YuanYang: Traditional Chinese Coffee Drink

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Made this surprisingly tasty drink for breakfast this morning with my special friend @jopj in mind.  I made a slight variation as follows…

Recipe:
1oz Black Tea (Used River Shannon from Upton Tea Imports)
1 Shot Indriya Nespresso Espresso
1oz Cream (Frothed) – I used Organic Half & Half from Trader Joes

I poured in layers. Coffee first, then tea, finished with cream. No sweetener was added. It is bold and awaking. Rich and complex. Delicious… I will make it again.

Source: I found this recipe on Pinterest. Follow the link for more details.  Yuanyang Chinese Coffee

Honey Dew Melon from Lupicia

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Starting my afternoon tea fix with a natural decaf delight from Lupicia Fresh Tea it is called Golden Honey Dew, it is a part of the San Francisco Collection.  This particular tea is a part of a exclusive 3 tin set that last I saw you can only buy at one of their locations in California it isn’t available online. Very exclusive. However, the tea is available on its own.  It is a lovely South African Green Rooibos with dried melon pieces.  Green Rooibos is by far my favorite type of Rooibos.   I love how delicate green Rooibos is and how successfully it can be paired with other flavors.

It has an intoxicating aroma that envelops the senses the moment you open the packaging and remains present post steep.  I can only say that it smells like summer. I’ll have to try it but I would imagine it would taste delicious iced or even made sparkling with some seltzer water even a possible tea cocktail in my future.  If I did that I would probably add a little sweetner.  Since this is a Rooibos I have a tendency to lean towards agave and honey.  I feel the taste lends beautifully to all varieties of Rooibos.  However, today I am having it hot and straight.

Overall it is delcious and a welcomed reminder of warmer days ahead.

Tea – Tornados – Thunderstorms

5 Tips To Make The Most Downtime

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Seems yesterday I over did it with a bit more tea consumption that I normally do. I had lots of iced tea and even more hot tea. I held a puerh drinking marathon where I tried three very delicious puerh varieties from Jalam Teas. The idea in itself isn’t a bad one but recently I was diagnosed with having an ulcer. Too much caffeine is not recommended in such cases. However, sometimes with my over zealous personality I over do things, I am still working on moderation. Often when I am feeling great I push my boundaries too hard and end up in not so great situations. However, I try my best to learn from my mistakes and make sure I don’t repeat them.

I’ll share quickly my thoughts on what I drank below. The teas are truly a mention. I am still recalling the flavors from memory. I will then cover some great ways to take advantage of a “down” day. Something I am in desperate need of today.
Jalam Teas

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After sampling these three amazing teas I can now see why so many people rave about this company.  I enjoyed them all but some more than others.  Above is my listed order of preference.  Overall I tasted the classic earthy flavors you would come to except.  I also got an amazing depth in flavor and a bit of a mineral taste.  My favorite part of the Pulang was the lingering sweetness.  However, the Zhang Lang took the prize when I got to the third infusion. The depth and complexity was off the charts.  You’ll just have to experience it yourself.

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Jalam Teas really hit all the right spots yesterday.  I love drinking tea during a Spring thunderstorm and this was pure magic.  Though I could have done without the tornadoes.

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After a pretty interesting tea and weather day yesterday I still don’t have Internet so I am stuck using cell service. I woke up in the middle of the night experiencing a hypoglycemic event which I was able to manage pretty quickly. What I didn’t expect was the ulcer pain in my chest and back. If that wasn’t enough my body was saying enough is enough. I am sore everywhere, my shins, calves, abs, and back are a mess. I have been so obsessed with trying to destroy some of my fitness goals that I lost sight of the importance of slowing down and listening to my body. I am hoping someone out there will read this and learn a valuable lesson just as I am learning today. Today I am not going to the gym.

