Hooked on a new tea

So, as you all know, I love my Adagio teas. But, while I was in NYC, I was introduced to Celestial Seasonings’ Red Zinger tea. I was hooked at the first cup. There was something about the combination of ingredients in this herbal tea that created such an intriguing taste. It’s bold, deep, rich, and I can’t get enough!

When I got back home, I started checking the shelves for it so I could make it at home. Despite being a signature tea of the brand, no one around me carried it. I was so frustrated. So when I was in Columbus on Friday, I decided to search on their site to see where it was sold there. Thankfully Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, and Raisin Rack all carry it. After I was done with my grocery shopping, I made a beeline for the nearest Whole Foods and got two boxes – it was on sale – allowing me to keep one box at home and take one to work.

Best decision ever! I haven’t wanted to have any of the raspberry tea I had been habitually drinking before the trip. It’s getting me to drink more fluids that have no sugar in them. And I’m pretty sure the ingredients are agreeing with my body because I’m feeling so good! I’m on my second cup at work today. It’s so easy to make and drink. I think I found another habit I can keep going and not give up on!

Don’t give up

I have always had trouble forming habits that help me out. I have created study schedules and rarely follow them. I buy healthy foods and end up eating highly processed flour and sugar. But I don’t give up. I do look at what didn’t work the last time and try something different – so it’s not insanity. But I don’t give up.

Last week I was in NYC for BroadwayCon. I was presenting my autoethnography about being a Hamilton fan. The con was Friday-Sunday. I stayed until Tuesday so I could do some exploration around NYC. That’s not the point of this post, though.

While I was there, I stayed with family. Family who welcomed me into their home, but didn’t fuss over me. They continued to live their lives around me and I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. It was wonderful! They also have habits that I have been striving toward having for a while now.

For example: I did not see a single paper towel in their entire place. It was all cloth. It made me realize that it is really easy to live without paper towels. I’ve always been worried about staining towels and washcloths. I’ve been worried that using them will ruin them. I don’t know why. But spending almost a week without a roll of paper towels hanging around helped me to realize that it’s okay to use cloth towels, to let the washcloths get stained. That’s why they’re there! So, on my way home Thursday night, I decided to stop at Big Lots! and get some more. We have kitchen towels, but not many, and some of them aren’t great at actually getting things dry. I made sure the towels I picked up are 100% cotton so they’ll actually absorb things. I even picked up more washcloths to make sure we’d have plenty. I don’t think I’ve reached for a paper towel since then. Considering I was using them to dry my hands at every turn, this is a good thing. I’m not giving up.

Another habit I picked up while I was there was eating better. The way I am built, I know that I am never going to be considered “skinny.” And I’m fine with that. I just want to be happy with the person I see in the mirror. My hubby loves me no matter what I look like, which is wonderful. But I want to loose weight. I want to be slimmer and healthier in my own opinion. I know I have a family history of diabetes linked to weight. I want to avoid that. While I was in NYC, I was definitely walking more than usual, but I was also eating in ways that made me feel better. It’s not that I had banned myself from eating certain things. I had banana bread multiple times from Starbucks, along with various teas. I had Snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies at their place. It was more about portions than contents. I was eating enough to satisfy my hunger, not eating until I couldn’t eat anymore. Or eating so there wouldn’t be leftovers.

I noticed it during the trip, but it’s come into sharper relief when I got home. So many things are not meant for only two people to eat. And I’m not the greatest about eating leftovers. Also, when the two people prefer different portion sizes, it leads to leftovers. I’m still working on how to deal with that. But when it comes to my lunches, when I’m the only one eating, I’m working on it. I’m not giving up.

One of the most important things I learned while I was gone is that I have not been drinking enough, especially water. I’ve been drinking Gold Peak raspberry tea cut 1:1 with their unsweetened tea for a bit now. Usually, I have been drinking it to get that bit of sweet and keep me from drinking Pepsi. But, while I was gone, I didn’t have it with me. And I didn’t miss it. I was drinking water or Red Zinger or tea from Starbucks. It made me realize that I don’t need it. I don’t need that source of sugar – and it is sugar, not HFCS. It helped me remember to make use of the many, many teas I have at home for those times when I don’t want just a glass of water. I even took a travel mug in to the office so I would drink more tea there. I’m not giving up.

It looks like I’ve found my mantra for this year: “Don’t give up.” I’m not. Even the smallest changes build up to the big ones. Be patient. Something will work, even if it’s not the whole thing.

More Matcha!

For over a year now, I have had a tin of matcha from Adagio teas. I haven’t used it because I’m scared I’ll screw it up, and I know how not cheap a tin is. I recently ordered a pack of their Sticks, one tube can easily be dumped into a 12oz bottle and shaken up resulting in matcha.

