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.

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.

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.

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.

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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

(Recipe) XOCO Bulletproof Mocha – A Balanced Coffee Elixir

XOCO Bulletproof Mocha

XOCO Bulletproof Mocha

Some health experts talk about the importance of balancing energies in the foods and drinks we consume to receive an optimal experience – not too jittery but not falling asleep either.

Well, I’ve taken that advice and present an energy balanced mocha, Bulletproof Style (of course).

Yeah, it’s awesome.

You see, coffee (caffeine) has a stimulating energy. It could be beneficial to balance that energy by adding an herb or component that is calming, such as the medicinal mushroom reishi. For that, I jumped to Four Sigma Foods (quality) reishi in the form of their XOCO product which also has chocolate in it (they’re called chocolate shots).

Ergo, I ended up with a mocha. Cool.

In fact, those smarty-pants guys over at Four Sigma Foods even make a mushroom coffee! It’s a genius little packet of instant medicinal mushroom (lions mane + chaga or cordyceps + chaga) plus coffee – all in one. Just add water, stir and drink. (I love those – oh hey, I’ve made it Bulletproof style here.)

I’ve written about why (and how) I use Four Sigma Foods products in a detailed post here. You should read it.

I have a whole counter dedicated to my coffee and teas. (Read this post to see how my whole kitchen is organized.)

Ahhhh coffee (and tea) station.

Ahhhh coffee (and tea) station.

 

Recipe: XOCO Bulletproof Mocha

Blend everything until smooth and frothy. (I blend in a couple of raw, pasture-raised-happy egg yolks sometimes, too!)

Enjoy a day where you feel all zen and powerful at the same time.

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Monday, July 20th, 2015

(Recipe) Qi and Jing Boosting Elixir

 

Qi and Jing Elixir #TCM

Qi and Jing Elixir #TCM

If you’ve ever heard of David Wolfe, then you know his latest passion is talking about the importance of eating colorful foods and, more specifically, what those different colors (and those colors’ shapes!) can mean for your health.

For example, I recently heard an interview where he discussed how eating orange foods can offer anti-inflammatory compounds, consuming green foods can offer detoxing and liver benefits, red foods are prized for energy, blood, and qi (pronounced chee) health, and black foods are associated with adrenal/kidney health and jing.

I dig it.

Read More »

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

A Way To Eat Raw Broccoli That Doesn’t Suck: Paleo Recipe

by Kristen Suzanne in antioxidants, broccoli, paleo, recipe, salad
Broccoli Salad That Doesn't Suck (with raw broccoli)

Broccoli Salad That Doesn’t Suck (with raw broccoli)

I prefer my broccoli cooked most of the time, because I think it’s healthy that way. However, I do find value in some raw broccoli on occasion. Raw broccoli offers nutrition that could be best taken in the raw state.

But, let’s be honest.

Raw broccoli kind of sucks.

Read More »

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Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Most Requested Dressing – One Of My Best. Recipe.

Refreshing salad with Sweet Capri Dressing.

Refreshing salad with Sweet Capri Dressing.

This dressing, Sweet Capri Dressing, is one of my favorites. It’s my most requested dressing from family and friends.

I made it this week, enjoyed it on a few different salads, and decided I should share! I promise that you will want to eat salads practically every day when you dress them with this delectableness.

It’s found in my RECIPE BOOK HERE.

And… it’s now found here on my blog. Keep reading to get the recipe. It’s one of those dressing recipes that keeps you going back for more salad. #BowlLickingAnyone?

Read More »

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Recipe: Beauty Soup (Gluten Free)

Beauty Soup

Beauty Soup

Don’t you just love a nice bowl of soup? I know I do. Soups are one of my favorite foods, because they’re generally easy to make, and, most often, they are so very nutritious. Blending up all of those ingredients facilitates digestion, which can make for a happy tummy and happy you. Today, I have a wonderful soup recipe that serves up some potent beauty ingredients in a delicious and creamy way. Oh, and Greg loved it, too. He asked for seconds.

Enter: Beauty Soup.

Read More »

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Raw Chocolate in the News – Sweet!

Here is a recent article featured on MSNBC.COM about Raw chocolate. Yum!


And, to celebrate the article, I’m featuring a Raw vegan chocolate recipe from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. Double Yum!

CHOCOLATE CRUNCH HAZELNUT MACAROONS

By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com

Yield 35 macaroons

Let me just tell you… these have become a staple in my household. My friends and family frequently email and call me begging me to make these for them. They have a scrumptious flavor and awesome texture. Just see for yourself. They’re wonderful and so easy to make. Whip up a quick batch of these for the next party you attend and you’ll be a hit! Warning: These are addictive! :)

1 cup hazelnuts*

1 cup raw chocolate powder

1 cup dried coconut, shredded & unsweetened

1 cup raw agave nectar or raw coconut nectar

2/3 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup raw cacao nibs

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt


Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, grind the hazelnuts to a fairly medium/fine grind. Transfer to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir all the ingredients together well by hand, or use a mixer with a paddle attachment to make it easier.

Use a tablespoon measurement to spoon out the batter and place on a cookie sheet (I like using a tablespoon size ice cream scoop). Freeze for up to an hour and enjoy.

*My favorite way to make these is with hazelnuts, but if you don’t have those on hand, you could try other nuts or seeds.

Serving suggestion:

My favorite way to enjoy these is straight from the freezer or refrigerator. When I take them to a party, I put them in the host’s refrigerator, or freezer, until I’m ready to serve them. If they sit at room temperature they can get a little soft (but still yummy). An option to help prevent the softening at room temperature is to dehydrate them at 105 degrees for 16 – 24 hours right after you make them.

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