Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Bulletproof-style Matcha – Perfect for Meditation, Zen Energy, Nutrition, and Yoga

 

Bulletproof-style Matcha - afternoon energy

Bulletproof -style Matcha – afternoon energy time

I know I know.

I make a lot of beverages in the style of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof goodness. Guilty. When something is good and works, why wouldn’t I? The Bulletproof -style drinks I make add more energy to my day, fuel my brain and body, are quickly made, and they get me through the early part of my morning.

See?

Today, I’m sharing an organic matcha tea that is created Bulletproof -style. Matcha tea is green tea, where the leaves are ground and consumed whole. It’s a beautiful drink, and the lush color reminds me of my recent trip to Kauai (more on that another day).

Verdant Kauai, Hawaii.

verdant Kauai, Hawaii

 Tea is liquid wisdom. 
~Anonymous

Matcha is the Japanese tea ceremony beverage. I’ve been drawn to organic matcha for many months now, and I did a lot of research before selecting the brand I chose. I felt the highest quality would be from Yuuki-Cha because of their standards and my ability to pinpoint from exactly what region of Japan I wanted my organic matcha. This company addressed potential issues of Fukushima Daichi radiation and shared a helpful map to assist my selection. I trust them as a result.

Helpful Japanese Tea Region Map

Helpful Japanese Tea Region Map

I selected two kinds: Organic Yame Matcha (from Fukuoka region) and Organic Kirishima Matcha (from Kagoshima) because of their harvest locations and review of tastes on Yuuki-cha’s website.

When I bought my matcha I ordered small sizes and chose two (each hailing from a different place in Japan). I opted not to get the whisk or special drinking bowl because, honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it so why invest in all of that. Matcha has a reputation where sometimes it’s grassy in flavor, which I’m not craving.

Quality organic matcha: Yame and Kirishima

Quality organic matcha: Yame and Kirishima

 

I was elated with the result of the Organic Yame Matcha. My first sip I knew I’d be drinking matcha for the rest of my life, and I didn’t even make it the classic way with the bamboo whisk since I didn’t buy those (yet). Instead, I heated my spring water on my induction hot plate, used an instant read thermometer to achieve 175 degrees F, poured the hot water into my blender, added the Organic Yame Matcha, and blended it. I’m eager to try the whisk, being all proper about it, as I yearn to experience “the froth of green jade.”

I haven’t tried my Kirishima matcha yet, but have confidence it’ll be bliss. UPDATE: I just tried the Organic Kirishima Matcha and it’s fabulous. I heated my spring water to 175 degrees F and then blended the hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of the matcha powder. AWESOME.

I chose to start basic by drinking the matcha plain, as in hot water and matcha to see if I liked the flavor. As noted above, it was wonderful. That said, I knew there were plenty of options for making matcha tasty in the event of grassiness. For example, I knew I could soften the matcha by making it Bulletproof with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane MCT oil. I also have some wonderful stevia extract in my arsenal. And, I knew I could always add it to my green smoothie in the event that drinking it as a tea wasn’t awesome.

Oh, and drinking matcha green tea iced can help make it more refreshing and less grass-like. I simply blended my spring water (175 degrees F) with 1 teaspoon organic green matcha tea. Then, I poured it over ice.

Iced Matcha Green Tea

Iced organic matcha green tea. Feeeeeel good drink.

Iced organic matcha green tea. Feeeeeel good drink.

Protein Iced Matcha Green Tea

Protein Iced Matcha Green Tea

Protein Iced Matcha Green Tea

Here’s another iced option, pictured above, where I used only 1/2 teaspoon of the organic Yame matcha blended with temperature perfect spring water (175 degrees F) and 2 tablespoons of Upgraded Collagen Protein. Then, I served it over ice.

UPDATE: I’ve learned, though not tried, that you can simply shake the hell out of a mixture of 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of matcha with ice cold water in a bottle with the lid on. That’s a cold-brewed iced matcha.

OK, SO… I am clearly loving matcha green tea. Here’s why.

Three great reasons I’m drawn to matcha green tea:

I have a few reasons that organic matcha keeps coming onto my radar.

1. Meditation and Alpha Brain Waves for Feeling Great

You see, our brain produces different brainwaves based on our mood and state of mind during the day, and can be measured using an EEG machine. Alpha waves are important because they’re the brain waves that help you flow through life with much less stress and agitation. We can experience a deep sense of relaxation and wellness when our brains are producing alpha brain waves.

