Diary of a Tea Lover: The benefits behind the obsession


Friends! It’s been wayyyyy too long! I am telling you, we are nearing the end with Baby D and there is so much to finish up that these days just fly by in a blur! If I remember right, I posted to all my Instagram followers that I would be doing a blog about the benefits of tea…yeah that was about 12 days ago. See what I mean? Lord have mercy. Well, here it is. I haven’t forgotten about you!

We are all purists here right? Good, that’s what I thought. What that means is, that even though there are many brews out there, purists only count the real thing as being among this list: green, black, white, oolong, and pu-erh.

Being pregnant, I’ve craved tea, and decided to do this post because I found out that a lot of other pregnant moms do too, but they also want to watch caffeine intake. I started brewing LARGE amounts in a huge kettle at home to settle this issue. You can buy tea packets decaffeinated. As you see in the picture above, I get creative with it. I like to mix it up and one of my favorite kinds of teas are the ones that have numerous flavors in them. I like to mix regular tea (I think it’s orange pekoe), some peach tea, and green tea. Add a few lemons to your pitcher, some stevia and ice to your glass if you like it to be sweet, and holy smokes, you could sit there with a jug of it and just drink in the goodness. It’s so refreshing…or maybe that’s just me who does that. 🙂 I loved the freedom to still get my tea fix without taking in too much caffeine, and I like that I can brew it as strong as I want. I like a bold tea flavor. Anyway, without further ado,  listed below is this list of each specific tea and its benefits. Tea originated in a shrub called Camellia Sinensis, native to China and India. It contains high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids which, as we know, are key in curbing those free radicals that cause cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

Green Tea

Green Tea has a very high concentration of EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate)…whoa! What’s that you ask? Basically, to spare you all the chemistry mumbo-jumbo, it’s a powerful antioxidant. Because of these high levels, green tea will actually interrupt the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. If that’s not reason enough to drink this amazing tea, green tea also helps prevent the clogging of arteries, helps burn fat (I hear all the woman starting their cars and running to target for a box), counteract oxidative stress on the brain, can help with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, reduces your risk of stroke, and helps to improve cholesterol levels.  Yowza, that’s a power packed disease kicking wonder right there!

Next on our list,..

Black Tea

Having the highest caffeine content of the tea family, the leaves of this tea are fermented instead of steamed like Mr. Green up there. If you’re a chai tea lover say, “Hey!” Well, behind every good chai is black tea at its base. Black tea can help protect those lungs (even those subjected to cigarette smoke damage), and it can also help reduce the risk of stroke.

White Tea

This tea is both uncured and unfermented and one study has shown that it could potentially have the most potent anticancer properties.

Oolong Tea

The antioxidants in this tea helped lower the “bad” kind of cholesterol when done in an animal study. There is one variety of oolong called, Wuyi, and even though science hasn’t backed the claims, it is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement.

Pu-erh Tea

I literally have never heard of this tea, but it’s considered a black tea. The leaves of this tea are fermented, aged, and pressed into cakes. Again, an animal study done showed reduced weight loss and lower LDL cholesterol.

From here, we have a long list of herbal teas, which are made from roots, herbs, and fruits, steeped in hot water. Herbal teas have lower concentration of antioxidants, but still good benefits, nonetheless. Just to name a few herbal teas we are familiar with, we have: chamomile, hibiscus, rooibos, and echinacea. I’m not going to go into all of these, but you get the idea–TEA IS AMAZING and AMAZINGLY GOOD FOR YOU! It’s calorie-free, and power-packed with nothing but good body benefits. Now, don’t be adding Sweet N’ Low, Splenda, Equal to your tea. Your basically counteracting yourself. Think this way: Pink, Blue, Yellow-you’re a dead fellow! You’re better off doing the real thing: Sugar, real sugar. Heard of it? Yeah, do that (a small little bit, of course). Calories over Chemicals. You’re body can burn off what’s real, but chemicals are a different story. Do yourself a favor–don’t go there. However, my favorite thing is to get the packets of PureVia which is made from the Stevia plant. It’s a sweetener of the earth. You can get it at your local grocery store. I like to put a few packets in my purse so that I can sweeten my tea when I’m out and know I didn’t have to compromise my health.

I hope you like this post. I hope it was informative. I like knowing that I can drink other things besides water and be getting really good benefits and I’m sure you do, too. Whether your cup of choice, is hot, cold, or you like both, drink up friends…you’re on the right track!

