as the first week of March. Argghhh. I'm determined not to get down on myself because I know where that would lead.
  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    @RaeBeeBaby thank you for all those tea suggestions. I'm a creature of habit and usually only drink the same teas over and over - Constant Comment, green tea, a couple herbal teas I've come to enjoy. I find a lot of herbal teas taste "soapy" to me, I don't know how else to describe it, but I'd like to expand my list. I particularly want to find herbal teas that taste great cold because I know sooner than later, the hot summer weather will be here.
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    @AlisalGal, I'm like you with the teas (in a rut). However, I have found that peach or peach/ginger herbal tea is delicious iced. We didn't have a winter here in central TX this year (just one day!). It was in the 80s much of Jan. and Feb. and now March, so cold drinks have been the thing. I did just discover that half Kombucha and half Perrier is really yummy to me. I like bubbles, and the kombucha I have is pretty intense, so it can stand dilution.
  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    I like the sound of that, I'll give it a try!
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    Hope everyone's hanging in there. 2/3 of March gone. I was really dumb to have drinks on St. Patrick's Day because it is SO tempting to have drinks again. I just left my (home) office to get a latte at Starbucks as a treat, hopefully to distract me from cravings. So ridiculous! But I guess this whole exercise is worth it just to wake me up to the fact that this is a problem. Any strategies anyone else is finding helpful, please share. I've lost 6.8 lbs. in March, so that's probably the biggest motivator. I'm thinking having alcohol at home is probably not wise. It's much easier to moderate when out for a meal or social occasion. blah blah blah. I also think not drinking makes my face look better. Is that weird?
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
    Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I'm still hanging in there with nary a drop of alcohol. Several hours of hot yardwork this past Sunday sure had me wanting a cold beer! But, I resisted. Having no beer in the house probably helped in that regard. (Although I have wine and several bottles of hard liquor, a beer was what I really wanted.)

    @donimfp - Congrats on the 6.8 lb loss! That's awesome!. You're not dumb for having drinks on St. Paddy's day! You made the decision to do it and now you made the decision to get back on the wagon. It's like weight-loss. We make decisions every single day, sometimes we regret them, but we have to move on. No point in beating ourselves up about it. Oh, and I can see your beautiful blue butterfly picture now!

    @AlisalGal - I make a lot of mint tea in the summertime and I also like the peachy flavored ones. I've made iced tea with Constant Comment tea plenty of times, but the herbal ones are nice if you are avoiding caffeine.

    Normally, I'm not a soda drinker but I bought some diet root beer the other day because I thought my husband would enjoy it. I've been drinking it, too, and it's pretty tasty AND zero calories. It's Honest Fizz Organic Root Beer. I will be buying this again before the week is out.

    So, less than 10 days until the end of Marching to Sobriety! At this point I'm wishing I had decided to limit not drinking to the month of March (rather than all the way to Lent). My husband asked me yesterday how many days left in March, so I think he'll be sticking with his original commitment. I just counted for myself and it's less than a month to go now until Easter - 25 days to be exact.

  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    Glad to see I still have company. I'm doing Lent, too, @RaeBeeBaby. I think I need the extra time to get more of a handle on this. That one day of drinking made the temptation stronger, I've found. I'll be glad to have another 16-day stretch under my belt. So far, tart cherry kombucha and diet ginger ale are saving me. They are the most "cocktail-like" substitutions I've found. I wish someone could invent a non-alcoholic wine that really tasted like wine. My recovering friend told me it took a good 3 months before her mind wasn't focused on not drinking. I can believe it!! Have a great weekend everyone.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
    Another day down and we're over halfway there!

    I wish I could find tart cherry kombucha. That sounds delicious! My kombucha experiment went awry. I looked at it yesterday and it was starting to mold. UGH!!!! Not sure why as I followed the instructions, but it was definitely not looking healthy. So, down the drain it went.

    Re: the non-alcoholic wine I don't know if there is a good one. Someone brought my pregnant daughter-in-law a bottle for her baby shower. I took a sip and it tasted like prune juice to me. :s There's a brand called Fre that a friend said is pretty good, but I'm afraid it would make me want to drink more. Better for me to just stay away.