Alpha brain waves are also associated with creativity, which is why artists and many entrepreneurs are found to exhibit alpha brain waves more often than not.

Meditation is a way to get more alpha brain waves in your life. In meditation, we strive to reach the alpha brain wave state which is harder for newbies. Well, green tea has the reputation for making meditation more accessible because of the style of brain waves, alpha, it creates. We can more quickly experience those precious alpha brain waves by drinking green tea. And, drinking green tea as matcha, where the whole leaf is consumed should amp this up big time.

As meditation is becoming a big part of my life the past couple of years (read why here with some great tips to get you going), I was eager to take it another step by drinking more green tea. As such, I do drink green tea regularly in an iced tea fashion using Rishi Jasmine organic green tea. I simply drop a bag of the green tea into a glass mason jar (both quart and 1/2-gallon do the job) and I add Castle Rock spring water (my favorite water, spring water is my other new thing these days). I stick it in the refrigerator overnight and it’s ready to drink all day starting the following morning. I really enjoy this process with this tea because it’s lazy and easy. No need to heat water to a set temperature or time the steeping.

2. Energy (or Zenergy)

I’ve come to the realization that no matter how awesome my diet is, I can still get run down in the afternoon. I’m a mom. Do I really need to say anymore? :) My 5-year old daughter, Kamea, is home with me all day, and when one part of my brain and soul are constantly “on” it can be draining. It’s funny, when my husband watches her for anything over 3 hours, he gets a taste of it and commends me repeatedly. It’s not that she’s extra active or anything, it’s just that big thing called responsibility for a little one (is she fed? safe? happy?) and, let’s be honest, playing dolls is exhausting.

So, that’s where I thought matcha could play a role. It seemed the perfect early afternoon drink to give me just the perfect amount of energy boost to get me happily through the afternoon. Matcha is known for offering a slower release of energy due to being absorbed slower in the body. Dave Asprey writes, “It contains l-theanine, a relaxing amino acid that smooth’s out the stimulating effects of caffeine.”

Therefore, consider the timing of this tea. Perhaps it’s wise to not drink it too late in the day, or if you do, make a smaller amount.

Many say that matcha enhances mood and increases concentration. It must be true since I’m happily writing this post after drinking it. Turns out there is some science to this, as evidence suggests L-theanine and caffeine in combination, like in green tea, are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks. (source)

Since practicing yoga can produce alpha brain waves, I think organic matcha would be the perfect drink before yoga to amp up the alpha-ness. Though, I’d be sure to drink it over an hour before yoga starts so you can empty your bladder if necessary. Seriously, yoga and matcha tea? A perfect marriage.

3. Nutrition

Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants (more than coffee), notably as the powerful polyphenol, catechins. By drinking green tea as matcha, where the whole leaf is consumed, you get a mega dose of them.

There are a lot of other claims about matcha, such as it’s the equivalent of drinking 10 cups of non-matcha green tea (for antioxidants), its ORAC value is extremely high, it can boost metabolism, yadda yadda yadda. Check out this website, where I grabbed the following image for more details. It’s impressive if it’s all true.

Dr. Weil writes, “Studies either strongly suggest or confirm that the antioxidants in green tea can reduce LDL cholesterol, promote fat burning, reduce the risk of several forms of cancer, and alleviate depression.”

health_benefits_of_matcha_tea3

There you have it. I’ve given you many good reasons to have matcha and here’s a great recipe to try. Keep in mind, plain matcha is great, too (if it’s not too grassy in my opinion).

 

Bulletproof -Style Matcha Tea Recipe

Bulletproof-style Matcha - afternoon energy

Bulletproof-style Matcha – afternoon energy

I love this recipe unsweetened as the matcha flavor is still front and center, but it’s more delicate. That said, if you’d like a bit of sweetness to round it out, add some raw honey (once it’s cooled to 115 degrees F) or a drop of stevia extract.

Blend all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender (I always use a Vita-mix).

Dr. Weil says, “I take the act of drinking matcha seriously – or perhaps I should say, I take the pleasure of drinking matcha seriously.”

Ditto for me.

 

UPDATE (April 17, 2016) ! I love matcha so much and I wrote a whole kindle ebook filled with over 50 matcha recipes! Check it out.

My Newest Recipe eBook: Matcha Hacks!

My Newest Recipe eBook: Matcha Hacks!

 

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