That got me wondering. Is there something different about that tea from the tins? I finally remembered to Google it today. Guess what? There’s not! I found The Many Joys of Coldbrew Matcha which says I just need to do what the stick box says: put about 1 tsp into 16oz of water, shake, and enjoy! So I’m going to keep the sticks at work, and use my tin here at home. It’ll be nice to finally use the tin, as well as have nice cold matcha here at home as well as at school. I’m looking forward to having money to get some of Adagio’s different flavors and give them a go.

Now I remember!

I remember why all those times I cut out sugar it didn’t stick. Today reminded me.

I have been slightly foggy lately. I’ve been unmotivated and unfocused. I haven’t felt like constantly making myself a cup of caffeinated tea to stay focused. I’ve been avoiding sugar, but I allowed myself a break on Sunday. Even then it wasn’t completely sugar, just a delicious carrot cake torte. But I can’t shake this fog.

I got going this morning just fine. A travel mug of tea on my drive in and I was great to teach. But I got back to my office and I was very hungry. So I microwaved my lunch. I was still hungry. And quite unfocused and foggy. I accidentally bought a bag of gummies yesterday out of habit and left them in my bag. I tore into them in the hopes that they would at least take the edge off. They didn’t.

This is why I always end up slowly eating too much sugar again and again. My body adjusts to the lack of sugar, but my habits don’t. But this time I’m aware of it. I’m conscious of it.

I’m at the PCA Conference in Indianapolis for the week. I packed food to eat in the room for two reasons. First, to cut back on paying for fast food. Despite getting a pizza tonight. Second, to keep these good habits up. I even stopped by the nearby Wal-Mart for some yogurts for breakfast, raspberry tea for the evenings, and milk for my hot tea. I packed my utiliTEA, three tins of tea, sugar crystals, mug, teabags, and measuring spoons so I can make tea whenever. I even brought my Starbucks travel mug for a cup made here in the morning and refills throughout the day.

Granted, getting enough sleep would help, too.

Holy Matcha!

I get an e-mail notifying me that a package was delivered via USPS this afternoon. While driving home from work, I was trying to figure out what the package could be. But also knowing that I’m only half of the equation, especially this time of year. When I get home and check the package locker, I see something much bigger than anything I have ordered, so I assume it’s the hubby’s. But upon checking the label – and looking at the box – I see it’s for me. From Adagio Teas. After a quick panic over accidentally ordering something and forgetting, I calm down and wonder if someone sent me something. I open it and find that I am right. I’m still stunned over the contents. This is what was in the package:

The message on the other side says:
“Courtney,
Please enjoy this gift as our thanks for being an awesome customer in 2017!
Happy Holidays!
Ashley”

I have had my eye on this gift set, which includes a 2oz tin of matcha, bowl, and bamboo wisk, for a few years now. But I’ve never wanted to spend that much on myself.

MatchaSet

I still can’t believe I have everything to make matcha tea now. I will forever be grateful to whomever sent it. Now I need to go learn how to make matcha. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I have the time to relax and enjoy while I learn and work on perfecting my skills. I’ve got the physical tools, now for the mental!

Distractable

It’s never a good sign when I’m so distractable. Last night I sat down to do reading, I ended up organizing binders of my readings and notes from the past two years. Today, I’ve organized the files of readings from the past two years, as well as killing time online. I just got off of Facebook because I realized I didn’t know why I was still on there. And I’m writing this.

Even with my wonderful tea (gets distracted again)…I cannot focus on these readings. It happened last week. It’s happening again this week. I keep trying to get my readings done before Tuesday so I can sit down and have time to write my response paper and make sure it is good and makes sense. Instead I end up rushing to get them read and throw together a paper to get in just before the deadline. I’ve found some summaries of a few of the readings. I’m hoping they’ll give me enough information that I can get everything else read and get a good paper written.

I’m starting to worry about this. I don’t know if my attention issues are getting worse or I’m noticing them more now that I have more work and really want to get good grades. I have gone this far without seeking medical intervention, but I may have to if I want to get through the rest of my life. Spending hours at a time watching television when there is so much that needs to be done is not a good way to go through life. I know that you need to take a break from things and take care of yourself, but I feel like I’m taking a break from that to actually do things instead of the other way around. Grrrr.

Tea Joy!

With all the problems going on in the world, I feel like adding some joy to it. Recently, I put in an order to resupply and add to my tea stock.

In there are two types of tea cookies, Irish Breakfast tea, a free filter for my water pitcher, a free sample pouch of Earl Grey Lavender – which I try to gather to delay needing to actually buy more, more Amber Sugar Crystals, and new tins!

