Holiday Gifts: Righteous Felon Craft Jerky

This may seem like a bit of a strange gift suggestion idea but for my family it actually works really well. First off Righteous Felon Craft Jerky is really good quality Jerky. If you go to their about pages you can not only read about how they source clean ingredients with no added hormones. In addition you can also check out the 44 Roseda Farms where their beef is sourced. I am a big fan of knowing where things originate, especially with food.

In addition to being well sourced, it is absolutely delicious.

Beef Jerky has always been one of my favorite snack items. I know, it is kind of amusing since as a rule I don’t actually eat a lot of beef. I like it, but it is a once in a while treat not an everyday or even every week sort of meal for me. It never really has been.

But I love my beef jerky.

During the week I will have a bag and portion out a few pieces here and there as an afternoon snack. It has great protein and it really takes so little to make me feel like I had a really big snack.

At this time of year though, i stock up for road snacks. While the gas station stop is inevitable because no matter what people snacks I take with me, the car still needs to fuel up too. But having good snacks in the car means that i am not stocking up on some not so great for me snacks when we pause to feed the car.

And as my family is scattered, I am not the only one with a road trip both before and after a holiday. These make the perfect stocking stuffers as I can order a large pack and split it out depending on who likes what. There are flavors to suit pretty much every taste. I am partial to the Darth Garlic and the Habanero Escobar. My babydoll loves the Voodoo Chile (that one is slightly too spicy for me which means he gets the bag to himself which makes him happy).

If you are going on a road trip or have family that is traveling for the holidays this is a great addition to the holiday gift giving, or personal stash. It is also great for those who just enjoy good quality Beef Jerky. While the image here is from the large variety pack that lets you sample all of their varieties, they have many different packs this year, some single variety for those who know exactly what they like. And for those who don’t want the beef jerky party to end, they offer subscriptions as well. That’s right jerky that arrives like magic upon your doorstep for all of your snacking needs.

Well, maybe the subscription isn’t magic. but it kind of feels like it.

For me, it is a great high protein weekday snack and a fabulous road trip supply to stock up on. At this time of year, Righteous Felon also becomes an amazing stocking stuffer.

Criminally Crafted for the Unlawful Appetite

Dinnertime Prep: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry

That’s right it is time for the prep work for dinner. This is one of my favorite easy weeknight meals. While I work from home now, I used to make this all the time when I was working. It is a simple recipe and when I have a busy day ahead, I can prep all of the ingredients the night before and then just put them into the crockpot in the morning and forget about it for the day. It is a longer list of ingredients but many of them are staple pantry items that I almost always have on hand. So making it only requires a little shopping for fresh veg.

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk (928 per can)

1 coconut milk can’s worth of water (0 cal)

a head of broccoli (60 cal in three cups, which was what my broccoli head yielded)

1 can chickpeas, drained (506 cal per can)

1 sweet potato, cubed (I go with larger cubes so they retain their texture over the long slow cook (114 cal)

1 yellow onion diced (115 cal)

2 cloves minced garlic (8 calories)

2 tsp grated ginger (2 cal)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (6 calories)

1 T ground turmeric (24 calories)

1T cumin (22 calories)

1T paprika (19 calories)

2 tsp salt

28 oz can diced tomatoes (254 calories)

and rice for serving (make separately)

Without the rice the calories for this entire slow cooker’s worth of food is 2058 calories. It gives me and my babydoll four meals. There are two of us so this is eight portions. Each portion is approximately 258 calories without rice. I usually have half a cup of cooked white rice with my portion which adds 121 calories so for me a portion would be about 379 calories. You might separate it differently so I put the calories for the whole thing above. Hopefully that helps you out with your math.

Are you ready for the directions?

  • put the sweet potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Add everything except the broccoli
  • If you are home when this is cooking, leave out the broccoli at this point and turn the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for four.
  • If cooking for eight hours add one additional cup of water.
  • In the last hour of cooking, add the broccoli and allow it to finish cooking.
  • If you are not home to add the broccoli for the last hour, layer it on top of everything else and don’t mix it in before setting it on to cook. It will still be okay if you add it earlier it will still be good, just softer. Sometimes I like to have left over broccoli (pre cooked) that I just add in the last few minutes to warm up with the rest of the curry. It is something to play with, depending on how you feel about broccoli.

