a cup of health.

This is Part XII of the “31 Days of Healthy Living” series.

“The coffee tastes kind of week this morning,” I uttered, walking around the house in my pajamas with hair that screamed “it’s still way too early.”

I wasn’t always a coffee snob.  But then I drank Starbucks.  Which eventually tasted too week for my tastebuds too.

(And then I discovered the espresso shot.   😉 )

Don’t get me started on the watered down Dunkin Donuts coffee (I’m sorry, but I did warn you…I’m one of those stuffy coffee snobs!)

So, naturally, I figured that tea was out of the question.

Because if week coffee in the morning had me grumbling, then what would tea do?

(I really do realize how silly this sounds.)

Anyways.  You’ll be happy to know that I finally got over my initial, inexcusable dislike for tea.

Now I drink all kinds.  Having a cup of tea with a splash of soy milk (and a piece of dark chocolate on the side!) has quickly become my post-lunch ritual.

Sure, coffee has health benefits to brag about.

But so does tea.

According to an article by Registered Dietitian Barbara Quinn, some studies show that tea can lower your cholesterol levels.  Green and black teas can fight infections with similar compounds that are shared by antibiotics.

Peppermint tea may fight against cancer growth.

Black and green teas are full of antioxidants.

Ginger tea has been routinely used to calm upset stomachs.

Of course, we can’t expect tea to act like a magic pill, curing all of our ailments while giving us great longevity and health.

But.

As with coffee and its high antioxidant content (along with its possible protection against memory loss too!)…if you like tea, then enjoy a cup or two!  It offers many health benefits and it’s a great way to warm up during the chillier winter months.

(And it tastes great served with a hot batch of muffin from the oven!)

QUESTION: Are you a tea drinker?  What kind(s)?  I am in love with chocolate peppermint tea, but I also like regular mint, licorice, green, chamomile and chai.

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This Weekend, I… (Part II)

This weekend, I…

1. Ran my first 5k.

Now I’ve got a 5k, a 10k and a half under my belt.  I do realize what this means, but I have to mentally prepare myself for that next big step before taking the plunge. 😉

I have to say, running a 5k was one of the funnest events I’ve yet to attend.  It was great being in a crowd of like minded individuals.  It felt fun vs. feeling scary and competitive (although there were definitely some super competitive athletes at this event as well!)

Dad ran with me, and burned up the course with his pace of 7.3 minute miles.  I ran my heart out with 8.? minute miles.  It felt good to run for speed vs. running for distance.  I’m normally a slow runner, but I like the idea of increasing my speed for future races.

The front runners finished with a pace of 5 minute miles which is absolutely awesome and absurd.  I can’t even imagine.

Whole Foods was handing out free apples and apple cider which made for a delicious post-run snack.  I also took a couple bites of Dad’s chili after the race.  Delicious.  It was nice and chunky with plenty of veggies and local grass fed beef.

We considered waiting in line for the locally dug potato fries (they seemed to be the hit of the day,) but the line was long and we were starving…

…so we mingled around for the free samples of breads and vegetables and things like that.

Check out these gorgeous heirloom garlic braids.  For those of us obsessed with all things garlic.  So pretty.

Later, we stopped off at Whole Foods for some more food (5k races apparently make me hungry.)

Dad made himself a roast beef sandwich by stopping in the bread department and asking for some lean roast beef at the deli.

I snagged a piece of dad’s baguette and got a little bit of this and that (kale, tempeh, 3-bean salad, and butter beans in olive oil) from the salad bar.

We also got some complimentary goodie bags complete with locally made strawberry and tripleberry jam.

Fun race, fun day.

I’m already planning another 5k for next month. 😀

2. Registered for a Masters Degree Information Session in November.
I’m still not really sure how I feel about this.  But lately I’ve been thinking about going for my Masters Degree.  It would be a big financial leap, but it might also be a smart career move.
I’m just going to start studying for my GRE exam, go to this informational session and take it a day at a time (while still applying for jobs in the meantime.)
We’ll see what happens with this one. 😉

3. Had a cookout with the family.

Who cares that it’s 32 degrees outside?

Or that I’m wearing mittens and thick wooly socks and I can see my breathe when I step outside?

It’s never too late for a cook”out.”  Complete with grass fed burgers, whole wheat buns from Trader Joes, onions and mushrooms (for the burger), root fries and side salads.

I wanted to try something slightly different than your typical “fry” so I baked up some root veggie fries, thanks to some inspiration from the cookbook Clean Food.  I changed the seasoning options, as it’s easily tweakable.  Go with what you like…the cooking method is no-fail.

Root Veggie Fries

  • 4 parsnips, peeled
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder to taste
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cut vegetables into stick shapes.  Steam for 3 minutes.  Transfer to cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, drizzle with oil, and toss with cornmeal and seasonings of choice.
  3. Broil for 5 minutes.  Flip.  Broil another 5 or until browned as desired (longer if you prefer them more crisp.)
Just like your typical french fries, these were delicious served with ketchup.  As much as I love potato fries, these really do make a fun twist now and then.
4. Recharged and reflected.
We all need “me time.”  Time to just unwind and reflect and journal and sip a cup of tea.
I heart holiday teas.
QUESTION: What did YOU do this weekend?