Browsing Tag

green tea

Health

Why I love juices & smoothies

July 9, 2014

Ahh, summertime. All you wanna do is be at the beach or by a pool and sipping something cool and refreshing.

healthy and easy green smoothie recipe

A simple green smoothie

My go to for hot weather is definitely juices and smoothies! Sadly I do not have a juicer and cannot make my own juices (one day I will own a juicer!) but I do have an awesome blender and love experimenting with different smoothie combos. Smoothies and juices are wonderful as you can pack them full of nutrient dense fruit and veg. As much as I love salads and chomping away on fresh fruit, it’s really nice to have a small snack which is full of goodness and also easy to take on the road with me if I have a particularly busy day.

Healthy Juices and Smoothies

green juice from suja juice is a great travel snack

Suja ‘Glow’ juice – my fave on the go companion!

delicious green juice from vive juicery in Salt Lake City

‘The Hulk’ juice from Vive Juicery, Salt Lake City – contains blue-green algae!

Although I love both juices and smoothies, there is a slight difference to the two. Juices do not contain the fiber of the fruit which can make it easier on your digestive system, but you obviously do not get the benefits of fiber (which include keeping you full, keeping your bowels moving hehe and lots of other good stuff). Smoothies on the other hand do contain the fiber of the fruit and veg, but they are a little bit heavier on the stomach, but not by much as the fruits and veggies are still easily digestible since they have been blended up. It really depends on your preference whether or not to choose a smoothie over a juice or vice versa, but both are great options. The best way to enjoy a juice or a smoothie is to of course make your own, but time does not always allow! When choosing a smoothie or a juice, the most important thing to look at is the ingredients list. Make sure that the smoothie or juice contains nothing but a dairy or non dairy base, fruits and veg. If you see something like ‘sugar, cane sugar’ or etc, run!! Many juices and smoothies are already so naturally sweet from the fruit in it that there is simply no need to add any more sugar. So avoid brands that do. My juice brands are definitely Suja Juice and Project Juice as they do not have any added sugar in them.

Greenhopping is a fabulous app that lets you locate green juice bars, so definitely make sure to download it when you can.

delicious turmeric mylk juice from Project Juice in San Francisco

Turmeric Mylk is so yummy and unique!

delicious dtox juice from Project Juice in San Francisco

Mmm, my fave Project Juice drink

delicious Swiss Beetz juice from Project Juice in San Francisco

The juice that made me loves beets again πŸ˜€

Okay soooo if you want to make your own smoothie, I can definitely help with that. Sadly, I do not have my own juicer but I have found that a lot of juice places let you choose your own blend of juice and what to put in which is really cool.

Anyway, the basics of making a smoothie are:

  • the base liquid (this could be water, coconut water, brewed green tea, milk, coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk or another of your choice)
  • fruit (I prefer to use frozen fruit in a smoothies; choose away from any fruit such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries. Dates are a yummy addition too)
  • vegetables (optional, but makes the smoothie so much better; choose from cucumber, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and etc)
  • healthy fats (optional; choose from natural peanut butter, coconut oil, avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds and etc)
  • protein powder (optional for those looking for a more filling smoothie, I use vanilla whey protein powder)
  • citrus (lemon juice, lime juice, oranges and etc)

So there you have it! Feel free to add anything else your heart desires. I have seen some pretty unique additions to smoothies such as spirulina, chlorella and maca powder. The world is your oyster when it comes to smoothies. My favorite smoothie is pictured below and is made up of frozen bananas, unsweetened almond milk, lime juice, spinach, and vanilla whey protein powder topped with fresh mango.

easy homemade st patricks day green smoothie with mango

I hope you enjoyed this post! I love making, drinking and buying these healthy juices and smoothies, and I just wanted to share with you all why I loved them as much as I do. If you already make juices or smoothies, what is your fave combination?

Honestly yours,
Alice

 

Health

Green Tea – Part II

May 29, 2014
Green Tea - Part II

The long-awaited sequel to my first post on green tea has finally arrived!

Green Tea – Part II

Green Tea - Part II

Sorry about the long wait .. I have been so busy these past few months and I have had so many idea’s for posts which I just had to share with you. So I kept on pushing this post to the next week, and the next week .. So I do apologize and I hope you thoroughly enjoy part II of my post on green tea!

Part I focused on what exactly made green tea so healthy, and this post will focus on how much green tea we should be drinking to reap the full benefits, and my own experience with green tea consumption.

As we learned from part I, green tea contains catechins, which is a naturally occurring antioxidant, in addition to a slew of other health benefits. Green tea has a fairly bitter taste that can take a while to get used too. I never found the taste too overwhelming although I still find it a little bitter sometimes, although I honestly quite like the bitter taste of it. Which brings us to the question of ‘How much green tea do we actually need to drink to reap the full benefits?’

Good question – There have been several studies on this and it is quite confusing as they all say different things .. the only thing they can seem to agree on is that you should be drinking green tea! The studies vary greatly – an article written in 1999 stated that 10 cups of green tea a day helped delay the onset of cancer whereas a follow-up study found that patients with stage I and II cancer saw a longer disease free period and a lower recurrence rate when they drank over five cups a day than those who drank less than four cups a day. I found a more recent article written in 2012 by the same man who wrote the 1999 article which basically confirmed the idea that drinking 10 cups of green tea a day was significant in preventing cancer. The only problem with the fact that the two articles are from the same author is the fact that the author could have a bias … I mean come on, why would anyone willing refute their life’s work?

