TeaTime Treats: Chocolate Rocket

Chocolate-Rocket

With Module II of my Yoga Teacher Training starting tomorrow, I know that I’ll be heavily reliant on my delicious Chocolate Rocket tea from David’s to help me through! I don’t drink coffee, but waking up at 6am for a 9 hour day of learning and practice can really leave me wanting an energy boost! Normally, I’ll drink green tea, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Chocolate Rocket is a solution to that problem.

David’s Chocolate Rocket tea is a mate tea featuring raspberries, almonds, cocoa and chicory root. Chocolate Rocket is probably one of my all time favourite teas because it smells absolutely divine! Seriously, one whiff and you will fall in love and that’s before even tasting it! Once you do have a taste you’ll love the benefits and boost you’ll get because mate tea is incredible at providing energy to the morning, as it is the most caffeinated tea there is! It gives the jolt of coffee (without the shakes and jitters) combined with the health benefits of your daily tea, in fact mate tea contains more antioxidants than green! Chicory root you may know, is often used as a caffeine substitute for coffee because of it’s taste and odour.  The energy boost combined with the delicious (and my personal favourite) dessert flavour combination of cocoa, almonds and raspberry makes for an extremely satisfying and delicious way to start the day!

Namaste.

(Note: I am not affiliated in any way with David’s Tea. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

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Living Tea: All About Kombucha

Let’s talk kombucha! Perhaps you’ve seen kombucha in the grocery store or have seen someone drinking it at a restaurant, maybe you have no idea what it is! Kombucha is one of my absolute favourite drinks in the entire world! This delicious fizzy beverage not only tastes great but is also chock full of incredible health benefits!

Kombucha is a yummy probiotic tea beverage that contains amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and polyphenols. Kombucha is made by fermenting tea with the help of our friendly SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). SCOBYs look like strange tan coloured, gelatinous frizbees that are a starter culture that turns plain tea and sugar into our carbonated kombucha beverage. SCOBYs are referred to as “the Mother” and after each new batch of kombucha, the SCOBY will regenerate and create a new “baby” SCOBY. Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, in fact kombucha tea’s origins are found in China in the 3rd century BC. A heck of a long time! Kombucha can be made from black, green or white tea (any tea from the camellia sinensis shrub), and is made by brewing tea with sugar, adding it to a large jar with a SCOBY and allowing the tea to ferment for a week or more.    IMG_0824

Kombucha is a probiotic drink, meaning it is full of beneficial bacteria that supports healthy digestion and a strong immune system! Kombucha is also full of glucuronic acid (GA) which binds to toxins in the body and transforms them into waste that can effectively be voided by the body; highly detoxifying! The antioxidant behaviour in kombucha tea is much higher than can be found in regular brewed tea! In fact, kombucha contains high levels of vitamins C and E, polyphenols and other carotenoids. Those high levels of vitamin C (over 100x the amount of vitamin C found in regular brewed tea) are extremely effective at strengthening your immunity! Those antioxidants fight against free-radical cell damage and inflammatory disease! That high vitamin and antioxidant content protects numerous tissues from toxicity such as the liver and kidneys and can prevent such ailments as kidney stones! Kombucha also contains a multitude of B vitamins, including folic acid, which helps prevent headaches, migraines and dizziness. Because kombucha is a tea it shouldn’t be a surprise that kombucha increases energy! Kombucha tea works to improve iron absorption in the body (low iron can make you groggy and is also the cause of anemia), boost the flow of oxygen to tissues and increase blood levels of hemoglobin (protein found in the blood that is in charge of carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to body tissues and organs). Kombucha is also incredible for gut health! Kombucha protects both the lining of the gut and the mucin content of the stomach (a protein responsible for gel and lubricant-like functions in the body, for example; saliva), protecting the stomach from developing ulcers. Did you know that your gut is linked to your mental health? The kombucha probiotics helping our your stomach health will work their way to your head reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, lifting your mood! Kombucha has also been successful at lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body, while systematically increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL)! Not only that but kombucha has been associated with lowered cancer rates! It’s incredible! Kombucha can slow or prevent tumor growth at early stages of development due to it’s antibiotic properties and high content of glucuronic, acetic and lactic acids! Finally, kombucha can ease asthma, relieve arthritis pain, decrease blood sugar levels, balance the metabolism and combat infection! Not bad for a delicious fermented tea!