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5 Tips To Make The Most Downtime

1. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – If you need a break and you are sore I suggest a nice hot bath with Epsom salt. I make my own bath salts as many of you know for iHeartTeas.com. The Epsom salts really help my muscles recover faster and it gives me a chance to loosen all those tight muscles.
2. READ – Get away from the everyday even if that means just reading a relaxing book. Something light, something that helps you unwind.
3. MUSIC – Listen to some feel good music. Whatever makes you happy. Music is amazing in that it can evoke emotions so find something that makes you feel good. I would stay away from music that makes you “shake your groove thing.” You’re supposed to be taking it easy remember.
4. REST – Lay in bed. Be lazy, watch a light movie, some TV. Don’t worry about how many calories you’ve burned or how many steps you’ve taken. Remember you haven’t given up your fitness goals you are just taking a healing break so you can back in there full of energy and ready to go.
5. ALONE TIME – This one is hard especially if you have to go to work, take care of kids (and/or hubby too in my case) but try it if you can. Doesn’t have to be all day just find random moments even if that means you have to hide in the washroom. Just don’t do that unless your child is properly cared for during your absence.

There are probably a million more ways to relax but the bottom line is when you need a break take it. A lot mor harm can come to you if you don’t and I am the perfect example of that. It doesn’t make you weaker or make you a quitter. If anything it makes you a winner to acknowledge you need a break and even smarter when you take that break. Remember, you are no good to anyone if you aren’t good to yourself.

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Daily Routine

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This morning I woke up with a bang. My FitBit Charge HR says I slept alright though I wish I had less “restless” time. Better than most nights though since I got in almost 8 hours which is something I try to do. Sleep is so important and can be over looked for its value. I will not make that mistake, at least not anymore. I decided the moment I woke up that I was going to kick up my routine. I want to get as close to my goal weight as possible by the time I leave for Long Beach and head to World Tea Expo. I picked Expo as my goal because it is something real something tangible and in the near future. I would also love to share my story with the people of Ito En and let them know how much their tea is a part of my daily fitness routine. I have a feeling they will be surprised just how devoted I am.

If you are curious exactly what I consume every Monday through Friday morning then check it out….

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– 1 Shot Nespresso with 1 Splenda and 1.5 tbsp Half & Half (Sorry not gonna stop. Love it and if we can’t enjoy ourselves a little then what is the point?)
– Protein Shake (8oz Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk from Trader Joes, 1 Scoop Unjury Protein Powder usually Classic Chocolate, 1 tsp Navitas Organic Maca Powder)
– Some type of carbohydrate such as half a Trader Joes Everything Bagel Thin, toasted with 1 tbsp 1/3 Less Fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese) or Soy Multi-Seed Savory Thin Rice Crackers from Trader Joes if time doesn’t allow for something better. Though I always get some kind of carbohydrate in for the boost in energy I’ll need for the gym.
– Before starting my workout I drink 1 can Ito En Sencha Shot
– Before, during, after 1 bottle of Ito En Oi Ocha Dark Green Tea

Working with this combination of food and drink I get the protein and energy so I can push myself harder. I realize what I am doing can be pricey on a daily basis. To make things a bit more manageable I order my tea from Amazon using Subscribe & Save which takes 15% off the price which then gets charged to my Amazon Store Card where at the end of my billing period I will receive a 5% statement credit, every little bit helps. I am also a Amazon Prime Member which means Free Shipping just remember to never carry a balance or you won’t save much paying interest on your tea purchase. The protein powder I buy in bulk, this way I am eligible for free shipping. I know this isn’t much but like I said it does help and maybe these tips could help you too. Otherwise you can always brew your own tea and bottle it. Takeya makes a great Iced Tea Maker. You can always make a batch in advance keep it in the refrigerator and fill your To-Go bottle everyday before heading to the gym. Making your own tea could keeps things interesting for you too. You can experiment with different types of tea, flavors, and how they effect your body, energy, and mind. I will probably do that myself as the weather warms up.

