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Archive for March, 2010

"Toasted Nut Brulee" Tea Review

March 31, 2010 2 comments

I had the “Toasted Nut Brulee” tea from Teavana as an afternoon drink on Tuesday. This was the tea I was most looking forward to, just by the description on the website:

“Savor each sip of this rich tea blend and its hazelnut cream brulee flavor while giving your body a health kick. It is the best dessert you’ll find.” – Teavana.com

This tea’s ingredients include:

  • Oolong
  • Apple bits
  • Roobios
  • Candied pineapple bits (pineapple sugar)
  • Candied papaya bits (papaya sugar)
  • Cinnamon
  • Roasted chicory root
  • Flavoring
  • Ginger bits
  • Coconut chips
  • Roasted almonds
  • Hazelnut bits
  • Cardamom

When I first opened the package, the most prominent smell was cinnamon. I also could easily pick out the ginger. I smelled a little bit of the hazelnut, but barely. I didn’t smell any of the fruit bits when I first opened it.

This tea says to use one teaspoon for every eight ounces. I only used one teaspoon for 16, and I think I may have to use the full two teaspoons with this tea. Either that, or let it steep longer. It said to let it steep for up to three minutes. I actually let it steep for four. I may try to let it go for five or six and see what happens.

This is a lighter brewing tea, and as it steeped, I could smell the cinnamon and ginger the most. I had to take a few sips before I could really taste it (another reason to let it steep longer, or use two teaspoons). The cinnamon and ginger were the most prominent in the taste category. Near the end of my 16 ounces, I was smelling more of the fruits. I could pick out the papaya smell a bit more, and maybe a little bit of the apple. But it was still mainly the spices.

I think I would recommend this tea as a drink to have on a chilly night. It would make a good “comfort” drink during the winter season. If the apple taste was stronger, I would say this would remind me of warm apple pie, so the web site’s description of it being a “dessert” is somewhat accurate. This tea does contain nuts, so if you have a nut allergy, be aware.

I may revise this review once I’ve tried this tea again. Will use the full two teaspoons next time.

Check out my other tea reviews from Teavana:

“My Morning Maté”
“Maté Vana”
“Weight To Go! Pu-erh Tea”
“Roobios Peach Bloom Tea”
Maté Lemon Blast Herbal Tea”

"Weight To Go! Pu-erh Tea" Review

March 30, 2010 2 comments

For a post workout drink on Monday, I made up two cups of the new “Weight To Go! Pu-erh Tea” I bought from Teavana. I wrote this review yesterday. This tea contained the following ingredients.

  • Rosehips
  • Oolong tea
  • Apples
  • Black tea
  • Strawberry bits
  • Hibiscus
  • Spearmint
  • Rose petals
  • Peppermint
  • Beetroot bits
  • Flavoring
I think this is going to be my “usual” afternoon tea. At least in the spring and summer months. It’s a very light tea, but the flavoring is strong. When I first opened the package, I smelled the strawberry right away. I also got a hint of the peppermint or spearmint (I can never tell the difference in these mints) aromas. It said to add one teaspoon for every eight ounces, but once again, I used one teaspoon for 16 ounces.
This tea is a light brewing tea. It says to let it steep for three to four minutes. I let it steep for about five or six. I really don’t think you can over steep this tea, in fact, I think this tea is better the stronger it is. I’ve only come across one tea that tastes “too strong” when you brew it longer than recommended, and that was the green tea. But the “Weight To Go” tea tasted just fine.
I could definitely taste the strawberry flavors, and the mints as well. I couldn’t pick out the apples, but I’m sure it was there. I think this would make an excellent ice tea, and I may try that sometime this week. Maybe after my next workout. Just brew it normally, then pour it over ice. Refreshing.
So, one more positive tea review. So far, I’ve liked all of the teas I’ve had from Teavana. There have been a few I’ve had, but didn’t review them. I never thought about writing up reviews for teas, until I got this batch in.
I have one more tea to try out, and that’s the “Toasted Nut Brulee”. I’m excited to test that tea out, just from the description alone.
My other Teavana tea reviews.