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Kombucha’s growing popularity means it is easier to access these benefits than ever! You can find kombucha in a wide variety of flavours and brands; my favourite flavour is Rise Kombucha’s Mint & Chlorophyll, it is extremely refreshing! When you’re looking for your favourite brand, you do want to find a kombucha that is organic and raw to get the most benefits! I drink kombucha several times a week and find that it can heal in an instant! Unfortunately, kombucha can be expensive so if you do not want to make it at home (I’m excited to tell you I have a post coming about that soon!), it can be a fun drink to indulge in on occasion. The fizzy taste works well as a substitute for soda and kombucha is special enough to enjoy if you are abstaining from alcohol! Though I have no problem drinking kombucha several times a week, there have been instances of people becoming sick after drinking kombucha. Because kombucha so effectively releases toxins from the liver, the body can react by getting overwhelmed and sick. If you don’t normally drink kombucha, it is recommended to start drinking slowly (once or twice a week) to allow to liver to rid of those toxins without flooding the body. However, once your body is used to it enjoy all the myriad of health benefits you will start to see immediately! I find that enjoying kombucha lifts my mood, re-energizes me and gets the digestive juices flowing! I love to treat myself to a kombucha with my after-yoga snack to reward myself for a tough practice and for making the right choices for my body, mind and my soul!

What is your favourite type of kombucha? Do you have a favourite brand or flavour? Do you make your own at home? Are you looking forward to my upcoming post about brewing your own kombucha? I can’t wait to hear from you!

Namaste.

(Note: I was not asked my Rise Kombucha or GTS Kombucha to make this post. I am not being compensated for this post and all yummy bottles of kombucha were purchased with my own money!)

TeaTime Treat: Classic India Spice

In the winter there is nothing better than sipping a hot mug of tea. Today’s TeaTime Treat Yogi’s Classic India Spice is the perfect warming herbal tea for those cool winter days.

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Yogi’s Classic India Spice is a delicious herbal tea blend inspired by traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is a 5000 year old system of natural healing with origins in the Vedic culture in India. Ayurvedic medicine believes that optimal health is when all parts of the body, mind and spirit are balanced. Classic India Spice is a combination of warming spices; ginger, cloves, cinnamon, carob, chicory root, black pepper and more that works to rid the body of toxins while supporting the nervous system.

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There are numerous benefits to drinking Classic India Spice tea due to all the different spices used. Ginger is widely known to decrease feelings of nausea, including discomfort after eating, travel sickness, stomach cramps, bloating and gas. Ginger also boosts circulation, warming you up from the inside! Chicory root has recently become popular as a caffeine-free antioxidant substitute for coffee. It also purifies blood and the liver (supporting good liver health) as well as increases the liver’s production of bile, supporting optimal digestion. Carob also improves digestion, while also lowering cholesterol and fighting osteoporosis (due to high levels of calcium and potassium). Our friend cinnamon works to fight bloat, raise mental awareness, control blood sugar and fight off foreign bacteria! Cinnamon has also been known to improve blood levels of glucose in persons with type 2 diabetes (though it should me mentioned that too much cinnamon could be a bad thing). Like many of the other spices in this tea, clove improves digestion and reduces inflammation. Clove is often used in Ayurvedic medicine as it is antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic. Clove bud is not just used in pies and black pepper isn’t just used to spice your dinner! Black pepper is high in dietary fiber again aiding with digestion. Black pepper is also an Ayurveda star is it is often used to treat cough and colds. Because there are so many spice superstars in Yogi’s Classic India Spice tea, it shouldn’t be shocking that the tea has antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antioxidant and analgesic properties.

Although Classic India Spice has all these great health benefits, my favourite thing about drinking the tea is how delicious it is! I love winding down after dinner, reading a book and wrapping my hands around a warm delicious mug of tea. The tea smells incredible because of all the lovely spices and I love that it helps my digestion after dinner without riling me up with caffeine!

Have you ever tried Classic India Spice tea? Do you have another favourite you would like to recommend for my next TeaTime Treat? Would you like to read more about Ayurveda? Let me know below and enjoy a cuppa yourself!

Namaste.

(Note: I am not sponsored by Yogi Tea. I was not asked or being compensated to make this post. I purchased the tea with my own money. It is just super yummy!)

TeaTime Treats: Buddha’s Blend

I am fortunate enough to have a David’s Tea right across the street from my favourite yoga studio and every so often, I will float into David’s for a teatime treat in my post-savasana bliss. It was on one of these days that I found my favourite tea of the moment, today’s teatime treat; Buddha’s Blend (David’s Tea, $10.50/50g). I normally drink green tea so it must have been fate that I randomly decided upon Buddha’s Blend. To be honest, I partially chose this beautiful tea just because of the name (Buddha’s Blend just sounds so zen!), but after my barista let me smell it, I fell in love.

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Buddha’s Blend is an enchanting blend of white tea, green tea, jasmine and white hibiscus. It smells almost tropical and sweet, like a gorgeous perfume! I swear, I would bathe in this scent if I could! Not only does Buddha’s Blend smell captivating, but the tea tastes as incredible as it smells. Buddha’s Blend does not have an overwhelmingly sweet taste, just a gentle flavour from the jasmine pearls. You feel extravagant and opulent drinking this gorgeous tea.

