Ready for a healthy boost? January 26 2016
I recently met the talented Fi Jamieson-Folland and we got talking - about tea and about health. We decided to team up; to combine that into a blog piece about the benefits of tea. As a qualified osteopath, certified raw vegan, gluten-free chef, educator, writer and health mentor, Fi is well and truly qualified on the topic of health and wellness! I'll let Fi take it away below...
What if there's a way to give ourselves a daily dosing of antioxidants, that's been trusted and true for millions of people for over 3000 years? And what if this healthy solution is for an investment of just a few minutes and a couple of cents?
Alright - so I hear you asking ‘what is this wonder-boost, how does it work and how can I get it?’
Some of you will have guessed it - given that the lovely Katie Smith has asked me to contribute a few healthy, top tips for her Ritual Tea Company blog.
Yes, it's green tea.
Originally trusted by both villagers and health practitioners, where the leaves were originally chewed in Southwest China, green tea is now a mainstream and refreshing beverage and even a restorative ingredient in many health tonics and beauty products.
So what's so good about green tea?
This unassuming small leaf is packed with a veritable smorgasbord of agents offering potential health benefits; varying from protecting our cells to helping maximize our daily productivity.
Check out this impressive list of possible perks from your daily green tea cuppa:
- The natural form of caffeine combined with the L-theanin, can help to improve brain function, boost mood and energy levels.
- Some studies show increased metabolic rate, mild reductions in circulating blood sugar, and increased fat burning activity of our cells.
- The catechins can help with dental health and reduce infection.
- The powerful antioxidants may protect our cells from damage from a variety of damage including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type II diabetes and heart disease.
It tastes good too!
Heating your water to the optimal temperature (just below boiling before you pour over your leaves) will draw out the right balance of amino acids, which give the flavour and sweetness - plus tannins, which give astringency.
And after only one minute of steeping in your favourite teapot or cup, the active ingredients will be busy doing their thing.
If you like the sound of the potential benefits of this humble leaf, check out the green teas in the Ritual range here.
And if having more energy, being more focused and productive in your day sounds interesting, then drop me a line at email@example.com. A FREE Alignment session maybe just the thing for you :)
Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O, is an Executive Lifestyle Consultant, with over 20 years experience in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified osteopath, certified raw vegan, gluten-free chef, educator, writer and health mentor. She lives in New Zealand and Indonesia with her husband Chris, relishing an outdoor lifestyle and time with family and friends.
Why people who hate green tea are probably doing it wrong November 20 2015
When I tell people that I blend tea, quite a few people have told me they hate green tea; that it's just too bitter. I try not to sound like a know-it-all-hyper-excited-about-tea-nerd and explain that this may be because of the type of tea they are using or the way they’re brewing their tea.
Here are three things you should watch out for when you brew a cup of green tea:
The quality of your tea
If you grab a pack of 50 green tea bags from the local supermarket for $2.50, the quality isn't going to be the best. That doesn't mean you need to splash out on Tieguanyin tea (a Chinese oolong selling at a cool $3,000 per kg), but a whole leaf tea will do the trick, at around $10 a pack.
Tea comes in different grades, according to the size and quality of the leaf. The stuff in those $2.50 tea bags is called ‘fannings’ or ‘dust’. Sometimes joked about (well, I hope it's a joke) is that fannings are what they sweep off the floor of the tea factory. Not ideal! The grade of tea we use at Ritual Tea Company is 'orange pekoe'; a quality, whole leaf. After you have brewed a cup of Ritual, you will notice that the dried leaves have unfurled to reveal a whole leaf. A whole leaf means you get great flavour and health benefits, without the bitterness.
The temperature of the water
The other reason green tea can taste bitter is the water. Please do not pour boiling water on your tea leaves. This burns them. For green tea, the water should be at about 80 degrees celcius. If you don’t have a kettle that boils your water to specific temperatures (yes, they exist!) then you can boil your jug and leave it to cool for a few minutes (3-5 should do the trick). Water that is just below a boil (97 degrees, to be specific), is perfect for a black tea. Green tea is more delicate than black tea, hence the difference in temperature.