My name is Cait, and I am a tea-a-holic! Until next time…




What? She cooks?

Hi friends,

I’m just sitting here in bed looking like the epitome of pregnant. Just try to handle this picture for a minute: Snoogle propped up so I can lean back and type, rocking my Mumu( and loving it), and drinking a glass of chocolate almond milk to help with the late night heartburn this third trimester has decided to grace me with.

I wanted to share a few fun recipes with you tonight.

First off, I love fall. It’s my second favorite season; summer being my first (beach girl at heart forever). And with fall, I love anything pumpkin flavored. So, when the pumpkin spice latte came early to Starbucks this year, I was all over that! Well, today, I was doing my daily…I mean weekly…shopping at Target and decided I wanted it cold, and in frappe form. Now, as much as I love the infamous PSL, I don’t like all the extra sugar, fat, and calories that tend to come with it. So, when I can’t make my own at home (sorry no recipe for that one tonight), then I had to figure out a way to get it from Starbucks without all the unnecessary “extras” in it. Here’s just a few little tips that go for any of the highly doctored and dessert like coffee’s:

Find out how many pumps of the flavoring they put in the size you are getting. You will be shocked, BELIEVE me. No one needs 4 shots of pumpkin sugar syrup in a TALL–seriously!? Try one or two, you might actually be able to taste the coffee. 😉

Next, make it non-fat milk. I personally can’t wait for the day that Starbucks decides to get with it and carry almond milk because personally, cows milk is just a no-no in my diet. It should be a no-no in everyone’s, but that’s their choice. However, if it’s once in a blue moon, it’s not the end of the world. There are a lot worse things.

And last, no whip! I know, I love it too, but you’ll be surprised how you can train your taste buds. Before you know it, you like it better without. *sometimes it’s okay to splurge though–I do.

For the preggies out there like me, go ahead and make it decaf if you’re watching caffeine intake.

Last little tip that I like to do. Bring a scoop of your protein in a baggie with you and ask them to blend it in. You have just “healthified” your drink. Don’t you feel good already?

Here’s my decaf, non-fat, no whip, proteing PSL frappe from today. MMMM…..

Photo Sep 09, 3 44 15 PM

Next thing I want to share with y’all is what I cooked for dinner tonight. Yes, yes I the wife ACTUALLY cooked. In our house, my husband is the dinner cook. I like to bake, that’s my thing, or do breakfast. I love breakfast and can make a mean omelet. But, when it comes to dinner, my husband gets home from work and goes to work in the kitchen–and loves it. He’s my chef, and the arrangement works great because I just don’t find pleasure in cooking dinner. I do find pleasure in watching him bust out a meal though…he’s so good at it. But, occasionally, I get in a mood–thanks Pinterest–and I find a recipe like this one below, and before you know it, I’m all over it in the kitchen. Anything that uses a crock pot is on the top of my list because, it’s normally pretty simple and basically does the work for you. Hmmm…I still am pretty lazy when it comes to dinner apparently…

I replaced the sauce that you make with Greek yogurt instead of using regular, plain yogurt. By straining it like they want you to, you are basically doing that to it anyway, so since Greek is all I keep in the house, this made it easier once again.

Try it. Enjoy it. It’s amazing!


Photo Sep 09, 5 58 17 PM

P.S. immediately after this picture I shoveled off over half the sauce I put on my poor husbands pita…see, this is why I don’t do dinner. I was just scooping away….Lord have mercy!

Lastly, I featured my sister and her blog in my previous post. She is doing the Fall Foodie Challenge–a 20 day challenge for people to send in their favorite healthy fall recipe that won’t set us back in our fitness goals, but that doesn’t sacrifice taste. Well, it’s my turn. Like I mentioned above, I love breakfast with all my heart and soul and I never skip it! I might even venture to say that while I love a good Thanksgiving dinner, the breakfast that we have in our family almost tops it…that’s how much I love it. So, it wouldn’t be my Fall recipe if it wasn’t healthy or breakfast-y. Let me know when you make these. I haven’t made these myself yet, so I’m so excited to try it. I love regular cinnamon rolls so much, so I can only imagine what part of Heaven these will be. I would love your feedback or things that you substituted/changed to better fit your needs, or even found made them taste better. Seriously, it’s 11 o’ clock, and I want one!

