Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 13 - Teatotaller

According to Wiki, teetotalism is "the practice of or the promotion of complete abstinence from alcohol." Well, I'm not a teatotaller, obviously. But I have become a tea-totaller, especially during cleanses.

Until I went on my first long cleanse, I didn't really enjoy tea. It was because of a serious dental procedure (anesthetic and all) I had when I was fifteen. This enormous hole in my gum where my molar used to be wouldn't stop bleeding for a week. My dentist told me to put a wet tea bag there and hold it in my mouth for a few hours. That would help. It did. But as a consequence I've always come to associate the flavor of black tea with the taste of blood, so over the years the charm of drinking tea has been lost on me.

But now that I take regular cleanses, it has become indispensable in my life. I don't drink a lot of caffeine, so I usually opt for herbal blends. But it really helps to have something to drink besides pop or fruit juice, which can be too sweet glass after glass after glass.

What I'd suggest is experimenting with different flavors. A fantastic tea company is They have the most amazing flavors, but in particular I'm really enjoying their Organic Detox and their Xanadu.

The Detox is full of zinc, potassium, iron and manganese from rooibos. Ginger, ginko, sencha and lemongrass will help detox your liver and boost energy. Juniper berries help flush out toxins. I make two cups in the morning and have one warm one with breakfast. I put the rest in the fridge for the day. In the evening, it's chilled and I drink it in a wine glass. It sounds ridiculous, but it feels great. This tea has the yellow color and slight viscosity of a full-bodied chardonnay. Plus it has a deep, complex mix of flavors that satisfy your craving for something other than sweet juice. And honestly, as silly and junkie-like as it sounds, using a wine glass - with or without a stem - helps make it feel special. You don't feel as if you're depriving yourself as much.

The Xanadu is a mix of berries, rosehip, elderberry and hibiscus. It's a lovely berry-red color with a not-too-sweet, yet still refreshing flavor. For sweetness, I'd recommend adding Agave nectar - it's a delicious natural sweetener, but it won't spike your blood sugar levels.

Also, the preparing of the tea - the boiling and brewing and steeping - has a feeling of ritual about it. Almost like opening and breathing a bottle of wine. If you're choosing healthy teas - especially green teas with lots of antioxidants which will make up for the ones you're missing in your red wine - it'll also help your overall immune system during your cleanse.

Hot or chilled, in a wine glass or cup ... discover all the benefits of tea during your cleanse. is a wonderful place to start, but there are many on the web and in your neighborhood you can explore. Cheers!

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