health · recipes

5 Reasons To Drink Matcha Everyday Instead Of Coffee + Recipe

icedmatchalatte

Drinking matcha green tea has been a time-honored tradition in Japan for more than 900 years. Buddhist monks valued matcha as a health elixir and consumed it prior to meditation. Matcha is cultivated from a high-quality leaf known as tencha. The tencha leaves are sheltered from the sun to produce a vibrant shade of green due to the increased amount of chlorophyll. Matcha leaves are carefully harvested by hand and briefly steamed to protect the leaves from oxidation.

The careful production of matcha ensures its unique flavor and high levels of antioxidants. Here are five reasons I love matcha green tea and why you should be drinking more of it:

1. It contains high levels of antioxidants.

The first amazing benefit of matcha is that just 1 cup provides at least three times as many antioxidants as regular green tea — the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.

2. It has energy-boosting power.

Move over, coffee! Matcha is a perfect energy enhancer but with no caffeine jitters. Matcha contains about half the amount of caffeine than regular coffee. So go ahead and enjoy a matcha latte!

3. It aids in weight loss.

When it comes to boosting your metabolism and helping with weight loss, few things are more beneficial than matcha green tea, due to its high concentration of catechins (an antioxidant).

Green tea extract, rich in catechins, has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

4. It offers immune system support.

Matcha contains incredible immune-boosting properties in every cup. Like many antioxidants, catechins have a multitude of healing properties on a cellular level.

These catechins are also effective in fighting various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Just one bowl of matcha provides substantial quantities of potassium, vitamins A and C, iron, enzymes, and calcium.

5. It gives you mental alertness along with a calm feeling.

Matcha tea works effectively in providing a calming effect to the mind and body.

Matcha green tea contains L-theanine, a unique amino acid that assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves promote mental relaxation and induce a feeling of mental clarity and a more alert state of mind.

How to Drink It

A fantastic way to include matcha in your daily routine is by simple drinking it on its own, or by adding it to a green smoothie or other beverage.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that is perfect for the warm spring and summer months when you want a cooling and refreshing pick me up! It is lightly sweetened with a subtle hint of vanilla. This version uses vanilla almond milk but feel free to use the milk of your choice!

Recipe Ingredients:

12 ounces vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder

2 tsp honey, maple syrup or sweetener of choice

splash of vanilla extract

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds or until powder is fully dissolved. Taste and add more sweetener if needed. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Tips:

You can triple the recipe and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just pour your desired amount over ice when you’re ready to drink it. It’s perfect for those mornings when you need to get out the door quick.

You can add some vanilla protein powder as well to the mixture to get an extra protein boost.

 

 

 

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recipes

3 Ingredient Vegan Iced Chai Tea Latte

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I love chai tea- hot or cold, it’s hands down one of my favorite teas to drink. The spiciness of the cloves and cinnamon mix so well with the sweetness of almond milk and stevia. Unfortunately I can’t drink most of the premade, premixed drinks due to the added sugars and dairy that just don’t fit into my dietary needs.

There’s an easy and cheap way to make your own cold brew chai tea. Just steep some chai tea bags in water in the refrigerator. One bag for every 1/2 cup of water makes a double strength brew. Then add your choice of dairy free milk and stevia, and it’s done!

It’s a quick and yummy drink that is a great afternoon treat. No blending, measuring, or mixing complicated ingredients.

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and vegan. It would also work well with green tea or any other strong flavor tea that is a favorite of yours.

Want it hot? Just heat up the mixture and blend in your blender for a foamy hot chai tea latte.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chai tea concentrate (see below)
  • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk of choice
  • 10-12 drops liquid stevia

Instructions

  1. Pour all ingredients into a large jar or cup filled with ice. Stir or shake to combine and enjoy immediately.

To make chai concentrate, place 8 chai tea bags in a jar and add 32 ounces of cold water (you can make more or less if you like – just use 4 ounces of water per tea bag). Cover and steep in refrigerator overnight. It will keep in the fridge for at least a week – I just leave the tea bags in the jar the whole time.

recipes

5 Ingredient Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m always looking for a delicious dessert that fits all my dietary restrictions and doesn’t take a ton of energy or time to make. The only “bad” thing about these cookies is that they’re dangerously easy to make — and eat! But with only five ingredients and no refined, processed ingredients, these cookies are one of your best options when the urge to splurge strikes. Store in an resealable container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Makes 8 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 Tbsp. dairy-free sugar-free chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat and set aside.

Add banana to a medium bowl, mashing against sides of bowl until small chunks remain. Stir in pumpkin purée and almond butter, vigorously mixing to evenly distribute.

Fold in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop mixture by the Tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet, using your finger to press down the center of each one.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.

