Happy New Year… and here’s to drinking quality tea because life is too short for bad tea. Right?!
It’s that time of the year where you have to queue for a treadmill at the gym. Everyone is talking about their resolutions and how this is the year everything is going to be great!! Fast forward to February and most have fallen off the wagon citing some long excuse about what’s not going right.
This year I challenge you to push that barrier and try something different. Start a new routine or simply live the life you should be living … how about a lifestyle change? It’s not about a period or season but about your life in totality. It’s the steps to becoming the best you with TEA of course.
They say to start any journey, rid yourself of all the unwanted. Leave all the bad eating habits in 2015 and start a year with Detox! Any habit can be unlearned, its just a matter of commitment and prioritizing your time.
One of the most popular aids to detoxing is GREEN TEA. It’s my favourite type of tea (after the locally grown Rooibos). Green tea has always been attached to weight loss which is just one of its benefits.
I must confess my first encounter with green tea was most unsavoury. In fact it tasted like a whole lot of nothing. I did what most people who drink green tea, incorrectly do. I left the teabag in the water while I went to take a shower, then I came back and still used the teaspoon to press the teabag against the cup. I was making sure I was getting all the life out the teabag. Well, lets just say we all must start somewhere and I truly understand why green tea is the one variety of tea that people consistently tell me they like the least. For those who hate green tea, I would ask why and a common response is “because it tastes bitter.”
With all the benefits derived from it, I started to do a lot of reading about green tea because I wanted to know everything I could about it. There had to be a better way to enjoy this well respected tea … and so I dug deeper …
What is green tea?
❖ Originated from China, it’s the least processed tea made from unfermented Camellia Sinensis plant. The tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. Its typically green, yellow or light brown in color with a distinct taste
How do you make green tea?
❖ Water temperature: I always thought that the way to make tea, any tea, was to simply boil the kettle, pour the water on my tea leaves/teabag and drink. You don’t pour boiling water over green tea. I had no idea that different types of tea should be made with water at different temperatures. Boiling water burns green tea. You have to boil your kettle and wait for 5 min before pouring the boiled water. In fact, all our The Tea Merchant tea tins, provide a guide telling you what temperature water the tea should be made with.
❖ Steeping: That is, how long have you left the tea leaves (or teabag) sitting in the cup or teapot? You are only supposed to brew the tea for max 1-3 minutes (the tea must be removed after this time). Brewing your tea for too long will make for a poor end result. If left long the tea becomes bitter. Many green teas have very delicate flavours and hence these get lost when it is steeped too long or drenched in boiling water.
❖ Quality of the tea: (tres importante) green tea in a tea bag often means that the leaves are broken. Bagged leaves can create a bitter taste. If you are a loose leaf type, here’s a golden rule that you can’t ignore: If you are unsure, use fewer leaves. With too many leaves, the tea can easily taste bitter and tannic. If you prefer flavour in your green tea, add some fresh mint leaves, lemon or lime slices. Artificial flavour can do some funky things when added to hot water.
What is all the hype about green tea?
❖ It is a diuretic that contains high amounts of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds as well as fat burning agents that aid in the speeding of your metabolism, giving you the head start to a healthier you. A diuretic stimulates the elimination of fluids.
❖It is great for cleansing ones body from impurities, lowering cholesterol and removing toxic substances.
❖It contains the most important and potent plant nutrient (known as ECGC- epigallocatechin gallate).
When embarking on a detox, what you eat is also important. Green tea should be incorporated into a healthy meal plan and exercise regime. You`ll obviously want to stay away from any fatty, sugary or processed foods and alcohol, as these contain the exact toxins that you’re trying to get rid of. Don’t only drink green tea during your detox- make it a daily beverage and maintain a healthy meal plan for the year. Green tea does contain small amounts of caffeine and is not advisable for infants and children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are allowed limited amounts, but do check with your health provider.
I drink green tea at least twice a day, try exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet when detoxing or when trying to shed a kilo. Tea is a beverage after all, not a medicine. The miracle weight loss pill hasn’t been invented … sorry! A healthy lifestyle is a holistic process, therefore it’s also important to create a place where you can escape and rejuvenate.
This year, commit to dedicating a room, a spot in the garden or any quiet space to sit for a couple of minutes each day to drink your green tea hot or cold while you work on becoming a better YOU.
Watch out for my “Detox with Green Tea Competition” on Friday … right here on momentsbydjzinhle.com
Love & Tea