Tag Archives: digestion

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Review

This is a review of Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Probiotics.

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve likely noticed that I sing the praises of this brand as much as I breathe. Okay, okay……not that much. But, I am a believer in what this brand does. I use their products daily and have been a lucky beneficiary of the health benefits they provide.

I was lucky enough to tour & hang out in their headquarters earlier this year in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and was blown away by the people, the passionate minds behind these products, and their commitment to quality.

Garden of Life teamed up with renowned Dr. David Perlmutter to create this line of products health that hone in on the mothership of all absorption: your digestive system. These probiotic supplements are unparalleled in the world of probies. They even ship them cold so that they retain their longevity.

Blah, blah, blah, right? Maybe some of you just want to hear the answer to: “Why do I need to take these and what are they going to do for my body?”

The short answer:

Probiotics will help you become healthier, get leaner, have clearer skin, sustain more energy and absorb more of the good food you’re eating. Better absorption means more health. I’ve lived it.

The longer answer: (I’ll offer this up because it left a lasting impression on me (something I learned from one of many lectures at the Garden of Life headquarters):

“Probiotics” is not JUST a buzz word. Your body NEEDS them to function optimally.

-The standard American diet, pharmaceutical drugs, etc. have diminished our bodies’ good bacteria population in the gut. The effect on human health is profound.

-Supplementing the diet with probiotics is key is returning this good bacteria population back to a point where the digestive system can assimilate, absorb and process nutrients as it’s supposed to.

-“At Garden of Life, we are greens, we are probiotics. It’s who are are.” -Sherri Gunn, Garden of Life.

-“So much more can be done with health & prevention.” -Dawn Jarvis, Garden of Life.

-There are trillions of microbial organisms in your body. You help the good microbes thrive by eating a rich, whole food based diet that limits processed foods.

-A natural, whole food diet without pesticides, GMOs helps heal the gut.

-Good bacteria in the gut helps protect against the bad bacteria. So, we need the good bacteria.

-Digestive health is responsible for absorption of all of the food we eat, which contributes to our overall vitality. That’s why gut health is such a focus.

If you made it this far reading this post, I am here giving you a virtual hug. Thank you. I know it’s a lot.

But, I say all of this to say: probiotics can REALLY help you in myriad of ways. I am a huge proponent of them. I use them and I feel a difference when I do.

Thanks for supporting ROO! Here’s to our health–cheers!

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Jay Robb Organic Psyllium Husk Powder Review

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Jay Robb Organic Psyllium Seed Husks

Overall Rating: images

About Jay Rob Psyllium Husks:

“Jay Robb Organic Non-GMO Psyllium Seed Husks are a great addition to your protein shakes as a means to get organic fiber into your diet.

Made With 100% Organic Non-GMO Psyllium Seed Husks (steam purified) 

Jay Robb Organic Non-GMO Psyllium Seed Husks are a great addition to your protein shakes as a means to get organic fiber into your diet.

Psyllium seed husks, also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium, are portions of the seeds of the plant Platago ovata, (genus Plantago), grows worldwide but is primarily grown and harvested in India. They are soluble in water, expanding and becoming mucilaginous when wet.

Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in human beings and are often used as a source of dietary fiber. They can be used as a dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI (gastrointestinal) transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material.

Jay Robb Psyllium Seed Husks are Non-GMO, ORGANICALLY GROWN, fumigated with CO2, and STEAM purified. Conventionally grown psyllium (most psyllium that is on the market) is often sprayed with malithion, chlorethoxyfos, endosulfan, parathion-methyl, and /or triazophos and fumigated with methyl bromide. Jay Robb Non-GMO Organic Psyllium Seed Husks are naturally grown without chemical sprays, artificial fertilizers, or toxic fumigation chemicals.

Suggested Use: Add 1 rounded tablespoon to your daily protein shake, or mix in 8 ounces of pure water.”

In regards to the products being raw, I’ve learned this:

“The psyllium in the raw is a powder and it would not handle the same as the husk. Psyllium in the raw is the seed portion that is powdered and doesn’t expand the same way that the husk would. The husk expands and becomes “gelatinous” thus giving you the full benefit of what psyllium is, a fiber. The husk offers a better dietary solution when used to treat constipation as a bulk-forming laxative. It absorbs liquid in the intestines, swells, and forms a bulky stool, which is easy to pass.