I love Adagio’s storage tins. I love the colors. I love how they function. Until the shipment arrived, the blues – Earl Greys – were a tin higher than the others. When I decided to get the Irish Breakfast tea, I realized I needed another red tin – my Breakfast teas – but you can’t buy just one. You have to order a 3-pack. So I ordered my third set of the variety pack – red for the Irish Breakfast, green got my all-green Far Out blend, and yellow is empty because I don’t have a straight black that needs a tin. There really is a method to my madness. 😀

Then there is the wonderful Amber Sugar Crystals. I was down to this:

Now I have this, again:

There really is a simple joy in having so many delicious teas to choose from. Sometimes I just sit there and look at my teas. Also, by using my former desk/coffee table as my tea table, I have to sit calmly on the floor. It turns making tea into a conscious pause in my day. A wonderful, sometimes zen-like pause in my day. It’s been meditative at times. The other day I sat and watched tea and pieces rise and fall in the water as it brewed. I reached a meditative state for a few seconds. It was really cool.

I guess the point of this whole thing was to share some joy in these times of stress. We need to remember to take joy in the small things and take care of yourself. Between hurricanes, earthquakes, politics, and whatever is going on in your life, it’s easy to get burned out. Take time to watch a show or movie, read a book or magazine or comic or blog, listen to music, make some tea or coffee. Do something to take a break from everything. Self care is important! Do it!

Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Today alone has been an awesome day! But I’ll talk about more than just today. 😉

Cosplay supply shopping. I went shopping earlier in the week and bought the final few things for a couple of costumes. Now I have everything for four new costumes for DragonCon. It’s inspiring me to get my room cleaned up and organized so I can start working on them and get them all ready for DC!

What Twitter Feels Like“. This is Lin’s latest playlist. He put it out there and Twitter responded with their own cover for it. It is just genius, as usual.

My computer is working again! For months now, online video has stuttered and the audio has been spotty. My iTunes has been crackling. I could watch a video if I wasn’t doing anything else on my computer. What’s the point in that with two monitors?! Last night my hubby asked if maybe I installed something around the time things went wrong. I changed my antivirus and it’s working fine! And it’s strange because my laptop has no problems with it. Oh well.

Packages galore! I recently put an order in with Adagio Teas and it came today! I was most excited over my new storage tins. I ordered another mixed set so my tea storage is color coordinated. Then my order from ThinkGeek arrived with my new car charger and a USB speaker that will definitely be used at Marcon next year.

Finally feeling better. Between allergies and time of the month and hubby bringing a cold home from work, I’ve been trying to get rid of a head cold all week. I hate being sick! The living room is full of my stuff. I have stuff to do. But this cold has been holding me back, only giving me spurts of energy. I finally feel like I’m on the other side of this thing. I just might be able to get some serious work done tomorrow!

Look Around List 3/5

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Native deodorant. I know I just started using it, but I am loving it! I’ve had problems with stick deodorants in recent years and have been using spray-on, natural deodorants. I’m two days in and having no problems at all. Loving it!

Tea. I’ve gotten back into drinking tea on a daily basis again. It’s made me feel so much better.

Spring Break. I have the entire week to simply focus on my thesis and my hubby. It’s so nice!

Bonzai Aphrodite. What can I say? Reading about the joy in someone else’s life makes me feel better. Especially when that person is following their passions and is enjoying life. It’s always uplifting.

I’ve got some that isn’t quite ready to be shared yet. Hopefully next week will be longer. 😀

No matter how bad it gets, remember to look around. There’s always something good in your life!

“Reset” button

I first bought Tea-Tox last year. I bought the entire Body and Soul set, but this is the one I use constantly. Well, I did until I started to get low and decided to wait until my refill came. The refill that came in the package I almost didn’t get.

On Thursday, I remembered that I had the refill for weeks now. I had no excuse to not make myself a cup again. I’m hooked yet again. It is a wonderful blend of “milk thistle, burdock, green rooibos tea, cinnamon bark, peppermint leaves, dandelion root & lemon balm”. This combination tastes delicious and really does leave me feeling better. I don’t care if it’s all in my head. I feel better for drinking it. Also, milk thistle has been a remedy for detoxifying the liver for a while now. Everything in there has benefits to the body.

It’s delicious and refreshing. It kind of puts a “reset” on my eating habits. Lately I’ve been stressed with a lot of things piling up. On Thursday, a lot of those stresses were gone, finally. I’ve been making sure to have a cup at least once a day. I am worried that it is possible to over-do it.

I’m writing this to share my experience as well as to remind all of us that we need to take care of ourselves. Never forget that. Take care of yourself, both bodily and mentally. Don’t let things overwhelm you. Take care of yourself!