Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My First Kombucha Brew

As part of #TotalDetox2014, one of my goals this year was to successfully brew my own kombucha.

Why kombucha? What is kombucha?

Kombucha tea is made by fermenting sweetened black tea with a flat, pancake-like culture of yeasts and bacteria called the "Kombucha mushroom" or SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). It is not actually a mushroom, but is called one because of the shape and color of the sac that forms on top of the tea after it ferments. The result is a tangy, usually fizzy drink that has numerous health benefits. 

One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. It also has antioxidants that support energy and mood.

Truth be told, I was incredibly intimidated to begin this process. Aspects of it are pretty gross until you wrap your brain around them, and then there's the whole "purposely ingesting bacteria" thing...

This whole process took a little over a month from beginning to end...I started growing my SCOBY from store-bought kombucha on April 14, 2014, and finished recording this video on May 21, with the first batch fully ready to drink and a second batch almost ready for bottling and flavoring!

If the video above doesn't work, you can view the video directly on YouTube here.

Hope you enjoy watching the process, and forgive the shaky camera, ridiculous family moments and sometimes not-family-friendly language ;)

Sources: 1, 2

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I can’t believe some people are DEFENDING this.

Fifteen out of 105 of ob-gyns the Sentinel surveyed have set weight limits for patients, which usually start around 200 pounds or are based on BMI levels.

Most of the doctors said that their equipment and examining tables couldn’t hold larger woman (which smells oddly like bullshit), but some said that obesity comes with more complications that the doctors would rather avoid.

“People don’t realize the risk we’re taking by taking care of these patients,” Dr. Albert Triana, who practices in South Miami, tells the paper. “There’s more risk of something going wrong and more risk of getting sued. Everything is more complicated with an obese patient in GYN surgeries and in [pregnancies].”

Unsurprisingly, many of the doctors who have enacted the weight cut-off also have a history of being sued for malpractice or cover high malpractice insurance premiums.

While doctors can not turn down patients based on race, gender, or sexual orientation they are free to turn away patients based on weight. Though not everyone agrees with the policy.

“This completely goes against the principles of being a doctor,” James Zervios, a spokesman for the Obesity Action Commission said to the paper. “Health care professionals are there to help individuals improve their quality of health, not stigmatize them according to their weight.”

Source: Miami New Times Blog

I weighed about 280 when I conceived. I am having absolutely NO complications. I’m expected to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and birth. To have turned me away simply due to weight would be discrimination, plain and simple, because weight has nothing to do with health or possible complications. Not all thin people are healthy and not all fat people are lazy diseased slobs.

I argued this point on my facebook earlier. You know what I was met with? A MAN I don’t know defending the article saying, and I quote, “if you care so much about your baby, why are you not in the healthiest condition you could be?”

My response?

ideally I would have weighed less when I conceived, but it was unplanned. Seeing as losing 150 pounds overnight by sheer will and love for my child is impossible, suggesting I don’t care about my baby by not being “at my healthiest” (which actually, I am in spite of me weight) is remarkably fucked up and ignorant. My two cents.”

I saw the article earlier and was already pissed off, so to see a couple of MEN argue that fat women don’t love their kids simply because they’re fat kind of REALLY set me off. WTF do men know about being a woman, about being pregnant, about losing or gaining weight as a woman (because men and woman metabolize differently, in case I needed to point that out)? Answer: NOTHING.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if the topic is over your head and is something you could never and will never understand, you will only sound ignorant and/or like an asshole by sharing your opinion. Not to mention that owning up to discrimination of any type isn’t exactly an attractive quality.

 I’ve always been considered overweight, obese, or even morbidly obese. I’ve NEVER had a problem with BP, cholesterol, etc whereas several of my thinner friends who don’t take care of themselves have had such problems. I’m not saying I’m the picture of health despite my weight, but I AM of the very strong opinion that simply LOOKING at me shouldn’t be enough to decide I’m not healthy. ssumptions are dangerous, regardless of what they’re based on. Turning someone away based simply on weight is no different then turning them away simply because they’re black, catholic, or gay. NONE of these things mean anything definitely about someone’s health, even if statistics might suggest differently. 

The point I am maki ng is that obesity in and of itself should NOT be reason enough to turn anyone away for treatment. And in this particular case, the insurance companies are applying pressure to doctors that based on their own histories of malpractice, are high-risk doctors, not necessarily because they deal with high-risk patients. 

 I’m willing to repeat my stance til my fingers fall off. Living an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight are not synonymous. I haven’t had a problem with a doctor, thankyouverymuch but I don’t think anyone else in my position should.  