While the seed (raw form) can do the same thing, the husk does this process a little more efficiently. Psyllium fiber is not broken down as it passes down the gastrointestinal tract and so psyllium has no nutritive value other than as a source of fiber.”

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My Thoughts:

In addition to doing full-on cleanses every so often, I like to do things daily that help facilitate my body’s natural detoxification process. Keeping my fiber intake high is a big part of that.

I like to incorporate this psyllium seed husk powder (it’s in a coarse, powder-like form) by simply adding it to smoothies to make them more filling and satisfying. I have also found it handy to make a drink with a tablespoon of this powder + water in the evenings to help fend off late night “cravings.”

There is virtually no taste to it, making it perfect to mix into smoothies of any flavor.

I love the fact that this product is organic, & non-gmo and can appreciate the explanation provided by Jay Robb about why the fiber is not raw. I suppose it makes sense that fiber (providing simply a means of aiding detoxification) doesn’t need to be raw to be effective in doing it’s job. It’s not meant to provide a nutritional value, which is the main reason for desiring a raw product. However, knowing that this product was once unheated, I can’t help but think: why not leave it that raw? It seems like there must be some benefit to consuming it raw–just like any other plant. I’m assuming it’s not raw mainly to increase the shelf life of it.

I’d recommend this to someone looking for a doable way to aid detoxification. It’s a small, simple change you can make that will help you clear the “digestive fog” from your system and get your body back on track.

 

 

 

Four Sigma Foods: Medicinal Mushrooms Review

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Four Sigma Foods

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Four Sigma Foods:

“Our mission is to democratize mushrooms. We see immunological issues ‘along with hormonal and digestive problems’ as the key thing to solve in order to help people live healthier.

Four Sigma Foods was founded on a principle of making meaningful work. Even in the first sketches we made in October 2010, we split this dream into three actionable areas to do good:

  1. Producing innovative health food products. This is also the one that if done right brings food to our own table as well.
  2. Giving free natural health education. We want to spread to word on not only our own products, but also about the whole natural living lifestyle.
  3. Charitable actions. In the beginning we were not sure what this was, but we knew that we wanted to give back to the society also beyond our products and our education.”

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Instant Chaga

About:

Top 2 Benefits of Chaga

1. Boost the immune system
2. Fight against pathogens

Chaga mushroom
Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus), the active ingredient of Instant Chaga, is a vital part of a “pathogen-proof” immune system. Chaga contains one of the nature’s highest amount of SOD (superoxide dismutase), the most potent antioxidant in the human body. The antioxidant count in the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale also goes through the roof. The antioxidants prevent oxidations from happening in the body and thus protects the DNA and keeps the body young. Studies have shown that chaga use is an effective way to fight against unwanted bacteria, viruses, and inflammation. Chaga has also been shown to have very strong anti-tumor properties.

What you get?
Each Instant Chaga sachet contains 1500 mg of strong wild-crafted Siberian chaga extract. Note that we don’t only powder the mushrooms, but process them properly to ensure the effectiveness. The mushrooms have been extracted in both hot water and alcohol for all the beneficial compounds to become bioavailable. The final extraction is standardised to contain 30% polysaccharide and 2% triterpene content. We then combine the spray dried extract powder with natural and pure herbs, eleuthero, mint and rose hip. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) (50%, 30 g/box) (30% polysaccharides, 2% triterpenes)
– Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)
– Mint
– Rose hip

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Chaga sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

Instant Shiitake

About:

“Top 2 Benefits of Shiitake
1. Nurture skin and beauty
2. Support liver

Shiitake mushroom
Shiitake mushroom, the active ingredient in Instant Shiitake, is a true beauty food. For thousands of years in Asia, shiitake has been used to heal the skin, support the liver, enliven the blood, and boost Qi (meaning ‘life force’). It is a great natural booster for detoxing. Schisandra berry has always been the number one beauty herb in Asia and dandelion further detoxifies the body to support clean and glowing skin. Natural vitamin C from rose hip multiplies the bioavailability of all the active components.

