Everyone knows when they start a weight loss program certain habits and cravings can be hard to kick. And sometimes we all need a flavor change to satisfy our mouths, and not just fill our stomachs! Lately, I have been expanding my horizons to include specialty teas! I have found tea can be a tasty, healthy alternative for anyone looking to break up their daily flavor routine!
Since water, coffee, protein shakes and BCAA supplements are my main beverage options… tea has been a nice change of pace because there are so many types and flavors to choose from!! Lately, the tea I’ve been drinking at night is a 100% Natural Herbal tea from Celestial Seasonings called “True Blueberry” and it’s available at most grocery stores. This herbal tea does not contain any caffeine so it is safe to drink before you call it a night. If you find the ‘tea’ section in your local grocer look for a flavor that sounds yummy and simply look to see if it contains caffeine or not. Most herbal teas do not. I find that “night time tea” can be wonderful way to end the day, wind-down, curl-up, and relax.
Speaking of night time… sleep is one of the most important parts of any weight loss program. The less sleep you get the SLOWER your metabolism runs… Luckily for you busy bees, there are bedtime teas that contain calming and relaxing herbs like Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, Spearmint & Lemongrass to help you wind down to get that full, restful 6-8 hours. Some teas that have a soothing effect and promote better quality sleep are: Passion Flower, Reishi, Basil, Schizandra, and Valerian tea.
The newest tea that I have gotten into is a flavored Black tea that has actually been proven to reduce the size of fats cells!!! Crazy right?! This tea is called PU-ERH (poo-air) tea and is actually aged like wine or cheese! This tea is meant to drink in the morning and contains Gallic Acid and Theobromine (commonly found in chocolate), which act as the active ingredients. PU-ERH tea aids in the prevention of headaches as well! I don’t know any ladies that wouldn’t want to try a cup or 2 of this to start their day! It gives you that nice little buzz to get you through a morning of work or exercise! PU-ERH tea comes in a wide variety of flavors as well! Both my sister and I have found we really like the Strawberry Slender PU-ERH flavor tea.
Another great tea that may help you kick those late night cravings is called Bilberry tea. I haven’t personally tried this one yet, but I hear it has a slight “medicinal” or strong taste. The great benefit of this tea is that it regulates and lowers your blood sugar. The lower blood sugar maintained throughout the day, the lower your cravings will be late evening and bedtime! Good news for any diabetic or anyone that falls victim to their sweet tooth at the end of the day! Bilberry tea is also good for your eyes, and in some cases can prevent certain eye diseases. If you can brave the taste of this tea, it definitely will be well worth it!!
I had to save the best and most popular for last Green tea. This tea has a boat-load of benefits ranging from powerful antioxidants, boosting cardiovascular health, lowering cancer risk (particularly lung cancer) to protecting against certain viruses! The active ingredient in Green Tea is the green tea extract, EGCG complex, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps boost the immune system and even acts as mild, natural thermogenic. Green Tea is great to consume any time of day, except I wouldn’t recommend drinking it before you go to sleep. This tea does contain caffeine!! Although, Decaffeinated Green Tea is also available now.
So whether your goal is to lose weight, crush cravings, spice up your diet, sleep better or be healthier, your possibilities are absolutely endless in the world of specialty teas!! You can find most of the teas I’ve mentioned in this blog at most specialty tea shops or local grocery store! Until next time… and thanks for reading! – Angela