This is really a super simple recipe to make and I find it really delicious. I personally like the heat level on this but my babydoll does add a squirt of siracha to his bowl. In addition, when I make this, it does make enough for use to have four meals. (there are two of us). I only make enough rice for us to eat with that night’s portion and we mix the rise with the curry in our bowls. This mix does freeze very well actually. The broccoli suffers a little with the reheat, but over all it is great to have extra meals ready to go when things get hectic so I will take a little broccoli wiltage for that.

We eat this as a nice hearty vegetarian meal. You an of course add chicken to it if you wanted. Occasionally I have added chicken to use up left overs. However I don’t think that this meal needs the addition. It is hearty and filling and feels far more caloric than it actually is. (In case you are wondering what the speckles are in the picture, we had a little quinoa left in the bag that wasn’t enough for a portion so to clear the cabinet I added it – you can put it in raw and it cooks with everything else, just add about half a cup more water. It mostly breaks down and thickens the sauce) I find it especially satisfying on a cold evening when the wind is icy and I need warming from my bones outward.



Holiday Shopping Guide: Indoor Herb Gardens

I’m sure if you have read my posts for any length of time you will have realized that I love to garden. And while I simply do love to garden, I also find that it helps me with my weight loss. I know the activity part is helpful, but once the summer fades and the garden is munched over for the winter, the physical activity is minimal.

Where gardening mostly helps me, is in the kitchen. If you have ever watched a lot of cooking shows then you have probably heard the phrase fat is flavor. Sadly this is true, however you know what else has flavor? Herbs and spices.

For me fresh herbs especially make something potentially very bland feel somewhat decadent, especially in the cold winter months. Think about rice, Plain old boiled white rice. On it’s own not so flavor packed. It is a blank canvas, usually to spoon something dripping with sauce on to. However, a little bit of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon mixed in and it becomes a little less boring.

When you are trying to loose weight food can feel dull and flavorless. Everything it seems is taken out in the name of calorie reduction. Fat is removed, salt is removed, sugar is banned and sauces are kept to a minimum. For me fresh herbs are just a fantastic way to bring back some of that flavor. And in the winter I rely on indoor gardening. The herb bundles of fresh herbs you can get in our grocery over the winter are usually very pricy for what you get and the herbs are not always the best quality. They look like they sat in their little plastic boxes for far too long. which they probably have.

So I like to keep a few potted plants around to not only cut costs but because having plants around makes me happy. In addition if they are there I feel obligated to use them which in turn makes my dishes taste better without adding a lot of calories. The calories you add from fresh herbs is minimal. It is surprising how much fresh basil you can get on the plate for only three calories.

If you are looking to start an indoor garden this winter, or have a gardener on your gift buying list, Botanical Interest is a place you might want to check out. You can order their seed catalogs for free from the site, or just order directly from the site. They have all sorts of articles and tips if you are starting your own indoor garden. I found this one particularly interesting.

And for easy shopping they now have gift bundles available. They have the chef’s herb garden for a general array of the more classics cooking herbs. There is a bundle for those who want to grow vegetables in containers. There is even a bundle for those simply obsessed with chilie peppers.

these bundles are well thought out collections and a great way to start your own indoor garden, help someone else on their way to gardening or surprise your gardener in the family with something unexpected in their Christmas stocking. I really like these bundles and actually ordered the Butterfly Banquet Bundle for my mother this year. She has this one space in her yard that the plants included in the bundle will fill out nicely and with luck attract butterflies in the spring. which I know will make her happy to see well after the holiday decorations are put away and hopefully for several years to come. And that Makes Botanical Interests a great place to visit when filling out your holiday gift list.

Herbs: DIY Indoor Garden

Afternoon Tea: Pacific Coast Mint from The Art of Tea

I have been slowly working my way through the Starter Kit Box of teas from The Art of Tea. This Pacific coast Mint is the fifth tea out of this mixed pack of eight tea bags. The first tea I pulled out of the box was one that I had wanted to try for a while. The other three were more or less picked because they interested me.

