Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Raspberry Loose Leaf Tea: No Calorie Drink for your Clean Eating or Slow Carb Diet

Raspberry Leaf Tea

I don't know about you, but I get tired of drinking plain water.  I like adding different, natural things to flavor my water, but sometimes I really want something besides water.  Raspberry leaf tea is one of my favorite teas.  It doesn't taste at ALL like raspberry, its just the leaf, which I appreciate since I hate fruity teas.

I started drinking Raspberry Leaf tea with my 4th pregnancy.  I fell in love with this tea like you wouldn't believe.  I would make gallons and gallons of it and my family loved it, too.  Its supposed to help with female issues, period issues, pms, etc.  You have to be careful with it in early pregnancy (if I recall... its been 12 years, please check with your doctor/midwife before drinking it), but in later stages, its supposed to help make labor more efficient.

Anyway, I just bought a bunch from an online friend who just never got around to using it, and we're enjoying it again!

You'll Need:
Cheese Cloth or a Legit Tea Strainer.
Boiling Water
Loose Leaf Tea
Pot/Jar with a lid

Our Raspberry Leaf Tea


First I add two scoops of tea to about a gallon and a half jug.*  (you'll need to find your own proportions, but I would suggest making it strong and adding ice/water to dilute it once you decide you like it... that just means you have to make it less often!)
Then I pour hot/boiling water over the leaves and put a lid on it for 3-5 minutes (Some people say you should never pour boiling water on your leaves, I'm too scattered to catch the water before it is boiling.  I'm lucky to catch the tea pot before its boiled dry, because the spout thingy is broken and it no longer screeches at me like a monkey caught in a trap, so we'll just go with what I actually do... feel free to create your own routine, dependent on your own OCD or ADD needs)

Then, unravel about 2-3 layers of cheese cloth and tie them down to a container (preferably glass, but sometimes, you just use what you have available).  Oh, and be sure to use an official tea straining rubber band for affixing your cheesecloth aka a head band from your daughter's room that she's never bothered to use, even though you bought them at her request.

Pour the tea through the cheesecloth, capturing what looks like a baby's dirty diaper in the cheese cloth.  Squeeze out the excess tea if you can get past the looks of this, and either toss out the whole tea 'diaper' or toss the tea and rinse the cheesecloth.

Fill a glass or pitcher with ice and pour the sweetened (Stevia or Xylitol are my choice) or unsweetened tea over it for a nice change of pace and a healthy drink!

What is your favorite no calorie drink?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Results & Weight Loss Quick Tips: Pre-Made "Convenience" Foods for Clean Eating or Slow Carb Diets

After Week 1 of the 90 Day Challenge, I had some ideas to make things easier on myself.  Yesterday I posted the recipes and my thoughts from the first week in this blog post.

My biggest challenge has been remembering to eat.  My appetite is non-existent, but once its time to eat, I need to eat and I don't want to put much time/thought into it.  I tend to get busy during the day and I want something convenient.  Sunday I took the time to make my family's bulk breakfast burritos, and while I was at it, I made my own precooked eggs as well.  *All of my calorie counts are from sparkpeople.

I used my itty bitty pan to cook egg "patties" = 2 egg whites, 1 whole egg = 100 calories*
I used my small skillet to make "Omelettes" = 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg = 120 calories*

I then put them all in a big ziplock bag in the fridge, so now I can just grab and go, and I don't have to mess up bowls/pans every day.

I also made chicken breast filets ahead of time with McCormick's Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning.  I weighed these and they were about 1.2oz or 2.2 oz.  I just take a small or large piece and I know its within that weight range.

I also bought a bag of ready to eat spinach (tastes great as a salad with a boiled egg or cut up chicken tender with a little sprtiz of balsamic vinagrette.)  I also like munching on celery for the crunchiness and lack of calories:)

Now, for the results!

My scales are wonky.  They are old and garage sale valued at $2.00 about 6 years ago.  I know they're not great, but for now... They show somewhere between a 2-4 pound weight loss (they just kind of bounce from pound to pound, about as indecisive as me:).  For my sanity, I'm going to go with the least amount.  I'd rather be pleasantly surprised later than super depressed!

I am really glad I measured!  You NEED to measure, people, the scales aren't going to show everything.  From my years of working at the gym, I chose these measurements.  There are a lot of spots to measure, but  its good to see where you're dropping inches, especially if the scale isn't showing a lot!

I Lost 10 Inches in my first week!

This week I'm adding more exercise to my schedule.  My goal is to do PiYo at least twice, walk the dog at least 3 times (around our neighborhood) and go to the gym with my husband/PT at least twice.

Oh!  And to drink MORE WATER!!!  I'm SO bad at keeping up my water intake!