Tag Archives: Kombucha

Where are you Kombucha?!


I am really looking forward to the weekend. I have a few fun things going on but overall, just a weekend of relaxing ūüôā Last night I was a laaazy girl and made dinner (sweet potato with zucchini and mushrooms¬†saut√©ed in tomato sauce)¬†and watched some DVR’d shows. For dessert I made banana soft serve with peanut butter and it seriously hit the spot! Sorry I didn’t snap any pictures; when you live in a four story house, it gets old going up and down 3 flights of stairs all the time!

This morning I had the usual Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake.

(old picture because I made mine today as I was running out the door!)

So how many of you have heard of/drink Kombucha tea? (If you don’t know what it is, click here to read more about it!)

If you’ve been reading “The Bright Side” for awhile you know that I used to do “Kombucha Friday” where I would try and review a new flavor of the fermented tea. I stopped the normal Friday reviews because I had tried most of the flavors found at my local Whole Foods and have been drinking the flavors I like best as much as my wallet will allow me ($$$).

So it was a complete surprise when this article came out last week about Whole Foods voluntarily pulling Kombucha Tea from all of their stores! The reason was due to concerns over slightly elevated alcohol levels.  I was very disappointed and sad, I love Kombucha! Being that this tea is fermented, there is a very small amount of naturally occurring alcohol in each tea.

I want you all to weigh in – do you drink Kombucha? If so what do you like/dislike about it? How do you feel about WF’s pulling them from their shelves?

I had a hard time deciding what to make for lunch today because I am on the tail end of my food shopping trip, and that was almost two weeks ago. I go every two weeks with a small trip here and there if I need produce or something for a recipe. Overall this system works GREAT for me, except for this coming week. Fourth of July weekend is next weekend and because of that I don’t want to do my normal food shop this Sunday because I will be gone for 3.5 days next weekend. So basically what I need to do is sit down and plan out my meals for the next week and take a smaller trip to get stuff I need. I know this isn’t THAT hard of a thing to do, but I am usually on autopilot every time I go to the store because I’ve fallen into a groove (a GOOD one) of getting lots of healthy produce, grains, dairy and some treats here and there.

Anyways, here is what I came up with for lunch:

PB&J and steamed broccoli! This is obviously a random pairing but I’m goin’ with what I got!

I don’t know about you all, but I LOVE jam on my PB&J. I would rather have a little nut butter and a LOT of jam. Jam that oozes out of the bread, as you can see above! ¬†Especially Whole Foods Mixed Berry Jam. It might be one of my favorite things. Ever. I had a glass of organic strawberry lemonade on ¬†the side. All together:

Time to head back into work! See ya this weekend!



Kombucha Friday!


Hi my name is Stephanie and I just created the tastiest lunch ever, thanks to some inspiration from the Happy¬†Herbivore!¬†I had seen this recipe on her site earlier this week and really wanted to make it. Except there was a problem, I didn’t have any salsa on hand. Womp. So today I was at a loss for what to make at lunch and decided to put my own spin on HH’s wraps. For your viewing pleasure….

I am telling you-go make this right now. It was SO GOOD and so easy to prepare! I made my version by taking a cup of chickpeas and throwing them in a sauté pan with some salt, pepper, garlic and onion. I let that warm up for a bit and then added in a 1/2 cup of plain tomato sauce. Of course you can add other veggies or use the salsa the recipe calls for. Once it was warm I spooned it into my lettuce wraps (I used just three) and sprinkled some feta on top. YUMMMMM. Just believe me when I saw it was so tasty.

So not only did I create an awesome lunch, but I¬†participated¬†in today’s official (???) “Bike to Work Day” which is apparently part of National Bike Month. Who knew?!

Bike Month

I had seen information about it on Twitter and since I usually make Friday my walk-to-work day I decided to bike. ¬†I figured it would be easy since I would get to work faster and not be walking in the scorching sun for 18 minutes. Uh, it was HARD.¬†I guess I forgot to factor in that I can’t bike the same route I walk–which meant two hills I had to climb while wearing a backpack and jeans. Not so fun. But I definitely felt good once I got there!

Before I head out I leave you with my Kombucha flavor this week!