I intended to pick the teas out of the sampler box at random, but instead I went for the ones I was ninety percent certain that I would like. And all four of the ones I tried prior I loved. This Pacific Coast Mint was one that I wasn’t really sold on.

I love peppermint. I actually adore almost anything peppermint. I stock up on peppermint scented products as soon as they are available each winter. I am pretty sure that my love of plumping lipstick is mostly because they usually smell of peppermint. I also grow peppermint and each year we dry bunches of it and drink it through the winter. It is my favorite thing to drink when my stomach is feeling a little unsettled actually. Not only is it great when you are sick, but it really helps with digestion and settling a belly too full of rich holiday foods.

Do you know what I don’t like?

Spearmint.

I absolutely despise spearmint.

The two ingredients in this Pacific Coast Mint are organic peppermint and organic spearmint.

So you can see why I was a little on the fence. Luckily my babydoll likes both. So I made up the tea when he was home. This blend is listed as sharp and smooth as well as caffeine free. The teabag, when taken out of the pouch was predominantly of spearmint. When brewed according to the suggested time, the scent mellowed out. The peppermint rose and the spearmint faded back a little.

I took a sip of the tea and found it was far to spearmint in flavor for me. So I passed it to my babydoll to drink the rest of the cup. After all what may not be to my taste may be to his and we order things for both of our palettes. I will say that the taste was both sharp and smooth in flavor from my taste.

My babydoll’s take on it was that it was a good blend of the two mints and was a good mint tea. I asked him if he would like me to order a canister of it and he said that if we didn’t grow our own mint it would be a good mint to order. Because we do grow and harvest our own mint (mostly because we planted it in a small bed and it ended up taking over completely so it is harvest the mint or watch it take over the world) this is not something we would order.

If you don’t grow your own mint and like both peppermint and spearmint then this might be a tea for you. we grow peppermint and I don’t like spearmint so this is a tea I will pass along to someone else. My babydoll will drink it if it is here, but we will not be adding a canister to our order.

Dinnertime Prep: A different sort of stuffed pepper, Chicken Parm Style

This is the time of year where I crave the warm and rich flavors of large meals. And I have to admit that I love a good chicken parmesan. I know there are ways to reduce the calories in a traditional chicken parm but I also have to admit that whenever I use them I feel like I am eating a chicken parm substitute.

So for me, the best way to get my brain shifted is to think stuffed peppers with a twist. While I like stuffed peppers, I never really crave stuffed peppers. For me at least, they are not in the same crave-able category. I find that if I say stuffed peppers with a twist my brain doesn’t have the gooey chicken parmesan expectations so instead of being disappointed that this isn’t a traditional dish, I am pleasantly surprised by the flavors.

And I am surprised by the lowered calories. Because the one thing this recipe does, is limit the amount of cheese used. There simply isn’t enough space to put the same heaping mounds as I do with the traditional dish. For this recipe I used four peppers (two red Bell and two Poblano). I like both actually. For a light dinner I generally find that one half of the bell pepper is the perfect size for me. My babydoll likes both poblanos or one entire red pepper). The peppers are still good the next day so we have the left overs for lunch. They reheat pretty well the next day. I have never had them last longer than one day so I am not certain how well they keep long term.

The reason that we make this number of peppers is because when we purchase chicken we break it into one pound portions and freeze it that way. If we use four bell peppers it uses up all of the one pound of chicken, with the poblanos it leaves a little left over chicken that I use in a salad.

If you don’t eat chicken, feel free to leave it off. (You will also be able to leave off the egg.) Instead just use the seasoned panko as your crispy element)

It is a pretty simple recipe all told and fun to play around with. I broke out the calories for each item and put the full count for the whole recipe as I made it as well as for my portion size at the bottom of the ingredients list. This is how I make it, but hopefully the break out will let you tweak it to your individual needs)so let’s get into it.

