The Transformation: Green Tea

Hello, from sunny California!!!

California  |  Carrie BrownI am on a little road trip down in the Bay area.  Well, to be a little more precise, I am really up in the Napa area – a bit inland, just North of San Francisco, where they grow an awful lot of grapes.  No, I am not here to visit wineries and get sloshed for free.  I am here to shoot things (typically things that do not breathe – think fences and flowers), get inspired, and get revived.  It’s been a long and super-busy 6 months, and while I am certain that a week in Cali-forn-i-a won’t fix all of that, it will certainly help.  On a whim, I flew down from Seattle instead of driving, and while I missed the long drive down, the air miles made for a compelling (read free) alternative.  With any luck I’ll have some lovely images to share with you when I get back.  While you’re waiting you could always peruse some previous trip images.  I do love shooting in California.

California  |  Carrie BrownAnyway, enough of California.  Let’s talk about green tea!!!  If you’ve been listening to the Smarter Science of Slim / The Calorie Myth Podcasts for any length of time, I bet you never imagined you’d *EVER* see a post from me with “Green Tea” anywhere in the title and I suspect you might be wondering what on earth has happened to me.  I know, right?  The unimaginable has happened, lovely people!  It took 18 months, but I have finally succumbed to The Bailornator’s pleas to drink his favorite beverage, and I figured that HAD to be worth a blog post all of its own.  In fact, I am so excited to be able to write this post I can barely stand it!  I know there’s a lot of you out there who, like me, struggle with getting your green tea on.

The reputed health benefits of green tea abound.  Everything from helping regulate glucose levels in the blood, reducing LDL cholesterol, being anti-viral and anti-bacterial, protecting brain cells, and reducing blood pressure, to reducing the signs of aging.  Not to mention it’s reported ability to reduce tooth decay, kill cancer cells, help depression, and protect against clot formation.  Green tea should pretty much come wrapped in a cape, not a bag.

But the reason that green tea got it’s very own principle in JB’s brilliant book, The Calorie Myth, is because of its unique fat-burning effect.  Drinking water alone allows our bodies to burn fat far more effectively, but add polyphenol-packed green tea and you can supercharge that.  Since I am not the scientist in this outfit, please feel free to take any insatiable quest for hard-core green tea knowledge to the web to get all the scientific studies and research you could ever want.  I am just here to share some ideas on how to get your daily green tea fix, especially if you find it as distasteful as I do.  Or maybe now I should say used to do.

Jonathan recommends drinking 10 bags of green tea per day to maximize all the benefits that green tea has to offer.  Woah.  That’s a lot of green tea.  Except this is Jonathan Bailor we’re talking about, so of course there’s a way to do it smarter while still getting the same effect.  The easiest way to do this is to brew all 10 bags (decaf if you prefer) in a small amount of hot water in one go, let it brew for a few minutes, then remove the bags and drink it.  You can even add ice to make a cold drink if you prefer it that way over hot.  See!  10 bags is easy peasy!  IF you like drinking green tea.  Ah.  Yes.  The big IF.

I hate the taste of green tea.  I’ve tried to like it, so many times.  I’ve forced it down anyway, so many times.  No matter how hard I tried, I just hate the taste of green tea.  And no matter how good something is for you – and boy is green tea good! – if you can’t stomach the taste, it’s really hard to get it down.

I know I am not alone in my distaste, so a couple of things you can do instead are to add other flavors to your green tea such as lemon juice (this also provides Vitamin C which makes the healthy compounds in green tea easier to absorb – winning!), or adding some sweetness in the form of xylitol or stevia.  The other trick that avoids you having to drink it altogether is especially for you smoothie drinkers out there.  Simply add the contents (the leaves themselves) of 3 or 4 bags of green tea into your Green Smoothie when you blend it.  You won’t be able to taste the green tea but you’ll get all the benefits of drinking 10 bags worth.  Hurrah!

