Healthkick: Getting a Head-Start on Summer.

summer healthkick, greek yoghurt, blueberries, goji berries tannins

It feels like I shouldn’t be writing this post today. The sky’s grey, the cars are covered in sleet and my phone keeps bleeping ice warnings for tomorrow. It’s not the type of day that gets you thinking about bikinis. It’s the type of day where you want to get lost in a baggy jumper and devour all the carbs in sight.

However, all that said, this was the weekend my sister finally converted me to the ‘Lime and Ginger Tea Brigade’ (the official name.) She had been drinking the concoction for a while and telling us about it, but I was never overly enthusiastic. I do not like herbal teas. I do not like posh teas. I like a good ol’ cuppa. As she went to make a lime and ginger tea, my mother launched into a tale about a woman she had met through work. The woman was seventy, had amazing skin and was still gaining admirers. The woman’s anti-agent secret? She avoided tea and only drank herbal; apparently the tannins in tea are the arch villains to youthful complexions.

Intrigued, I agreed to a lime and ginger tea and promptly set into a google session. Now, the name ‘tannins’ probably should have given the game away but it didn’t. It was only after various galleries and links that I found out tannins, which occur naturally in tea and coffee, were originally used to turn cow-hide into leather.

A lot of websites note that having milk or lemon with tea/coffee will make the tannins loose a bit of their effects. But still… that’s not a nice thought is it? We’ve all seen the pensioners abroad that have taken sun-bathing to new levels, proving that leather-like skin is not a good idea. Tannins also stop the body from absorbing nutrients; so even if you eat well, you won’t get the full benefits if your wash the salad down with a brew.

ginger and lime tea, tannins

As such, although I can’t bear the thought of giving up ‘normal’ tea completely, I am going to try and replace some of the brews with lime and ginger. Technically, it’s not really a tea – you just chop a slice of fresh ginger, a slice of fresh lime and add boiling water. Surprisingly it tastes quite nice, until you get to the dregs which are fair potent. The ginger boosts your immunity, whilst along with the general vitamin C limes also encourage the body to produce collagen. Which is great; because the collagen that stops the face from sagging, apparently decreases at 1% a year once a woman hits 25. On the photo, the ginger kinda looks like a slice of banana, but it’s not, I promise. I don’t imagine banana would stand up well to being boiled…

All of this googling about tannins and limes slowly trickled into other articles, as googling often does. This ‘research’ coincided with the realisation that it is almost the end of February, which means Spring and eventually Summer will soon be with us. Last summer I left it way too late to start fretting over fitting into Facebook-able bikini; about a month or so before the holiday I suddenly got into exercise (and lost just under a dress-size – which I enthusiastically regained on the holiday). I told myself this year would be different.

As such, my shopping list has had a health-kick. My breakfast for the week now revolves around fat-free Greek yoghurt for protein, blueberries for antioxidants and goji berries for vitamin C. FYI, goji berries work so well with yoghurt. If we take the word of Google, the blueberries should be organic as they soak up pesticides like nobody’s business; but who wants to trail around town when standard blueberries are on offer at Morrisons? I’m sounding incredibly healthy right now, but I feel I should admit that there’s still half a box of Cheerios in the cupboard, so they will also be bunged in.

Hopefully the impending summer months will keep my on this health-kick. I’ve got breakfast sorted and a drink, but if you can recommend any lunches that you can make quickly and take to the office please just let me know.




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