You could say that I’ve become a bit obsessed with green tea lately.
You can find me using it as a replacement for the milk or juice in smoothies, combining it with almond milk for cereal [don’t knock it till you try it], or enjoying a green tea lemonade as a mid-morning treat. Because there’s caffeine in green tea; albeit not as much as in a cup of coffee, I try to limit it to 1 cup per day, 5 days a week.
Green tea and I have always had a Ross and Rachel relationship – on again, off again, love, hate… you know. Gosh, I miss that show.
As with a lot of foods, I get bored, I move on, and then come back to it when I remember why I loved it in the first place. In the case of green tea, it’s been absolutely pivotal in helping me break my habit of snacking when I’m not hungry.
You see, thirst; for some people, masks itself by displaying the same signs as hunger. Of course our first reaction to hunger pain is to eat, but sometimes hunger is not the case! 9 times out of 10 it’s because we’re thirsty.
My general rule of thumb is that if I’ve eaten in the past 1-2 hours and I get hunger pains, it’s probably because I’m thirsty. I can’t express how amazingly helpful this has been in healing my digestion. Before coming to the conclusion that my portion sizes were causing me digestive grief I would be finishing off the contents of my lunch kit – breakfast, morning and afternoon snacks, and lunch – all before 11am. It wasn’t that I was eating more in a day, I was just eating it all at once because I was dehydrated.
When our portions are too large; like when we have snack + lunch within an hour of each other, we have too much food in our system which makes it nearly impossible for our bodies to digest the foods properly. With too much food at once and not enough enzymes to go around, I would often get gas pains and a swollen belly every afternoon.
Dealing with swollen belly at the office is anything but pleasant. After recognizing what the issue was, I was quick to come up with a water schedule and prepare a couple of treat-like drinks to help me transition to eating in 2-3 hour increments instead of jamming a days’ worth of food into a couple of hours. It’s not about eating more or less it’s about structuring the foods that you eat in a way that’s going to benefit your digestion. Of course if I drink my water and I’m still getting hunger pains, I grab a snack.
One of my favorite treat-like drinks has to be this green tea lemonade. I like to drink it in between my morning snack and lunch. It hits the spot with it’s sweetness and hydrates me at the same time. Win-win in my book!
Green Tea Lemonade
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free
A delicious and refreshing way to meet your daily water intake requirements and load up on age defying antioxidants. Keep in the fridge for up to a week for quick hydration.
Yield: 10 cups [5 servings]
- 4 bags organic green tea
- 10 cups filtered water
- 1/4 tsp concentrated stevia powder *see note
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Place water in a large saucepan, cover, and heat on high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and drop in teabags. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and stir in honey, mixing until dissolved. Allow pot to sit for a couple of hours to cool before pouring into a large glass jug, mixing in lemon juice, and storing in the fridge until use.
Try using [naturally] flavored green tea like jasmine, apricot, or mango for flavor variation
note: Adjust stevia amount to taste as several brands seem to have a different sweetness strength. Don’t like stevia? Try 1/2 cup honey or palm sugar.
Also, it should be mentioned, that contrary to belief, studies* are now showing that drinking tea doesn’t dehydrate us as originally predicted. In fact, because of the antioxidants contained in green tea it can be a better solution than water… within moderation. I’ll stick to my 7 cups of water, but I’ll take in that last 1 cup of fluids by enjoying a tall glass of this stuff!
*Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006
What’s your favorite treat-like drink?