Digestive Tea

So it's Thanksgiving weekend and many of us tend to over indulge a little, leaving us with upset tummies and bloat. This year I was hosting and I put a pot on the stove and brewed this digestive aid tea all day and night while my family was here and they took some as they needed it.

I want to be clear, this isn't a "diet tea" or a way to burn off the "extra" calories consumed this weekend. It's about restoring the balance in the digestive system and helping our tummies feel a bit better. 

Four simple ingredients found at most grocery stores are:

  • Fresh ginger 2-3 slices (leave the peel on)
  • Star Anise 1-3
  • Fennel Seed 1 teaspoon-tasblespoon
  • Cinnamon Stick 1-2
  1. Simply boil the ingredients in the pot. I like to get to a boil and then turn it all the way to the lowest setting to keep on the stove and people can consume as they wish.
  2. Use a fine strainer to pour the mixture into the mug and enjoy!

Why these food?

  • Ginger is a known anti-inflammatory and nausea fighter. Usually when we are sick or have motion/car/sea sickness ginger is the first things we grab for. It get's food moving through our digestive system a bit faster, reduces gas, bloating and cramps. It's known to awaken the tastebuds (think ginger in between sushi!) and stimulate digestive juices. 
  • Star Anise is known to help protect against colds anf flu as an antiviral, as well as good for reducing gas, hiccups and water retention. The taste is similar to licorice and in this recipe can be substitued for licorice root, but I find star anise more wildly available in stores. 
  • Fennel seeds conatin concentrated oils that sooth upset stomach. Fennel seeds are used a lot in Ayurvedic cooking I have come across!
  • Cinnamon is a digestive aid used to help sort of balance levels of glucose and triglycerides in the blood. I also find it very relaxing in the smell and taste and warming and comforting. I adore cinnamon so I sometimes put more in. 

 

I hope you enjoy and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

The Chopped Leaf Beet Bowl

Recently The Chopped Leaf launched the new Beet Bowl. Now I will let you in on a secret. I hate Beets. *gasp* Okay I should say I USED to hate beets. I tried. I really tried to like them, but I've never found a way I like them. They are super good for you. They are high in vitamin c (good for immunity) and fiber (good for nutrient absorbtion) and other essential minerals.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint they are good for all constitution types and are known as a powerful blood builder and treater of ailments because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

So last week I went into try the new Beet Bowl for lunch. It came in this pretty bowl. And we all know we eat with our eyes first right? The colorful bowl certainly makes a pretty display.

This bowl is packed full of nutrients and deliciousness. The blueberries create this nice sweetness, and the smooth feta adds a bit of saltiness getting that sweet and salty taste just right. The pecans add a wonderful crunch with the crisp lettuce, and the brown basmati rice adds a heartiness to the dish, leaving you feeling satisfied. Add the beets and top with the honey dijon dressing and perfecto! The sweet, salty and slightly sour from the honey dijon make a trifecta of tastes. In Ayurveda these three tastes are even known to be the three of comfort. 

One bite has all this

One bite has all this

I topped my bowl with smoked tofu since I'm a vegetarian, but they have other protein options or eat it on it own! At just 190 calories for the starter size this bowl is super satisfying and easily added to most's eating plans. 

Make sure you check out The Chopped Leaf giveaway and enter to win prizes they are giving away weekly!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Tea Time

 Throughout the centuries tea has been a custom of calm, gathering, relaxation and tradition. 

Chinese tea ceremonies at weddings as an offering to parents and thanking them for raising them.

In Indian, chai tea can be found on every street corner.

In Morocca, mint tea is practically their national drink. 

Classic British afternoon tea time. (I always picture cucumber sandwiches and the Queen)

And in Russia "Zavarka" is tea time with a piece of cake. They called it "naked" if not eaten with cake. 

No matter where in the world, or what tradition, tea time is a time for oneself. A time to sit and enjoy this small pleasure or warmth when it's cool or cooling when it's hot. This is this weeks Self Care Sunday.

Take the time to go a tea store and browse, smell, ask questions about what teas are for different things. Possibly see if a friend sells tea through a direct sales business. (I love supporting local business and friends). Or even take some time in the tea aisle at the grocery store. I like to stand there and read all the interesting flavour mixtures companies have come up with. 

Set aside some time this week and plan it in your calendar. Yes, we are planning 30 minutes of relaxing tea time people. Maybe plan everyday at a certain time you take this 10-20, or 30 minutes to sit down with your tea. 

A few tips for your tea time:

  • Turn off t.v''s or media if you can. Or be in another room if you are using it to distract your kids!
  • Find your favorite mug. Everything is better in your favorite mug.
  • Slow down and pay attention to all the sensations of drinking the tea. Notice the temperature as your mug touches your lips.  
  • Is the tea bitter, sweet, sour? I love mint tea and I like the tingle left on my tounge long after the sip is gone. 
  • Feel the warmth of the tea in the throat and belly. 
  • Pay attention to the aroma.
  • Sit quietly for a little while. Set a time if you are concerned about getting back to your busy day. 

How do you like your tea? sweet with sugar or honey? Smooth with cream or milk? 

My favorite is mint tea, black without sugar or milk. 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

My verdict on astrology is still out, but as a Cancer (and a Pitta in the Ayurvedic world) I have a small problem with perfectionism. Sometimes I find myself not even starting a task because I know it will not work out perfectly or know that I don't have the time to do it perfectly.

This evening as I am hand washing some dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I started thinking about the mess that currently is my home and everything that needs to be done to clean it. To perfection no less.

Today, for several reason I do not have the energy for this task. I normally may have even left the dishes in the sink to "catch up" on them tomorrow, because I certainly don't have the time to clean the whole kitchen and then house. I did them though, to make at least a small impact on the mess.

I think this is many people's problem with fitness and/or nutrition. Inner dialogue may sound a little like this: 

"If I am not going to perform the most efficiently in the gym, why should I even go? How can I perform the most efficiently if I don't know what I am  doing? I need to research or read about how to do things perfectly so I can make the most of my time while there. Okay, research first, get a plan and then go."

Days, weeks or even months pass. Waiting for the perfect plan, perfect moment, perfect outfit, perfect timing or whatever. Then it becomes a kitchen full of dishes that never get done. Am I right?

What if we stopped trying to make everything perfect and we just try? What if I learn to accept the mess around me for what it is, but know I can make a small impact right here, right now. A small step in the direction I wish to travel. Soon these small steps turn into these big milestones. These milestones turn into big moments and these big moments turn into the way I live my life?

Maybe at lunch when I have some cheesecake instead of sticking to my salad and egg whites I accept the "mess" and continue on with my plan instead of "well today is shot, may as well go down hill from here."

It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take a small step in the direction you wish to travel. The rest will follow eventually. 

Love, 

Jen