Image from Takeya Website

Image from Takeya Website

Following this daily routine has helped me a lot. Yes, I have lost a lot of weight, nearly 85lbs now. However, here are a few things I haven’t talked about. I have a ton more energy, I am happier, my skin looks visibly healthier, and mentally I feel sharper. I used to forget a lot and these days I haven’t caught myself drifting off trying to gather my train of thought. All of these are attributed to a healthier lifestyle. I 100% believe that my daily routine including constant tea drinking has proven to be an excellent and successful combination. I do not have any statistical facts and nor do I plan to have any. I just know I feel better than ever. I was never great on just water or just coffee. Tea for me is the clear winner, the one thing that gives me the edge I need.

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Get out there, get healthier, be happy.
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Rainy Day Reflections

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Our first Spring rain is falling.  I love the rain.  The rain forces me to slow down and reflect.  I take this opportunity to do a little mediation, tea drinking of course, reading, and treat myself to a few mini beautifying treatments that I can manage at home.  I use this opportunity to think about what really speaks to me and I reinforce them in order to keep myself focused and strong, let’s call it a mental recharge.  Next time when the sun is shining and I am running around like crazy these moments will stick with me and hopefully keep me on my path.  Keep me focused keep me grounded.

I highly suggest taking a little time for yourself every now again and doing a little reflecting.  It can do wonders for your mind and body.  For me rainy days are perfect.  Find your perfect moment and make the most of it.

Here a few positive messages I focused on today. Perhaps they will inspire you as well.  Before reading them may I suggest a quite spot, in a comfy seat, and a hot cup of tea.

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Start small and pick just one quote that speaks to you. Focus on it and believe.  Everyday try to put what your learned into effect and in time it will become automatic.

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Happy Rainy Day!

Deep Thoughts By Rachel Carter

Deep Thoughts By Jack Handy

“Do you remember that time in High School when everyone was more popular than you? Then you were like what do I have to do to be popular too? Then you were like if I knew that, I’d already be doing that.” Hope you picked up on the old Saturday Night Live reference to “Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey” Just my way of cracking a joke this fine April Fools Day.

Lets keep the jokes going shall we? First, when reading this post please imagine a happy and cathartic tone. Though, it may seem I am being negative or perhaps maybe even ranting a little I am in fact not. This is all very matter of fact. Thanks in advance.

I never did figure out what it took to be the popular kid in High School so instead of being someone I wasn’t I decided to find out who I really was. Note this did not happen in High School it is actually happening right now. I think we all need a little maturity before we can truly learn who we are, don’t you think?

One of the best parts of being a blogger with no agenda is I can write what I want. Trust me it is very therapeutic. Frankly, writing to me is a form of personal growth and therapy. So at the end of the day while I do appreciate the occasional praise from those family and friends I hold most dear all in all it isn’t a concern if someone doesn’t like what I have to say.

Back to the personal growth. I have already tried to be the person I think everyone would like me to be and it never got me anywhere or made me happy for that matter. Now I am trying to be the person I like and I see now how that truly is the key to my happiness. I have grown tired of apologizing for my sense of humor, sometimes lack of common sense, ability to trust so easily, and my overall quirky nature. It is who I am like it or not! If you give me a chance you will see I am a loving person. Now, if you hurt me it hurts more than you can even imagine but don’t worry I won’t make you feel uncomfortable, it isn’t in my nature. I will continue to smile and go on. I promise I have a point to all this. There is a lot of past reference and how it ties to now and the realizations that came from it all. Hang in there if you can.

Yesterday the World Tea Expo Tea Award Nominations were posted. In fact I posted them in several places and quickly saw a lot of response on those nominated. There was an obvious consistent theme by those that voiced their opinions, ones I agreed with. I feel there were a lot of people I that deserved to be on the list and others maybe not so much. To me it felt like High School all over again. No, this post isn’t about me being snubbed. I don’t deserve to be up there anyway. I am an inconsistent blogger that doesn’t consistently cover any particular topic. I grab hold of whatever moves me and write about it kind of like now. Obviously I wouldn’t make the list so if anyone is confused I will repeat this once more, this is not about me. I am purely speaking of how I felt this played out for some. I feel this was a bit more about popularity and not as much about content. Love it or hate it that is my opinion. I suppose the reason I don’t respond so well to situations like this is because I truly don’t understand them. I have never been the type to just hit “follow” in the hopes that people follow me back. I have always preferred “quality” over “quantity”. I totally get that I am not in the majority here but then again I have never been in the majority in any aspect of my life so why start now. I am sure I am making a few people upset over this. Fact is most people probably haven’t even made it this far into my post so I am probably in the clear of a lot of backlash. Though a few agreeing nods my way would be appreciated.

