From the age of 13 – 23 I was coffee-loving caffeine addict. That girl my roommates knew was unreachable until atleast 1 piping hot cup of java was coursing through my veins. “The morning grouch”. I loved coffee – too much. Especially at such a young age. Coffee replaced most if not all of my water consumption (not understanding at the time just how important water was to our health) and even caused dehydration sending me to the hospital once. Needless to say I was an addict. That all changed in 2012. My boyfriend and I went to Europe and it was my first time crossing the deep blue sea. I was hit with jet-lag HARD but with only a few of our first days spent in Italy I functioned on little to no sleep. The coffee was delicious, don’t get me wrong, everything espresso with thick, frothy dairy.. mmmm.. I just didn’t want it. My internal clock was so thrown off that when it was time for us to sit down to breaky my body thought it was the middle of the night and I turned my nose to the idea of having a coffee. I was so high on life it didn’t matter anyways – I was in Italy! 2 weeks coffee free, detoxing when I was sleeping and feeling great when I was awake. My body did eventually adjust to the time change and I did have 1-2 cups in Spain but I quickly realized this was a great opportunity for me to fall off the wagon. I had already admitted to myself that coffee had a strangle hold on my mornings that I found quite ridiculous.
2 weeks later we returned to Canadian soil… and the coffee craving hit me hard. I just shrugged, oh well can’t win them all, and poured myself a cup. Half way through I started getting light headed and dizzy, I felt nauseous, I was shakey…. so I brushed it off. The same thing happened the next morning, and then the next, until I realized I couldn’t go through my day feeling like a sack of you know what. I was no longer a coffee drinker. I accepted my fate and moved on…
The worst part about no longer being able to drink coffee was walking to class without a warm thermos of goodness. It was just ritual, routine, normal. I felt like I was always missing something. Never being a tea drinker before I thought it was worth a shot – and it was love at first sight. I became obsessed with tea. The best part? Tea really is such a powerful medicine. Herbs have been used for thousands of years as remedies for all life’s ailments. Common plants just growing in your garden – even dandelions (dandelion is actually one of my favourite herbs). From sore throats, coughs, flus to insomnia, tummy aches, or menstrual cramps, tea really is the solution to all the world’s problems. I have experimented with many different brands, loose leaf or bagged, flavours, and herbal combinations. Here is some of my favourites:
1. Mother’s Little Helper – A loose leaf tea from David’s Tea. It’s a caffeine-free blend with nervine herbs used to calm and relax you in preparation for a good nights sleep. Peppermint, lemongrass, rosehips, hibiscus, chamomile, valerian root, and cornflowers work together to lull you into slumber.
2. Organic Nighty Night – A bagged tea by Traditional Medicinals (my favourite bag company). It’s clearly evident that I have trouble sleeping, and this TM tea is a bit more powerful then Mother’s Little Helper. Steeping a bag filled with passionflower, chamomile, catnip (yes, catnip is a sedative in humans), and hop strobile is not only delicious (I actually crave this tea during the day) but extremely relaxing.
3. Organic The Skinny – My first David’s Tea experience. A great morning tea if you suffer from digestive complaints. A combination of Chinese oolong tea, Chinese pu’erh tea, ginger, eleuthero root, orange peel. (Ginger is really great for any sort of digestion complaint)
4. Organic Throat Coat – Another Traditional Medicinals tea to “relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections” says the box. It’s caffeine-free and combines Echinacea (immune boosting), licorice root, marshmellow leaf (soothing), marshmellow root, licorice extract, lemon myrtle leaf, fennel, sweet orange peel, and cinnamon bark. They try to make it taste good with the last few ingredients, but if you like licorice then this won’t be hard to get down. I used it with the boyfriend when he came down with a really bad cold, 2 cups a day + an immune tincture + hot lemon/apple cider vinegar/cinnamon/honey before bed and he was back on his feet in 2 days.
4. Organic Japanese Sencha – A loose leaf from David’s that basically got me on the tea wagon. It’s flavour is so delicate and refreshing. I replaced my morning coffee with a morning green tea and was completely satisfied. Full of antioxidants and riddled with health benefits, green tea is a great replacement for coffee.
5. Chamomile + Peppermint: my go-to tea when I ate too much… which happens more often then I’d like to admit.
There is SO much you can do with a tea I could probably go on forever. More to come in a later post.
In love & tea,