“Toasted Nut Brulee” 

“Roobios Peach Bloom Tea”

“Maté Lemon Blast Herbal Tea”

Strange Dream And Work Outs

March 29, 2010 2 comments

Have you ever dreamed about working out? Last night, I had a dream that I was at someone’s house (looked like a really big gym, but in a residence) taking a strength training class. The instructor told us to pick up a dumbbell, and hold it out in front of us. I picked one up, and was told it wasn’t long enough. Everyone else had two hands on the weight, and I only had room for one hand. And that’s really all I remember, other than I felt very out of place, and embarrassed for doing the exercise wrong.

Why did I dream that? No idea. Maybe it was because I was sort of nervous about getting on my elliptical today. Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking about upping my weights, who knows? But I don’t remember ever dreaming about working out before.

As far as doing an exercise “wrong”, I’m sure I do plenty of exercise moves without proper form. Mainly the manly pushups. I don’t go down to the floor nearly as much as I should. If I go any lower than I do, my arms will collapse, and I’ll fall on my face (and possibly squish my cat Ashley in the process). I basically hold a plank position and lower myself about an inch at most and push back up. It’s not a “real” pushup, but it’s my version of a real one. I also tend to go faster than I should with certain exercises, like seated leg extensions. I need to concentrate on going slower with those.

Anyway, just a random dream last night. As for my workout this morning, I did well. Struggled a bit on my second set of front lateral raises. Didn’t raise the dumbbells as high as I normally do, but I still managed to do a second set of 15.

And as for my elliptical? I did 1/10 of a mile in not quite four minutes. And the best part? No pain at all in my ankle. I actually wanted to go another 1/10, buy mt legs were tired. It’s sad. I’ve been off my elliptical since the end of December, and my legs have lost all of that strength. My endurance was OK, but the fronts of my legs were dead. It would be so nice to be able to keep strength and endurance while recovering from an injury. I know it will be a while before I hit that 1 mile goal again. But it will happen.

The plan for this week is to do another 1/10 of a mile on Wednesday and Friday. Then next Monday go for .2 miles. And increase my mileage by .2 every week. And STOP if I feel any funkiness in my ankle (or other areas). During that 1/10 of a mile, I burned off 33 calories. Hehehe. What is that? Like three M&M’s? At least it’s something though. I am very happy that I felt no discomfort at all. I was somewhat anxious about it. I kept thinking after 30 seconds it would start to ache, but it never did.

I can relax now, and focus on moving forward. Positive thinking. No more injuries. I want to go a mile again, NOW, but I know that’s not a very smart thing. Not only would my ankle probably flare up, I’d most likely die from exhaustion. Either that, or the muscles in the fronts of my legs would explode. Hehehe. So, slow and easy is the key.

As for the rest of my day, I have some serious vacuuming to do. The kind that involves moving furniture and sprinkling carpet freshener over it. When you have three cats, that’s necessary from time to time.

What are your plans this week?

"Maté Vana" Review

My second Teavana review is on the “Maté Vana” tea. This is another caffeinated tea that I’ll be drinking in the mornings. This tea contains the following ingredients.

•    Roasted Maté
•    Cacao nibs
•    Roobios
•    Chocolate chips (sugar, cocoa)
•    Flavoring
•    White chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, dextrose)
•    Almonds
•    Cactus flower
•    Sunflower and cornflower petals

When I opened the package, the chocolate scent was the strongest by far. I could also smell a hint of the almonds. It says to use 1.5 teaspoons per eight ounces, and to let it steep for five to six minutes. Again I only used 1.5 teaspoons for 16 ounces and it turned out just fine. As it steeped, it kept getting darker, and darker. And the smell got a lot stronger.

The taste was smooth, and I could definitely taste the chocolate. I had to think about what the taste reminded me of, and it finally hit me. It tastes kind of like as tootsie roll pop. I would definitely recommend this particular to tea to anyone who loves chocolate. It is a maté tea, so it does contain caffeine, but doesn’t give you the jitters like coffee does.

Just like the “My Morning Maté” tea, this tea does contain nut products, so if you’re allergic, be aware.