Say hello to GT’s Cosmic Cranberry.I decided to give GT’s another try and was not disappointed. I really liked this flavor because it was tangy like the citrus flavor but had a hint of sweetness from the cranberry. I would definitely get this one again. One thing though….I know a lot of people get freaked out by the fungus floating around that you have to swallow. I have had no problems with it before – I don’t taste it or notice it when I swallow. Today though, when I opened the bottle there was a nice¬†fungi¬†strand attached to the cap!! I will admit it was GROSS and I freaked out for about a minute and then got over it ūüôā . Ohhh Kombucha I love you.

Hope everyone has a Fab Friday! I’ve got work tonight but check back later this weekend to hear all about the wedding I am going to on Saturday and some Philly Phun I am having on Sunday!


Kombucha Friday


It’s here! The much¬†anticipated¬†start to the weekend. Nevermind that I have to waitress tonight and that it is supposed to thunderstorm–I have two full days of free time and fun in the sun coming up! Just gotta get through today.

As I was breaking open my bottle of Kombucha today, it¬†occurred¬†to me that I forgot to review my tea from last Friday!! I hope you all weren’t waiting in anticipation because well–it wasn’t that great. I actually tried another GT flavor – Passionberry Bliss. Kind of tasted like apple juice, just like the Raspberry Rush.

Because the last several GT’s I have tried have been less than stellar I’ve decided to try a new brand/flavor today. I still have a handful of GT’s flavors to try but I figured it was time to expand my horizons; so I picked up a bottle of High Country Kombucha in their Goji Berry flavor.

I really like the bottle and the fact that the cap is sealed much better than GT’s caps. I was less nervous about jostling the bottle and causing the “natural effervescence” to explode out the sides.

The taste was good too! It was not sweet but had a fruity flavor. Sort of how a red wine might be described as having “full fruit flavors of cherry and berries and chocolate”. It doesn’t actually taste like you’re drinking sweet berries and chocolate, but you can appreciate the hints of flavor.

This particular brand, High Country Kombucha has some interesting flavors that I am excited to try. So check back in the coming weeks to see what I choose!

I have a fun weekend ahead of me “Before the Shore” party and gardening with my dad on Sunday!

Kombucha FAIL


Well my friends, I was afraid this day would come. If you’ve been reading since the beginning (aka-3 months ago ūüôā ) you know that every Friday I have been trying and reviewing new flavors of Kombucha. So far all of the flavors I have tried have been good, even great!

Well, today I tried the one flavor I have been trying NOT to try. I have chosen every other fruity sounding flavor, but could no longer avoid THIS:

MULTI-GREEN. This flavor has the original kombucha in it along with algae, sprulina and a few other green friends. Now I am a VERY adventurous person when it comes to trying new foods so I decided that even though the thought of drinking pond scum was gross, I was gonna give it a go.

Um, it was awful. The initial taste to your mouth is kombucha, which I have come to enjoy a lot. But the AFTER-taste is horrible. I can’t even pick a good adjective to describe it. Let’s just say the saying “i just threw up in my mouth” might be appropriate to describe the after taste. ūüôā

Well, ya can’t win them all can ya? I’ve got to run, I’ve got a day full of nothing to do other than relax and get ready for BROAD STREET TOMORROW! I am so excited/nervous. I’ll see you all at the finish line!

Kombucha Friday – Raspberry Rush



Up this week for tasting is GT’s Raspberry Rush:

At first taste it had the typical kombucha flavor- tangy and fizzy. I took a big sip anxiously waiting for that RUSH of Raspberry Flavor annnnnd…. Nada. It had a hint of sweetness but other than that no raspberry flavors were to be found. I was quite sad about this because of all fruits out there Raspberries are my #1. In fact, after having several sips of this flavor, it started to take on an apple juice-like taste. Like sparkling cider.¬†Weird¬†huh? Also this flavor was super fizzy; I like that little punch of fizz (like the MANGO has!) but this was a bit much.

So, all in all this flavor was a flop. I did not dislike it because I like Kombucha in general, but as far as the fruit flavors go, it gets probably a 4.5 out of 10.

I only have a few more flavors to try of GT’s so check back next Friday to see what’s next!

Guava Goodness


Hello from my friend the Phanatic!

This happy guy was hanging out down by Boat House Row during my run. He is part of The Phillies and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation’s ¬†(GPTMC)¬†“Phanatic Around Town” public art project. There are 20 of these guys scattered throughout the city. I was happy to see this one so close to where I run! I’ll be on the lookout for others during my travels in the city.

Now onto tastier things…

It’s Kombucha¬†Friday¬†again here at The Bright Side!