What you get?
Each Instant Shiitake sachet contains 1500 mg of strong shiitake extract. Note that we don’t only powder the mushrooms, but process them properly to ensure the effectiveness. The mushrooms have been extracted in both hot water and alcohol for all the beneficial compounds to become bioavailable. The final extraction is standardised to contain 30% polysaccharide content. We then combine the spray dried extract powder with natural and pure herbs, schisandra (900 mg), dandelion and rose hip. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) (50%, 30 g/box) (30% polysaccharides)
– Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis)
– Dandelion
– Rose hip

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Shiitake sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

Instant Cordyceps

About:

Top 2 Benefits of Cordyceps

1. Boost energy levels
2. Improve sexual performance

Cordyceps mushroom
Cordyceps mushroom (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), the active ingredient of Instant Cordyceps, has some exciting properties for anyone who desires to improve his/her performance. Many scientific studies have shown that cordyceps can increase one’s maximal oxygen intake (VO2 max) by up to 15%. Oxygen is the most important element for your body. By using cordyceps you will be more energetic and achieve exceptional performances in sports, at work, at home and not to mention in the bedroom!

What you get
Each Instant Cordyceps sachet contains 1500 mg of strong cordyceps extract. The fermented CS-4 strain mycelium has been extracted in both hot water and alcohol to ensure optimal effectiveness. The final extraction is standardised to contain 40% polysaccharide and 15% mannitol content. There are no caterpillars or other larvae being used in our cordyceps production, and it is suitable for vegans.

The rest 1500mg of the sachet consists of natural and pure herbs, ginseng, licorice root, mint, rose hip and stevia. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) (50%, 30 g/box) (40% polysaccharides)
– Ginseng
– Licorice root
– Mint
– Rose hip
– Stevia (steviol glycosides)

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Cordyceps sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

Instant Maitake

About:

“Top 2 Benefits of Maitake
1. Support weight-loss
2. Balance blood sugar levels

Maitake mushroom
Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), the active ingredient of Instant Maitake, can be of great help for diabetics and in supporting weight loss. It is especially known for its capabilities to modulate blood sugar levels and to optimize the insulin production. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is a sacred herb in Ayurveda and supports these effects. Ginger helps with bloating and natural vitamin C from rose hip increases the assimilation of all the goodies.

What you get?
Each Instant Maitake sachet contains 1500 mg of strong maitake extract. Note that we don’t only powder the mushrooms, but process them properly to ensure the effectiveness. The mushrooms have been extracted in both hot water and alcohol for all the beneficial compounds to become bioavailable. The final extraction is standardised to contain 30% polysaccharide content. We then combine the spray dried extract powder with natural and pure herbs, tulsi, ginger, rose hip and stevia. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Tulsi content per sachet is 900 mg and natural vitamin C amount from rose hip is 27 mg (45 % of the RDI).

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Maitake (Grifola frondosa) (50%, 30 g/box) (30% polysaccharides)
– Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
– Ginger
– Rose hip
– Stevia (steviol glycosides)

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Maitake sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

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My Thoughts

I can give you a long list of things that I appreciate about Four Sigma Foods. I love their unique, passionate approach for creating products that harness the power of nature to heal the body. I love following them on social media and absorbing the helpful tidbits they have to offer.

So, I got four boxes of mushroom goodies to try (awesomeness). In each respective box, there are individuals serving packets. This packaging is particularly helpful for my when I commute to coach volleyball practice and need to bring a meal with me. I add a pack of this mushroom goodness (I alternate the 4 of them) to a blender bottle with my favorite protein, plant-based milk and seeds (chia, flax or hemp), and not only does it provide me with a healthy, convenient meal, but it equips me with the added healing benefits of mushrooms (digestive health, balancing hormones, energy boost, immune support, etc.) Adding these packets to my smoothie has been one of several healthy habits that is contributing to me feeling the healthiest I’ve ever felt. My energy is soaring, I sleep well and I’m able to work out hard during the day and play volleyball with my 12 year old team at night without being completely incapacitated. My diet plays a huge role in that.

I get excited by the fact that each of these four mushrooms blends ALSO contains a range of other healers like licorice root, mint, dandelion, etc. I know many of these to be powerful liver detoxifiers. Taste-wise, each of these blends tastes similar to me, likely because I do not consume them by themselves. They are earthy & robust–I love the unique flavor it adds.