Check out my other teavana tea reviews:
“Weight To Go! Pu-erh Tea”

“My Morning Maté

“Toasted Nut Brulee” 

“Roobios Peach Bloom Tea”

“Maté Lemon Blast Herbal Tea”

"My Morning Maté" Review

March 27, 2010 1 comment

For my first Teavana tea review, I chose the “My Morning Maté” tea. The tea contains the following ingredients:

・    Maté
・    Roobios black tea
・    Cocoa kernels
・    Carob bits
・    Orange peel
・    Chocolate flakes (cocoa, sugar)
・    Almonds
・    Cactus flower
・    Coriander
・    Pistachios
・    Cracknel (sugar, hazelnuts)
・    Pink pepper
・    Macadamia
・    Sunflower
・    Cornflower and safflower petals

I could definitely smell and taste the macadamia. It has a very strong nut flavor to it. It says to use 1.5 teaspoons for ever 8 ounces. My Teavana pot hold 16 ounces, but I still only used 1.5 teaspoons. It was enough. If I had used any more, it would have been too strong. Although, maybe the other flavorings would have jumped out more, who knows? Maybe I’ll try adding more next time.

I did like the tea though. It brewed really dark, and smelled great the entire time. It says to brew it for 5 to 6 minutes, and that seems to be enough. I think I would recommend this tea to other people, if they really like a nutty flavor. Obviously, this tea does contain nuts, so if you have any type of nut allergy, this tea is not for you.

So, my impression of this tea is favorable. I don’t know if I’ll drink it every morning, but it makes a nice change.

Check out my other Teavana tea reviews:
“Maté Vanna”
“Toasted Nut Brulee”
“Weight To Go! Pu-erh Tea”
Roobios Peach Bloom Tea
“Maté Lemon Blast Herbal Tea”

End Of The Week Update

It’s been a productive week all in all. I completed three strength training routines, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I got my assigned articles turned in by Tuesday evening. I got one more quick and easy article written Wednesday night (just a fast “paraphrase this article type. Took me an hour total.). And I did a boat load of blog reading. I’ve still got a ton of blog posts to read. I subscribed to quite a few writing blogs in the last several days, and am working my way through their old posts. So far, I’m learning quite a bit.

I got a late start on my exercise routine today. I didn’t get it done until after lunch. I was busy setting up memberships with the content sites Xomba.com, HubPages.com, and InfoBarrel.com. I’ve heard good things for all three from the blog reading I’ve done. Had myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat toast. GREAT combo. I’ve been meaning to try this for a while. Toast up some whole wheat bread, spread 2 tablespoons of PB on, slice a banana, put the slices on the toast, mash them together, and yum! Will be doing that again, for sure.

After I ate, I got in my strength training. Did very well. I’m really thinking about getting 10 pound weights soon. Maybe a month or two, who knows. Maybe not until the fall. We’ll see. If this writing thing really gets going, I’ll be getting them sooner rather than later. Seemed like most of the arm exercises I did today were easy. There are only a few I still struggle with. The front arm raises and lying triceps extensions in particular. Those still take effort.

I was really tempted to get on my elliptical today. I’ve had no twinges at all this week in my ankle. I did a funky run in place move the other day and felt nothing in my ankle. I leaned against the couch and did a run in place but left my toes on the ground (if that makes sense). So, I will try it out on Monday.

Food wise, this week was BAD. Papa John’s, Arby’s, McDonald’s (had a salad from McDs’, but it didn’t fill me up so I ended up having two servings of peanut butter M&M’s). It wasn’t pretty. So, Monday’s weigh in should be interesting. Another reason, I’m hoping my ankle is OK Monday. I need to burn all of this crap off.
I do so well during the day. Dinner just kills me though. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here, but we live with my in-laws. And for the most part, my mother-in-law does dinner. This week was a lot of fast food. I should have opted to eat cereal on those nights, or a sandwich, but oh well. Done is done. The rest of the time, it’s meals that contain a lot of grease, or oil. Fried chicken, fried potatoes and eggs. Eggs and bacon. Burgers. So yeah, dinner kills me.

So that’s my little update for the week. I want to get another post up Saturday or Sunday, or both! I got my delivery from Teavanna.com this afternoon, and am looking forward to trying out the four varieties I got. I’ll make sure and give my review this weekend.

For now, have a great weekend, and keep moving!

What are your downfalls when it comes to eating right? Candy? Chocolate? Fast food?