I was very fortunate in that I was able to pick up several new flavors to try on sale at Whole Foods this past weekend. Like I have mentioned before, these teas can be pricey.

From my experience, when first opening a Kombucha tea, one must be VERY careful to not cause an explosion from the natural effervescence (trust me, I’ve done it and it ain’t pretty). After successfully opening said tea, I like to smell the flavors. In the past the Mystic Mango had an obvious mango scent (duh) and the Trilogy had a distinct ginger smell to it.

Today’s flavor, Guava Goddess (no I don’t make up these names) took me on a walk down memory lane. My experience with Guava has been in the form of¬†pastelito de guayaba y queso, a Cuban dessert made with guava paste and cream cheese that is baked inside a pastry crust-much like an empanada. They are my all time favorite dessert and although they are hard to find they will ALWAYS remind me of my trip to Little Havana in Miami.

My father was born and raised in Cuba and came to the US as a boy. He and his six siblings were grew up in PA and eventually my grandparents moved to Miami to get away from the cold. One year (I must have been 12 or so) my dad decided that I was going to get to go on a trip with him to see “Grandma and Abba”. I was so excited; being one of three girls means there was always competition in the house. To make a long story short, we had a really fun trip, sightseeing and visiting with my grandparents. The one thing I still remember, to this day is the freshly made Guava Pastry my dad bought me from a little store in Little Havana. It was heavenly and ever since then I always check out bakeries to see if they might carry them!

:sidenote: I did find one authentic coffee shop in Philly that carries them but on the day I went, “Mama” hadn’t made them. I’ll be checking back though!

Guess my love affair with food started at an early age ūüėČ .

So back to this review. After the¬†nostalgic first whiff I sipped on this pretty pink drink with a smile. The Guava Goddess is not nearly as “fizzy” as the other flavors I have tried! I like some fizz here and there but overall, the bubbles just take up too much space in my belly–one reason I’ve never been huge on soda. The guava added a smooth consistency to the tea and overall, I give this flavor a big thumbs up! I would say, 9 out of 10.

Just to recap we have:

Trilogy – 8/10

Mystic Mango – 8.5/10

Guava Goddess – 9/10

I am really liking this weekly Kombucha review! Can’t wait to get through all of GT’s flavors and try a new brand!

I walked home for lunch today to get in a little extra movement since I am working at the Melting Pot tonight and won’t have a change to get in a run or cross-training. I have the big 1-0 on the plan for tomorrow. Double Digits! I think my sister is planning on running at least 1/2 with me. Wish me luck on this test run of the Broad Street Distance! Might not have a recap until Sunday though, I am¬†participating¬†in a charity bar crawl Saturday afternoon in honor of a friend who passed away from cancer a year ago.


Tea Time!


Up for review this week: GT’s Kombucha Synergy – Trilogy Flavor!

This bad boy is packed full of organic raw kombucha, raspberry juice, lemon juice, and fresh pressed ginger juice. At first sip it has a very distinct ginger taste; very¬†reminiscent of the ginger that comes on a sushi plate. It is very refreshing and you pick up on the lemon with a sweet hint of raspberry at the end. I really like this flavor a lot because it isn’t super sweet (even though I am a sweet fiend and loved the ¬†Mystic Mango, I also appreciate fresh, tart flavors as well).

I really love the way I feel after having a Kombucha Tea. They give you a zing of energy and an all around feeling of alertness. All in all, I give this flavor an 8 out of 10!

Backing up now to lunch…if you live in the Philly area you know what I am talking about when I say FINALLY!!!!!! I mean after three MAJOR snow storms this winter and less than stellar weather the past week or so, it is about time we had an amazing weekend. Sure, there was that random tease of a nice weekend back in March but I think weekend can officially be called the start of SPRING!

To kick off an amazing weekend B and I had lunch outside on my deck.  I had the other half of my salmon sammy from dinner yesterday along with a mixed green salad with blue cheese, red onion and organic raspberry vinaigrette.

I felt like I was dining al fresco somewhere in the city! I had a great meal, great weather and great company. Perfect! I was super hungry and couldn’t wait to chow down!

I hand a handful of M&M’s to satisfy my sweet tooth after ūüôā

And for the cherry on top, our office is closing early today!! I am so excited to have a few extra hours to enjoy to myself! Gotta run a few errands then heading over to B’s place for some drinks and grilling with friends!