Ingredients:

4 peppers (bell, poblano or a mix of your choice) – 24 cal per bell pepper (whole), 48 calories per poblano pepper)

one cup of marinara sauce (131 calories for the whole cup, 8 per tablespoon)

half a cup of grated parmesan cheese (216 per half cup, 22 calories per tablespoon)

four ounces of mozzarella cheese (316 for four ounces, 79 cal in one ounce)

one pound of chicken cut into small pieces (can use breast or thigh as is your choice) (breast:748 in one pound, 62 calories in one half pepper full thigh:802 cal per pound122 cal per half pepper

once cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs (you will have some left over, (640 cal per cup/ 80 cal per half pepper which I use for the final count but I never use all of the crumbs)

one egg (78 cal 8 cal per portion)

two tsp dried oregano (6 cal per whole recipe)

1 tsp dried rosemary (3 cal per whole recipe)

2 tsp garlic powder (3 cal per recipe)

1 tsp dried onion flakes (17 cal per recipe)

eight fresh basil leaves (if you have them, if not add 1 tsp dried basil) (three cal per recipe)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (83 Cal)

Approximate Calories for the entire recipe: 2,438 calories for the entire dish

Approximate Calories per portion size (one half of a bell pepper) apx 305 calories for one portion

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Chicken or crispy bits (if no chicken):

  • In a plastic container with a lid add oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes and if using dried basil (if using fresh, set the leaves aside for now).
  • Add in the panko bread crumbs.
  • Put the lid on and shake the mix to combine all of the ingredients. Then taste the bread crumbs and adjust, if you need more salt or pepper, add it now. This is the seasoning for your chicken so make sure it suits your taste.
  • in a separate bowl, whip your egg with a fork.
  • Then we bread. Dip your chicken in the egg and then into the bread crumb mix. I like to add a few pieces to the mix, put the lid on and shake, then put the coated pieces on a plate until everything is done. I find it stays neater this way.
  • Discard whatever bread crumbs remain after this as they are now contaminated with raw chicken.
  • If not using chicken, make the mix as above.

To the Stove top!

  • Take your breaded chicken bits, or seasoned bread crumbs if not using chicken, to the stove.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in the pan on medium heat and when a bread crumb dropped in sizzles, start adding the chicken. You are trying to get a crisp on the bread crumbs. You are also cooking the chicken somewhat (about 80%). If there are some pink bits when you are done, that is okay as it is going into the oven. This is to start the cooking process so everything is done at the same time and to crisp the bread crumbs.
  • Work in batches so that you get all of the chicken crisped up and at least partially cooked through.
  • If not using chickee, heat the oil on medium heat and then add the bread crumbs to toast in the hot oil. When they are golden brown remove from the heat and set aside (I like to put them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil – i do this with just the bread crumbs as well as the chicken bits)
  • Once the chicken is done I set it aside and clear away the breading station and sauté pan.

Preparing the peppers

  • Slice in half and take out the seeds.
  • put the peppers in a glass baking dish. I like to line them up so they help keep each other upright like little cups.
  • Add a Tablespoon (more if you like) of marinara to each pepper half.
  • Add a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese to each pepper half.
  • Add in your chicken or a heaping spoonful of your toasted bread crumbs. (The part that touches the sauce below and the cheese above will loose some of it’s crispness, so don’t try and be neat with the laying out of the crispy bits. it is the center part that will stay crisp so sort of mound the chicken or bread crumbs.)
  • Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese (you are welcome to use grated if you like, just make sure you have a thick layer. You need the moisture inside keeping the chicken from drying out and you want the bread crumbs protected so they don’t burn. I find it easier to have a block of mozzarella and slice it into the appropriate amount. If you find mozzarella difficult to slice, put it in the freezer for ten minutes and then slice. you don’t want to actually freeze it, you just want to get it firm with the cold.)
  • Once everything is assembled put it into the over for 45 minutes. Or until the mozzarella is bubbling with brown spots and the pepper is kind of wrinkly and saggy looking and cooked all the way through. Serve hot.

I love this recipe because it reduces both the amount of chicken and the amount of cheese I consume in a sitting, yet still makes me feel like i am having something just a little bit decadent. I actually use this technique for a lot of heavier dishes I like. I will make Chicken cordon bleu peppers for example. The trick is to take the key elements of the heavier dish and shrink down the portions while still retaining the flavor. It also helps that I live with someone who loves stuffed peppers regardless of what is stuffed into them. For me this is a quick and easy dinner with left overs that can be eaten the next day.

