Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Temptation Tea

                  I am on my second week of training since announcing that I am going to enter a triathlon this summer, and already I have made a lot of changes in my life. Probably the biggest change is that I have been eating MUCH healthier. I am about 15 pounds heavier than I know I should be if I want to be able to run without getting injured, and so the main goal with the healthy eating is to loose a few pounds before I start running a lot. With my new habits I have lost 5 pounds already! I have completely cut simple sugars out of my diet, and this week I have been subsisting on egg whites, spinach, broccoli, celery, cottage cheese, almonds, water and tea. This is a drastic change from my previous diet, which was "eat whatever I want whenever I want." I am trying to stick with only this list of foods for the week because I know the limits of my will power, and as soon as I get my hands on some sugar I won't be able to stop. What is getting me through all of my cravings is my new found interest in trying different teas (which started as soon as I gave up coffee for lent!)

                Whenever I am tempted to munch on something that is not on my list of "OK" foods for the week, then I have a cup of tea, and by the time I finish the cup the craving is usually gone. I went out and purchased numerous different boxes knowing that having lots of different flavors to choose from would keep me interested in this diversion. In total I probably have spent $10.00 this week on tea (some of the tea below I already had laying around), but I figure that is nothing compared to what I could be spending on junky food. So far I have tried:

I love this tea with almond milk....but, I am not drinking milk this week, so I have been shying away from this one. But, as soon as I start drinking milk again it will be right back up there as my favorite bedtime treat. Plus, it is the closest tea I have found to simulating the coffee experience.

I adore this tea. I got a box of it at Big Lots because it was on clearance for a buck, and I thought I'd risk it....and it has turned out to be one of my favorites! It is very mild and doesn't leave that bitter aftertaste that I've noticed a lot of the other black teas have. When I was finding a photo of this online I noticed that St. Dalfour also has other flavors and that almost all of the comments about this tea were extremely positive, so I definitely want to get my hands on the others to try them out. I highly recommend this brand.

This green tea tastes more like mandarin orange than coconut....I was disappointed that it didn't have a more tropical flavor.

This tastes almost the same as the coconut and passionfruit box above. It is good, but the mandarin orange flavor is very light. I was hoping it would be stronger.

I just tried this tea for the first time last night, but already I think it might be going on my list of top favorites. It is soooooo light, and the even though the strawberry flavor isn't as strong as I would like, the stong smell of strawberry while sipping this tea makes up for it. It is so easy to drink this one.

Now this tea is definitely not for a new tea drinker. It is very strong and without milk or cream requires much imagination in order for it to taste like vanilla or caramel. And yet somehow I have almost finished off this box. I am thinking it is an acquired taste.

Very cherry...surprisingly sweet, and each tea bag tag has a little quote from someone famous to ponder while sipping your cup. I like this one and would try more from this company.

My favorites are the lemon zinger and the peppermint. I have been drinking these at bedtime after I discovered that the caffeine in the green teas really does keep me up. The packaging is always a little disarming just because I like having separate packing for each bag so I can take some with me in a backpack or purse,  and these come packed together in one large package according to flavor without strings or tag....but I know that the company is doing it for a good cause (the environment) and if  I want to throw a few of these in my purse I just put them in a sandwich bag.

I am calling my tea collection my "temptation tea." It is nice to have something to be able to get a little excited about when the going gets tough. It also doesn't hurt knowing that teas (green especially) have flavanoids and antioxidants that could possibly reduce my risk of developing cancer. When I was looking at teas in the grocery aisle there were all sorts of flavored water packets right next to them, and I debated about getting some, but then I looked at the ingredients. Everything was chemicals....aspartame, food coloring etc, and usually when I drink those I can tell my body thinks I'm actually consuming sugar, which just makes me crave sugar more. I have decided to steer clear of that fake sugar stuff. My only complaint about this tea drinking business....I have to pee all the time!

 I have also been leaving my Bible opened by my tea stash so that when I am there I can gain strength from it as well. Here are a few quotes from the Bible that I have found helpful this week, and you might find helpful to if you are trying to fight temptation in any way:

"Happy is the man who doesn't give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him." JAMES  1 VERSE 12

"And remember, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it. Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and wishes." JAMES 1 VERSES 13 & 14

“Be not anxious for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink … or what you shall wear … Isn’t life more than food? … and the body more than clothing?” ~ Luke 12:22; 29
“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” ~ Matthew 4:4
“The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 14:17
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit … therefore, glorify God in your body.” ~ I Corinth 3:16; 6:19-20

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