    I had a coupon so I bought some Suja Drinking Vinegar. I know it sounds weird, but it's actually pretty tasty and only has a very slight vinegar tang. I've heard apple cider vinegar is good for weight loss, so maybe this will be, too. I also bought some diet Zevia ginger-ale yesterday. I've certainly been expanding my horizons in the libations area lately!
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    @RaeBeeBaby, Hahahahaha. So true.

    Very much like that tart cherry kombucha are shrubs. Don't know if you've ever tried one, but they are vinegar-based drinks and are delicious. I've ordered them from Tait Farms. http://www.taitfarmfoods.com/shrub/
    There's also a company in San Antonio that makes really good ones, but the name escapes me now. If you Google "shrub" you'll find all kinds of info. They date back to pre-Shakespeare days. I've even successfully made a couple myself, but buying them is so much easier. When my BFF quit drinking 3 years ago, we toyed around with those, but I'd forgotten until you mentioned the vinegar. Of course I mix mine with my best friend Perrier.

    I disagree with your friend about Fre. A few years ago when I had to do the colonoscopy prep thing, I was going crazy for the 24 hours before because I do not like sweet things (like 7-up or Sprite), and the thought of drinking chicken broth grossed me out completely because I'm as close to vegetarian as you can get without actually being one. So my brother-in-law, who's on the medical faculty at Duke so I trust him, said I could drink some nonalcoholic white wine (nothing red). My husband bought me some Fre. Ugh. I'd rather drink nothing. Or even something I don't like much. And I think you're right. The nonalcoholic beers/wines are probably psychologically not the most helpful thing. Check out the shrubs, though.

    Sorry about the mold. That's the kind of stuff that convinced me kombucha would kill me. But so far, the Buddha's Brew from Austin has been fine. They also have a tangerine/sea salt flavor that sounds so good, but I haven't found it yet.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
    I've successfully made kombucha many times in the past, so I absolutely KNOW when it's good or bad. I think the scoby might have gotten contaminated in the transfer between my friend and me, but who knows?

    Funny about the shrub. My mom just mentioned that yesterday! She's also on the wagon for Lent so we are each other's support in that regard and trying different things. She asked me if I'd ever heard of a shrub and of course that led to some hilarious discussion about landscaping.

    Mom: Have you heard of a shrub?
    Me: Of course, I have them all over the yard.
    Mom: No, no - it's a drink.
    Me: Why would I drink a shrub? Aren't some of them poisonous?
    Mom: No, a drink called a shrub that's made with vinegar. Etc etc

    (Of course, I kind of knew what she was talking about all along. I just love to tease her. She's an easy target.)

    She also said a lot of people drank shrubs as a "refreshing" summer drink before lemonade and before someone figured out how to add carbonation to drinks.
  • KombuchaKat
    KombuchaKat Posts: 134 Member
    Going to a fancy French restaurant tonight with some of the attorneys I work with. I SO want a nice glass of wine! However I think I will see if I can get a virgin cocktail or maybe just some sparkling water and let them treat me to some nice oysters instead!
  • KombuchaKat
    KombuchaKat Posts: 134 Member
    Hum, Kombucha getting moldy is actually pretty rare. I'm not saying that it didn't happen but if you try to brew again you can send pics to the Kombucha Mama and she will verify if it's mold. Sometimes the culture spew all sorts of things but it's just some yeast. If anything I think it might have been a kind of unstable SCOBY since it was grown from store bought I think? I just got my new scobys in the mail and started up my continuous brewer again. Also going to make some water kefir which I always liked and it crazy easy to make. That has a super quick ferment so I had some ready in a couple of days. Flavored with some ginger, YUM!
  • KombuchaKat
    KombuchaKat Posts: 134 Member
    I had a very small sip of wine last night at the fancy French restaurant. It was described as "like rain falling on wet rocks"...so I was intrigued. But that was it. Enjoyed my crazy fresh oysters and a nice fizzy lemonade.