If you are on your own or find that this portion is too much for your household, you can prepare the recipe as above. If leaving out the chicken just toast a smaller amount of bread crumbs for your portion size. If using the chicken make sure to cook it all the way through if reserving for another night, or just cook a smaller amount of chicken, one breast or thigh instead of one pound. When I lived on my own i would just make this as a single pepper meal. and used one chicken thigh. I ate one half for dinner and ate the second one the next day. It is a very scalable meal

The colder weather brings out the yearning for some old school comfort foods. with a little adjustment this is one of the recipes I use to give me that comforting flavor, while keeping the calories in check. I hope it helps you as you move from fall to winter as well.

Afternoon Tea: Matcha from The Art of Tea

When I was little we had a family friend who made Matcha flavored gelato. At the time Matcha wasn’t something that was very common or well known. It wasn’t something you could get at Starbucks. Of course since this was the early 1980s Starbucks was still something you could only get in Seattle (I think their first location outside Seattle was in 1987).

For me this was an eye opening experience. While I liked the occasional sweet as much as any other kid, there were a lot of things that i always found too sweet for my taste. This Matcha Gelato was delicately flavored. The gelato part was rich and creamy but the mix was only lightly sweetened. The grassy notes came through and I thought it was amazing. She made it only once a year and it was a treat that i always looked forward to when she brought it over. Each portion was a small rounded mound of gelato served in a small blue porcelain bowl that I’m pretty sure spent the rest of the year being used to serve soy sauce.

Time of course passes and not only did Starbucks spread through out the land (and many others) Matcha became much more available and began turning up everywhere. In many places where it is served cold, it is also served far too sweet for me to enjoy and so I switched to the hot version.

After being introduced to Matcha in gelato, it took me a little while to adjust to the flavor in a hot beverage, but now it is one of my favorite teas.

This Matcha from the Art of Tea came in the Sampler kit i am working my way through and contains just two ingredients: Organic Matcha and Organic Sencha Green Tea. It is listed as having a bright grassy flavor and medium caffeine. For me the medium caffeine is the perfect level for an afternoon treat. It is enough of a pick me up, but not enough to make me feel jittery.

the flavor nots are spot on it has those clean grassy notes that i love so much. With only a one minute brew time it was a quick and easy treat. After a sip of the Matcha tea straight, I added a pinch of sugar and a dash of cream. The additions were enough to take me back to that first Matcha Flavored Gelato, although with far fewer calories.

While I appreciated the flight of memory, the slight additions made me think of the gelato and so the cup of tea felt like so much more substantial and decadent. While I would definitely enjoy this tea as simply as an undoctored cup of tea, I did enjoy the touch of sweetness and creaminess. Although to be honest, a part of me wants to get several packets of this tea and break out my gelato recipe and infuse the cream with the matcha from the Art of Tea, recreating a childhood favorite. As a hot tea or a later gelato infusion, I can honestly say I will be ordering this tea again. I may even order the matcha tumbler or even the ceremonial matcha set they have on offer on the Art of Tea site. While the Ceremonial set plays into my love of glassware, I really do think the double glass walled tumbler with the on the go matcha packets will also be a purchase in my near future.

Weekly Weight: 235.7 Lbs

If you are looking at the scale and thinking, wait a minute, that is the same number as last week, I congratulate you on your excellent memory. It is the same number as last week. I suppose after the more than four pounds dropped last week it should be expected that there would be little change this week. That is generally what happens with me.

More than four pounds in one week is a really big number for me, so I wasn’t expecting a big change this week.

This week i kept on keeping on. I missed a few exercises. due to rain early in the week and yesterday my brain was focused on getting a story out of my head so I shorted pretty much everything, including exercise. But I did manage to keep a tight reign on my food.

I am back in the habit of using the free version of My Fitness Pal. I have started remembering to put in my food and exercise on a daily basis and that has really kept me on track. I wanted to get back into the habit of using the free version of the app before I tried out the paid version. Since I am now in the habit I will be starting my paid month long trial (that is me paying for the app instead of the free version, no one is actually paying me to try the app) in November. I think nit will be quite helpful going into the holidays actually and I am kind of excited to get that started.

