Friday, March 9, 2012

Product Review - GT’s Raw Organic Kombucha...

















Kombucha, people either love it or hate it. I think it’s absolutely incredible! For those of you who’ve never had it, Kombucha is a health promoting living drink of fermented tea, and GT’s Kombucha is some of the best on the market. They have their classic line, their synergy line, and now they have synergy kombucha with chia seeds, which is very cool indeed. GT’s Kombucha is vegan, gluten-free, raw, organic, kosher, low-calorie, low-carbohydrates,, preservative and caffeine free, free of artificial flavors/colors, and low in sugar.

















Kombucha has been drunk for years by many different cultures, and though it’s origins are a mystery to us - it’s story lost in the sands of time it would seem - it’s believed that it was originally developed in China sometime in the 200's BC. From there it’s said to have spread to other parts of Asia such as Japan and Korea, and to Russia from where it spread to other European countries like Poland, Germany, Denmark and so on. Called everything from ‘dangerous’ to ‘the cure for cancer’ people’s opinions and claims about kombucha are rather strong. However very little research has actually been done on this ‘elixir’ and so truthfully no one really knows what it’s long term health benefits may be - well not in any scientifically proven way at least. Kombucha has been said to be able to detoxify the body, and energize the mind. It’s been said to help prevent cancer, cure it and aid in the recovery from it. It’s been said to increase energy, reflexes, and sharpness. It’s said to improve eye sight and heal joint damage as well as improve skin elasticity, and aid in digestion. All this and more has been said about kombucha and while I couldn't say exactly what is fact and what is fiction I can at least tell you about my own experience with kombucha and how it makes me feel.

















It definitely gives me energy, and I tend to drink it most when I’m staring to get tired at work or when I know I have a long and busy day ahead of me. After I drink a bottle I feel invincible, like I could run a marathon. I feel great, energetic, lighter, relaxed, enlightened. Regardless of what I’ve eaten that day or what I’m about to eat my digestion runs smoothly - which it doesn’t always - and my mind feels very clear. I also feel happier when I drink kombucha, and more at peace as though I’ve just meditated for a very long time. That’s how I personally feel after every bottle, and I love that feeling so I’m inclined to believe that scientific proof or not kombucha must certainly has some benefit, though like everything it may be dependant on the person. Since everything doesn’t always work for everyone.



















Having said all of that, it must also be said that kombucha has a ‘taste.’ Some people find it horrible, unpleasant, undrinkable, tart, vinegary, pungent, potent and just down right awful, and I’ll admit that I used to be amongst the haters and naysayer’s. It was my friend T who first introduced me to the stuff nearly two years ago now. He drinks it like water. GT’s Synergy is his favorite, and after talking it up for weeks and weeks my curiosity got the best of me and I bought a bottle. I took one sip and hated it. I couldn’t finish the bottle I’d bought and ended up dumping it down the sink. T told me not to worry, that I’d be back, and when I asked him what he thought would ever posess me to buy another bottle when I thought it was so awful he just smiled and shrugged. "Trust me, you’ll be back. There will come a time when curiosity will get the better of you again and you’ll ask yourself, was that really as bad as I first thought? When that happens you’ll buy another bottle, you’ll take a sip and be hooked." He sounded like a wise old sage and if you knew T you would know there is nothing sage-like about him, and yet he was absolutely right. One night I found myself tired and thirsty staring into a massive display case of Kombucha. I stood there scrutinizing the bottles, reading each flavor carefully and wondering to myself "Is it really as bad as I remember?" In the end, after many minutes of curious contemplation I broke down and bought another bottle. I cracked it open, took a sip, squished my eyes shut at the pungent taste and took another sip. By the third sip I was hooked, and hooked for life I might add.

















I guess the truth is that kombucha is a very powerful taste that most people are not accustomed too, but once you become accustomed to it, it’s delicious, and amazing. Plus you can’t beat the way it makes you feel afterwards, honestly I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it. So if you’ve never had kombucha I urge you to give it a try, although you might not like it at first drink the whole bottle you might just be surprised. For kombucha skeptics go on, drink a bottle, if you had it before and didn’t like it that second bottle might just be the one for you, as it was for me.

















