Things I’m Loving: David’s Tea and Morningstar Farms
Some maintainers tell me that keeping at a steady weight in the summertime is harder than in winter. For me, it’s the opposite. Winter months leave me shivering most all the time, which makes me want to stay indoors with a cup of hot cocoa wrapped around my hands every moment of the day. I regularly wear three layers: Smartwool, fleece, then a down vest – and I am still cold. Freakish, I know.
I’m finding though, that here in the coldest month of the year, maintenance has been a bit easier than I thought it would be. At first I was worried, what with all of the Internet chatter about post-menopausal women ‘packing on the pounds’ after their hysterectomy. I’m only 42 years old, but my body is acting like its somewhere between fifty and sixty. I was really concerned that it would change faster than I could adapt and I’d end up 20 or 30 pounds heavier. Before surgery I mentioned this fear to my surgeon and he simply said, ‘I wouldn’t worry about it. Because of what you’ve already gone through to lose and maintain the weight, you’ll be even more careful.’
I was dismayed by that answer. Frustrated – no, perturbed by that answer, actually. I thought to myself, How on earth could I be more diligent than I already am? If it gets more difficult than this to maintain, I’m in serious trouble, Mr. I’ve-Never-Owned-a-Uterus!
I can’t say I’ve enjoyed being hyper diligent since my surgery, but it is what it is. I mentally count the calories of most everything that I eat. Having done Weight Watchers for as long as I have, I can easily keep track of my calories and add them up in my head without the need for a calculator or even a guide to tell me the amount in a serving. Don’t get too excited – it’s the only Math trick I can do.
I have found a couple of things I wanted to share that have made maintaining easier for me this winter. I make certain that these two items are always in my kitchen, no matter what:
My winters have an automatic curse attached to them: the cold weather makes me want to bake – as in, banana bread, pumpkin muffins, cookies, cakes – you name it. I love the way the house smells when something is baking in the oven. The problem is, someone’s got to eat all of those goodies once they’re done, right? Yeah, that’s where I get into trouble. Luckily, my teas have got my back. You all know how I love tea, as in ‘Oh, Tea – I cannot live without you. Be mine forever….’ and have regularly mentioned how it curbs my never ending desire for something sweet to eat.
Always on the hunt for better teas, I recently hit the Mother Load when Craig and I were in Chicago right before Christmas. We were at Southport and I saw this shop named David’s Tea. Hmm. Never heard of them. This means we MUST GO RIGHT NOW. When I stepped inside and saw the flavors they had (Toasted Marshmallow….Red Velvet Cake…Banana Dream Pie, anyone?) it was like being in a calorie-free bakery! I chose Stormy Night as my first official introduction to David’s Tea. Here’s what the description says about it:
Black tea, Chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, vanilla – this drink is a real piece of work, alright. Hotter than an inferno and smoother than silk, it’s good. Almost too good.
I’m here to tell you, people – these folks from Canada don’t lie. It is that good.
I think Craig and I were in there for almost 45 minute chatting it up with staff and getting a whiff of nearly every tea they had in stock. I left with sample sizes of over 7 different flavors and couldn’t wait to get home and try them. The verdict? These teas literally put all others I’d ever tried to shame. I’m sorry other tea guys, but David’s Tea seriously knows what they’re doing.
My favorite is the Red Velvet Cake. With a bit of sweetener and a splash of almond milk, it tastes like, well – cake! I wanted to show you some but I’m already out of that flavor, so I snapped a pic of one of my other favorites, which happens to be an herbal concoction. Great for those times when I get the snack-attack happening in the evening while I’m in my studio painting; I can drink this and it won’t keep me up at night. Ready? Behold – Banana Nut Bread:
As you can see, I’m almost out of this one, too. And yes, it does taste and smell exactly like hot banana nut bread.
I’ve never been one to drink my calories. I’d rather skip a before dinner drink or cocktail at the bar and use those calories for dessert. Here, I can literally have both.
The question I wanted answered before I went off raving about the glory of David’s Tea is probably the same question some of you are thinking: With all of those bits of goodies in their teas, how many calories and sugar are in a cup?
This quote comes straight from the David’s Tea website:
With all the fun sprinkles, candies and caramel bits that find their way into some of our teas, some skeptics wonder whether these blends are still a healthy beverage choice. The truth is that we routinely test the blends that contain sugary ingredients for their sugar and caloric content. So far, the caloric content in the liquor of these teas is below the limit that must be declared on food labels. They are not all at zero, but none are more than 5 calories per cup of tea.
And what about public enemy number one – sugar? Not to worry, our teas have all tested below 1 g of sugar per cup of tea (according to our steeping instructions).
I can live with that. Check out David’s Tea here for a listing of some of their other wonderful concoctions and for a list of when they’re coming to your neighborhood.
This is a new flavor from Morningstar. Fixed the right way, it is completely satisfying and has a great flavor. Right now, it’s my new favorite veggie burger. I purchase Morningstar on a regular basis anyway since I generally don’t care for the taste of meat but still loves me a good burger once in a while. I received a coupon from a company named BzzAgent to try a package for free, and since Mediterranean food is my favorite right now I was really excited to see this added to Morningstar Farms already great lineup of flavors.
What I do with mine is take low carb Lavash bread (I love the ones made by Joseph’s and American Bakery) which are 80 calories and 100 calories each, respectively. I simply fix my Mediterranean Chickpea burger on the stove (110 calories), fill the lavash bread with greens and a bit of Holy Land cucumber sauce or Bolthouse Farms Yogurt dressing and I end up with this:
Very filling, and under 240 calories for the entire sandwich. Mix that with a salad or fresh vegetables and I have a whole meal for under 300 calories. Not too shabby, huh?
Anything in particular that you’ve found which has helped you stay on track this winter? I’d love to hear about it!