Healthy Eating

How To Make Kombucha

During this extra stay-at-home time, I’ve enjoyed some new hobbies, like brewing kombucha. Upon request, I’m making a quick and easy “How to Make Kombucha” for inspiring home brewers.


If you are really serious about home brewing kombucha, I highly recommend “The Big Book of Kombucha” by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory. It has everything in there you want to know, trouble-shooting, recipes, and so forth. You can also visit their website at

What I’m sharing is a quick start. This is what you’ll need for a 1 gallon batch.



  • 1 SCOBY (get from a local brewer or order online)
  • 2  Tablespoons of Black Tea, loose-leaf (or 4 -6 tea bags)
  • 1 Gallon Chlorine-Free Water
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Starter liquid (from brewer or previous batch)


  • 1 Large Pot or Tea Kettle (for brewing sweet tea)
  • 1 or 1.25+ Gallon Jar (to hold fermenting kombucha)
  • Cotton Cloth and Rubberband to cover the jar (not cheesecloth, nothing that porous)
  • Utensil to stir
  • A warm, dim, well-ventilated area to store jar. If you don’t have an area warm enough on it’s own, use a warming pad.
  • Stick on thermometers (optional, but helpful)


Once you have your SCOBY, ingredients, tools and about 30 minutes of time – you are ready to brew.

  1. Steep tea in 1 quart (4 cups) water just below boiling for 5 to 15 minutes
  2. Remove tea (strain out leaves or remove bags)
  3. Stir in sugar until dissolved
  4. Mix remaining 3 quarts (12 cups) water – either in the large pot or jar.
  5. Check water temperature. It should be between 80° – 100° F. degrees (warm, not hot, to the touch of a CLEAN finger). If over 100° F., set aside until it lowers to 90°-95° F. before adding SCOBY.)
  6. Make sure there is enough room in jar for SCOBY and starter liquid. Reduce the amount of tea to make room.
  7. With clean hands, place your SCOBY into your jar and slowly top with your started liquid.
  8. Cover with a cotton cloth and secure with rubber band.
  9. Place in a dim, well-ventilated area. Maintain a temperature between 75° – 85°F (24-29°C). Use a seedling/brewing heating pad if necessary.


Without disturbing your brew, you can peek in on it from time to time. Say “hi” and send it good vibes!

TASTE TEST around DAY 5 to 7

From day 5 onward, you can begin to taste test your booch brew using a clean straw, spoon, or shot glass to see if the flavor is to your liking. Try not to disturb the SCOBY very much as you taste. Once it’s just right, move on to HARVESTING.

HARVESTING – DAY 7 – 21ish

Congratulations! Time to harvest. Now that you have fizzy bubbles under your SCOBY and the taste is rock’n, you are ready to harvest.


  • flavoring (optional – but definitely recommended!)
  • The sky is the limit! This is the fun part. Try any combo of lavender, mint, orange, apple, cherry, strawberry… what flavors do you like? Use syrups, strong juices or dried specimens.
  •  My favorite is 1 T. black cherry syrup, 1 T. elderberry juice or syrup and smidge of dried ginger root.


  • Clean working area to bottle your booch
  • Clean bowl to place your SCOBY or a Jar to hold extra SCOBYs (known as a SCOBY hotel, motel, home, hang-out or palace – get creative!)
  • 6 – 16 oz. bottles with tightly closing lids
  • 1 Funnel (that fits into your storage bottles)
  • 1 glass measuring cup (2 cup / 16 oz is preferred) * this is optional, but helpful


  1. Wash your hands (don’t have soap residue on them though)
  2. Remove cloth and rubber band from jar
  3. Remove 1 cup of liquid from the top (this will be your new starter liquid). Place in bowl or SCOBY hang-out jar.
  4. Carefully remove the SCOBY (and separate it into two!) Look! It made a clone (or a big baby). Set them aside in the bowl or SCOBY hang-out jar.
  5. Put your flavoring in your bottles. Usually about 2 tablespoons.
  6. For a less-messy pour, I pour about 16 ounces of kombucha from the large jar into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. From there I pour it into the bottles with a funnel. Go ahead and use your own messy method, but I find this works best.
  7. Cap the bottle tightly. (And if you were messy, wipe down the bottle.)
  8. If the flavor is just right, put it in the refrigerator. Or, preferably, if you want a little extra fizz and flavor, store on the counter for 1 to 3 more days at room temperature. Then refrigerate.
  9. Use the starter liquid and SCOBY to re-start the process again. Make sure to start a SCOBY hotel, hang-out or palace with any SCOBYs you don’t put to use. Store them in a jar in sweet tea. Room temperature is fine. Try not to let it get hotter than 90°-100° F. and do NOT store your SCOBYs in the refrigerator.
  10. Drink. Brew. Repeat.