Photo credit and recipe goes to the the author of the blog below where I discovered this recipe. (I wish I was cool enough to made this up on my own)



Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

makes 10 cinnamon rolls


2 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread

1/3 cup almond milk

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp warm water

1 (1/4th oz) package dry yeast

2 cups all purpose flour (could try substituting for whole wheat of coconut flour)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground ginger


1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread, softened

2 tsp cinnamon

for glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp almond milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the almond milk and the Earth Balance together in a small pan on the stove over low/medium heat until the Earth Balance melts and the milk is warm to the touch. Remove from heat, let cool a little (temperature should be around 100 degrees—like warm bath water. If it’s hotter than that, the yeast will die and the rolls won’t rise!) sprinkle in the yeast and stir so yeast will dissolve. Let yeast mixture sit for five minutes (it will look very creamy after a few minutes).

Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin and chia mixture (when you combine the chia seeds and water be sure to let the mixture sit for five minutes to gel a little bit). In another bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Add flour mixture to the pumpkin. Pour in yeast.

Knead dough by hand for about 10 minutes or with a KitchenAid for six on medium speed with either a paddle attachment or dough hook. The dough should be smooth and elastic when you’re done.

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a dishcloth and set in a warm area to rise for 1 hour 15 minutes. While the dough is rising, mix together the softened Earth Balance, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Remove dough and punch dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a large rectangle and spread brown sugar mixture on top keeping an inch bare around the sides. Gently roll up dough so it resembles a log. Slice dough into 1/2 inch slices and place in a greased 9-inch casserole dish. Cover with a dishcloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes. Let cool while you make the glaze.

For the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract. If glaze seems too runny, add a little more powdered sugar. Place glaze in a small plastic bag and snip the tip off. Make swirls over the cooled rolls and serve.


3 hours

Well, that’s all for the adventure tonight. Hope you were able to take away some good tips for modifying your Starbucks drinks, maybe having your dinner for tomorrow already set, or your mouth is watering because you can’t wait to bake these scrumptious yummies above. I know mine is…

In the meantime, stay healthy, stay happy, and stay ready for the next blog.

Goodnight friends!




Five Quick, Easy, and Healthy Recipes: one for every night of the week

First of all, yes I know there are seven days in a week, but let’s face it–we all go out on the weekend. Maybe not all weekend long, but what I find that we all most need is something we can throw together quick in the time period  right after work and between those other “extra-curricular’s” we always seem to have on weeknights; more than that, most of us want healthy. The majority of us are all trying to make little adjustments here and there that will better our health. The problem most times, however, is that we don’t realize just how easy it is.  So many times we associate healthy with words like difficult, expensive, too much prep time…and on and on and on. Folks, this is a load of crap. Unfortunately, there was a time where the pendulum swung so far to an almost religious and unrealistic degree that instead of being able to enjoy food the way you were supposed to, food started to become the enemy. Food is not your enemy, it is actually one of your best friends. I could go on forever on the subject of how food actually works, not only with your body, but for your body to do many AMAZING things, but that’s a blog for another time. Bottom line: I love to eat, I love food….HUGE foodie, and I don’t like being put in a box when it comes to eating healthy–and guess what? I don’t have to and you don’t have to. Aside from fake, packaged, processed, greasy, and altered foods, if God made it and it comes from the Earth He made, eat it! So, that being said, you want some great recipes you can feel good about? ORDER UP!

These are recipes I make frequently and are top favorites of mine.

1.  Jenny-O 93/7 Turkey burgers with brown rice and usually broccoli.

-Very simple. These thaw in no time. Stick them under some luke warm water while still packaged if you forgot to set them out and they will be thawed in 5 min. Season how you want, cook in a fry pan.

-You can get instant Brown Rice that takes ten min on the stove. Hello! Easy. Might need a little salt cause it is just the rice and can be a little bland. A little salt is good for you, have some.

-Steam your broccoli or eat it raw. Basically just put some veggies on your plate. I try to always have something green with my meals even if it’s just a salad (dark greens like spring mix, kale, spinach, and romaine thought. None of this iceberg AKA water stuff) Really, the choice is up to you…eat up!

2. Tilapia with black beans and asparagus

-Frozen Tilapia thawed and cooked on the stove with some olive oil. Again, season how you like. Everyone has different styles of what they prefer. Sometimes we just do pepper lemon and some Mrs. Dash.

-Can of black beans heated either on the stove or microwave.