These packets of tiny mushroom chunks, if you will, are gluten free, non-gmo, soy free, sugar free, vegan and all natural. That’s pretty good. I would love to see that they are organic and raw. What Four Sigma Foods is doing here is big, but I believe they could make it bigger. I wouldn’t need to see an organic certification to feel better about the products, just to know that the mushrooms are grown without pesticides and harsh chemicals. I also believe (just like other plants), mushrooms are mostly beneficial when consumed raw; as the nutrient profile has not been compromised after contact with heat.

I’m happy that I got to try Four Sigma Foods and

 

Big Island Organics Review

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Big Island Organics

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Big Island Organics:

“In 1996 Greg Petersen and Kristal Roach started Petersen Organics on their small farm on Hawaii’s big island. Their first product was Gingerade, a simple mix of Hawaiian yellow ginger and organic lemon juice grown on their farm with filtered water and agave nectar. This potent health tonic soon made its way to the local brewery’s menu and then to grocery stores becoming a local favorite.

Many years later Greg and Kristal decided to take Big Island Organics to the mainland. Today their delicious and healthy gingerades are offered at organic and natural food stores like Bristol Farms, Lassen’s, New Leaf, Pharmaca, Breaux Mart, Akins, Harmons, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods.”

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Hawaiian Gingerade

About:

“For over ten years we’ve been mixing this one up. Fresh harvested yellow ginger, organically grown on the Big Island of Hawaii was the inspiration behind its creation. This is a strong herbal beverage with the exotic flavor of ginger combined with the tanginess of fresh lemon juice.

We continue to exclusively use Hawaiian yellow ginger. The Hawaiian climate is ideal for this plant and we choose from the highest quality available, buying direct from the farmer and supporting Hawaiian agriculture. Each 16 ounces of Hawaiian Gingerade (pictured) contains 42 grams of Hawaiian Yellow Ginger Root known to be twice as strong as the commonly used White Ginger. Try one today and feel the difference!

Ingredients: filtered water, organic lemon juice, organic agave nectar, organic fresh pressed Hawaiian yellow ginger juice.”

Gingerade Mate

About:

“Feeling energized and happy is what Yerba Maté is all about. This wonderful plant contains 24 vitamins and minerals and has been used as a health enhancing beverage for centuries in South America. In modern day Mate’ has found its way into American life. Many people are choosing to drink Maté instead of Coffee or Black tea, finding it to be safer and gentler on their body and mind.

We have brought together our powerful Hawaiian Gingerade with Yerba Maté to create a strong energy drink that will get you on your feet and feeling great. We use the highest quality Maté available. Each 16 ounces (pictured here) of Gingerade Maté contains a generous 3.5 grams of Yerba Maté. Uplift yourself to higher ground!

Ingredients: filtered water, organic lemon juice, organic agave nectar, organic fresh pressed Hawaiian yellow ginger juice, organic cold infused Guayaki Yerba Mate.”

Agave Lemonade

About:

“We have created the world best lemonade using the finest 100% organic ingredients. This is what real lemonade is all about.

Our delicious Agave Lemonade is made using fresh organic lemon juice that’s not from concentrate. We use organic agave nectar to lightly sweeten it. Agave nectar is a highly nutritious sap that is naturally extracted from the agave plant. The natural sugar in agave is low glycemic and considered to be one of the world’s healthiest natural sweeteners.

Kids and adults Love our Agave Lemonade!

Ingredients: filtered water, organic lemon juice, organic agave nectar.”

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My Thoughts:

These lemonade drinks will completely change your lemonade game! There is simply no comparison between Big Island Organics drinks and the typical container or bottle of processed, artificially filled junk you’ll find at the convenience store. More and more brands are creating organic lemonade drinks, however–Big Island Organics also harnesses these beneficial ingredients: agave nectar, ginger juice & Guayaki Yerba Mate. These ingredients take these beverages to a whole new level.

Ginger does many incredible things for the body–not the least of which is that it helps aid and facilitate digestion. This is helpful to anyone looking to improve their overall health, lose weight and detoxify their system. Efficient digestion is vital in absorbing the nutrients from the foods you eat.

The foundation of each of these drinks, lemon juice, is one of nature’s most potent detoxifiers and cleansers. Regularly consuming lemon juice helps balance your internal pH, clear your skin, boost energy levels and increase your metabolism.