P.S. – I’m posting this without step-by-step photos for now. But next harvest, I may add them. 🙂



Ear Reflexology for People with a Flu Virus

As we are all social distancing and closing our businesses during this COVID-19 outbreak, I wanted to share some things you can do at home, without purchasing anything special. Below you’ll find an ear reflexology (auriculotherapy) map with specific points that benefit people dealing with the flu.

Please note, this DOES NOT REPLACE MEDICAL HELP by any means. If you are sick, please call your doctor as soon as possible and listen to his/her advice and treatment plan. This is just an additional DIY, self-help therapy you can add to any protocols you are already doing that will help boost your immune response to the virus.

To work these points, use your finger or thumb to put light to moderate pressure on the point, or where appropriate, use your finger and thumb to lightly or moderately pinch the points (like on the outer points of the ears or ear flaps).

Hold all these points for 1 to 5 minutes before moving on to the next point.

You can also have a loved one or friend work on your ears.  (Remember to have washed hands and a protective mask when working with someone who has a virus.)


The above post is formated for Instagram. The below post is formatted for Twitter.
Share freely! Or click this link >> Ear Reflexology for People with Flu Virus to download a printable PDF file.

Ear Reflexology that is an immune booster for people with flu viruses.


#earreflexology #reflexology #coronavirus #covid19 #covid-19 #virusselfhelp #diyviruscare #flu #selfcare #reflexologyforflu #homeremedy #immuneboost #immunebooster #holisticmedicine #holistichealth



Balance the Body with Foot, Hand & Ear Reflexology

One afternoon, I was at my friend’s home visiting her and her newborn son, Jackson. She was excited and anxious about being a new mom and concerned about a skin reaction he was having, which she believed was from the laundry detergent she was using. As I peered into the bundle of blankets, I saw a cute but pink-dotted little baby. I took his tiny, two-day-old foot between my fingers and rolled my thumb gently on the bottom of his sole. I then took my fingers and held what I like to refer to as the “Spock Point” at the tip of his ears to counter allergic reactions. To both my friend’s, my, and surely Jackson’s delight, we watched his little pink dots completely disappear from his skin. What Jackson experienced was his first reflexology session.

You don’t need to be a polka dotted infant to reap the benefits of reflexology. Whether you are young or old, in good health or weathering the effects of stress, trauma or disease, reflexology can benefit almost everyone. It can assist people dealing with issues ranging from chronic stress and pains to digestive disorders and hormonal imbalances. In addition, reflexology is a safe, natural and non-intrusive form of therapy that can be learned easily and self applied whenever needed. Besides that, it feels great!

So what exactly is reflexology?

For thousands of years the feet, hands and ears have been used to facilitate healing. Within the last century, reflexology has been redefined into what we recognize it as today. It is based on the premise that the human body is completely reflected, as reflex maps, on the feet, hands and outer ears. In essence, these areas serve as a mirror to our state of health, as well as to adjust the body’s natural processes, physiologically and psychologically, to help us regain and maintain a normal equilibrium and sense of health and well being. In practice, if a client complains of neck pain, the points relating to the neck, or “neck reflexes,” would be stimulated. These areas would include the base of the toes and fingers and the lower part of the helix and antihelix on the ears. With all holistic work, the entire body reflexes are always included in a session, as the body system works as a whole entity in harmony.

What can reflexology do?

People seek reflexology for a wide range of issues including stress and tension, aches and pains, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, infertility, certain types of paralysis, repetitive stress symptoms, injuries and much more. It has a balancing effect that helps to calm what is overactive and stimulate that which is underactive, giving a feeling of overall wellness while enhancing current health issues.

I’ve worked with several women regarding infertility issues, and am happy to say many of them are now proud mothers. One client came in to find relief from her excruciating migraines she received like clockwork two days before her menstrual cycle, every month for five years. After her first session, the headaches were gone. With routine visits, she is able to keep them away. Another client was able to quit taking his pain medicine for his back. I’ve seen a few a clients gain improvement from certain types of paralysis, and countless clients have found relief from their aches, pains and tension.

