Kombucha Facts

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink made from tea, sugar and a scoby. It first appeared in China in 220 BC, and has been used for 2000+ years.

What is a scoby?

A scoby is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that work synergistically together through fermentation. It is a form of mushroom that creates a living home for the bacteria and yeast that make into kombucha.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your immune system as they absorb nutrients and fight infection/illness. 80% of your immune system is located on your gut, and your gut is the second largest part of the neurological system, aka ‘second brain’.

Why sugar?

Kombucha needs sugar to ferment as sugar is the food source for the scoby. The sugar levels lower during fermentation as the yeast and bacteria use the sugar to grow a second scoby (aka baby scoby). As for the caffeine content, it remains the same. The longer the fermentation, the less sugar, but some sugar will always remain. Kombucha also teaches 5-3% alcohol concentrations depending on the fermentation length.

After fermentation, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, vocation C, enzymes, probiotics and acid (aminos). The kombucha also contains phytochemicals and phytonutrients that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

What are the health benefits of kombucha?

  • Antioxidants promote liver health and kidney function
  • Can reduce diabetic complications
  • Rich in folic acid and B vitamins to produce and maintain new cells
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents and heals stomach ulcers
  • Can improve mental health (depression)
  • Increase energy
  • Is good for cardiovascular and circulatory system
  • Circulates blood and lymph throughout the body (lymph – white blood cells that counteract foreign disease)
  • Filters out bacteria and manages fluid levels
  • Maintains cholesterol
  • Prevents heart disease and cancer
  • Relieves arthritis pain
  • Boosts metabolism which assists weight loss
  • Treats asthma
  • Improves eye sight
  • Keep skin firm

(Note: some of the above have not been scientifically proven, but are estimated guesses based on results/impacts)

Make sure to check out my Vlog on ‘How to make Kombucha!’ from start to finish with 3 easy steps within 13 minutes!

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!

Much love, Kayla Xo


Say Yes to Re-usable Bags

Woolworths and Coles supermarkets are finally making the initiative to ban single use plastic bags from their supermarkets mid 2018. This will be such a huge change in the people shop!

Single use plastic bags endanger both terrestrial and aquatic animals, clog sewerage systems, slowly release toxic chemicals into soil and water supplies, and become micro plastic as they only break up into smaller and smaller pieces.

Single use plastic bags take decades, sometimes centuries, to break down and are the most common bag option across the globe. The average Australian chooses to use 170 single-use bags a year. 150 million of these bags end up as pollution, and only 3% are recycled.

Approximately 200,000 single use bags are dumped into land full every hour in Australia, and about 2 million single use bags are used every minute worldwide. This is a major statistic for a bag that is used on average for only 12 minutes.

My favourite part of Coles and Woolworths are where these bins are (see the pic below), because these bins provide no excuse as to why you are putting your single use bags in the red bin, landfill, or our precious ecosystems.

Start saying no to harming our precious planet, and start saying yes to saving it. You are only using single use plastic bags because they are free and the first available option. Start making a difference in your ecological footprint by:

  • Using re-usable bags
  • Using biodegradable bags for your inside rubbish bin
  • NOT putting single use bags in your red bin
  • Recycling your single-use plastic bags by putting them in the plastic bag recycle bins at your nearest Woolworths or Coles store
  • Spreading the awareness by getting educated and encouraging others to use re-usable bags
  • Lastly, loving and caring for where you and we live the best you can

Thank you so much for reading this blog post! I will be sure to post in future about the environmental impacts of disposable coffee cups, and not disposing of clothes and food correctly.

Stay wonderful!

Much love,

Kayla Xo

Saving Lives

So, I was watching catch-up TV and this ad about a little boy who needed blood donations to help him through his sickness kept coming on TV. It is a commercial where the little boy’s father is reading him a story, and at the end of the story, the little boy asks his father ‘what is the magic number’ and the dad responds ’42…’.

42 days is how long a blood donation lasts after it is donated. As this commercial kept repeating itself to me, it gave me an epiphany the following night when it came on during the commercials while I was watching live TV with my Aunty.

When my realisation occurred, I turned to my Aunty said ‘I think I need to stop being a little bitch and go donate blood’. The repetition of this ad made me realise that there are people and children out there who are going through many surgeries and blood transfusions to keep their lives, and here I was happy and healthy, sitting comfortably on my couch at home, being scared of a needle prick and the thought of blood leaving my body.

I decided that I needed to get over my fear and help others in much more need than me in Australia. So I contacted my girlfriends and asked if any wanted to come donate blood with me. Thankfully, my friend Becky jumped on board. We booked our appointment at the same to happen at the same place on the same day so we could do it together, because to be honest, I was nervous as all hell to do it. But I realised that I needed to overcome my fears. If I was being a little wuss about a needle and some blood, then I couldn’t imagine what I would be like if I ever have to experience something more intense.

