Monday, April 2, 2012
Taking Time For Tea
My last child is the only girl of our five blessings. Boy were her four brother's happy that she would take their place of being drug out to a ballet once a year. While I still take my son's to Broadway shows, concerts and the symphony a few times a year to appreciate the arts, they are now off the hook for the ballet. And wouldn't you know, my daughter is in love with ballet! Since she was a year old she has had several toy tea sets given to her and we have been in the tradition of having tea everyday since she could hold a cup. Of course it wasn't hot then. In the South, we love iced tea and so she would have a little cup of peppermint or a herbal orange vanilla roobios blend. She has had to work (or earn) her way up to have a porcelain tea cup and now has a few in her own collection.
Either hot or cold, it's a nice little treat that we always share in a more fancy way when we are with her grandma's or her aunt's, who are all huge tea lovers! I must confess they make great treats which just adds to the excitement! While several of my boys are much older now, they still drink tea and will make it for themselves. It is a habit formed from a young age. The younger boys are still enjoying it and we have named tea flavors by boyish names, such as " robot" tea! They all have their own tea pots, very manly for the boys of course, a football or a black modern pot. Everyone loves to pour their own and it's a great deal of fun.
My desire to teach my children about taking tea was for many reasons. First, I wanted my active son's to learn etiquette and how to sit still for a bit to talk with the adults that care about them and want to know more about who they are. It's never forced on them and they always love it. We made it special several times a year even going to tea rooms to have a " proper" tea. Then, even more importantly, the added benefit of relaxing and getting detoxified. Detoxified?? What does taking tea have to do with detoxing? Well, quite a lot actually. First of all, taking a rest from your day is a great way to balance your mood and refresh your mind. We typically do this after school as a wonderful way to wind down and connect before starting chores or heading back to more school work. We like to put on some relaxing music in the background and after 15 minuets or so, everyone is in a better mood, ready to take on whatever is due next. I am even ready to tackle dinner!
The other benefit in taking tea is it gives us a chance to refuel our energy sources with a little nourishment. A typical English tea is served later in the day, between lunch and dinner usually. This is where a few bites of a sandwich, ( tea sandwiches are just sandwiches cut into 4's usually) maybe a slice of a protein rich quiche with a few pieces of fruit and maybe a small treat, give us the energy to make it through the end of the day without a crash in blood sugar and preventing us from grabbing something " naughty". If your like me and all that fun stuff that makes a tea party so special, can only happen every so often, you can still grab a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit and a chunk of cheese with your tea. Balance the fruit or any carb treat with a little protein. Even tea on it's own with a splash of cream ( my favorite is a coconut creamer) and a dash of a natural sugar or a bit of honey is a nice little energy boost! Taking a few moments to rest out of our day seems odd in America, but in many parts of the of the world and Europe, this is normal.
The best part of tea is the health properties that are known all over the world and still proving their place in medical research as an amazing health beverage. Tea has the ability to help our metabolism, deactivate cancer promoters, it's naturally anti-aging, blood pressure reducing, helps fight against viral and bacterial infections, boosts digestive and excretory systems ( liver, kidney, colon, etc), prevents blood clotting, stimulates the immune system and that's not even all!! Tea is an amazing wonder drink that most of the world enjoys and we continue to look at the health properties that make it the most indulged drink after water! The flavors and varieties are sure to make anyone happy. Even if you don't like it hot, make it iced and enjoy the health benefits and antioxidants that these herbs bring. Taking a little time for tea may help you feel restful and rejuvenated for the rest of the day or even making it a tradition before you head to bed, will ensure a great night's sleep. Personally, I do it three times a day, at least! A hot drink in the am, to get my body to dump toxins that have accumulated while I was sleeping and my body was slavishly doing it's repairs (cleaning the " hotel" as it is). Then in the mid afternoon usually an iced tea for energy and extra antioxidants. Again in the late afternoon with a snack to get me through to dinner and then an herbal tea to relax me before I head to sleep. You can't do it wrong and anyway you choose, you'll be doing some great things for your amazing body!
Here is a great recipe for some gluten free scones, in case you get time to enjoy something a little fancy!
And if your looking for an easy gluten free flour:
2 cups white rice flour
2 cups brown rice
2/3 cup of tapioca flour ( sometimes called starch)
1 and 1/3 cups of potato starch ( NOT the same thing as potato flour you won't have the kind of texture )
Mix well and store in a nice tight container.
This makes 6 cups!