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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Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Simplicity from The Tao of Daily Life Inspires Watermelon and Ginger Essential Oil Elixir

Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.

Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.

In my search for a more calm life, I find myself immersed in books and teachings of the Tao.

While reading this week from the book The Tao of Daily Life (<— it’s so good), I came across the story of Empress Tz’u-hsi and the teaching of simplicity.

Essentially, the story told that if Empress Tz’u-hsi wished to experience the joy of simplicity, she had to reduce complexity in her life.

I took that to heart. So often I’m making recipes and adding a little of this and a little of that… then more of something else, and more of something like that. The result can be good, but the process elaborate and time intensive. And, sometimes, the individual simple flavors cease to shine as they become muddled and mixed with everything else.

I was inspired to make a watermelon elixir where I blended watermelon with only one other ingredient: Living Libations Ginger Root Essential Oil. (<— the best essential oils)

The result was a delicious marriage where I effortlessly experienced both flavors, two of my favorites: watermelon and ginger. The drink was beautifully pink and vibrantly refreshing. It taught me that, yes, some things (probably most, in fact) are better left simpler.

I’m eager to apply this to other areas of my life outside of the kitchen. It bears repeating that The Tao of Daily Life is great. It’s one of my favorite books right now.

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Friday, August 14th, 2015

Tea Recipes For Beautiful Life, Brain Power, and Detox.

by Kristen Suzanne in family, fertility, herbs, Kristen Suzanne, longevity
Tea blend collection.  Beautiful Life Blend. Brain Power Blend. Detox Blend.

Tea blend collection. Beautiful Life Blend. Brain Power Blend. Detox Blend.

I have a big collection of herbs. It’s so big that it required its own big bookshelf case so I could put all the glass mason jars in one place. Greg calls it my dirt collection.

Today, Kamea is spending time at my mom’s so I was inspired to make some tea blends in an effort to consolidate my collection a bit.

When I first started on the path of herbal medicine, I was a bit eager, as is my personality. Hence, I ordered quite a bit (most of them from below are from one of my favorite sources for quality herbs at great prices, Mountain Rose Herbs). I’ve since learned that I really don’t require all of the things I bought. I’ve learned a few things:

Read More »

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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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Friday, July 24th, 2015

(Recipe) The Best Tea Ever

by Kristen Suzanne in beauty, energy, gluten free, herbs, longevity, recipe
Today's Best Tea Ever. Immunity Boosting

Today’s Best Tea Ever. Immunity Boosting Goodness.

I was inspired to make this tea last night after listening to a number of Longevity Warehouse videos featuring David Wolfe and other unique health experts.

I combined (what I think are) two great energies: astragalus root (for qi’s movement energy and healthy lungs) and Chaga (for jing’s primordial energy) along with fresh ginger and a 1/4 teaspoon of raw shilajit powder (a potent mineral supplement that I don’t use daily). (I talked about Qi and Jing in the last post.)

I made this using a delightful spring water, Castle Rock Water. I’ve been getting into spring waters lately to see if I notice any improvement in health versus my filtered tap water to which I’m so accustomed. In fact, this morning I made my Bulletproof Mocha using an alkaline water – I’ll report on another day about my spring water experiment. Oh, we drink mineral fizzy water at times, too.

I was blown away at the perfect-ness of my tea. It was just what my body desired yesterday. The concoction was rich, powerful and grounding. I felt a primal energy overcoming me (placebo? who cares?). It was awesome.

Read More »

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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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Friday, June 19th, 2015

Pomegranate Black Raspberry (Nutrient) Gummies – Healthy For All Ages

Pomegranate Black Raspberry Gummy Cubes. #Fun

Pomegranate Black Raspberry Gummy Cubes. #Fun

I’m fascinated with making gummies, using my own healthy ingredients, because they’re an excellent (and fun!) vehicle for getting extra nutrition in my daughter’s body (and, really, the whole family).

Now that there is a reputable source that I trust for collagen/gelatin, I make them regularly.

Let’s talk about that source a bit…

You all know I’m a fan of Dave Asprey’s Upgraded products – I use most of them regularly in my life. Bulletproof Coffee, anyone?