-Asparagus in the pan. My husband likes to lightly coat bottom of the pan with olive oil, couple splashes of soy sauce, throw in asparagus, and roll it around to coat it with all the goodness. Salt and pepper to taste, cover and let cook until tender on medium heat.


We stopped eating any kind of enriched pastas or breads a few years ago and it will make a huge difference for you. Why? Well, because enriched anything is not good for you. Not to mention that there is no nutritional benefit in it and it doesn’t sustain you. It bloats you, and that is totally different. You feel really full, but that’s because your body is trying to process a simple carbohydrate: AKA bad. Brown Rice pastas are available everywhere now and I love brown rice anything. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It really doesn’t have a weird taste like you may be thinking and you will feel so much better after you eat it. If you don’t like brown rice pasta then try to get whole grain or whole wheat if you must. It’s still slightly enriched, but not anything near as bad as the bleached stuff.

3. Chicken and Brown Rice Penne Pasta with peppers

-Thaw chicken. Lightly coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Add TBSP of minced garlic, salt and pepper, and add chicken. I like to cut my thawed chicken in medallions before I put them in the pan and my hubby prefers to cut them after they’ve been cooked. Find your style, but you want them as medallions. While they are cooking on medium heat, add onions, little chicken broth, and some white wine. Pour a glass for yourself too while you’re at it.:)

*no white wine if you’re preggie…unfortunately, just chicken broth. 😦

-Cut up a good amount of red and green bell peppers depending on how many you are cooking for, and when chicken is half way done add them in with the chicken.  Cover.

-While chicken is covered, start your brown rice penne in a saucepan. When done and drained, set to the side.

-Once chicken mixture is fully cooked, add your noodles in and stir together.

-Serve topped with feta cheese. This MAKES the meal. It won’t taste the same without it. Enjoy!


4. White Chili–can be made in Crockpot or Stovetop

You will need:

-One jar of salsa

-1 can of Rotel (2 if you like spicy)

-1 can of black, great northern, pinto, and kidney beans

-1 Shredded chicken breast (this is mildly meaty and about 6-8oz. Adjust by how many you’re serving and/or how meaty you like it. If you’re in a hurry use canned chicken. Just be sure to read your labels and make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of additives.)

-Onion and Garlic (real or minced)

How to:

If you’re making this in the crock pot, everything goes in and stews. This is perfect to do in the morning before work and cook on low and it’s ready to eat when you get home. If you do this on the stovetop in a large pot, add olive oil, sautéed onion and garlic first, then just add all remaining ingredients.

-Stir and enjoy! (If you like, you can top with some mixed cheese and plain, non-fat, greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream.)

You can’t mess this up. Get creative if you want by adding any kind of meat you like. This recipe works great with all kinds of meat. Steak, ground turkey, shrimp, etc. Add other veggies like carrots if you prefer, too. This recipe is one of my favorites. High in protein, veggies, and best of all I like anything I can “dump and sup”. Easy, easy, easy!


Last, but not least, we all need to have breakfast for dinner sometimes. I LOVE breakfast for dinner. Here’s one of my favorites.

5. 3 egg veggie omelet 2 slices whole-grain or gluten free toast topped with nut butter of choice.

-Do three whole eggs (3 eggs=1 serving of your protein for the day), 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites (one of my personal favorites), or go all egg-white.

-If you don’t know how to make and omelet, learn! Just kidding, just kidding–although it’s fun to learn. But if you don’t know how, you can do the same thing scrambled.

-Add in bell peppers (whatever colors you like), a little cheese (optional), and pico.

TIP: If you are watching your cheese intake, but love it as much as I do, you can skip the heavy mixed cheese and sprinkle the finished omelet with parmesan. It’s a little more reduced in its fat content. 

-Toast whole grain toast and top with whatever nut butter you prefer (almond, peanut, etc.)

I LOVE peanut butter, but if your peanut butter says “NO NEED TO STIR” you have a problem. The only ingredients you should have in “good for you” PB are peanuts and salt. The end. And you should have to stir it up like your churning butter in the old days (bonus arm workout). The thing with this is it’s not going to taste like the over sweet Jiffy or Skippy you’re used to (seriously those names?), but it is so good, and if you need to cut the bitterness, drizzle a little honey or agave nectar on top. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you made any of these, how they turned out, and if you enjoyed them. I would love to hear your feedback or any questions you might have. Here’s to a little less stress during your week!