That’s it! They are super easy to make and go great with a nice cold glass of dairy free milk. Enjoy!

detox

5 Easy Tips To Jumpstart Your Spring Cleanse

spring-cleanse-blog

Spring is almost here, and all over the place we’re clearing out our winter clothes, dressing a little lighter for warmer weather, wanting to be more active, and lightening up our diets.

This time of year it’s natural to want to do a bit of a cleanse to shake off those winter blues and clean out our bodies the way we do our closets.

Actually, spring cleanses are age old. From Europe to the US, grandmothers whipped out the spring cleanse bitters this time of year to “get the blood moving.” Even in Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the time of the liver, and classic Western herbal spring cleanses included “liver tonic” herbs.

So you want to do a spring cleanse, too?

Here are my five top tips for an optimal spring cleanse, which should last a week:

1. Start every day with an 8-ounce glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Adding a dash of cayenne will definitely get your blood moving!

2. Eat a very simple diet for seven days: a high-quality protein from food (not a nutrient supplement shake or bar), good-quality fat, and some lightly steamed or raw veggies at each meal, including breakfast. You get bonus points if your vegetables are spring greens such as the slightly bitter dandelion, watercress, or fresh salad mix. And don’t skip meals!

3. Each day, make a snack of fresh vegetable juice made with kale, celery, an apple, cucumber, beets, lemon and ginger. This is cleansing and nourishes your blood.

4. Make sure your bowels are moving every day — at least once! Take between 300mg and 600mg of magnesium citrate every night, and 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed in your food to get things going.

5. Drink a bitter tonic twice daily for one week. You can get one that is ready to drink at any health food store or make your own bitters drink:

Use 1/4 teaspoons each of the following herbal tinctures…

  • Dandelion root
  • Burdock root
  • Artichoke
  • Sarsaparilla root
  • Ginger root

Mix into plain or carbonated water, with lemon for taste if you’d like, and take 1-2 cups daily for a week. It can also be used as a digestive aid after meals on a more regular basis.

Happy spring!

 

blog

Dear Me, You’re Not Weak

sozinha

 

Dear Exhausted and Weak Me,

You’ve had a bit of a setback, and the progress you thought you were making, has now been undone, but please don’t ever call your body weak again. It had to fight so much for so long, that it’s one of the strongest bodies you’ll ever meet. It had to carry so much and it fought so hard for you. Never forget that progress is a slow process.

Please don’t ever feel guilty again of not being the perfect friend, wife, sister, or daughter. You are not your disease even though you feel that is all you are. You’ve tried to keep up with life, but in the end, you lost. You fought an incredible battle. But a setback is just a set-up for a comeback. And one day, you will be winning again. You’ll proudly show your scars and scream “I’ve survived”.

Please don’t ever feel ashamed again, for not remembering things and asking questions when you should already know the answers. Memory loss is part of the disease, and some day your brain will function properly again. Remember that the people who love you, don’t blame you. So why blame yourself?

Don’t compare yourself to the girls who post pictures with the cutest outfits, on sunny vacations and living life. When these girls wore dresses and high heels, you wore pajamas and a robe every day of the week. And you know what? That is okay. Really, it is. Your time will come too, and then you’ll feel confident and maybe even pretty. And you’ll buy all the dresses and shoes you can dream of.

Don’t accuse yourself of being difficult to love. Don’t you dare tell yourself that ever again. There is so much to love about you. When you feel hate for yourself, you are actually hating the disease. But there is more to you than disease. You are giving, generous and have a big heart. Even with this debilitating disease and unreal medical bills, you still support people you love and give a lot to your family while trying to never ask for anything. Your soul is pure and your intentions are always good. Don’t blame yourself for the negative thoughts, but learn to understand that they are a part of this process. There will be a day when you will be able to tell your mind to shut up when the bad thoughts come again. You will beat this negativity. Yes, you will.

Don’t hate yourself. Stop hating your body. Your legs carried you through the hardest parts of your life. Your arms are strong, yet they are also soft and can be used to cuddle and hold the ones you love. When you’re finally able to work again, it will feel like the biggest victory you’ll ever know. I promise you that if you learn to appreciate yourself, your body will glow again. The scars will be evidence that you have won the fight. Celebrate and look toward the future and be thankful.

Please forgive your former friends for not being able to understand what it really means to be sick. They simply cannot empathize with you, and their lack of trying doesn’t mean they are bad people. It just means that life got in the way. If you allow it, life will reward you with new people who will see the good in you when you feel lost.

Please get rid of the idea that you can never thank your loved ones and friends enough for putting up with you. It’s not necessary to give them money or gifts. Remember that they support you because they choose to. Cherish them, and pay them back with love and unconditional friendship, because that is more than enough.

This is not your fault. Disease is not your fault. But this happened to you, and you’ve lost control over your body and life. Stop being impatient, pat yourself on the back and remember how far you have come. You can do this. Heck yes, you can.

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