How I made KOMBUCHA without a scoby at home

This is how I made Kombucha at home from scratch without a scoby. This was my first time and I thought it turned out pretty good. It was easy and cheap to do.

HOW TO DO IT

1. Get a large glass jug. Glass is better as plastic leeches into your tea.
2. Get some green tea (loose leaf, bags or just bagged green tea).
3. Buy some kombucha (plain) at the store. I suspect flavored might work too, but was told plain.
4. Get some sugar.
5. Heat your water.
6. Fill your jar.
7. Add the tea and steep 5 minutes or so.
8. Take the bags out and add the sugar. I was told a cup, but did about half of cup and it was o.k.
9. Stir and dissolve sugar.
10. Let it cool a bit then add the kombucha.
11. Cover the jar tightly with a thin cloth or coffee filter.
12. Keep it at room temperature out of the sun.
13. Wait 7-10 days or longer if you want less sugar.

Mine turned out good. I tasted it around 8-9 days and then partook on the 10th day. It was good!

A little scummy thing called a scoby starts to form. Mine was pretty thin I did read a 1/4 inch think was o.k. Mine was probably an 1/8th of an inch thick.

HOW I MADE MY SECOND FERMENTATION

Today I made a second batch. I poured out the kombucha into bottles and my tummy;) Then left that little scummy scoby in there. Then poured back in the mixed tea and sugar.

But before I did I let it COOL. I figured the hot water could damage the scoby.

The scoby kind of sank to the bottom as it was pretty thin, but I think it will be alright.

We’ll watch and try it out in 7 days or so.

Is a college degree worth it?

I am going to speak from experience here. It’s not worth the debt. Don’t take out debt. I still have debt from 20 years ago. Yikes sounds scary. Time flies.

It’s a good experience and it might help you, but for me not really. I mean by itself it didn’t get me ahead. I studied art with an emphasis on painting.

If you are not sure then wait till you are. Do other stuff. Travel, learn, get experience and do the things that you want to do.

I guess it depends on what you want to study. But I repeat it’s not worth the debt. Stay debt free. A lot of people are going to tell you to do it probably but…

2 months on the ketogenic diet

A few months ago I made a post about sugar, the ketogenic diet and time restricted feeding. And not so long ago I completed 2 months on the ketogenic diet.

That diet is a low carb and high fat diet. Some of the benefits are:

  • weight loss
  • cancer fighting
  • lower cholesterol
  • lower blood sugar and insulin levels
  • decreased inflammation
  • less tooth decay and gum disease
  • mood control

Read more about the benefits of keto.

It was hard to adapt to at first. It definitely took a good month until I felt normal. I remember feeling a bit weak and irritable.

Ketosis is a state where you burn fat mostly instead of sugar for energy. If you fast then this is what happens. The sugar runs out, but the fat is a more sustainable source of energy.

Changes from keto?

I don’t know if I noticed any changes really. It hasn’t been long. I might have lost a few pounds, but not much. Before I started it I think I ate relatively healthy but I did eat a fair amount of carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, bagels and fruit.

As of recent I haven’t been following it so strictly as I have been eating some beans. They are a cheap form of protein, but they are high in carbs. To remain in a state of ketosis it is said that you should aim for eating less than 50 carbs a day.

A can of beans has close to that or more.

But aside from that and a few foods my parents sent on my birthday I still have been following the diet. In fact I found some new yummy foods to eat since then.

  1. Nutritional yeast. I have been sprinkling it on things like eggs or just as a cheese substitute. It’s really good.
  2. Chia seeds. You can make an interesting pudding with them as they gel like tapioca.
  3. Coconut flakes. I can eat a couple cups of these a day.
  4. Inchi seeds. Trader Joe’s has these salted ones that are really good. They are supposed to be high in good fats.
  5. Almond flour.

Wheat is sweet

It’s funny after you stop eating sugar and fruit you start to taste the more subtle flavors that you didn’t before. Like I never thought coconut flakes were sweet, but they taste pretty sweet now.

Then I ate a cracker with wheat in it and it tasted pretty sweet.

I have eaten very little fruit, but was thinking that raw cabbage tastes kinda sweet the other day.

There’s sugar and carbs in a lot of food. Vegetables have them too.

I don’t really miss the carbs like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. I can live without those. There are other yummy foods out there. I’ll continue eating mostly keto foods, but I probably won’t follow it so strictly.

Yoga for forward head tilt

Looking at a computer or your phone will give you forward head tilt if you are not careful. Forward head tilt can be learned as well.