Caffeinated Tea To The Rescue

Is anyone else having trouble adjusting to the time change? It’s been almost a week since we set our clocks forward an hour, and I’m still not adjusted. I normally wake up around 6:30 or 7:00 AM. I would love to get up by 6:00 AM, and am making that my ultimate goal eventually. I always feel like I get a lot more accomplished when I wake up super early.

But, this year, the time change is more annoying than it ever has been. Without the alarm clock, I’m waking up at 7:30 or 8:00. Not late, but later than I’d like. So, we’ve been setting an alarm clock to help us wake up. The hard part, is getting out of bed. It’s so easy to just roll over and go back to sleep. But once I force myself to sit up and actually get out of bed, I’m fine.

I still find myself dragging in the morning, even after my two cups of green tea. So I’ve been making a mid morning tea that has been somewhat helpful. Guayakí Yerba Maté.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=keemovtee-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B0001CXRLG&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

My mother-in-law gave it me a long time ago. I didn’t read the instructions properly the first time, and didn’t let it steep long enough. So I thought it just tasted bland, and basically tasted like hot water. The instructions say to let it steep for 3 to 10 minutes. That’s a very wide range of time, and I think I did it for the minimum the first time around. I’ve since been letting it steep for 10 minutes, and it’s much stronger.

I’m not sure how much caffeine is in it, but it seems to be much more than my normal green tea. It’s a maté tea, which is said to have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Fine by me. I’ve learned a lot about teas from Tevana.com and plan to make a purchase there in the near future. I’ve got a few of their teas written down to try out. Some caffeinated, others not. I love tea. It makes the perfect snack if you’ve got a sweet craving.

So, I’m sipping on my tea, and it’s already making me feel more alert. And the other thing about caffeinated tea is it doesn’t leave my stomach feeling bad afterward. A while ago, I was contemplating  going back to drinking coffee, but after learning more about the various teas out there, I’ve made the decision not to go back to coffee. Tea for Tee all the way.

I’ve been keeping up with my strength training workouts so far this week. Feeling strong and feeling like I’m able to do a bit more. I may add another set of 15 reps to my arm routine. Maybe. If I had 10 pound weights, I might up it to that. But my heaviest weights are 8 pounds, so I’ll just add more reps instead. I may eventually look into buying 10 pound weights, but not quite yet. I think 10 pounds will be the max I ever lift, but you never know. There are certain exercises that are getting really easy now with the 8 pound weights. Arm curls and chest flies just to name two.

Still waiting on my ankle to get to 100%. It’s getting so close. The only time it hurts at all now is if I put excessive weight on it, like going up stairs. Now and then, I’ll go up a step with more effort than normal, and it’ll twinge. But not bad at all. I need to keep using ice. I think that has really been the key to getting it to heal up finally. It’s been since late December that I’ve done any cardio.

I mentioned last week that I got offered to write about 20 to 30 articles a month for a person at TextBroker.com. I’ve not received any assignments yet, but I’m sure I will soon. I’ve been reading blogs and articles in the meantime about residual income, and am looking into a few content sites to put up my own articles. I already belong to AssociatedContent.com and eHow.com, but I don’t have much on them yet. A few blogs I’ve read said that people can make $1,000 dollars a month in residual income at these sites, particularly eHow.com. How the heck? They must have a ton of articles posted. I have about 10 to 12, and have made about $4.00. Total. Hehehe. I need to get writing.

I seem to get more writing done when I write for someone else, and have an actual deadline. When I just write for me, I tend to put it off. I need to set myself a deadline and get it done. That’s the plan today. Work on a few articles for eHow and upload them. I can do those types of articles while I wait for the TextBroker assignments to come in. I’m wondering if I should email the guy and ask him when to expect them. Nah, I’ll be patient. They’ll come eventually. He wouldn’t have asked if he wasn’t going to send anything right?

Update: Ask and you shall receive. Well, my instinct to be patient on the writing assignments was a good thing. I just got a boatload of assignments sent to me. I’ve got 13 articles to write and they’re due by next Wednesday. He’s very nice and said to let him know if I need more time. Shouldn’t be a problem though, but it’s nice that he’s so flexible.

See what happens when I’m caffeinated? I write a lot. Gets my brain awake, and things just flow. Caffeinated teas are the way to go for me. No bad after effects, and it gives me the boost I need.

Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Have you considered trying the other option? If you drink tea, are you willing to give coffee a shot, and vice versa?