For those interested here are a couple of amazing tea people that I believe should have made the list of nominations and didn’t. If you don’t know who they are please check them out. I am sure in time you will agree.

Jo Johnson for Best Tea Personality. There is no one I know that better embodies the definition of what this category represents.
Geoffrey Norman for Best Tea Blog. I love reading Geoff’s posts and I can’t imagine a world without his writing.

Both of the people mentioned here are not aware that I was planning on writing this.

I am beyond thrilled  Nicole Martin, Lu Ann Pannunzio, Alexis Siemons @teaspoonsandpetals, Jen Piccotti, Elyse Peterson, and Tony Gebely made the list among others. I will be honest there were several people I had not heard of before and even some that apparently haven’t been active in a while. I suppose I’ll check them out. Not to worry I am sure they haven’t heard of me either.

As a recap of events it is interesting to see how some things never change. In a way we are all still in High School. Sometimes being popular for the sake of being popular. Keep in mind I am not suggesting that everyone one the list made it because of “popularity” without content.  On the contrary many made it on merit.  I only feel a few made it based on an old school popularity contest.  For me the only difference is I know I will never be apart of that type of popular crowd because I choose not to be. It is nice that this time it was my choice and mine alone.  However, if I decide to pursue a more structured blogging style I know one day it is possible even I could make the list based on merit because I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Congratulations to all those nominated! Can’t wait to see everyone at World Tea Expo next month. Join my fellow bloggers and me at the Bloggers Roundtable on May 7th from 2:30 to 3:30
Bloggers Rountable WTE 2015

Tea + Exercise = AWESOME

Tea is awesome

Stop now if you are looking for facts, scientific mumbo-jumbo, or anything that may suggest without a shadow of a doubt that tea is a super power. The information I will be providing is purely based on my experiences and my interpretation of the results I have achieved.

I have hydrated with water just as most do. However, I currently I only drink cold green tea when I am working out instead and here is the difference I have felt.

Water

Water: I feel hydrated enough. It quenches my thirst when I need it most. Outside of the basic sustenance water provides I generally feel the same as I did before slugging the wet stuff, just less thirsty.

Iced green tea

Tea: I feel hydrated, my thirst is quenched as it is with water. However, the flavor is better which does help me be mentally happier. Drinking tea is obviously more exciting and interesting an experience. I also seem to get a gradual increase in energy or perhaps some more stamina. I don’t feel caffeinated as one would think of. Basically I am not jittery or hyper. Basically I feel like I am ready to rock any challenge coming my way. Of course the act of exercising helps me feel this way too. I just feel it more, think of it as “super strength” as opposed to “regular strength.”

Basically when I drink tea I feel like I am able to go a little longer and push myself a little harder. I am always looking for that extra edge. Anything that will help me achieve my goals. Tea is my go to for just about everything. The beauty of tea is its versatility. When I am at the gym I need something that will replenish and hydrate. The bonus I also get a gradual increase in stamina. It helps me push myself harder. Do more without sacrificing my health. There is no sugar or any other junk in my tea. Just water and green tea. I can’t see how anyone can argue with me when I say tea is quite amazing. Why everyone doesn’t drink it all the time is beyond me.

On the flip side, when I’m not pushing myself at the gym or trying to get in more mile. I also use tea to relax. Seriously, one drink can do all this. Best part is tea has been around forever and is easy to get. If you don’t believe me just try it for a week and see for yourself. If I need to relax or unwind I just grab a cup of hot tea. Most times I have it straight sometimes with the works. Of course that is usually the case when I am having chai or a tea party with my daughter.