So I made this video by doing yoga to improve your posture.

I think it may also be created by your mindset. Stand tall and confident!

I fasted for 2+ days & this is what happened

For the last year or so I have been fasting on Sundays. I’ll stop eating sometime between 8 and 10pm on Sat. and then I won’t eat anything till 7pm or so the next day.

But this time I decided I would go a little longer. It wasn’t planned out, but I just thought it would be good. There was no jiujitsu this week so… good timing.

The first day is not that hard. Yes you still think about food, but you just drink water when you are hungry.

I found that it’s good to get work done. You have more time if you don’t eat.

I slept pretty good the first night.

By the second day night I was pretty consumed with thoughts of food. My energy was low and not so focused. Meditation is good when you are fasting I probably should have done that even more instead of trying to work on my website.

I remember lying in bed thinking about food. I did go 3 days (81 hours) once without food. This time seemed harder. Fasting is difficult.

Changes your digestion going off and coming back on. Fasting is difficult, but good.

I am going without dairy for 2 weeks too. Just to see if I notice any differences. Been doing the ketogenic diet and I will report on that soon enough.

I said ummm 35 times & made this video

I recently made a video called What’s your kung fu? I did a lot of editing in that video of little bits like ummm, ahhh or ughhh.

I edited it because it seemed to drag on and ughhh like slow it down. After I decided I would try to make something with it. So I did.

  • First I made a beat with stuff I chopped and sampled from Garage band including my voice in the video.
  • I cut all the little bits up (35 total) and started a new video.
  • I took the audio from that video and ran it through my computer to my turntables and then scratched it.

Voila!

I added a few more bits like a dragon fly from Shanghai and some rock jumping in New Hampshire.

So I tried to make a piece of art from my own junk. It was kinda interesting and fun. I think I like it too.

Sugar, Time Restricted Feeding & The Ketogenic Diet

I have been making some changes to my diet. Experimenting with a few things that I have learned.

One thing led to another. I saw the first video below about sugar that was interesting. My teeth had been hurting so I decided to reduce my consumption of fruit including dry fruit which is loaded with sugar.

Sugar

It seems like pretty much everything breaks down into sugar. Well not everything, but potatoes, bread, rice, grains, pasta, fruit, etc.

So what’s the difference between eating brown rice and straight sugar? Is it just the vitamins?

Time restricted feeding

Then I saw another cool video about time restricted feeding. Sounded kinda similar to the fasting I was doing for the last year or so on Sundays.

Well actually sounded more like the first fasting I tried the Warrior Diet (eating 4 hours a day).

Some of the benefits of that which appealed to me were a leaner body: less fat and more muscle. Apparently some studies of mice showed that just restricting their diet to eating in a window between 8-12 hours made them less fat even if they ate crappy food.

More interesting it also made them more muscular. So I have been mostly keeping my feeding within 10 hours and still fasting for 21-24 hours on Sundays.

I used to eat all the time. From when I woke up to until I went to bed.

Apparently eating many meals over a long period of the day isn’t as healthy.

She also made some interesting comments about sulphuraphane and the benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables.

Ketogenic diet

The first video with Gary Taubes mentioned this. I got curious and looked it up and then it showed up again. First with this video.

I guess your body can burn fat instead of sugar and carbs. There are a lot of benefits I guess to this diet. Lower inflammation, less fat, etc. It’s supposed to be good for fighting cancer as cancer cells can’t feed on fat or something like that.

Basically it’s a high fat diet, some protein and few carbohydrates – no pasta, no potatoes, mostly no fruit, etc.

I have been experimenting with this a bit. I haven’t been real strict yet, it’s been a little tough. I was gradually reducing carbs like potatoes, brown rice and sweet potatoes to none.

I guess it can take 6-8 weeks. It’s different for everyone. We’ll see. And I’ll post a future update.

What’s your Kung fu?

When I lived in Tainan, Taiwan I took some kung fu classes. Downstairs was a guy who owned a t-shirt shop. He said his kung fu was making t-shirts.

That’s actually the real meaning of the word. Kung fu can be pretty much anything. It can be skill like a martial art, making t-shirts, coding, writing, teaching, playing golf, etc.

I find myself sometimes in awkward positions reaching for something sometimes and then ask myself, “how’s my kung fu?” or just notice that my kung fu is bad.

What’s my kung fu?

Nowadays it’s jiu-jitsu, art (scratching records, beatboxing, performing, etc.), yoga, meditation and ESLinsider.

What’s your kung fu?