It is important to remember that every body is unique. The results people receive vary as much as their individual constitutions do. I have no doubt that the people I have worked with who have had such positive results are individuals who have healed themselves. Reflexology facilitates them in their healing process. I believe a person’s health cannot improve until they have the desire to change and believe that their health can improve. For some, who have chronic ailments that accumulated in their bodies over a long period of time, it may take longer to restore balance.

How does reflexology work?

As a holistic therapy, reflexology is theorized to work on many levels as it affects the biomechanics of the foot structure, neural circuitry, vascular circulation, holographic microsystems, the meridian system, emotional networks and much more. Let’s take a look at a few of these in more depth.

Structurally, reflexology directly works on the biomechanics of the feet. If any part of the foot structure deviates from normalcy, postural integrity of the body is compromised; which affects not only the skeletal structure, but the inner organ systems as well. By relaxing the tissues of the feet, reflexology enables the body to have a solid foundation that can promote good posture and overall health.

Within the circuitry of the body, reflexology is believed to aid in unblocking congested nerve endings. The extremities of the body — being the feet, hands and ears — have a rich supply of nerve endings. Stress, tension, chemical imbalances, injuries or an acidic pH can cause the nerve endings to become clogged and congested. By palpating these areas with a reflexology technique, the nerves are stimulated, congestion disperses and circulation (both neural and vascular) improves. This brings both increased vitality and health to the reflex area, the corresponding body area and the entire body as a whole.

On a more subtle level, as Eastern thought theorizes, when the foot is being palpated, or reflexed, acupressure points are being stimulated, affecting the body through meridian pathways. There are over seventy five acupressure points found on the feet and hands alone, not to mention the hundreds of auricular microsystem points found on the ears. While reflexology differs from acupressure with its mapping of points, they both overlap and integrate with one another well.

The results of reflexology have also been attributed to the theories of laying on of hands and the emotional power of touch, the power of love, the healing effects of rest and even the placebo effect. Although there is not one definitive explanation of how reflexology works, the answer most likely rests in the combination of many.

Why choose reflexology?

Reflexology, in most cases, brings about a deep relaxation. This in itself reduces the stress that creates many of our ailments today. It is safe, therapeutic and feels wonderful. Don’t be fooled by the myth that it must be painful to benefit you. I have clients that rave about how pampered they feel during a session. Reflexology is also non-intrusive. If you don’t like to disrobe, don’t like needles, don’t like to take medicines or remedies, don’t worry! Reflexology only requires that you expose your feet, hands and ears.

The main reason for choosing reflexology, however, should be for its health benefits. Reflexology is beneficial in both gaining and maintaining a healthier constitution. It works the body on a deep level, affecting the organs and body systems as well as the outer structures promoting a sense of balance, health and well being.

What to expect during a session

A reflexology session usually begins with a brief intake of a your health background and current issues. Before the session starts, shoes and socks are removed and you are either seated in a reclining chair or asked to lie on a reflexology table (usually pillows and blankets are offered for comfort). At that point, an initial scan of the reflexes are viewed and the reflexologist begins to palpate your feet and hands. As a general rule, only the practitioner’s hands will give the pressure to the reflexes. Pressure should be deep enough so that your tissues are thoroughly worked, but gentle enough to keep you comfortable and relaxed. Relaxation is the key here, without it our body cannot heal. The ear points are worked with lighter pressure, and in most cases, points are held as well as palpated. Some sessions utilize a combination of the feet, hands and ears, while others are a lesser combination of the three according to the practitioner’s experience and your current needs.

After the session, you will most likely feel very relaxed and possibly sleepy. However sometimes clients leave feeling instantly energized. It really depends on your body’s constitution and overall health needs. Give yourself some time to rest. As reflexology stimulates your entire body, it is important to drink plenty of water following the session to flush out any impurities and to re-hydrate your body.

It is hard not to enjoy the day or evening after a good reflexology session. A client once told me, “there is nothing more heavenly than having my feet rubbed.” So whether you go to a reflexologist, share a foot rub on the couch with your sweetheart, or work your own feet routinely you are benefiting from the wellness reflexology can bring.


The article below was published in the March/April 2004 San Francisco Bay Area’s ShareGuide Magazine.  © Laura Lee Ostrowski, 2004. All Rights Reserved.