Quick AB Workout

Let's talk ABS! I love finding new ab workouts. And an ab workout does not need to be long. Even just 10 minutes of ab exercises will leave you sweating and getting you closer to that strong core you've been working on. I put together some of my favorite Ab exercises, and filmed it outside by my little garden in Brooklyn. Check it out below! And subscribe to my Youtube page. 

Homemade Kombucha

My new obsession is making kombucha at home. It requires the perfect amount of work and passiveness, and it doesn't go bad if you forget about it for a few days. I like to compare it to owning a goldfish as a pet -- very minimal maintenance. You check in on it every once in while and its in a big glass jar of liquid. It also kind of fascinates me -- theres a live culture growing and living inside of this liquid, and every day it looks a little different. Call me weird, but I like it. Also, there are tons of health benefits to drinking kombucha. Its amazing for your gut health, which is hugely connected to your immune system and your overall health. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor so I won't get too preachy here, but there are lots and lots of articles you can read about why kombucha is so darn good for you. 

Here's what you need: 

  • 1 gallon glass jar.

  • piece of cut up t-shirt for the top, with a rubber band

  • 6 tea bags (black, oolong, green)

  • 1 cup of white sugar

  • A scoby (there are kits where you can make your own, or you can get one from a friend who already makes kombucha which is what I did.) When your friend gives you their scoby make sure they include 2 cups of kombucha tea from their last batch with the scoby.

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat 5 cups of water. Just hot enough that sugar will melt in the water.

  2. Turn off heat and place 1 cup of white sugar and mix, place tea bags in liquid as well and let steep for a few hours, while simultaneously letting your liquid cool to room temperature.

  3. Remove tea bags and put liquid mixture into your glass gallon container. Fill the rest up with room temperature water. Leaving a few inches at the top for the scoby and cups of past kombucha tea.

  4. Place your scoby into the mixture with kombucha tea. The scoby may sink to the bottom at first and then in a few days float to the top. Its all OK.

  5. Put t-shirt or fabric over the top with rubber band to hold it in place.

Now, depending on how warm the weather is, or how much light is in the room will depend on how quickly your kombucha will be ready. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees, and you should store it in a moderately dark place. You will need to let it sit for 7-30 days, I prefer around 10-14 days personally. The longer you let it sit the more vinegary it will taste. As you let it sit a new scoby will start to form at the top of the liquid, (this is the part that is most fascinating to me.) It looks like a white jelly fish floating at the top, covering the entire surface area of the liquid. It will get thicker and whiter every day. And will probably start forming on day 3 or 5. Here comes another fun part:

S E C O N D   F E R M E N T A T I O N 

If you want to flavor your kombucha, as I like to, I recommend doing a second fermentation. It will also make your kombucha more carbonated, which is fun. So once your kombucha tea is done and cultured, you can poor the liquid into smaller sealable glass containers. Leave a couple inches at the top, so do not fill all the way. From here you can pick which flavor you want. Here are a few that I recommend: beet and ginger; strawberry and ginger; pineapple and ginger. Can you tell I like ginger? Basically any kind of fruit juice is good, because the kombucha will continue to eat off of the sugar from the fruit juice, and create carbonation. Again, i'm not a scientist, just go with it. 

  1. Blend fruit/ginger in a blender. For one gallon of tea I used one raw beet and a chunk of ginger around 2 in x 1 in.

  2. Pour fruit mixture into bottles of kombucha tea (use a funnel). You can strain the pulp out of the fruit, or leave it, up to you!

  3. Seal the bottles and leave on your counter top for 2-3 days.

  4. Use CAUTION when opening the bottles up, there will be carbonation and it can bubble and overflow making a mess. I recommend opening the bottles over the sink and with a kitchen towel on top.

  5. Refrigerate to enjoy cold!

I've read many articles about homemade kombucha, and have talked to a few friends about it as well. It seems there is always something to learn, which is also probably why I like it so much. Any tips or tricks please leave in the comment section below! Happy brewing. 

 

L <3

How to Start Your Day Like a Do Something B*tch

Originally published by Jezebel.com

Illustration by Tara Jacoby

Illustration by Tara Jacoby

 

It’s early morning and you’ve already hit the snooze button twice on your phone. Finally, you not-so-gracefully wipe the crust from your dry lips, pick it up, and look at it. The CNN alert says the world is about to end, but you don’t have time for that, so you unlock the screen and immediately check your email. Then you check Instagram. Then Twitter, followed by the 10 other apps you for some reason feel the need to check first thing every morning. Only then do you notice the time. During your three-minute shower, you think about how few likes the photo you posted last night garnered. Dry off, throw on some clothes, grab a big mug of coffee and if you’re lucky you remember to grab a granola bar on your way out. You run out the door already knowing that you’ll be at least five minutes late for work.

Full disclosure: this was my morning, for years. And then I got a much-needed job as a superhero-motivational-high-intensity fitness instructor, so I had to make some changes in order to teach my 6 A.M. classes. I realize I am not totally normal when it comes to this shit, but if my old morning routine sounds at all similar to yours and you’re not happy with your day, I got you. Here are some seemingly-obvious (but worth reiterating) changes you can make to your morning that will increase your chances of being a Do Something Bitch like Ronda Rousey by 50%. (That is not a fact, but probably should be.)

  • Use an alarm clock. Do not use your phone as an alarm! The temptation to start browsing through every app as soon as you wake up is too great. Separate from your phone. Really.

  • The moment after you wake up is one of the most vulnerable times in your whole day. Start it off by thinking about yourself. You can’t make a difference in anyone else’s world unless you take care of you. So focus on you for a moment, not what other people are doing on social media (because we know it’s all a lie anyway). And don’t think about what other people are thinking about you. YOU think about YOU.

  • This is a great time to do some meditation. I know, I know. Even if you don’t know the first thing about meditation, try this: Sit up on your bed, legs crossed, breath in and out slowly counting each inhale and exhale as 1, and then count all the way to 10. That’s it. It helps to reset your mind, calm it down, and organize your thoughts.

  • This might sound dumb, but it’s been proven to reduce stress and increase performance: tell yourself one great thing about you, and believe it. You have really great eyebrows.

  • Get out of bed. Just do it. Take a quick moment to stretch. Touch your toes. Pop those hips. Move your head side to side.

  • Before any other type of food or drink, have a glass of water with a slice of lemon in it. Lemon water gets your metabolism going and gives you nutrients your body needs including, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, to name a few.

  • Eat something real, with nutritional value. Try consuming carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Try oatmeal with fruit. Here’s an easy cold oatmeal recipe you can make the day(s) before so it’s ready to go in the morning when you’re still tired. If you have a blender, make a smoothie or juice. You want foods that will keep you feeling full for longer or have high satiating power. Protein, dietary fiber and water have high satiating power, as well as carbs like whole grain bread and oats. (Processed carbs like the ones found in baked goods have a low satiating power.) Eating good carbs and protein will fill you up, and fiber will also help keep your shit regular. Literally.

  • Give yourself enough time to get to where you’re going. Try saying “no” to that extra thing you want to cram into your day. Running around and rushing to every place that you go can be exciting, but it also gives you anxiety, and my guess is you probably need less of that.

Doing all of these things at once may seem like too much work, or too much change. But if you do at least one of them at first, and then slowly add them all in, it can be a smooth transition. You, too, were brought into this world to do more than just fuck millionaires. (Not that that’s a bad thing.)