How I went from NOT kneeling to kneeling

3 years ago when I started jiu-jitsu I realized I couldn’t kneel without pain. I didn’t know what happened as I used to be able to kneel. But my left knee cap would catch and I couldn’t sit back on my heels.

In fact I used to do it when I did yoga. In yoga there’s a position called child’s pose that is similar. However, somewhere along the way I stopped doing that and lost that mobility in my knee.

I was kind of obsessed with kneeling though as everyone did it in jiu-jitsu, but I couldn’t do it without pain. Then I remember seeing some squatty potty videos and others about deep squats.

It also seemed like the natural thing to do. But that had become a little painful to do, but I decided that I was going to push through the pain a bit and deep squat more often.

Public toilets

I share bathrooms with many other people here where I live. So since I do I never sat on these toilets or touched them, but decided to go back to standing on them. For a long while I had been hovering.

I also started doing deep squats just here and there and gradually I found myself able to kneel in judo and jiu-jitsu.

My advice…

Do deep squats for your knees. It may hurt a bit, but if you do it consistently I think your mobility will improve.

I think it’s also good for your hips and low back.

Previously a doctors told me that it puts a lot of pressure on the knee. Like 50X or something. He sort of suggested that it wasn’t good, but now I can see how it benefited me.

I had done a bunch of rehab exercises which didn’t seem to do much or improve the mobility. Deep squats improved it though.

Confession: I am 41 & on food stamps

I recently watched one of Gary Vee’s videos and at the end of it he asks a question something like: “What’s the conversation that you are most scared of having in the world?”

Is it with your parents, your relationship, etc. He suggests that letting the world know that may clear the kink in your pipes.

Time to expose some of my dirt.

The truth is I am broke and stuck here in San Francisco. I can’t manage to save money and I have to pay high rent. I can’t seem to escape.

I have been getting food stamps pretty much since I have been here.

I usually make most of my money by street performing. I often make less than minimum wage.

I owe $28,000 in student loans. It’s hard to keep up with interest. I started with $30,000 in loans and my grandmother paid off a big chunk of money then I had $17,000, but unpaid interest grew it back to $34,000.

Some might say get another job. You see that’s part of the problem. My resume is kinda shitty now after spending 6+ years out of the country and street performing for 3+.

On top of that. I don’t really want a “resume” or a job.

Because I never found one that I liked. Every job was a means to an end. Something I did to get somewhere else.

I guess I always wanted to do my own thing. My parents were never like that. They were practical people.

For a long time it was art for me and that was what I wanted to do with my life. Make art. Then I got burn’t out on painting. Maybe I gave up too soon. IDK, but I wanted to travel so I did.

Pretty much spending any money I earned on it. Since then I have lived in 7 different States and in 3 different countries.

In 2009 I started my project ESLinsider. It wasn’t until the end of 2010 that it got online with videos and an ebook. I tried selling a subscription to the videos.

That failed and approximately one person paid. Then I made the videos free and then like a year later or so I was making $80 a month with ads. I never made more than that with ads.

I decided to make it a course and for a few years I averaged maybe $300+ a month from it in donations or paid courses. Just last year I had one month where I made $1700.

But the month that followed was like zero. When I told my dad that he snickered. Over the last 3 months or so it’s been pretty bad.

Sometimes I wonder if I should quit. I have been doing this for 7 years! And I can not support myself with it. I mean I probably wouldn’t totally erase the site, but just change my focus.

I think that’s what I am doing and that’s why I changed my Youtube channel name from ESL Insider to Ian Leahy.

I have gone back and forth about that and starting a new channel.

Being 41 

It’s not that different from when I was 26. Seriously my life hasn’t changed much. On some levels it has (like instead of snowboarding I am passionate about jiu-jitsu & instead of painting I am more into the music thing), but not by usual standards.

Most people are married, have a career and kids.

Not me. I don’t really desire those things. Sometimes I think I’d like a relationship, but kinda fear it and getting attached to someone. Japan is where I want to move to next and I kinda think getting into a relationship is not really going to help that.

Also I don’t think many women are interested in a street performer who’s on food stamps.

As far as kids go I still think the same thing I thought way back when and that was maybe when I am older.

Like when I was 26 I was all about getting to next place – a better place. I am not sure if it’s searching or exploring. I just get bored with places so the same could happen with Japan, but if I don’t do it I’ll regret it. I don’t want to be 50, 60, 70 saying, “what if?”

But at this rate I won’t get there until something changes or rather I change something. I guess the point of this post was just to share some of the things that get swept under the rug.