Today it wasn’t that exciting to see the same number appear on the scale but it is understandable and not something I am overly worried about. I am hoping that if I keep doing what i know I should be doing, that number will change and I will be slowly easing my way into a healthy weight number.

And that is where I really want to be.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last Week’s Weight: 235.7 lbs

This Week’s weight: 235.7 lbs

This week’s Change: No Change.

Lost over all: 10.3 lbs

and so we keep on. I know that I am doing the right things, I just need to have faith that the right things will eventually get me where I need to be. And if they don’t then i will go to my doctor and have a conversation about adjusting what is wrong so that I am doing right again. But for now, I understand why the scale didn’t move, even if it was disappointing. So minor disappointment but no anxiety over this week. It’s not fabulous, but it could be worse. have a great Friday everyone.

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Snacktime with Quick Breaks

As we get into the holiday season gatherings start to happen and celebrational foods come out. the recipes deemed too high caloric to be included in the kitchen during the rest of the year are dusted off and used.

It doesn’t help that the cooler weather is here and in addition to wanting to feel warm and cozy there is the stress of holiday planning, whether rearranging your schedule to drive to family or risking life and limb to stock the fridge for the big meal.

Racing around to find the perfect gift, the perfect turkey and fighting the crowds that seemed to have multiplied and gone insane. Sometimes the insanity is over the last turkey of an appropriate size, other times over that year’s hottest toy.

Last year, I saw two older women almost come to blows over the last shrimp ring at the grocery on December 31st.

All of which helps justify the larger meals and richer foods.

One thing that I have found that really helps me out is having small ready made snacks available in my fridge during the season of feasting (no matter what series of holidays you celebrate). In the past I have gone into holiday gatherings thinking, ‘well this is the only time of year I get to enjoy this, so I might as well make the most of it and then get back to normal tomorrow.’

I have found the weight slipping back on easily with this method. I then work to get it back off, but i would rather not add it back in the first place. That is where the pre made snacks come in. sometimes I make them up myself and have the little containers in the fridge, and i probably will do that again this year. However I found these Quick Breaks at the grocery store and decided to give them a try. They had different varieties and all have the same 180 calorie contents.

This one I picked up has sharp yellow cheddar, dried cherry flavored cranberries and cashews. The cheddar is a decently sharp cheddar. It probably won’t be winning any awards but it is tasty and it works well with the other components. The cherry flavored cranberries are both sweet and tart. The cashews could have used a little more salt as they were slightly on the bland side, but they were tasty, and I can see why they wanted to limit the salt content.

All in all it was a good snack.

There were three packs of snacks in the container and the entire three pack kit costs $3.29.

While I will still often make my own small kits from items in my pantry, when time gets crunched and I need to make sure there is something in the fridge, I will certainly pick up these quick kits again. Having something like this that can take the edge off the hunger, lets me enjoy the richer more high caloric foods the season brings with a little bit more restraint. It lets me enjoy a smaller taste and it is much better for my waistline than going into a very heavy meal having not eaten all day. With a little something in my stomach I can enjoy without going off the rails. For me that makes these Quick Breaks from Food Lion well worth the price.

Tea Time with Green Pomegranate from The Art of Tea

You know, there are several things I like about having an afternoon tea during the work day. First off is that the tea gives me a moment of quiet calm to reflect on how the day is going and to look at my schedule. While the tea steeps I can look over my to do list and see what still needs to be done and prioritize the remainder of my afternoon.

In addition, because I don’t really add much, if anything to my tea, it is a very low cal way to fill me up to keep me from snacking mid afternoon. Some afternoons there are snacks, but on the afternoons when i have tea, I tend to skip them as I am full of tea.

I also like having that something warm when it is cold and blustery outside and as the weather is once again leaning away from summer, I think I am going to enjoy that even more.

Plus I get to use some of the pottery and china I haven’t used in a while. (I couldn’t find my exact teapot for sale, but the English Tea shop does have plenty of sets of tea for one if you are interested. They are on sale and were the place with the most variety that I found when I went looking for a version of mine) Today’s pot and cup combo was actually perfect for The Art of Tea’s Green Pomegranate blend. The pot sits on top of the cup making it nice and neat for desk top use.

