Becoming a tea snob on the cheap
One of the greatest challenges of adopting a lifestyle that does not include modern processed foods is the lack of gustatory variety. However we don’t have to drink sodas, sports drinks, and juices (practically liquid sugar *ahem*!) to enjoy beverages apart from water and milk. Drinking a variety of teas and herbal tinctures can provide simple satisfaction while also offering a few health benefits to boot. A quick PubMed search on various teas will yield 1000s of studies involving tea extracts, cells, animal models, and so on, but there are actually studies done in humans showing regular teas (consumed as a beverage - not as extracts) have benefits such as reducing blood pressure (1) and improving anti-oxidant status (2).
You can drink teas and tinctures hot or cold, sweetened with options such as stevia or sugar alcohols, or brewed with spices or fruits such as cinnamon, blueberries, or lemon to punch up the flavor. While prices of teas at coffee houses and tea shops vary, I know that I usually pay somewhere between $1.90 and $2.50 when I purchase a 16 or 20 oz tea. Preparing your own tea from loose leaves can be done at a fraction of the cost and allows you try some new flavors, as well as cultivate your creative side.
One of Sofia and I’s favorite brands is Numi because they offer a large assortment of organic and fair trade certified teas and seem to strive for corporate social responsibility (here). We were introduced to the company when we spotted their products at one of our local grocers. The price of Numi is about $7 for 18 servings, or $0.78 per day at two bags a day. When compared to a tea house that is quite a deal. However as you probably thought to yourself while reading, that is a lot of money for one box of tea. So we decided to compare prices for buying in bulk.
Amazon.com and Frontier Co-op (see here) both offer a number of organic and fair trade teas at a fraction of the cost of buying boxed teas. We are talking about prices that make it comparable to buying boxed Lipton or off brand teas. For example we recently bought one pound of organic, fair trade English breakfast tea for ~$18. Boxed teas are usually ~1.5 oz so @ $7 per box that’s $74.67 a pound or ~ 4 times the cost of buying in bulk! Not only that but bulk buying saves on packaging and is more eco-friendly. Your only challenge will be steeping the tea - we were able to find this Good Cook brand tea ball (see photo at the top) for $3.25 and reuse our tea canisters so we can take our loose leaf tea on the go.
A word of caution, teas can stain your teeth (3) so we recommend drinking them out of stainless steel straws since they are reusable and we are paranoid about drinking hot beverages through plastic. And yellow teeth. See some of our recipes for tea for some ideas (recipes to come) .
Going to school to become an RD is really geared for medical settings i.e. learning how to feed sick patients in acute care. People wrongfully assume we should know all things about optimal diets.
Not all dietitians are nutrition experts, not all nutrition experts are dietitians! In this series of posts, I will discuss my thoughts on nutrition expertise, the dietitian professional governing body, and my critique of who can give advice in the current wellness industry.
Can we exercise our ways out of a sedentary lifestyle?
Is oat milk healthy? Should hipsters and new moms everywhere all simultaneously convene upon their local grocers and purchase the entire supply of oat milk? Let’s see.
Less physical activity is built into our days than ever before. Here we discuss what we can do about it!
Taxes on sodas and potato chips have been popping up around the US, leading the debate to a federal junk food tax.
Are Americans meeting physical activity recommendations, and if so, are they enough?
An introduction into how we have learned physical activity is good for us.
Physical Inactivity is a crisis in America, contributing to astronomical health care spending. Read about my trip to Capitol Hill to lobby for legislation that would help increase physical activity in our country.
Is chocolate healthy or not? A dig into some of the studies behind chocolate and health.
We've all heard nighttime eating is bad for us, but is it really? In this series of of posts, I will discuss scientific studies that have researched the topic.
An NCAA report cited 0.2-3.8% of women collegiate athletes use creatine compared to up to 28% of men. With a little background research, quality testing stamps of approval and confidence, women athletes can realize performance benefits too!
Fat and fiber? Let's talk about coconuts.
Part three on the benefits of repetitive eating. Here we highlight anecdotal evidence found from around web, showing the evidence discussed in Parts I and II can translate into the real world...
If people prioritized their healh like they did Black Friday, we would be a much healther country!
A review of experimental studies illustrating that repetitive meals may help promote appetite control.
Curious on the effects of cooking on dietary nitrate content in veggies? Read this article to find out!
In this mini-article series I’ll discuss evidence for and against using a repetitive diet to successfully lose and maintain weight. Here in part one, I’ll discuss a bit about my experience with repetitive diets, a few of the reasons these diets might work, and findings from observational studies .
Avocados, coconuts and cocoa. They're fruits, they're high in fat and their fiber content is REALLY unexpected.
When people live life in a way that is strongly divergent from the niche(s) in which we evolved, biological problems will arise such as hypertension. Here we explore some of the factors that protect the Tsimane of Bolivia from hypertension, which plagues the USA.
I want to discuss training because it doesn't matter if you eat well - if you don't train hard you still will not attain the physique you're probably looking for. There is no one size fits all so I'll provide general recommendations in place of a cookie cutter program.
Here's a short, quick how-to on incorporating spices into your next dish.
Basic training principles that we all should apply to our exercise.
Does Vitamin K2 supplementation actually improve bone health markers? Would it be recommended for children? If so, in what amount?
Maintaining your diet while traveling can be tricky. Sofia offers some of her tips on how to eat healthfully while still enjoying your travels.
Is exercise alone enough to prevent disease or an early death? While it is helpful, there are other factors that contribute.
Sofia's tips on gaining muscle. For ladies.
Become a tea connoisseur on the dime!