24 hours before you donate you get to help yourself to lots of salt, so I picked the chips with the highest sodium content on the shelf, Red Rock Deli Balsamic Vinegar chips, yum yum. I ate those bad boys with much content. Side note: while in Coles debating which chip packet had the highest sodium content, a gorgeous woman who had been donating for years stopped and helped me. She gifted me words of encouragement, and said she is a universal blood donor (amazing!).

The following day was blood donation day. Thankfully, my Aunty joined my experience with support and comfort. We had a beautiful sole (whole fish) for lunch with Becky. Then 1:30 came, and our appointment was at 1:45pm.

Becky and I filled out our paperwork. As I was doing so, a lady sat down beside me and was also a first ever blood donor like Becky and I. Like me, she was nervous. Then my name was called, ‘Kayla Ellery’. I gave my Aunty a tight hug and entered the blood donation van where a gorgeous Chinese lady interviewed me for the process. I was shitting bricks, but had to trick my nervous flutters into excitement by thinking about the lives my contribution and selflessness will help and save.

The interview was interesting, and I learnt a lot about myself. My blood pressure was perfect the lady said, 115 over 73. My iron test was what I was most nervous about, as it was what determined my ability to donate or not. Having been vegetarian for quite a while, I was surprised when it read to be 153mg. An optimal reading, as anything between 120-165 is good, and the closer to 165mg, the better. This reading made me tremendously happy, as I constantly have people telling me that I will have low iron due to not eating red meat. Well how my perfect vegan diet proved them wrong, haha.

Because I am so petite, I also had to be weighed and measured to make sure that it was safe for me to give blood, while thankfully I was! If you are below 50kgs you unfortunately aren’t able to donate.

So then we had to leave the tiny interview room and begin the donation. I laid on the bed and openly accepted their offer of a blanket. The staff were happy and comforting throughout the process. My Aunty also was able to sit right by me.

The nurses were so friendly and supportive. They informed me that the only thing that should hurt is the needle going in, and once it’s in, you should feel it there but shouldn’t have pain. The thing I was most nervous about was that needle prick. Less than 3 seconds and not looking, and it was in. I hate blood but made myself look at it.

I had not wanted to give blood for years because I have been told that the needle is really thick. Well, it is. And when I looked at it, there was blood leaking down my arm from the incision. 6-12 minutes to donate whole blood is all it takes. You roll a soft squishy thing in your hand while the donation is happening to keep your blood moving.

Continue reading “Saving Lives”

Eating Regime: Ketogenic Diet

In my previous post about the amazing Wholesome Culture tees in Aug 17, I talked about my vegetarian/pescatarian diet. Well, for the past few months now, my diet has changed more into a vegan based diet. I wiped the butter, the milk, the sour cream, the camembert cheese, and yes, the chocolate, from my everyday eating habits. I began using coconut butter and coconut milk as dairy replacements, and having raw honey on toast every night to sooth my sweet tooth. Quitting the dairy luxury was a hard discipline at first, but has me feeling so amazingly clean inside.

As stated in my Wholesome Culture post, I don’t believe in religious eating and strict diets. This is because you will send your temptations crazy, it’s good to challenge your body to process the bad stuff every now and then, and you deserve to treat yourself if you want to for being so good! A fortnightly or monthly meal with dairy or meat in it isn’t going to rewind your efforts thus far, and definitely will only affect your ecological footprint only minimally. So, in light of this, every blue moon, I treat myself to breaking my eating rules/habits.

However, last week while listening to a Tony Robbins Podcast – ‘What does it mean to be Bulletproof?’ (free on Spotify) with Dave Asprey, I discovered the Ketone diet. If you thought veganism was ridiculous, you will definitely be challenged by the Ketone diet (I surely was!).

The Ketone diet is a high protein, high healthy fat, water rich eating regime. It’s overall purpose is to benefit the mitochondria (energy making stations) in our body to ensure that we function at our most excellent rate. That’s right, brain fog, sugar cravings, fatigue/tiredness, acne, illness, and disease, diminishing or GONE, all through the power of food. This sparked my interest as I experience immense brain fog daily when studying and working, and most days have a 2 hour nap mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and if I want to avoid napping, I resort to a sugar indulgence.

But, the Keto diet doesn’t come without sacrifice for me. No carbs, no grains, no sugar, and no processed foods. This was hard to get my head around. No bread means no more before-bed honey on sourdough toast. No more cous cous, quinoa, brown rice, or ancient grains in my salads. And worst of all, no more oats! My go to breakfast! In terms of sugar and processed foods, I only eat it occasionally (once every 3 weeks or so), so not a hard one for me to give up. But the hardest one of all for me is POTATO! I love potato in every form, and like rye sourdough and grains, eat it on a daily basis. The reason these are cut out is because they are toxic to your mitochondria, and this are the foods influencing your tiredness, brain fog, acne, etc.