As for what kombucha to buy and where to buy it - it’s become something of a revolution. Once not so long ago it was the kind of thing you had to make yourself or buy in little out of the way health food stores, but now several companies make it and it’s begun showing up in national large chain groceries. Some brands of course are better then others and personally GT’s is my favorite so far - although a new brand just appeared in my local grocery that I’m very excited about and will talk about next week - For me GT’s has the best flavor, and the smoothest taste. I love their classic flavors like Multi-Green, and Gingerade. Their Classic Synergy Flavors like Trilogy, and Gingerberry. Their Enlightened flavors like Botanic Number 3, Botanic Number 7 and Botanic Number 9. Their Enlightened Synergy flavors like Cosmic Cranberry, Mystic Mango, Guava Goodness and Passionberry Bliss. I also really love their Chia flavors. My hands down favorites in this category are the Grape Chia, the Green Chia and the Black Chia, i'm less fond of the Raspberry Chia, and i'm simply not a fan of the Cherry Chia but then as much as i like Cherries i'm not a big fan of cherry flavored stuff..

















So next time you’re out and about keep your eyes open, and if you see GT’s Kombucha pick up a bottle. It’s amazing stuff and really does make me feel invigorated, rejuvenated, enlightened, and refreshed! Love it or hate it just make sure you try it, or try it again!

10 comments:

  1. Wow! This sounds amazing and strangely enough, my health food store just stocked cases of GT's Third Eye Chai - have you tried that one? Any feedback?

    Thanks for the great info!

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  2. Kombucha really is great stuff, and I love GT’s. I actually haven’t tried the Third Eye Chia. My local health food store did carry it for a long time and I never got around to trying it. They don’t seem to have it at the moment though I’d definitely be curious to try it. I imagine that as long as you like Chai it would probably be pretty good! If you try it let me know!!

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  3. Hi... I just tried Kombucha Multi-Green after reading your review and I must say that I agree with you! I really dig it. It was not as bad as described (for me)... but then again I just started juicing after I tried Evolution Fresh - Essential Greens drink. I went from gagging that down to actually craving it, to buying a juicer and doing it myself. So Kombucha is pretty mellow if not actually interesting to taste. It reminds me of aloe vera for some reason.

    I also wanted to say I really am enjoying your blog. I am not vegan, but I oddly enough I find that I am less inclined to desire meat since I have started incorporating fresh vegetables (juicing) into my diet. I really am interested and leaning towards maybe going for it, so your blog is awesome with regards to the information you have posted. I have lots of reading to do. So thank you for taking the time and educating the masses... namely me. Take care.

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  4. Wow, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm really glad to hear that you've been enjoying my blog, i'm happy to be able to expand your horizons!. That's really great that you're enjoying more fresh fruits and vegetables! and that's awesome that you're juicing! I just bought a Juicer in January too and I love it! I find that for me, juicing makes me crave sugar less which is definitely a good thing in my book. What kind of Juicer did you buy and what is your favorite kind of juice to make?

    That's great that you're interested in leaning vegan too, remember to take it a day at a time and not to get frustrated with yourself if you can't go all in right away. :) Every step towards it is a step in the right direction.

    Oh - and the Multi-Green is definitely good. LOVE that one!

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  5. You're most welcome. I bought a Breville BJE820XL Dual Disc Juice Processor from Amazon.com. I watched "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" on Netflix and was pretty fascinated by the story and how juicing turned these guys' lives around. The guys in the film used the Breville as well, so I did some research and saw that Martha Stewart recommended the Breville as well. I read a bunch of reviews on Amazon.com and found that a ton of people recommended it and it was also recommended in the book "Green Juicing Diet" by John Chatham. So I purchased it about a month and a half ago. Which one did you get?

    As for my recipes... I just wing it. I am finding that juicing is quite an expensive way to go, so I am relegated to purchasing my vegetables from Costco versus the Berkeley Bowl. The Berkeley Bowl is very nice, but is is not cheap. Costco is bulk food and very cheap in comparison to Safeway and specialty stores such as the Berkeley Bowl. So I recently juiced entire Costco bag of Baby Kale and a bag of Baby Spinach along with 3 bunches of romaine lettuce and I filled up my juice jug. So that was the nastiest stuff I have made to date, but I just chug it down and it really is not that bad. I have to say I feel great after I drink one of my concoctions. I am usually satisfied with regards to my hunger cravings and I just feel good. It is amazing really. I am still amazed how I feel.