But here’s my Big! Green! Tea! Discovery! that I made recently.  Here’s the thing that made me love green tea.  Yes!  Love as in I-look-forward-to-my-green-tea-every-day-now.  Peppermint.  I love peppermint herbal tea, and a little while ago while I was musing on my green tea problem yet again, I found myself wondering what would happen if I brewed my peppermint tea with my green tea.  Voila!  A miracle occurred at the Brown house!  I found that by brewing 4 bags of green tea with 1 or 2 bags of peppermint tea and a dash of xylitol in one large mug, I have a drink that I truly enjoy.  My struggle with green tea is over.  I make a couple of mugs of that a day and I’m all done.  You might find a different ratio works better for you, or you might find an herbal tea other than peppermint that you love works better for your taste buds.  Do whatever floats your boat, but if you struggle with drinking regular green tea, I urge you to give this a go.  It transformed my green tea consumption overnight.

Green tea for President!

PS. You will retain more of the healthful properties of green tea if you use 175 degree water to make it rather than boiling water.  Also, if you use too hot water you will “burn” the leaves and it will taste bitter.  So you can either boil your water and then let it cool before you pour it on your leaves, or, if you have the same kettle as I do you can push the magic button that says “green tea” and get water at the perfect temperature.  Once my water is the right temperature I steep the bags for only 2 minutes – I actually use a timer so I don’t leave them too long – because over-steeping can also result in bitterness.

Drink and enjoy!

On a side note I found that drinking all this peppermint green tea halted my desire for soda.  My last bastion of pop consumption – Hansen’s Diet Black Cherry – has now left the building.  Ding!  That was easy.

Now I’ll get back to California.  Toodle pip!

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Pam - I love Genmaicha, which is green tea with toasted brown rice. I brew that, then combine it with my almond/coconut milk blend for a creamy, toasty hot drink. Love!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Ricci-Koch - I wish I could meet up with you and go on a personal adventure! I am down in the Central Valley in Cslifornia. Enjoy your visit, you picked a great spotReplyCancel

  • Barbara - Wow! This is tasty and now I can drink green tea too! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!! I love your recipes, they have transformed my life! 8-)ReplyCancel

  • April - What about adding cream? Or half-and-half?ReplyCancel

  • Barbara in Tx - Another option that I have been able to switch off with the peppermint green tea is Bigelow’s Constant Comment Green Tea. It has an orange rind, sweet spice description on it and it’s very doable to use 4 bags per cup. Yum!

    Thanks again and again Carrie for giving me the courage to try new things!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara in Tx - BTW…..in case anyone is interested, Amazon has the Bigelow Constant Comment Green tea on their Subscribe and Save AND right now (3/4/14) they have an extra 15% coupon that you can clip!ReplyCancel

  • Keith - I had been drinking Mighty Leaf’s Tropical Green Tea which has pineapple and spices in it, most delicious version of green tea I’ve had (again for someone who has long hated the taste of green tea).

    But now that I’m trying to get my ten bags in even that has been rough on the palette to say the least. I even tried it in your “Hardcore Green Smoothie” recipe but it ruined my delicious breakfast!

    This peppermint recipe mixture sounds like just the trick I need. Amazing tips, thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Pam - Keith, thanks for mentioning that Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea … bought a box … love it!ReplyCancel

  • Green tea tips | Healthy Intentions (2014) - […]  Carrie Brown in her usual genius has posted about how she overcame her loathing for green tea by brewing it with peppermint.  I have found a chocolate mint flavoured herbal tea which I just […]ReplyCancel

  • Julie Rider - Carrie…I have been using a teas of matcha tea In my smoothie and I understand this is a concentrated version of Japanese green tea. Do you have any feedback how that equates to the 4 green tea bags you use?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - My understanding is that 1 tsp of pure matcha powder equals the antioxidants of 10 bags of leaf green tea.ReplyCancel

  • Arizona Green Tea Diet Decaf | netloseweight.com - […] The Transformation: Green Tea » Carrie … – Keith -I had been drinking Mighty Leaf’s Tropical Green Tea which has pineapple and spices in it, most delicious version of green tea I’ve had (again … […]ReplyCancel

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