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Some of the best things about Buddha’s Blend are all the incredible health benefits that come along from drinking it! You may know that green tea is fantastic for you, but did you also know that white tea is full of antioxidants as well? Both white and green tea come from the camellia sinensis plant, they are just processed differently to get the different tastes. White tea is the least processed of all the different types of tea, and contains the highest level of antioxidants, including flavanoids and other polyphenols. Flavanoids are important as they inhibit the growth of cancer cells and stop the development of new ones. White tea is very good at lowering blood pressure, effectively guarding against stroke, protecting the heart and protecting the circulatory system. Another type of polyphenol that white tea is full of are catechins, which work to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Finally, white tea works to improve the immune system, protecting the body against the common cold, as well as reducing stress and improving energy.

Now that we know about all the benefits of white tea, let’s take a quick refresher of all the good things green tea can do for you. Green tea is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat pretty much anything you can imagine! It’s no surprise then that green tea is full of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) an extremely powerful antioxidant that has been linked to the treatment of various diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Like white tea, green tea is full of polyphenols (flavanoids and catechins) and with all these antioxidants, green tea is amazing at keeping skin clear and fresh from the inside out as well as keeping free radicals at bay. There have been many studies on green tea linking its frequent consumption to a lowered cancer risk, increased metabolic rate, improved brain function, better mood, quicker reaction time and stronger memory. Because green tea and white tea come from the same plant, it should be of no surprise that green tea has all the same benefits of lowering heart disease, lowering bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure that white tea has. Finally, green tea has been shown to kill bacteria, lowering the possibility of infection in the body and tooth decay in the mouth. It has been said that green tea can help you live longer and with all these incredible benefits that claim is hard to dispute!

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Jasmine and white hibiscus bring much more than just flavour to the tea, they contain multiple health benefits themselves! Many of jasmine’s benefits come from it’s alluring scent. In aromatherapy, jasmine promotes the feeling of calm, fighting feelings of depression and enhances mood by promoting the release of serotonin in the brain. White hibiscus on the other hand, has been used for years in Ayurvedic practice (an ancient and traditional Indian system of medicine) as it is believed to contain medicinal properties. White hibiscus is full of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that also helps prevent heart problems, aids immune function, promotes healthy eyes and keeps skin plump and young-looking. White hibiscus lowers blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol, keeping arteries clean and improving blood flow through the body. It is also a natural diuretic keeping the elimination systems in the body clean, healthy and regular. White hibiscus is chock full of bioflavonoids, potent antioxidants that treat and protect the body from multiple diseases.

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It should be clear now why I adore this tea! It’s a fantastic companion to a nice relaxing night with a book, or for a pre-yoga pick me up! The health benefits hooked me, and the incredible taste have me enjoying it every morning! I had never tried white tea before, but now that I know how great it is for the body and mind and know that it can taste so delicious, I will definitely be trying more in the future! Do you have a recommendation for a great white tea? Have you tried Buddha’s Blend? Do you have a favourite tea from David’s for me to try next time? Let me know what you think! Enjoy your teatime treat!

Namaste.

(Note: I do not work for/with David’s tea. I was not asked and am not being compensated for making this review. Buddha’s Blend is just that fantastic!)

Tea Time Treats – Peppermint Tea

Something you should definitely know about me: I am obsessed with tea. My tea collection rivals Carrie’s shoe collection in Sex and the City and if you saw it, you would probably deem me insane! Living two blocks from a DAVIDs Tea definitely didn’t help my little problem but I figured I could use this blog to let you guys know what I’ve been loving lately! Enter Tea Time Treats; a new series on this blog where I will occasionally let you know what teas I’ve been loving and why.

Lately I’ve been craving Peppermint Tea to end my day.

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While I drink Green Tea and water though out my day, I love wrapping my hands around a warm mug of Peppermint Tea and watching a movie or reading a book when winding down after a long and busy day.

Peppermint Tea is made from the leaves of the peppermint plant, a hybrid mint that is a cross between spearmint and water mint. Peppermint in it’s many forms (oils, herbs, teas) are used for a variety of reasons in holistic and ancient medicine including soothing nausea, preventing vomiting, easing stomach pain and discomfort from indigestion and bloating.

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Peppermint Tea is a naturally caffeine free, herbal tea that is phenomenal for aiding stress relief and relaxation. Peppermint Tea is amazing to drink before bed as it is a natural muscle relaxant because it is high in menthol. Menthol is also great for helping clear out your sinuses, making Peppermint Tea a great choice when you have a chest cold, sinus problems or allergies. Inhaling Peppermint not only immediately clears out the sinuses but also can enhance memory and alertness! You don’t need to have coffee in the morning or before a high pressure event to feel awake, a good inhale of peppermint will do the trick!

Back to actually drinking the tea…

I enjoy a nice mug as part of my evening routine because not only does the peppermint act as an excellent stress reliever, but it is also very cooling and helps aid in digestion by having a soothing effect on the stomach muscles.

Not only that, but my tea bags give me happy messages!

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Do you enjoy Peppermint Tea? Or do you have another favourite nighttime or cold season beverage?

I’ll be here with my mug waiting to hear from you!

Namaste.