Archive for the ‘Tea’ Category

Cravings…

I always thought the whole thing about cravings while pregnant was a topic that had just been blown out of proportion and that surely you cannot have such massive urges to eat random things simply because of your growing bump. Well lo and behold, here I am now at 4 months with a fairly interesting palate and a need for the most random foods.

Over the last few years I have had some big changes in my diet, the biggest one according to me being the move away from being an avid coffee drinker to loving tea (green tea and oolong now being my favourites). But nothing prepared me for these changes.

OrangesI kicked off my pregnancy with purely wanting soda crackers, toast and potatoes as everything else made my stomach turn and shivers of disgust go through my body. Looking at the nutritional values of the things I was eating would make a starving child look well nourished, and needless to say I lost over a kilo between the 6th and 10th week. During this time I did though soon moved over to loving oranges to lessen my nausea. Oranges in the morning, during the day and in the afternoon, orange juice whenever possible and lemon in every water glass. Later on I heard that apparently the acidity from citrus fruits helps you feel less nauseous, but also that vitamin C plays a big role in this. without just listening to my body I would never have realised this so big respect to the body and it knowing what it wants.

Around this time I also completely stopped drinking tea. It was like I hit a wall and I just didnt have ANY interest in this lovely hot beverage anymore.. Quite surprising as I had up till then been having a happy 5 cups a day most likely. Reading about it I soon found out though that you should not have too much caffeine in your diet while pregnant and I guess this was again my body’s way to align itself with its new situation.

Pistachio NutsMy next big craving was pistachio nuts and beet root.. Not together, but still.. Hmm.. Considering my previous cravings of such low nutritional value it was with relief that I found out that both items are great sources of nutrients! Pistachios are high in oleic acids, carotenes and vitamin E while at the same time being packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.They also contain important minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.. Once again, pretty impressive craving by my body..

BeetrootsBeetroots then again are apparently loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C with the greens showing a higher content of iron compared to spinach.  They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars. And actually, its iron content, is of the highest and finest quality that makes excellent food that is blood building! (and apparently you increase the amount of blood in your body by approximately 40% during pregnancy!)

Interestingly enough my latest craving is salami.. Yesterday I had wonderful salami empanadas as my second breakfast and that same evening I was spoiled with a few slices of pepperoni pizza… Mmm.. It definitely hit the spot but I am still to find a good nutritional excuse for this craving..

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Tea Time

Following my break up with coffee last October, it did not take very long before I had a new liquid infatuation.. Tea. 

Nowadays, I am happily sipping tea all day long, varying between green tea, white tea, mint infusions and the occational Oolong tea. And I must say, I am feeling better than ever.

Going from a Latte Loving, Hyperactive Coffee Addict to a much more “serene and calm” (Yes, yes I know what all of you who know me are thinking, but there has definitely been a difference!) tea drinker has done wonders for my ADHD tendencies as well as the well being of my tummy and nerves. I can’t say I dont miss coffee, I do have moments when I would love to just run to Starbucks and demand a Tall Soya Latte or a Caramel Frappuccino Light, but these moments are actually few and far between nowadays.

Nowadays I crave a lovely cup of green tea in the morning, a refreshing cup of mint tea after lunch and a few random cups strewn out across the day to keep my tea levels topped up, the smile on my face and my internal calm when faced with the challenges life blesses us with.

Over here I have found a new favourite, the local “Manza Te” brand that sells a lovely green tea and a beautiful mint infusion. But I must say, I do miss my Dr Stuart’s Echinacea tea and a few other ones that I used to drink in the UK, so tea is one thing I am definitely stocking up on when I go there next. Then again, thanks to having been thrown into a new country, you end up trying new things and hence also finding new treasures, such as the Celestial Cinnamon and Apple tea, an absolutely gorgeously warming flavour that is perfect before going to bed..

With so many wonderful flavours, so many great health benefits and the blissful feeling one gets while sipping a lovely cup, its no wonder that the West European retail market for tea has been growing annually by about 3.5 percent over the last decade, hitting the €4 billion mark in 2009 according to the market research firm Euromonitor International, and I bet this figure will keep growing.. At least I will happily keep sipping and supporting!