Oi Ocha dark

imageBack to tea and exercise. I have done the bulk of my experimenting using ready to drink green tea. At the gym I drink Oi Ocha Dark from Ito En. It does the job of hydrating and provides a gentle increase in stamina. Basically when I drink my tea during exercise I feel better overall than when I drink just plain water. When I am home I will still continue to drink the same tea. However, I also drink Ito En’s Sencha Shots they provide a boost of vitality and a burst of energy. Again, this is just plain unsweetened tea. You don’t get any jittery feelings if any kind. However, the Sencha Shot just gives me a bigger boost than does the Oi Ocha Dark.

Simpsons

Keep in mind, this is not scientific in away. These are my experiences and mine alone. If any of you challenge yourselves to try this method please share your results. I am curious how your experiences will be in comparison to mine. In the mean time, be happy, stay healthy, drink tea!

Letting Go Is So Hard To Do

Personal Quote

“But it was my favorite for years!” is something I have said far too many times. Why do we hang on to things that clearly don’t mean the same to us anymore? A few of my favorite teas used to come from Teavana years ago but don’t anymore. When I started to explore new teas from new sources I decided I would never drink tea from Teavana again unless they changed their teas to suit more of what I enjoy. They just don’t taste like what tea should to me. However, it was a great starting point for me and for many others like me. I am glad I explored further it has only helped to develop an even deeper love of tea. I am always on the hunt for more and better things; this method applies to nearly ever application in my life. Even now I still continue to explore better options even though I know what I am drinking is some of the best tea anyone will ever have, still that wont deter me from the challenge of finding more. Still there are so many other things in my life where I have difficulty applying the same process. Like an unsatisfying tea experience it is time to make a change for the better. I apologize in advance if I offend anyone.

My morning started like any other but then took an unexpected turn. On Facebook someone asked… “If you could, what would you tell your younger self?” I am not sure why but that really sparked some heavy thinking which then snowballed into some actionable items as mentioned in this post.

Obviously if I could I’d send myself the winning lottery numbers, avoid the car accident that nearly took my life twice, I would but I know I can’t do that. Though would I really want too? Everything that has happened to me thus far is what made me who I am today.   Yes, I could pull a “Marty McFly” and jump into my DeLorean and make some serious changes but we all know that isn’t going to happen, too bad too because I had some great ideas.

Nevertheless, here is something I have been doing for far too long. It is time to shed some personally toxic relationships. I have the tea thing under control, heck I even have food within reasonable control, however there is some unfinished business that I must address as they need closure.

We all grow out of certain relationships. I used to drink pop but now I don’t. I don’t even care for it anymore. However, dropping that relationship didn’t result in hurt feelings so it was easy to do. What I really need to do is drop some personal relationships that were once made sense but no longer do. This is a hard thing to deal with but it must be done. Like a diseased appendage it is doing more harm than good and it must be cut off to save the rest.

My problem is and always has been trying to avoid hurting people’s feelings. While this is a good thing it can sometimes be harmful to me. Avoiding hurting others is one of the greatest and worst character traits I have. However, I am quickly learning that everything must be done in moderation and shouldn’t be done whilst sacrificing myself.

Today has taught me that I too am important and if something/someone isn’t good for me that I need to let it go. Just like when I say “No thank you” to that tea sample as I walk by Teavana. I am choosing to no longer be happy with the toxic relationships in my life. I am going to be cutting them out and to make room for bigger and better relationships.

 

SUMMARY: Though everything has its purpose, a moment in time it proved to be invaluable. We must accept things will change as we are constantly changing. We need to give ourselves permission to move on. We can’t hold onto everything and we must be honest with ourselves and of that fact. Thus allowing us to do what must be done to move ahead and grow.

NOTE: I should mention I still look at the tea ware in Teavana on occasion. I do like some of what they have. Also, I understand many people do like the tea from Teavana and that is perfectly fine for them. Please understand that this post isn’t meant to attack anyone that likes Teavana or Teavana itself. These are my opinions and my opinions alone. Thank you!

