Thursday, October 29, 2009


Good health depends on staying hydrated: water is the medium in which every single reaction in our bodies takes place. Unfortunately, should the urge to sip hit, there aren't a lot of healthy options on offer. Store shelves are stocked with a kaleidoscope of flavoured drinks that offer little more than sugar with preservatives and crayon box hues. Vitamin Water anyone? Kool-Aid with vitamins would still be Kool-Aid. Think about it!

Research shows that liquid calories are the worst offenders when it comes to weight gain because our bodies don't really register the energy intake like they do with a solid meal. So what's a health conscious drinker to do? We diligently shun any beverage with sugar...or fake sugar...or calories of any sort and drink loads of pure, simple water day in and day out (out of a BPA free reusable bottle). Which, truthfully, can get a little boring! Sometimes you need a little flavour...healthy flavour. The answer to your healthy drink quest? Tea!

Tea has a lot going for it: calorie free, much lower in caffeine than coffee and host to powerful disease busting antioxidants. So drink plenty of water...but when you need a little healthy flavour in your life - try one of these 5 great teas!

1. Oooli. Made right here in Vancouver, Oooli is all about oolong tea. What is great about Oooli is that it is real brewed tea, either plain (zero calories!) or lightly sweetened with fruit flavours. The highest calorie count is 80 calories for a 473mL serving and nothing artificial - which is waaaay less than other "iced teas" aka liquid glucose delivery systems. Flavour without the sugar hit!
2. Kombucha Wonder Drink. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been enjoyed for centuries...the nice people at Wonder Drink people have conveniently bottled it for us! Kombucha is celebrated for detoxifying and energizing properties (try it for yourself to see how you feel - I like it!) and at about 60 calories per 250 ml....the highest calorie count of all 5 teas on my list but not too bad in moderation. One note...I didn't realize that Wonder Drink pasteurizes their products, so unfortunately there are no live probiotics to benefit your gut health - but the products of fermentation (the organic acids purported to detoxify) still live on!
3. Numi Pu-erh Teas. Ever heard of Pu-erh? Pu-erh is a highly prized tea picked from very old tea trees which is then fermented for 60 days. The result is a rich, earthy taste and a higher antioxidant count than most green teas. Pu-erh is purported to have numerous health benefits (you can check them out on Numi's site)....apparently in Taiwan, Pu-erh is called the "skinny tea"! Any Taiwanese tea drinkers out there...let me know! Did I mention there is a chocolate flavour? Yum.
4. Red Espresso. Not that coffee is hideous for isn't really...but perhaps you are a latte lover looking to swap your bean for leaf? Red Espresso is calling! Red Espresso is a specially ground rooibos tea that can be used in your espresso machine or french press. Naturally caffeine free and antioxidant rich, long used in South Africa as a healthy beverage - rooibos tea has a sweet, rich flavour that definitely satisfies the coffee craving. You can buy Red Espresso in the shops and a few local cafes have started making tea lattes from it too.
5. Matcha. The classic green tea health beverage, matcha tea is a highly prized green tea that is ground into a vibrant green powder with a rich, grassy taste. Whisked with a small amount of hot water, matcha is traditionally drunk almost like an espresso shot and because you actually consume the tea leaves - matcha blows traditional green tea out of the water when it comes to antioxidant levels. A bit of an acquired taste....but matcha is where it's at.

To your health!

PS....just in case you are wondering, no one paid me to talk about their products...but the nice folks at Oooli did supply me with the photo when I asked...these are all drinks I actually love!

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