He recently came out with a collagen that has gelatin in it for making gummies and other delicious foods like chocolate pudding. I’m a fan.

Read More »

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Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Mold Can F*#k You Up. Is It In Your House? — A Review of the MOLDY Documentary

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, longevity
Moldy: a documentary everyone should see.

Moldy: a documentary everyone should see.

Wow, I just watched the new documentary MOLDY from Bulletproof Founder, Dave Asprey… and, it freaked me out a bit.

MOLDY brings together the country’s top medical experts and mold survivors to pull back the curtain on a silent epidemic affecting 45 million households in the U.S. alone

Toxic mold causes devastating illness as it hides in plain sight inside our food supply and nearly one out of every three buildings. 
This gripping and insightful documentary will teach you how to recognize the conditions necessary for mold to thrive, and how to navigate the murky waters of recovery of both home and health.

I have always known that mold could be an issue for my family because my mom is allergic to penicillin. That said, I didn’t think much beyond the drug as to possible problems with mold.

After watching the documentary, MOLDY, I’m thinking again. People can be really sick from all kinds of mold, not just the kind in penicillin (or peanuts, for that matter).

Specifically, I’m thinking of the intense (and too frequent for my liking) sinus headaches I get, and the rain that gets in my bedroom balcony door, wetting the carpet! For years! Could there be a connection?

Read More »

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Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Stop Neglecting Ourselves Now To Help Our Children (As Adults) in the Future.

by Kristen Suzanne in exercise, family, kamea, longevity, Meditation

 

Kamea and I having fun.

Kamea and I having fun.

I’m thinking about the strain we parents put on ourselves when we prioritize our children’s well-being so much that we neglect ourselves.

We forsake our own health. 

That doesn’t feel right to me. Isn’t that the wrong way to live?

I’m reminded of how airplane flights start with the following, “Put your mask on first so that you can better assist others.” Those seem like smart words by which to live.

However, the idea of putting children first is natural to many of us. But here’s the thing… if we neglect ourselves we can set ourselves up for illness in the future, when our kids are adults.

We harm our own health now because we “don’t have time” to care for ourselves properly, only to turn around and put the awful stress and strain on our children when they are adults and need to take care of us.

I know friends who are caring for their unwell elderly parents. It’s hard on my friends. Very hard.

It makes me wonder… if those ill parents had better managed their health (I know some didn’t know any better, but we do!), then would they be experiencing old age with more strength, and not depending on their kids to take care of them so much? Would they be less of a stress on my friends who care for them? I think so. 

This inspires me to care for myself and make it a priority. I take time to eat well, get quality rest, meditate, and exercise. It means making adjustments to my schedule so I get the needed “me time.” This will create a healthier future-me so I don’t put that stress on Kamea to care for me (when she’s an adult and I’m an old lady). I plan to live over 100 years after all. That said, when I reach 110, all bets are off. 

Plus, and this is a big plus… kids learn by example. How can I expect my daughter prioritize her own health and well being, if I’m not doing it myself?

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Friday, February 20th, 2015

I Didn’t Expect This From Yoga

My yoga mat… ready to help me get flexible. Ommm.

My yoga mat… ready to help me get flexible. Ommm.

Unexpectedly, yoga has given me confidence… in the way I move.

Some backstory: As I have gotten a little bit older, I have become more protective in the way I move. I frequently make sure that my posture is proper and I make sure that I’m not mindlessly bending in positions that could cause an injury. You know how it is… digging toys out from under couches or constantly picking stuff up off the floor. 

A couple times I have bent over to pick up a doll and I tweaked my back. The tweak made life miserable for days. I now squat when picking up things, but there are many times I find myself in weird positions cleaning or carrying things or digging around cupboards. Or this(!)… I find that when I am getting my daughter out of her car seat (or strapping her into it) and tightening that belt while I’m in an awkward twist, I can’t help but think I’m perfectly primed for a tweak.

I lived life in such a way that I was a little guarded in my movements. I figured it came with the territory of getting older.

But something unexpected happened…

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