Winter, Warmth and Tea

The impending snow storm here in Rochester NY is making me dream about spring and brighter days. I have always resisted this time of year. In January I start counting the days until the official day of spring. Spring is a joyful time of year. I love watching the first crocuses and daffodils peak out from the mulch in our front yard. The best part is watching our tree lined street bloom into a gorgeous green halo.

During my practice of meditation and mindfulness, I’ve learned that the downside of resisting the here and now, is it that we miss the here and now.
Instead of wishing for spring or an island vacation, I’ve started practicing a new tea ritual for wellness. This ritual has made winter feel a bit more charming, cozy and colorful. It has also given me a new sense of winter joy I have never felt before. I hope it does the same for you!

Tea & Warmth
Tea Tip: At the end of a long work week, take a tea bath, light a candle and sip a cup of Tumeric Tulsi to soothe tired muscles and joints.

Turmeric Tulsi
This soothing blend is made with certified organic tumeric root, certified organic green rooibos, tulsi(holy basil), unsulphured apple, orange peel, certified organic ginger root, cardamom, cinnamon and Brazilian rose pepper.

Light a Candle
Light a candle and run the water for a tea bath! During the bath, sip your tea. Breath slowly and deeply. Use this time for silence, meditation and introspection. When anxious thoughts creep into your mind, focus on your breath and continue to sip your tea.

Try this lovely candle from The Serendipitous Soul

DIY Bath Tea Sachet
In the early days of Tealightful we had a gorgeous line of bath tea. We were a bit ahead of our time, DIY bath tea recipes are currently all the rage. Enjoy our simple recipe and DO try this at home.

Peace Potion

Lavender Peace Potion Bath Tea 
Ingredients:
2 cups Lavender Epsom Salt
1/2 cup Tealightful Peace Potion (Made with three certified organic herbs: Peppermint, Raspberry Leaf and Chamomile)

Directions:
Mix Epsom salt with dry tea. Fill extra large tea filter with 1/2 cup of bath tea. Tuck the flap so the tea does not leak or tie it with a small rubber band. Soak the tea filter in your bath. Inhale the beautiful herbal aroma while you sip Turmeric Tulsi or any Tealightful herbal tea.

Warming rituals have a unique perspective in the winter. It’s a time when sipping hot tea, in a hot bath by candle light might just be what the doctor ordered. I hope that you will take time to embrace tea, embrace warmth and find your own winter joy!

The Benefits of Matcha

Matcha has become mainstream in terms of popularity lately and has quickly won over the hearts of health enthusiasts. It has become such an “it” drink that even die hard coffee drinkers are making the switch.

Tealightful But First Matcha

Why? Matcha is incredibly beneficial. Truly. The benefits of matcha are not just hype — they are backed by sound research. Quite literally, it means “powdered tea.” It is so much more, though.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a powdered green tea. Green tea is so healthy. Science has shown us that. It is rich in protective antioxidants. Think of how you prepare your regular cup of loose leaf green tea. You steep the leaves and then you discard them. You are not actually consuming the leaves. With matcha, the leaves have been finely powdered.

Did you know? Interesting to note is that matcha is prepared a bit differently while grown. The plants are shaded in order to grow leaves with improved flavor and texture before they are dried and ground.

The connection between matcha and improved mental clarity

Matcha was introduced to Japan in 1191 by Eisai, a Buddhist monk. Eisai is believed to have planted the first green tea seeds in Japan. He is even more well known for having developed the philosophy known as Zen. Since that time, matcha and Zen meditation have been intertwined through the tea ceremony. It is believed that Buddhist monks drank matcha to help them feel grounded and calm with a sense of clarity while meditating for long periods of time. The tradition has continued centuries later.

Matcha is not your typical green tea — it may take ten cups of green tea to give you the benefits of just one cup of matcha. What is unique about this drink, as opposed to a cup of coffee, is that it is believed to increase your mental clarity while making you feel at peace. Next time you head to the yoga studio, try sipping matcha — it will allow you to be in the moment while being better able to concentrate on each pose.

 

matcha benefitsMatcha is an antioxidant powerhouse.

Antioxidants help to fight damage from free radicals. There is likely no better drink than matcha to provide your body with antioxidant protection. In fact, in a study published in the Journal of Chromatography, researchers found that matcha provides 137 times more EGCG than traditional green tea leaves. EGCG stands for epigallocatechin gallate, which is the health boosting compound found in green tea.

Matcha may help you burn more calories.

Research shows that EGCGs help boost the process of fat metabolism. This helps you burn more calories more quickly. In fact, you may be able to burn 25% more calories because of the EGCGs in your cup of matcha.

Matcha may help you feel more energetic.

We all could use a bit more energy from time to time, but it is important to choose wisely when fueling our bodies with energy sources. For example, some of the energy drinks on the market can make your heart race and have been linked to serious health conditions. Matcha, like coffee or energy drinks, does contain caffeine. What is unique, though, is that matcha contains something called L-Theanine, which is an amino acid that is believed to work in harmony with the caffeine in matcha.

This is important because you won’t get that dreaded “crash” feeling. Have you ever had espresso or cup after cup of strong coffee in an effort to stay awake longer? At first, you feel energetic and then, WHAM, you feel groggy and exhausted. You are no longer energized. That is because the caffeine comes all at once.

Matcha, though, provides you with a gradual release of energy so the feeling is sustained without that “crash.”