This Green Pomegranate Tea Blend is described as…

TASTING NOTES: FRESH, SWEET, TART

Sweeten your senses with a tart and tangy rush to the palate from this pomegranate green tea. Select organic green tea is hand tossed in a large wok, dried to perfection, then carefully blended with organic raspberries and essence of pomegranate.

*Due to global supply chain shortages, we are currently unable to source raspberry bits, and therefore, are not able to include raspberry bits in this blend. Please note that the flavor profile will remain unchanged and that we will return to our original recipe as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

The Art of Tea

So alas, my blend did not have raspberry bits in it, however, it did have the distinct taste of raspberry. In fact, the dry tea back smelled very much of raspberry. What was interesting is as the tea steeped, notes of pomegranate began to rise. when I poured out the first cup, the tea smelled of both of the fruits and I thought that it was going to be a little sweet.

It has a tiny bit of fruity sweetness, but the pomegranate has that tart taste to it. The raspberry seemed to provide the greener notes. It was more like the scent you get from raspberry leaves than the actual fruit. While I drank my cup plain today, I could see where a little dab of honey would be a good addition to the cup. We have a local honey in our pantry right now that I think would be a little too strong of a taste to blend with this mix. I think it might over power it. I think a honey from the spring, maybe orange or apple blossom based, would probably work best with this mix. i would again keep the additions light with just a tiny drop of honey though.

I don’t know where you are but here, the spring honey is lighter in taste than the summer honey is. I think yours may depend on what grows in your area (and when). I know the Art of tea sells honey sticks, but I haven’t actually tried them. I love honey sticks and our local producer has honey sticks in the spring and not later in the summer, so I usually stock up then, but I ran out actually. (we also use a lot of honey when we are sick and this summer’s bout of covid sort of knocked out our honey stash as we tried to combat sore throats.)

I didn’t add anything to today’s tea and I really did enjoy the tart, almost dry taste that was left on my tongue. I know that is a strange way to describe it but with really tart fruits, like pomegranate I always seem to have an almost dry sensation on my tongue after consuming. This tea produced that. I know this tea was supposed to have raspberry bits and I think that if they were added it would give this tea blend a sweetness rather than the greenness of the leaves. While I am sure I would like it, I really enjoyed this cup. while the Coconut Crème I can see myself serving for desert, this Green Pomegranate is the sort of fruity but not overly sweet type of tea that I prefer. And at only medium caffeine, it won’t make me jittery as I go back to work this afternoon. All in all a good, well rounded tea blend.

Weekly Weight: 235.7 lbs

You have no idea how glad I am to see the scale go down like that this week. I don’t expect all of the extra weight to disappear like that and to be honest, I don’t expect to have as high a number of loss next week as I did this week.

With travel or holiday weight gain I seem to gain that weight back fairly quickly due to lack of my usual meal plan and exercise, but the weight I gain that quickly tends to come off fairly quickly as well. It is one of the reasons why I watch myself around the holidays, limiting the extravagances to what i really enjoy and staying on my healthy plan for the rest of the time. If I gain weight from the extravagances then it too comes off quickly.

while this weight wasn’t from holiday extravagances (and ten pounds was just the new scale correcting the measurements of the old one) I am very happy to see the weight start to come back off. It was actually more than I expected and I had to get off the scale, let it drop back to zero and get on again just to double check.

The numbers were the same and so the happy dance began. Personally I am taking this as my reward for not giving up when I gained that chunk of weight back. I am determined to get to a healthy weight. Set backs are going to happen because life is a very unpredictable journey. But those set backs are dealt with and the journey continues.

And yes I know it is just a number on a scale but it makes me fell very good when it goes down. I will be less obsessed with those numbers when my weight once again starts with a one instead of a two. until then, it is a tracking tool that I will use to the best of my ability without letting it rule and or dominate my thoughts. which is sometimes harder than others. But today I am happy and I will deal with any socio-cultural issues regarding weight at a later date. Today there is just victory in getting back to a healthier lifestyle.

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last Week’s Weight: 240.5 lbs

This Week’s weight: 235.7 lbs

Lost this week: 4.3 lbs

Lost thus far: 10.3 lbs

And so the journey continues.

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