Good morning lovely!
Today is a big day.
Today is the day you confirm that you DO deserve to be the best version of yourself.
Today you take your first step towards that. You may already be doing some of these steps and that is amazing – but if not, no worries! That’s what I’m here for. Each week we will add in one more healthy habit which supports your journey in health and well-being.
Our daily behaviours are, to a certain degree, determined by our habits – things we do without really thinking…
- Checking social media the instant we open our eyes
- Opening a bag of chips in front of the TV
- Popping a lump of sugar in our tea
- Immediately thinking the worst if something doesn’t go exactly the way we’d imagined it would
These are all things that are usually done on auto-pilot. Maybe our parents did them, or our partner / friends / boss does them. Maybe we do these things to fulfill a certain need or desire. Either way, our habits can be harming our health and well-being.
Good news! We don’t have to be a slave to our negative habits, as we are the ones controlling them. You can actively choose to break habits or practices that no longer serve your health and happiness.
You can create new, nourishing and supportive habits through the ‘Small Steps to Big Change’ series.
And we start TODAY!
Small Steps to Big Change is about making small, sustainable changes to your daily life which lead to big changes in health and overall well-being.
It’s not about making dramatic statements to radically overhaul your life and diet, such as deciding to become macrobiotic overnight (I once announced this to my husband at dinner many years ago!)
There are no expensive shakes, body wraps or membership fees – just guidance and support on a positive journey towards the best version of yourself.
“Motivation is what gets you started,
Habit is what keeps you going” Jim Rohn
Let’s DO this.
Step 1: Swap your soda
I have deliberately started the wellness series with this one.
Soda / pop / fizzy drinks are NOT your friend.
They may quench your thirst on a hot summer day, or remind you that “holidays are coming…” (cue the big red truck and Christmas bells ringing) but they are damaging your health every time you open the can or bottle.
The sugar and artificial sweeteners are known to contribute to tooth decay, excess weight and diabetes and the phosphorus in the form of phosphate or phosphoric acid interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, leaving you vulnerable to bone breaks, weak teeth and osteoporosis.
When you remove these drinks from your life and daily habits, you may go through a difficult period known to health professionals as a ‘healing crisis’ especially if your consumption has been heavy. This is your body is basically detoxing from the chemical and sweetener onslaught each drink was providing. It can be pretty nasty and include headaches, nausea, and irritability (hello hangover…) but only lasts a couple of days max.
The fact your body goes through such horrors when you stop drinking soda is hopefully enough to break that habit but here are some great options if you feel as if you’re craving something similar:
- Add 2 drops of lemon or orange essential oil to naturally sparkling or still water
- Water Kefir and Kombucha are naturally fermented drinks with heaps of health benefits and they taste a-maz-ing. My friend has a successful company in Australia which makes fermented foods to support gut health. Check out her website and some delicious and supportive recipes. Another favourite blog for recipes is Cultures for health.
- Add in some natural flavours to your water bottle at night for a jazzed up drink the next day. Try basil, mint and lemon, orange and pineapple, or even pepper and cucumber!
So here’s to step 1. Yay!
Have a great week everyone and let me know how it goes for you #smallstepsbigchange
- 1l water (preferable spring/filtered or rain)
- ¼ c of organic raw sugar *
- a tiny pinch of bicarbonate soda (aluminum free)
- ¼ teaspoon molasses
- 2 slices of lemon – wax washed and rind still on
- 2 slices of washed ginger
- 1 organic, oil free date or fig **
- 1 tablespoon water kefir grains.
- FIRST FERMENT
- In a clean jar put your kefir grains and water and then add the other ingredients. Give them a gentle stir with a wooden spoon or something similar. Secure with a lid – kefir likes an anaerobic environment.
- Place in a dark place at a consistent room temperature (about 21c) for 48 hours. (If it’s bright and sunny on your counter but you like it there just put a tea towel over it to keep the light out).
- Strain the grains, keeping the liquid of course! (Keep the grains and start again)
- Bottle your young water kefir.
- SECOND FERMENT
- Now you can flavour the water kefir. The 24 hour period is called the ‘2nd fermentation’ and is really the best part.
- Alcohol : The sugar at this point will turn into alcohol so try not to put anything in that is too high in sugar, like apple juice for example. If you stick to dried fruit, citrus, ginger, cinnamon won’t get too high, and will certainly make for a very fizzy and delicious ferment but keep the alcohol content in mind when making for kids.
- Experiment with complex flavours but don’t worry - it could be as simple as a handful of frozen berries, the juice of a lemon, a few slices of ginger – or pop in a cinnamon stick/vanilla bean. It’s easy to add another slice of lemon and ginger and a dried fig and let it steep in the bottle even leaving it there even when serving.
- You need to seal the bottle this time and leave out at room temperature for no more than 24 hours. This is when the drink should become slightly carbonated.
- After the 2nd ferment refrigerate (and drink).
- Know this: you need to use a thick, very good quality bottle for this and only leave it out for 24 hours or less because it will KEEP FERMENTING – and if you add too much sugar/sweet fruit, the kefir will become more alcoholic and carbonated with time. Kefir can become EXPLOSIVE. So put it in the fridge for the 2nd fermentation if you think you won't make it home rather than risk not being there after the 24 hours are up. A 12 hour 2nd ferment is ok too. Depends on the drink, effervescence and flavour you want to achieve.
- Also! Remember not to sterilize your equipment with anything too strong that will go on to KILL YOUR BACTERIA. Hot water, a hot dishwasher or citric acid for example, is perfect.
- It’s not an exact science – so be prepared to use your intuition, and get to know your grains in your particular environment – don’t be scared to fiddle around with the recipe as the grains sometimes get tired and may require more of this or that.
- Variations :* or 1/3 cup . You can also use coconut sugar or another natural sweetener. You can experiment with sweeteners once your grains have grown and you have a little extra. Don’t use raw honey as the bacteria may play havoc with the grains… some people use it successfully but I don’t recommend it.
- * * or a handful of organic sultanas . Again, you can experiment with dried fruit – especially when you have extra grains to play around with!