Anything Lime



I repeat: DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THESE INSTRUCTIONS!

At the request of my holistic health coach, Amy White, I bought my first Kombucha drink. It’s an organic tea that comes from the natural fermentation (warning: may contain alcohol) of a mushroom. Alcohol? Shrooms? Hardly my style, though just the beginning.

I enlisted Amy’s help to get some tips for taking in foods I never knew existed. Enter: Kombucha.

Amy’s knowledge of both nutrition and the body makes her extremely helpful for, if nothing else, providing me with some kind of ammunition to fire at [insert random person here] who knows what’s best for me and has taken a deep interest in my eating habits since I stopped eating meat. And I knew I’d found the right nutritionist when I learned Amy’s age, because when a woman looks a couple decades younger than she actually is, you know she’s gotta be doing something right.

“Don’t shake it.” She told me, with a look on her face that was the most serious look I’d ever seen her make. “Really. It will explode.”

The bottle has the same warning on the label, bold-faced and prominently displayed. Probably because upon picking up the bottle and noticing the bottom-most quarter inch of the drink has gooey clumps floating around, it’s counter intuitive to not shake it. The human instinct is to stir up the bottom floaties and intersperse them throughout the bottle, perhaps mixing them out of sight and mind.

What is the proper way to drink Kombucha? Well, first, DON’T shake. When it comes to this drink – oh sensitive, sensitive Kombucha – the word “shake” is certainly relative. “Shake” can mean slowly and carefully pulling the bottle out of the fridge and tipping it ever so slightly. It can mean driving over small road bumps with the bottle resting gently in a grocery bag on the passenger seat. While these circumstances seem harmless enough, you must understand that Kombucha is a sensitive drink. A drink that, if it becomes upset, will not hesitate to violently splatter all over you leaving you with a lingering vinegar-esque aroma. And then probably hold a grudge about it.

What made me so drawn to try this drink wasn’t so much that my nutritionist recommended it, which was most certainly a deciding factor. It was because my nutritionist recommended it despite the hard work that went into drinking it, which sent a clear message that the frequently-performed twist-and-run maneuver was, with every bottle, totally worth it.

She jotted down the name of the brand (Synergy, in case you’re wondering) on our consult sheet. She looked over at me as though she were continuing her thought.

“Then..” she started. There’s MORE? It gets more complicated than not EVER tilting the bottles and learning how to dodge violently spraying liquid?

“Have you heard of Chia seeds?” I know what you’re thinking, and yes, she was talking about those Chia seeds.

“After you drink half, take a scoop of Chia seeds and pour them into the bottle.”

I nodded, my mind drifting toward trying to find an explanation as to why I have never in my life owned a Chia pet.

“It will be sort of like a volcano, which is why you have to wait until the liquid is halfway gone before pouring in the seeds. Put the lid back onto the bottle, and – listen, this is important – shake once.”

Wait, what?! Did you say SHAKE? How long have I been singing, “Ch-ch-ch Chia!”?

Hours later at Whole Foods I picked up six bottles – all different flavors. I’ve had two so far, and one sprayed out – Finicky citrus flavor. The second time I was successful and had a pleasant experience, which leaves me with a 50 percent success rate – hardly worth bragging about.

I’m happy I was introduced to this crazy drink because the health benefits far outweigh the hassle involved in the care and consuming of Kombucha: it’s laced with probiotics and enzymes, packed with vitamins, promotes digestion and a healthy immune system and it’s great for the hair and skin.

So far (meaning out of the two I’ve ever had) my favorite flavor is Passionberry, named for the drink’s equal parts passion and berry, which are then mixed with two parts awesome.

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