Teavana Sakura Teaware

 

 

Fine Words Butter No Parsnips

Listen I don’t know what’s wrong with these parsnips but I have a few “fine” choice “words” for them. After I’m done I am sure you’ll grab the butter yourself and take care of these rather ridiculous parsnips.

Ever since Robert @thedevotea mentioned this little challenge I was curious what I’d write. First, I don’t know many parsnips and certainly can’t understand it’s reluctance to wanting to be “buttered” even if that butter are the words I write here. So I thought the best approach was to tell these parsnips who is boss and lay it all out there. I am going to take my buttery words and forcibly take these parsnips “50 Shades of Grey” style. Sorry, I just had to find a way to throw that in there. So let me share these “fine” words with you and you tell me if these “parsnips” should agree to be “buttered.”

The last six months have been an amazing and terrifying ride. I have gone through enormous personal change. I have taken my life into my own hands. I have stopped wishing I could be happier, healthier, and wealthier. I made some major and risky life choices. These choices have altered my personal trajectory. I am no longer at the same risk of heart disease I used to be, I am not looking at complete pancreatic failure, and don’t suffer from infertility anymore. I am living the literal dream I always wished I could live.

Here are the facts… I am no longer diabetic, I no longer have acid reflux, I no longer suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically, I am no longer “fat” actually make that no longer morbidly obese. I am still over weight but I won’t be for long. I have energy, I am happy, I am the mother and wife I always imagined I’d be. Why? Because I stopped “buttering” my “parsnips.” I decided I matter too. You can’t take care of anyone until you take care of yourself first. These are very wise words I never really understood until now.

I didn’t start this journey to be inspirational. I did this for me. If I didn’t make a change I knew I would die much earlier than I should. I also knew I was looking at a number of health related issues as I aged. Some I was already seriously facing. My biggest issue was my diabetes, by the way I love saying “was” being that the issue is now past tense only solidifies my decision. My diabetes was seriously out of control. Not because I eat too many sweets or any of those stereotypical responses to someone with uncontrolled diabetes may be. No matter how much I watched my diet, which I DID I wasn’t able to grasp the control I needed. Just as I got close, my body decided to change the game. I was on insulin and pills. To this day I have so many black and blue marks on my abdomen that just won’t heal from all the daily injections. I hated the life I was trapped in, it felt like survival and not really living. I tried every “traditional” weight loss method out there. It was never the lack of drive it was my body that was failing me. My doctors were telling me there was a chance that my pancreas was being so over taxed that it was getting ready to fail. I was terrified and it wasn’t that I was terrified for myself. I didn’t want to leave my kids. They need a mother, they need me and I need them.

I decided it was time I did whatever it took to save my life. People think you are a cheater, people think you took an easy way out. I dare anyone out there to go through what I did and say the same thing. This was the single more difficult decision I have ever had to make in my whole life. I was terrified I would die on the table, that my kids would be left without a mother my husband without his wife. I did this because I refused to fail. I did this because I am not a quitter. I did this because of my family. I tried every other medically safe option before coming to this decision and nothing worked. Hormones control so much of what your body does and in my case they were king.

Last August 22nd 2014 after five months of education, tests, and preparation I underwent gastric bypass surgery. I had intended to originally try the band because it was suppose to be less evasive. However, it isn’t effective for those with diabetes. I didn’t get the surgery to be a skinny and try to live a life that wasn’t mine. I did it to do something drastic about my diabetes. Doctors don’t know why but many people either go into remission or have an extremely reduced case of diabetes and without even losing a pound after having surgery. Apparently there is a type of hormone in the stomach that is affected by this surgery that can help people with diabetes. So I decided if I was going to go through this I was going to make the best decision to help me with my situation. Let me make this clear. No amount of dieting and exercising could have put me into the remission I am in now. This was my only option and I took it. I had already been suffering with diabetes for nearly two decades. At my age that is a very long time. Considering the length of time and the severity of my case if I didn’t take a more drastic approach I was on the path to blindness. I had already been diagnosed with a cotton wool spot which has since resolved. I don’t want to lose any of my appendages and mostly I didn’t want to be any kind of burden on my family.