Honestly, it would be safe to say that drinking green tea, whatever the amount is better than drinking none. I would aim to have at least 3 cups a day but you know, don’t stress it if you just had one. I typically like to start my day with a cup of green tea and I have started bringing green tea bags to work so I can have some throughout the day. Do remember that green tea does contain a small amount of caffeine, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, start with one cup of green tea a day and increase it slowly and take not of how you feel.

Green Tea - Part II

In terms of steeping the green tea, I have read several (non-scientific) articles claiming that the longer you steep the tea bag, the more antioxidants will get released into the water. If anyone has links to scientific articles about this, please link me to them in the comments πŸ™‚

All in all, I hope my green tea post series has made you want to give drinking green tea a go and/or has educated you about its health benefits. I love drinking green tea and I have found that it helps me control my cravings to a certain extent and because it is a diuretic, it does help debloat me if I have eaten a little bit too much! Any feedback or comments would be much appreciated!

Honestly yours,
Alice

References

Cooper, R. (2012). Green Tea and Theanine: Health Benefits. Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 63(S1), pp.90-97.

Fujiki, H. (1999). Two Stages of cancer prevention with green tea. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 125(11), pp.589-597.

Fujiki, H., Imai, K., Nakachi, K., Shimizu, M., Moriwaki, H., & Suganuma, M. (2012). Challenging the effectiveness of green tea in primary and tertiary cancer prevention. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 138(8), pp.1259-1270.

Health

Green Tea – Part 1

February 18, 2014
green tea - part 1

Green Tea – Part 1

Green tea – it’s become a major player in the health and fitness world, and for good reason. There are many benefits to drinking green tea, although unfortunately, most of green tea’s benefits have been highly skewed by the fitness industry in their quest to market green tea as the ‘miracle fat loss drug.’ Green tea extract fat burners, dieter’s green tea, the list goes on.

Green Tea - Part 1

Source: www.myessentia.com

Now that’s not to say that green tea can’t help you with losing weight, and adding to your health and quality of life; quite the opposite in fact. Green tea DOES have many health benefits, and I wanted to give you guys the cold hard facts about green tea. Without further ado, here is my green tea – part 1 post.

So to start my research off, I decided to look at a few academic studies that have been done on green tea and its weight loss, and other health benefit links. Let me just say that reading scientific articles are n o t fun. Sure, they have really interesting content but sheesh, the language … the language! Everything is epicatechin this, supernatant that … which is exactly why most people just accept the health benefits of green tea with little to no research into it. And I definitely don’t blame you guys!!! However, someone has to do it AND give you all an honest and real summary of green tea’s health benefits soooo here goes nothing πŸ™‚

There have been scholarly articles written about green tea since the 1970s (as far as i could tell), and a whole bunch in the last decade. What is so special about green tea, and various other tea’s is this ingredient: C A T E C H I N S

EGCG’s belong to a group of compounds called catechins, Catechins are a type of flavanol, which is essentially a naturally occurring antioxidant (which can, but not neccessarily, help prevent cancer). Catechins include several different compounds, and in green tea these are:

E P I G A L L O C A T E C H I N
E P I C A T E C H I N G A L L A T E,
E P I G A L L O C A T E C H I N G A L L A T E (EGCG)

Phew, what a mouthful!!!

Okay guys, you still with me? Okay, awesome!! Let’s continue.

The EGCG is the thing we wanna focus on, because out of the three compounds given above, EGCG is the big daddy, and the compound that is you find the biggest amount of in green tea.

Sorry for the chemistry lesson guys! After reading several different articles (not all of which are posted below), here is a round up of the health benefits of green tea:

  • Can help in fat and weight loss due to its ability to increase energy levels, and fat oxidation (obviously if you are eating a terrible diet and not exercising, it won’t help much)
  • Can help regulate blood glucose levels (important because crazy all over the place blood sugar levels can make you crazy hungry .. I’ll talk more about blood sugar levels in another post)
  • Studies have shown promising results in using green tea in the fight against various types of cancers (does NOT mean that drinking green tea will 100% prevent cancer)
  • Can help keep your breath clean (lol)
  • Can be helpful in making you feel less bloated (this is just from personal experience, and this probably just happens because you are running to the bathroom so much!)

Alright guys, I am going to end part I there. I think that’s enough information for one day. Stay tuned for part II where I will talk about how much green tea you should drink, and my own personal experiences with green tea. It will be a much lighter blog post and not as intense as this one I promise πŸ™‚

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for a new post!

Honestly Yours,
Alice

Key sources:
Green Tea and Theamine: Health Benefits – Raymond Cooper
Going Green: The Role of the green tea component EGCG in Chemoprevention – Laura Schramm
Emerging Evidence for Tea Benefits – Carrie Ruxton
Nutrition and Health Info Sheet – Karrie Heneman and Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr
Nutrient Data Laboratory US Department of Agriculture. USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of
Selected Foods. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2007 (chart)