During the Toronto Tea Festival last month I sat in on a 45-minute tea talk about the wonders of tea and its health benefits. I thought it would be a good time to share what I have learned and let you guys know that the health benefits of tea should not be the only reason why you drink tea. People are so concerned with what tea does what and how beneficial it is to your body when ALL tea is good for you. That’s the main thing I want you to take away from this is that every tea is good for your body, so don’t worry about the next weight loss tea because you’re already doing a good job if you drink any tea.
As someone who works at Davids Tea I get a lot of questions about the health benefits of tea. “Which one will make me loose weight?”…”How much caffeine is in this one?” and one of my personal favourites, “What does this tea DO?” What does it do? Well it… ummm tastes good? That is not a sufficient enough answer for some. Instead, people want to hear that tea is a magical remedy for everything health related from loosing weight to having clear skin. And sometimes I believe that tea is a magical drink because I feel great drinking it. That should be enough shouldn’t it? Michelle Pierce Hamilton was the speaker that led the tea and health discussion at the Toronto Tea Festival this past February. She was excellent! I love that she didn’t make any concrete claims such as “this particular tea will make you loose 20 pounds!” but instead educated us about how all tea is beneficial to your body. One of the first things she explained was how tea works together with your body. Synergy is the word she used to explain how tea works within your body. Tea should not be consumed as a supplement or an extract, but as a beverage. It should be a part of your healthy lifestyle, not the only part of it.
On the other hand, tea does have a lot of health benefits. Michelle talked about tea supporting your central nervous system allowing you to concentrate better, meditate and how it does not increase stress levels much like other caffeinated drinks. Tea is also a good digestive aid, especially pu’erh because it is fermented and fermented foods contain probiotics which can improve your digestive system.
Now let’s talk about weight loss. Is tea the new weight loss cure? Maybe. If you are replacing coca-cola with green tea than it can contribute to weight loss. Consuming green tea can also increase energy expenditure, which means you burn energy faster and prevent the accumulation of fat in your cells. But if you do not like the taste of green tea then why drink it? Experiment with different green teas and find one that you actually enjoy drinking as a beverage and you will enjoy your healthy lifestyle a lot more. If you are still eating McDonalds everyday but drinking your green instead of your coca-cola, I’m not sure you will be seeing the results you hope for.
I really enjoyed Michelle’s concept of tea working together with the rest of your body and well being. She said something that really stood out to me at the end of her speech. If you drink tea, eat a plant based diet, exercise and have love in your life than everything will work together in your body to make you a happier and healthier person. I am paraphrasing here but I appreciated that she included love as a part of a healthy diet because it shouldn’t be just about one aspect of healthy living but everything working in sync together.
Check out Michelle’s website and read more about the benefits of tea in my upcoming blog posts!
It’s been a crazy month of sickness for me. Coughing, congestion, sore throat, headaches and fatigue. With all the Cold FX and oil of oregano I have been consuming I should be super woman by now! But apparently my immune system is not as strong as I thought and maybe I forgot to wear my scarf a few times and have stayed up late looking at tea blogs… Whatever the case may be I have become sick for the second or third time this season. So it is time for a top five get well tea list to help those of you who have been dragged into the sick pool as well.
Last Friday I had a very productive day. I worked, did some hot yoga and then as the house became quiet, the cats curled up for their naps I headed to the kitchen with matcha in my hand.
Matcha is green tea ground up into this powder. All the great benefits you’ve heard about green tea pertains to this green matcha X10 because you are consuming the whole leaf!! I’ve done a bit of reading and matcha is super high in antioxidants, it boosts your metabolism, detoxifies the body and replenishes your red blood cells due to its high chlorophyll content. Because matcha is highly concentrated green tea it also increases mental alertness and is super energizing! Drinking matcha in the morning is a great alternative to coffee since it gives you that boost of energy you need in the morning, is low cal and is super healthy for you! Click here to learn more about matcha.
Anyway, that is my little blurb about the wonders of matcha. Last Friday I decided drinking matcha wasn’t enough I wanted to eat matcha! I started with a basic yellow cupcake recipe, one that didn’t require a lot of flour so my cupcakes would turn out nice and fluffy and moist. I began mixing and mixing and singing to Bob Marley, and mixing…
I added only one teaspoon of matcha powder to the cupcake mix and voila! I put them in the oven for about 20 minutes and I had the greatest cupcake ever. It wasn’t too earthy as matcha tends to have a very strong earthly vegetal flavour, therefore I only added one teaspoon no more no less. Also, I made sure there was vanilla flavouring in the recipe I chose to add a nice sweetness to the matcha flavour.
But wait there’s more!
I made matcha icing!
1 cup of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
splash of milk
1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder
This is a rough estimate as I usually mix all these ingredients together until I get the right icing consistency. After I made the icing, let the cupcakes cool down I began to spread the icing over the cupcakes and then they were ready to eat.
And what better way to enjoy a matcha cupcake than with matcha tea on the side!