But, because I am sick of being tired and living in brain fog all the time, today I bit the bullet and committed myself to the diet for the next 14 days to make my own judgements about it. This is not a hard adjustment for me as I already eat a high fruit, veg, and vegan protein diet. It is just eliminating my carb and grain luxuries, in which I love! In light of this, I don’t recommend going full-blown cold turkey on your existing eating habits if the Keto diet is one you want to try. You will send your body into shock (however, it is quite quickly adaptable), but most of all, it will be a struggle and temptation for you to break free of bad habits, so I suggest going slow and removing one thing at a time.

The Keto diet is optimally accompanied by fasting for 18 hours a day (including hours of sleep) to a schedule that suits you. For the next 2 weeks, I am just going to focus on adjusting myself to the diet, then might give fasting a crack depending on how I go.

To give you an idea of my new eating regime for the next two weeks, this is today’s meal plan:

Breakfast: sautéed mushrooms and spinach with local farmer free range scrambled eggs

Mid-morning snack: almonds

Lunch: baby spinach, cucumber, celery, black beans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, soy sauce, herbs

Mid-afternoon snack: blended frozen mixed berries and banana

Dinner: steamed carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, bok choy, and tofu dressed in olive oil, garlic, and herbs

I believe food is medicine, and it’s so important to give your body what IT needs, not what you think it needs or what you want. You only have the one body, so treat it like the temple it is. It knows what you need, and still functions as it did in its primal state (2 million years ago when all we had was food sources that grew, ran, and swam on the Earth, essentially the Ketone diet concept).

My blog posting is sporadic, but I am hoping to get on top of it. If not, use my YouTube channel as my information outlet. Be sure to check out the documentary ‘The Healthy Pill’ on Netflix as well! Great explanation of the Ketone diet.

I will keep you updated sometime in the future with my experience on the Keto diet. I am also hoping to post more recipes and knowledge about treating your body as a temple for you all.

Thank you so much for reading! Have a beautiful day, and stay blessed!

Much love, Kayla Xo

Byron Bay Love 

Yesterday while day tripping in Byron Bay with my cousin Gemma, we were fortunate to come across Raymond while walking down the street. He gifted a rose to a lady walking in front of us, then handed a rose to both Gemma and I. I was so fulfilled with warmth from this small, kind, generous, and selfless gesture, that I stopped to have a chat with Raymond. Raymond buys roses out of his own money to gift to women in protest against domestic violence, in which the roses symbolises a small sign of love and appreciation. In the video Raymond stutters a little bit as I put him on the spot, but I totally adore and love what he is doing. The world needs more love shared and embraced, and the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way. Like Raymond, I am to going to display an act of love as he does, so watch this space!

Thanks for reading and watching! Remember to share the love, because by giving love you are loved!

Kayla Xo

Wholesome Culture Tees

Scored these awesome shirts from Wholesome Culture! Absolutely loving them!

I haven’t eaten red meat for 2 years now, as I became turned off the smell and taste of it. I then developed the belief that animals are here with us, and if I couldn’t kill it myself, then I shouldn’t eat it.

At the start of this year, I decided to go vegetarian, as I was only eating white meat (chicken and fish). I became bored with, and turned off on, eating chicken all the time, and after getting food poisoning from fish, I decided to go meatless. Being vegetarian has made me feel really energised, due to only eating a water rich and alkalised diet of fruit, veg, nuts, sprouts, little diary products, and NO rice, pasta, bread, ect. Processed foods and added sugars are also limited in my everyday diet, but I normally have one day dedicated to pleasing my sweet tooth to allow myself to splurge, because it’s all about balance right?

Recently I have realised that I do need to incorporate more meatless protein into my diet so my body can physically keep up with the physical demand I put on it. I do have scrambled eggs every morning for breakfast, and a protein shake after my workout, but dinner is missing a protein source. I have recently discovered black beans, tempeh and vegetarian meats which are high in protein, so I am going to start cooking with them weekly. I also came across protein crisps at the local health store that acts as a meat replacement in vegetarian and vegan dishes, so I will also look into that! To accomodate for the iron I am missing due to going meatless, I take an iron supplement every morning to keep my energy levels balanced, as without it I become deficient, which makes me so sleepy.

But yes, loving my shirts! So comfy, and 20% of the profits go to animal rescue! I am a strong believer of expressing your beliefs, and making a difference in the world, so I will be sure to post more about my vego meals and beliefs about going meatless in the future! Until then, thanks for reading my blog, and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Kayla Xo