How long you leave your tea to steep
Watch the amount of time you leave your tea to steep. I recommend one minute for a green tea. Anything longer means the brew can end up tasting bitter. Start taking note of the colour of your brews as well. The colour differs from tea to tea, but if you brew the same type of tea often, it can be a great indicator of whether the tea is brewed the way you like it.
Try it out and come up with a ritual that works best for you! I'd love to hear if these tips help you get the best out of your cup of tea, or if you've got any more tips.
Founder, Ritual Tea Company
How rituals can help your life July 19 2015
Ritual n 1 regular repeated action or behaviour 2 a ceremony involving a series of fixed actions performed in a certain order
Our lives are a series of small moments. The everyday things we do; our habits, routines and rituals, create this life.
‘Habits’ and ‘routines’ can sound really boring, but good ones are not at all boring. In this busy world we live in these habits, routines, rituals help frame our lives. It’s important to take time out to relax and recharge, as well as connect with those around us.
Here’s three things that I do (or am trying to do) that you could try and incorporate into your daily routine and see what difference they make to how you feel.
Tea is a ritual. It’s a tradition and an everyday fixture for millions of people around the world. In Eastern cultures, tea ceremonies have an ancient and important role in society. In modern times, drinking tea is a healthy way to unwind and recharge.
Set your morning up the right way by taking some time to prepare a cup of tea. Doing this provides a time for reflection. You’ll be surprised at what a difference this can make to how you feel, as you mentally prepare for the day.
When there is noise and clutter around you, you can find sanctuary in tea. A few minutes taken in the afternoon to prepare and enjoy a cup of tea can be helpful in enabling you to take a step back, reflect and recalibrate.
As well as allowing you to enjoy time to recharge, preparing and serving tea is a ritual to bond with others over; to connect with family, friends and work colleagues. Our connections with people make a big difference to how we feel and help to make us happy.
I recently read ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ by Richard Carlson. One of the tips that piqued my interest is ‘do nothing’. I get this, but I don’t do it enough. There’s always a million things to do and if I do take some time to relax, I usually feel bad about it!
Taking some time out to sit and do nothing is incredibly hard, but is really beneficial as well. Start with just ten minutes, perhaps with a cup of tea in hand (that way you can’t look at your phone as well!).
Get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night
Recently I took part in a two day workshop called ‘The Art of Deliberate Success’. The author of the book and creator of the programme, David Keene, said to me “it sounds so simple but if you go to bed earlier, you will find it easier to wake up in the morning”. He was right. SO simple, yet I hadn’t been doing it.
When we were kids, most of us probably had a set bed time. When we got older we could decide for ourselves and for me this has meant getting in a bad habit. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning is a work in progress, but when I do, I notice what a difference it makes. I have more energy and I feel more organised (because I’m not rushing about and I have time to make that cup of tea).
If you give any of these things a go, I'd love to hear about how they went for you. If you have any other rituals, routines or habits that work for you, I'd love to hear about them too. Feel free to leave a comment below.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
Tea isn’t just what you have when you go to your grandma’s house to visit. It’s making a comeback in today’s busy world. Where people are rushing from one thing to the next, it’s a healthy way to unwind and recharge.
There are so many health benefits associated with drinking tea, especially the green variety, here’s just a few of them...
- Green tea is a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells from damage. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious, chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
- Green tea aids in weight loss – it is loaded with potent antioxidants called catechins. These catechins can help speed up your metabolism.
- Tea is better than water for hydration; when you drink tea you are rehydrating as well as taking in all those healthy antioxidants. Next time you head out to the gym or out for a walk, try cold-brewing some green tea in your drink bottle for re-hydration instead of drinking water alone.
- The stable energy release which occurs when you drink green tea means people can find themselves more productive and focussed when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.
- Studies have shown that the microbial and antioxidant compounds in green tea can help clear your skin. To benefit, brew a cup of green tea, let it cool and use it as a face wash. For oily skin, mix our peppermint blend with green tea for an oil blasting wash.
Make it your ritual.