It was the single best decision I ever made. I almost backed out on the day of surgery but managed to get the pros to out weight the cons. I have a fantastic support group. My family and friends all supported my decision and they were there for me. I know some of you can’t imagine why someone would do something so drastic and that is okay. I am not writing this to justify my actions or get your approval. This was the right decision for me. I am off ALL of my medications. I only take vitamins. I am down over 70 pounds and have only 19 pounds to go before I reach my personal goal. I have created new positive behaviors, such as daily exercise and healthy eating. I have been on some kind of medication or another since I was 21 years old. Now it’s over, I don’t have to take anything anymore. It is this that drives me to be better, to work harder, eat better, and get to the gym.

I am happy and living a generally “butter” free lifestyle. So there is plenty of butter to go around “parsnips” I’m passing the butter onto you because I don’t need any, anymore. So take these “fine words” and slather it on baby.

 

For other related posts see here…

Scandalous Tea
The Devotea
Tea With Gary
An International Tea Moment
Cups of Tea with Jackie
Joys Jabberings
AmazonV
Lahikmajo

Spicy Black Matcha Cocoa Recipe

Spicy Black Matcha Cocoa

I know I promised two recipes but since I haven’t finalized the recipe using alcohol I decided I couldn’t hold off on sharing this incredibly delicious cocoa recipe. Before sharing the recipe let me share with you the flavor profile of this amazing black matcha.

Pure Matcha Black Matcha

Pure Matcha – Black Matcha Flavor Profile
• lovely rich depth of flavor
• obvious earthy feel
• hint of natural chocolate notes

The black matcha that I used in this recipe is from a Pure Matcha which I picked up from Amazon.com. I am so glad I decided to try it. Honestly, you could enjoy this all on its own but of course I had to find an unconventional use for those days you need an extra special treat. When working with the matcha my only suggestion is you sift the matcha powder very well to avoid clumps. You do need to work with a little but it so worth it.

Ingredients:
1 tsp – Black Matcha Powder from Pure Matcha
1 tbsp – Unsweetened Cocoa Powder from Trader Joes
2 tsp – Sugar (Adjust to taste)
¼ tsp – Cayenne Pepper (Adjust to taste)
¼ tsp – Cinnamon Powder (Adjust to taste)
6 oz – Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk from Trader Joes
Dash of Kosher Salt
Whipped Cream (Optional)
Gold Edible Glitter Stars (Optional)

Directions:

Sift Matcha into a small bowl that you will be using to enjoy your finished beverage. Be sure to do your best to sift through the matcha thus avoiding clumps. Next, add in all dry ingredients the cocoa powder, sugar, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and salt. Mix them all together until well combined. Heat the almond milk on the stove, in the microwave, or using the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother like I did. I love using my frother, it’s quick and easy and always at the right temperature. It is an investment but well worth it. Using the heated milk add a very small amount into the dry ingredients mixing as you go. Once all the ingredients have blended into the milk evenly pour in the remaining milk and mix. I use my hand held milk frother for this part but I am sure a spoon would work just fine. Once you are all done and everything looks well combined add the whipped cream and edible gold stars. Enjoy!

Assuming everything turned out perfectly. You should be tasting a sweet and spicy earthy hot cocoa. It is very rich and comforting on a cold day. You may find some adjustments are needed to the ingredients based on your taste preferences. It’s my hope that this will either be perfect from the start or only require a few adjustments to meet your liking. In the end I am hopefully it will put a smile on your face.

Win Tea For A Year From The Tea Spot

The Tea Spot

 

To enter, there is a simple submission form here. To get a Bonus Entry, you can also nominate up to 2 people who have done something remarkable and tell us why they’re amazing here. (If you win, your two nominations will​ win tea for a year as well!)

Thank you for the amazing contest The Tea Spot! Good luck to everyone.