New Years

National Hottie Month! (Teas and Their Benefits)

Tea bag in glass tea cup with glass saucer

You heard us. January is National hot tea month!

For ages, teas have been used and looked at as a staple for healthy beverages and pure delight. From bottled green tea energizing our yoga enthusiasts, Arizona Teas becoming all the rage, and who could forget good-old sweet iced tea from south of the Mason-Dixon.

In honor of hot tea month, we did a little digging and found the basic myths and highlights about teas. Hopefully, this can keep reminding us that just because it says “tea”, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest option on the menu.

First the basics:

“Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.” (We found that gem of a description from WebMD)

Three steps on how to keep your tea simple and healthy:

What kind of tea did you choose? If you stop by your local café and order a Passion, Refresh or Vanilla Rooibos, you’re ordering an herbal tea. They are going to taste great because of they’re a fusion of plants, fruits, and flowers, but are not derived from the Camellia plant. This means that the antioxidants unique to tea are usually missing. Ask your barista what kind of tea your usual is. Ask them which tea would be most related if it is herbal or another fusion.

What are you adding to your tea? Sweet tea has a pretty strong hold on the southern states of the U.S. Filled with sugar (the more the better) iced sweet tea, can boost your daily calorie intake by up to 300 calories! (Per serving). Talk about drinking your calories. Other teas to look out for are stationed at your convenience store, bottled or canned. Remember to take a look at the label to see what the “tea” you’re buying is really made of. Watch out for preservatives, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Obviously, drinking that would be counterproductive if you’re drinking tea to get a jump start on your health consciousness.

**Do you add sweetener to the tea yourself? Try using natural enhancers like Agave or Honey! Any Tea-Bar should be equipped with a supply, and it gives your tea a holistic essence. Way better than dissolving a few packs of sugar, if you ask us.

What do you want your tea to do for you? Many have sought after green tea as a metabolism booster or black tea for a caffeine kick. Read this blog we found, 6 , to learn more about your favorites and to find new teas that could benefit your goals.

Three tea bags with classic background

So, tell us! What are your favorite teas? Have you made a switch from coffee to tea; what has your experience been? Leave your ideas in our comments section!

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Staying Healthy and Happy in the Holiday Season

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Thanksgiving, were looking at you!

During the holidays we tend to let it be a cheat month in regards to our healthier eating habbits. With family and friends stopping by, chilly weather, and the fact that were wearing pants and jackets, who cares about gaining a pound or two?

Did you know that this time of year is when people become the most depressed? The best way to battle this is keeping your happy and healthy through the holidays here of four tips how.

Tips to staying healthy during the holiday season:

  1. Eat breakfast – yes, even if you are waking up early to do a massive amount of cooking or baking. Eating just a bowl of oatmeal or and omelet can help kick start your metabolism, resulting in feeling great and keeping your busy days productive, as well.
  2. Just eat it! – While we bake and prepare large meals, we can all admit we take a bite of everything. Everything! From pastries, to tasting a slice of turkey, having one piece of candy from the holiday displays, and even the veggie tray we slaved over, we try it! Because one taste won’t hurt, right? Wrong! All of those calories add up. Because you’re not eating to fill yourself, you won’t even notice. Instead of snacking all day, just eat lunch! Make an entire snack, or have your pastry. You’ll be more productive if you give your body the energy it needs and won’t snack your entire daily calorie intake away.
  3. Skip the green bean casserole – yes, it’s delicious, and yes every family has their own famous recipe. But were calling out the casserole. It is not the same thing as eating a serving of veggies. It is not! If it’s something you can’t get over leaving out of your meal, plan to have more cooked vegetables. Salads are great, but they still don’t have the same nutrients our body needs to keep working healthily. Carrots, broccoli, and spinach are all vegetables we forget about when planning our meals. Instead of making them separately, you could always buy a bag of mixed frozen vegetables at your grocery store and make them right before you sit down. Plus, it adds some vibrant color to your plates!
  4. Plan an activity – After thanksgiving we tend to be in the mindset that it’s time to settle down while some nap,  play cards or catch up over coffee and left-overs. Instead, take a group walk around your neighborhood.  If the people in your family are active, plan a flag football game, or a homemade obstacle course. Being outside and active will help your body digest all of those delicious foods and can keep you from feeling run-down after clean up. Not to mention, being in a group activity is a better way to reconnect with family members and for children to be in touch with relatives they may not see often. Planning an activity will be more memorable for years to come.

What are some ways you keep your holiday season healthier?

Delicious Ways to Color Up Your Diet

MV6104Combine ROYGBIV in your New Years resolution to brighten up your diet. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables representing all colors of the rainbow gives off antioxidants that help protect your body from harmful compounds.

Red/Pink fruits and vegetables protect against prostate cancer and heart diseases. Try a Quinoa & Smoke Tofu Salad with tangy fresh flavors to add red/pink on your plate. Green helps reduce the risk of cataracts and atherosclerosis. Broccoli with Caramelized Onions & Pine Nuts is high in vitamin C and A. Purple food item, such as blackberries and eggplant, prevent inflammation. Apart from standard recipes, Roasted Eggplant Dip goes well with pita chips.

Eating right along with weekly massages throughout the year helps your body stay in tiptop shape. For more information, visit http://www.massageenvy.com.