Meera Meera On the Wall

Like a fly, only Meera

Category: Food

Health and Beauty Benefits of Green Tea

I recently read a great article on HealthBeautySpot.com about green tea which I wanted to share. I’m such an advocate of drinking green tea that I’d recommend it to anyone as one of the best and easiest steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

The article tells us that green tea is said to possess anti-ageing, metabolism-boosting and cholesterol-busting properties that help to keep your body healthy and trim. I can’t tell you for sure if this is true – I’ve been drinking a lot (up to 5 cups a day) of green tea for over a decade, so I wouldn’t be able to confirm noticeable results from a comparative viewpoint. However, based on my natural and genetic predispositions towards a number of health issues, I surmise that green tea has made a huge difference to me.

Firstly, no one in my family is genetically blessed with a naturally fast metabolism – if you want to be slim, you have to work hard for it. I have a very healthy appetite and have always been a bit lazy on the fitness front, but up until recently I’ve got away with it. My family has always been baffled by my frame, which, genetically, should have let me down by now. In light of this, I attribute my metabolism to my regular green tea intake. As for anti-ageing, I’ve enjoyed respite from afflictions that have plagued many members of my family from a young age, and although I’ll be thirty in a couple of years I still get sternly mistaken for a teenager when I try to go to the movies or buy a bottle of wine. I’m also a fan of skincare products that contain green tea which, used topically, is a potent antioxidant and defends skin from environmental aggressors. My skin always looks and feels better when my skincare regime includes green tea. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, green tea also benefits the heart by lowering cholesterol and it strengthens bones, protects internal organs and will keep your mind sharp.

I couldn't fake this if I tried - a picture I took recently of a particularly happy cup of green tea.

Obviously, there’s only so much that leaves steeped in hot water can hold at bay and now I’m finally embracing a more active lifestyle. Even though I have a serious weakness for cake and something of an aversion to my running shoes, I’ve always believed that we have to be conscious about what we put into our bodies – and as far as that goes, green tea is an excellent choice. Here are a few of my own tips, which I follow for best results:

Tip: Add a slice of lemon to your green tea. Vitamin C aids the body’s absorption of goodies, whether from green tea, daily vitamins or any healthy meal. (Bet Popeye wishes he knew the difference a glass of OJ would have made to his can of spinach.)

Tip: To avoid the bitter taste green tea can have, don’t use boiling water – especially if you’re adding lemon. I always pour in a bit of cold water first then top it up with hot water.

Tip: Drink green tea with fatty food. The antioxidants in the tea will help to counteract the damage to blood vessels that occurs after consuming a high-fat meal.

Read more about green tea and its uses in the article, and get brewing!

http://healthbeautyspot.com/health-and-beauty-benefits-of-green-tea/

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Operation Bikini – Day D

So my friend/harbinger of doom brought me the wonderful news today that, apparently, it takes 2 weeks for the body to acclimatise to any changes to fitness and/or diet. I haven’t looked up what this means exactly but I surmise that, basically, my body will be finally bikini-ready precisely when I’m leaving Barcelona. In a nutshell, Operation Bikini was always going to be a big flop. It can’t be done, people.

That said, I do feel better for the past week of healthy eating and exercise (you know, aside from the debilitating cravings and all the self-loathing). Even if I don’t look all that different, I feel different – lighter, tighter and more comfortable. So I guess the objective has been achieved in some measure.

The actual measuring will have to wait as I didn’t have the foresight to record my current stats before I had my dinner – my full tummy might throw things off a bit, so I’ll take them tomorrow morning.

Today’s activities have comprised a long walk/hike and skipping; I’ll do some yoga before I turn in. My meal plan was going well today until I received a gigantic parcel from friends in Japan, containing all sorts of yummies :s I confess I helped myself to some karintou, a sort of brown-sugar cracker – totally delicious and not at all healthy. For dinner, mother dearest made some yummy and super-healthy dhal, and was very sweet to take my diet into consideration by swapping chapatis for fulkas (virtually the same thing but without the oil). I do believe filling up on lentils and wholewheat flatbread is an excellent diet plan 🙂

Breakfast: Oatmeal, banana, PB (yeah, it’s getting a little bit old)

Snack: Nectarine

Lunch: Soba noodles, miso soup

Snack: Karintou, almonds

Dinner: Dhal and fulkas

Dessert: Probiotic yogurt w/ blueberries

I’ll check in again tomorrow – from Barca, eek! Speak to you soon 😀

**Epi-log**

Final Stats:

Bust: 82.5 cm (1 1/2 cm)

Hips: 86.5 (3.5 cm)

Butt: 99 cm (2 cm)

Thighs: 56 cm (1 cm)

Waist: 68 cm (approx 1 1/2)

Verdict:

Yes, there was a loss, however slight, and yes, I felt better after just a week of a healthy diet and fitness regime. All variables considered the Rodial Crash Diet Sticks weren’t – predictably – worth £50 for a week-long weight-loss plan. The rest of it, the no-brainer part, was worth it so I’ll stick to it as diligently as I can. I’ve noticed that my tendency to snack has reduced considerably, and I’ve been putting more thought into what, and when, I eat.

The hardest part will be maintaining it – as the colder months close in, so does the hankering for comfort food! And the prospect of exercising outside becomes ever more un-enticing :s Must keep reminding myself that a slammin’ bod is not just for Barcelona, it’s for Christmas too!

Mixing It Up

I cook every day and I love it almost as much as beauty and writing, but I’ve never shared my recipes because I have a very haphazard cooking style – I make it up as as I go along and I don’t measure, and improvisation doesn’t translate well to recipes :s That said, my dinner was yummy, healthy and easy and I didn’t want to keep it to myself! So if you don’t mind throwing in ingredients without precise measurements, here it is:

Mama’s Mediterranean Omelette

Roughly chop: Garlic; Onions; Tomatoes; Mushrooms; Aubergine; Anything else that goes. Wash and set aside a handful of spinach.

Soften garlic, onions, mushrooms and aubergines.
Add tomatoes and a splash of water.
I add ketchup to intensify the flavour; you can also throw in chilli flakes, paprika and herbs.

Once heated through until all the ingredients and flavors have blended together to a nice consistency, take off the heat.
Add the spinach to wilt, and stir in a spoon of low-fat crème fraîche.

Once the filling is ready, make a one-egg omelette.
Spoon filling into the omelette and fold over.

Voila!

Beauty Booster

Vitamin C aids the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Include citrus in nutrient-rich meals, take your daily supplements with a glass of orange juice, or pop a lemon slice in your green tea to get maximum benefits.