    My best drink was my first ever made up recipe. I used spinach, red and green kale, asparagus, carrots, celery, romaine lettuce, ginger, parsley, cilantro, broccoli, black berries, strawberries, blue berries, a lime and chia seeds. That was an expensive batch of juice but it was quite mellow and actually my friend said she thought it was so fresh tasting and she thought it was actually pretty decent. So... you see my extremes. I want all the goodness and benefits and I figure I don't need to appreciate the taste all that much... thus the Kombucha was pretty good as compared to spinach and kale juice!

    As for going completely vegan... maybe I will try a pescetarianism diet for now. I am gluten free at the moment so I am slowly figuring out what I can and cannot eat. I am doing this all on my own, so again blogs like yours are OUTSTANDING! I will spend some time reading up a bit more this weekend. So I am sorry for my ramblings. I am obviously excited and was happy you responded. Very cool indeed! So take care and be happy!

    Russ

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  6. Wow, that's funny I bought a Breville too, the 510 model, and for the same reason. I'd watched "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" and thought it was so inspirational, and even though i'm not overweight or sick I thought doing a juice fast was something I should do, just to reset everything and cleanse you know? Plus I'd been wanting a juicer for a long, long time already and seeing that film just really made me realize that I should get one and stop putting it off.

    Juicing can be expensive but it depends on what you juice. Definitely it's cheaper to juice veg then it is to juice fruit, I usually try to do some kind of mix. Like 2 fruit, and 4-5 Veg. Typically i'm using lemon and apple, then celery, carrot, chard, ginger, fennel. Stuff like that. Or I change it up and use cuke, or kale or whatever I have around. I don't like to juice anything that's not Organic but the cool thing about Costco is that they sell a lot more organic produce now then they used too. 10 lb bag of carrots for $5 is a great deal.

    I'm not Gluten-Free but I do eat a lot of Gluten-Free stuff because I typically feel 'lighter' and less bloated when I do. I have a tag for Gluten-Free recipes that you can check out. I know how hard it is to navigate healthy eating all by yourself. I had to figure out being Vegan on my own, and it was tough going at first. I'm happy I can help. If you have any questions or need any support feel free to leave me a message and i'd be happy to help you anyway I can. =) Having a strong support system is super important when making lifestyle changes, it makes transitions easier and helps to reminds us why we're doing something in the first place.

    You take care as well! Happy Juicing!

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  7. Oh yeah, I also wrote all about my juice fast on the blog you can check out the very first entry here - http://thegoodkarmakitchen.blogspot.com/2013/01/im-doing-juice-fast.html and then hit up my tags section and click Juice for the rest of the fast. There were 5 days. You may find it interesting/helpful and maybe you'll come up with some new juice combos! I agree with you that it's amazing how full you can be on just juice

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  8. I just bought the Multi-green, and for me, I actually wasn't sure if maybe it had gone "off". BUT after reading this blog I am sure it has not. It is nice to have this reference, as this is NOT for the faint of heart, or for someone seeking a fu-fu fruity full of calories "juice". After getting half way through the bottle, I was pleasantly surprised at my energy :) I enjoyed and I look forward to trying the other flavors! Thanks for putting my mind at ease, and allowing me to keep on drinking it!

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  9. Oh wow, thank you domsmama, i'm glad you found my post helpful. It's true that kombucha isn't for the 'faint of heart' but I think as bad as that first bottle is, the more you drink it the better it tastes and you grow to really love it.

    Glad to hear you experienced some increased energy as well.

    The other flavors are great, my husband's favorite is the Mango but that one has the most amount of sugar - FYI - My faves of the moment are Trilogy, Citrus, and Ginger. =D

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  10. I was a total skeptic & Kyleigh is right about it growing on you. The mango from GT's is my favorite, it's true. It's less vinegary than the others. There are only a select few other kambuchas out there that I like or tolerate but I'm going to try & expand my horizons SOME day. lol
    Great review!

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