:EDIT: I juts want to add that just today, I went to the endocrinologist, a specialist that I am supposed to see every 6 weeks throughout my pregnancy simply due to my weight and nothing else…he looked over my blood work and was impressed with how good everything looked. “Beyond perfection!”, he said. He also told me he wished he could give me some suggestions or pointers, but, and I quote “You can’t argue with success!”

So there. 

NOTE: This post was originally dated May 17, 2011...this is the post from my pregnancy blog that lead to the NBC feature on Sizism in OB/GYN offices in Miami. I thought it'd be fun to post it here to show what my perspective on fat-shaming and being a plus size preggo was while I was actually pregnant ;)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Guest Post: "Mother's Day French Toast"

I asked first time moms to share how this Mother's Day would be different for them...This was submitted by Felicia T., momma of a beautiful little girl from Reading, Pennsylvania. She is a Domestic Goddess for a living and a human rights activist.


Mother's Day has been an important part of my life ever since I understood what it was all about. My father left my mother and I around 1996 which created a bond between her and I that we would have never had. I remember thinking for months in advance what I should do to show her how much I appreciate her. Growing up, when my Mom would cook for me, she'd take a bite out of something and tell me there was a mouse in the house. Almost every Mother's Day, I got up extra early to make her breakfast in bed. I made sure to let her know that I too saw that mouse. (In case you're wondering stolen bites of french toast taste better than your own.) Getting up early to cook simple breakfast doesn't compare to the sacrifices my Mom made to take care of me, but each year I tried my best to let her know how much she's loved.
Now that I'm a mother myself, this one Sunday is more exciting than it ever was. The flowers and cards aren't what I am excited about. I'm happy about the title. I am a Mother and I'm now included in this exclusive club of women. When my daughter is old enough to make her own decisions on how to celebrate the day with me, I won't be looking forward to the gifts, I'll be looking forward to spending time with her. I realize now that french toast wasn't the special part of the day. The special part of Mother's Day is celebrating the bond you have with your children. This is a love like no other. This Sunday I will be cuddling my sweet baby and raising up the relationship that she and I will never have with anyone else.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Guest Post: "Now I'M The Mom"

I asked first time moms to share how this Mother's Day would be different for them...This was submitted by Rosy, momma to the Cuban Prince of Miami ;) When the Cuban Prince allows her some "me" time, you can find her on Pinterest.


I’ve been a mom for less than 9 months and it’s been AWESOME! Obviously my son has taught me a lot like patience, giving up control and all that other typical stuff. 

The best way I can describe motherhood is that it is dirty. Yep. It’s awesome but also very dirty. I came to this realization on Sunday as I was sorting through my laundry. I used to have a very nice and neat closet where my clothes hung in categories and by color. Now I jump for joy when I find a shirt without a stain. My “clean” laundry has been sitting on top of my dresser for like, two weeks begging for someone to put them away and I finally did. And the reason I did is because we are going to Disney on Sunday and about two weeks ago I washed my Disney shirts (that I wore in January) and I needed to find them. I hung up what I could in no particular category or order I was just happy to see the top of my dresser (which is still covered in other crap but not a mountain of clothes). 

Anyways, at some point during my chore, I realized how fast my life has changed in less than a year and duh I wouldn’t change it for the world. I enjoy being dirty because yes, I spend the majority of my day covered in bodily fluids (usually not my own) but I see it as little sprinkles of love. My son has an awesome way of sprinkling me with love every chance he gets. His favorite way is to slobber all over his hand for about two to three minutes, then shove said hand in my mouth or down my shirt. Now I keep deodorant at my desk at work because I forget to put it on all the time and even though I can be stinky at home, my coworkers wouldn’t appreciate my odor as much as my son. 

Being a mom has also made me appreciate my own mom more, and yes, I do count on her for some advice but I typically use my new found mommy instinct. So this Mother’s Day is totally different because I am the mom now but I do try to celebrate being a mom every day with my little prince. I’ve been many things but being a mom is literally the best thing ever in life!

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5th is International Day of the Midwife

It's not just Cinco de Mayo today! More importantly (I think), today is International Day of the Midwife. In case you don't know, a midwife is a specialist of well woman care, prenantal care, labor and delivery of babies in a less clinical (and intervention-laden, usually) way than obstetricians. Obstetricians are medical doctors that are trained as surgeons first, so midwives are a great choice for women that are having healthy pregnancies and have no risk factors that require a surgical birth.