Besides all of the remarkable health benefits, these drinks are delicious! I enjoyed drinking half a drink every morning, pairing it with a protein-rich smoothie (containing a healthy source of fat like chia, flax or hemp seed) for a macro-balanced start to the day. Since these drinks are primarily a source of sugar (healthy sugar), it’s important to pair them up with protein & fat to keep your diet balanced.

I recommend these to everyone–who doesn’t love lemonade? You’ll love it even more after tasting what Big Island Organics has to offer: fresh, organic goodness with a kick of ginger!

 

Health Ade Kombucha Review

This is a review of Health Ade Kombucha.

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Health Ade

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Health Ade:

“Health-Ade was formed by 3 very close friends, all looking to bring a BETTER kombucha to the Southern California market. Founded in Los Angeles, Health-Ade is made the “old-fashioned” way–as nature intended–dedicated to offering the highest quality and best tasting kombucha one can buy. They do this by committing to things like: pulling out all the stops to ensure the culture is healthy and strong, using only local and seasonal farmers’ market fruit for flavor, and keeping harmful plastic and UVs away from the entire fermentation and bottling process.

Origins

Made 100% in Los Angeles, Health-Ade also works hard to support the local community, as demonstrated by their efforts in growing Farmers’ Markets, their collaboration with regional non-profits such as Home-Boy Industries, and their drive to increase understanding and importance of health and wellness.

Health-Ade kombucha comes in our original formula, as well as 4 other tasty seasonal flavors. Remember, for the highest quality, we only use local seasonal, and organic produce for flavoring. Take your pick and make it a habit!

Why Drink Health-Ade?

Though different brands of kombucha are somewhat prevalent in health food stores today, most of these interpretations have a compromised quality due to efforts in mass production and hastening fermentation. Unfortunately, this has resulted in many products falling short of the real deal, often higher in sugar than ever intended.

Health-Ade Is

  • made using only organic and whole ingredients
  • produced by using the original recipe
  • 100% naturally fermented
  • flavored with local and seasonal farmers’ market fruit
  • made in small batches right here in LA
  • fermented and produced only in glass
  • manufactured and bottled in UV-sensitive environments
  • 100% raw, vegan, natural, and gluten-free
  • made, down to the bottle, in the USA

Health-Ade Is Not

  • made with genetically engineered sugars or powdered teas
  • made using concentrates, dilutions, dyes, or powders
  • hastening fermentation with added chemicals and powders
  • mass-produced and / or outsourced
  • fermented in plastic, potentially causing leaching
  • exposed to harmful UV light, potentially depleting its probiotic count
  • pasteurized (kills 50%+ of the probiotic) or unnatural
  • made and bottled overseas, impacting our Earth and economy.”

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My Thoughts:

Ahhhh… Kombucha. Bubbly, delicious, a bit sweet, satisfying. I can’t get enough. I love the ritual of opening a new bottle and taking the first gulp of effervescent splendor. I’ve found this drink can also help you to curb cravings and feel fill, as this bubbly drink temporarily creates the illusion that your stomach is full.

At this point, I’ve tried several brands of Kombucha–some great and some not quite as great. I have a few specs that I look for when I try a new kind.

My Preferred Kombucha Specs

-Bubbly, packs a punch

-Delicious and unique flavors

-Organic ingredients

Health Ade Kombucha meets all three of those qualifications, AND to top it off–the icing on the cake; they use and support local ingredients. To me, that is huge and it sets them apart from the other brands. Not only do they value organic, pure ingredients but they also see the importance of supporting local farmers and harvests. I just love that.

These flavors are all very tasty, interesting and unique in their own right. The newest kombucha flavor (to my palate) was the Cayenne Cleanse. As you can imagine, this one is zippy and heats up your mouth right away. It has just the right amount of heat–any more and it might be a bit too much for me.

But, I love that they use cayenne, as this pepper offers metabolism boosting benefits! If I had to pick one flavor as my favorite, it would have to be Pomegranate. It’s tart and fruity with a kick of sweetness. It’s delicious. I’d pick the California Grape as my runner up.

New to Kombucha?

If you have yet to try Kombucha, dive in! Especially if you are still a soda drinker, Kombucha is a MUCH healthier alternative to other carbonated beverages. I’d recommend these to anyone who is looking to enhance their digestion and overall health.