Category Archives: Tea

Giving up Coffee

Pumpkin ChaiThere has been one resolution that I have been faithful to. It’s been 744 days since my last cup of coffee.

I decided to give up coffee because I was becoming dependent on it. I was never really a big coffee drinker and when I started working from home I didn’t drink it at all. Then occasionally, if I was up late or needed to get up extra early the next day, I’d ask my husband to make an extra cup for me. Then, I started asking him to make a whole pot and I’d finish what he didn’t drink. Then, I started making my own whole pot after I finished the first one. It seemed to get worse and worse.

It finally got to the point (over months, maybe a year) that if I didn’t have coffee, I would feel like a zombie. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, but also, by 2 pm I could barely keep my eyes open.

Another driving force is seeing how coffee affects other people. There are a few people I actively avoid if I know they haven’t had their coffee yet. I never want to be that dependent on something unnecessary.

It was hard for the first few days of giving it up. Really hard. It was set in my mind that I wasn’t drinking it, so there was never a temptation, but I felt horrible. I could’ve passed as an extra on The Walking Dead. After about 2 weeks everything was fine.

Now I usually drink tea throughout the day. Sometimes it’s black, sometimes it’s caffeine-free herbal. I just like to have something warm to drink in the morning, even warm lemon water will do. One nice thing about tea is that I use one tea bag (I bag loose leaf) and the caffeine diminishes throughout the day, The second cup has less caffeine than the first, the third even less, etc. My only new-ish rule is no caffeine of any kind 4 hours before bed time.

I’m oddly proud and very happy about the decision to give up coffee. I feel better throughout the day, I’m never jittery, no stomach cramps, and don’t crash in the afternoon. I don’t even notice a difference between having a cup of green tea vs a cup of lemon water.

I’m positive I’ll never be a coffee drinker again, but I don’t want to say I’ll never have another cup. I could see having a cup while traveling, or in a social situation. I am excited to see how long I can keep my streak up though.

 

Avocado Creations on Etsy

Avocado Creations
I’ve been wanting to get a cloth wallet for a while to replace my $10 faux leather one that I’ve had for years. It’s not a cute, purposely vegan wallet, it was just the cheapest one I could find when my last one fell apart. Even though it’s not real leather, I’ve been wanting a new one (I plan on donating my old one since it’s still in good shape) because it looks like leather, and since I wouldn’t want to use real leather, I don’t want something that is supposed to be fake leather. I’d been looking at wallets on Etsy, but either I didn’t like the style, or they seemed way overpriced.

A friend of mine, Gina, has an Etsy shop where I purchased a tea wallet  a while back and wanted to see if she could make a regular wallet for me. The wallet she made totally blew me away. Style wise, it was exactly what I was looking for. I gave her a really vague description of what fabric I’d like, and it was like she read my mind. I love the patterns and the colors. It only took a few minutes after receiving it to have it filled up and ready to go.

Check out her shop. She also makes wine bottle bags, cat nip toys, shopping bags, makeup bags, and other cute things.

Avocado Creations
Avocado CreationsFox approves. I wonder if it was anywhere near the cat nip cat toys? =)
Avocado Creations

Avocado Creations

Tea wallet:
Avocado Creations
Avocado CreationsPerfect for tea bags and tea business cards.
Avocado Creations

A Tale of Two Pumpkin Spice Lattes

IMAG2601

While it may not technically be fall yet according to the calendar, once school starts and morning temps are in the 40’s, to me, pumpkin season has officially begun.

It was only a few years ago that I got on the pumpkin band wagon, and now I’m in love. And before anyone else shares this, yes,  this meme describes me perfectly.

Every once in a while I’ll splurge on a Sheetz pumpkin spice latte, and for the time being I’ll be avoiding Starbucks*. It’s been almost daily that I’ve been making a pumpkin spice latte at home…They are *that* good.

My usual daily pumpkin spice latte is made with this black tea because I much prefer tea over coffee. The recipe is as follows:

 Black Tea Pumpkin Spice Latte

Yesterday, I tested this recipe with a few adjustments:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 packet agave
  • pinch of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups hot brewed coffee

pumpkin (1)

I cheated a little and microwaved it instead of doing it on the stove, and that worked fine. I also used a bit more coffee than the original recipe called for, and by the end of the day I was pretty jittery (hey, I’m not a coffee drinker).

It was good and a bit heartier than the tea version since it has real pumpkin in it, but I think I prefer the tea version since I can drink it all day.

As you can see from the nutrition info below, the homemade ones are way healthier.

Nutrition breakdown:

Starbucks (w/soy):

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 16oz Servings 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 48g
Protein 11g 22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. wp-nutrition-label

 

Sheetz (w/soy):

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 16oz Servings 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 12%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 33g
Protein 7g 14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. wp-nutrition-label

 

Black Tea (w/almond milk):

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 16oz Servings 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 51 Calories from Fat 22.5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 5g
Protein 1g 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. wp-nutrition-label

 

At home coffee latte with pumpkin puree (w/almond milk):

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 16oz Servings 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 57.5 Calories from Fat 22.5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 7.5g
Protein 1.5g 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. wp-nutrition-label

 

*There’s a petition going around to try to get Starbucks to change their Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe because it contains milk powder. So even if someone orders it with soy milk, it still contains milk…who knew? There seems to be a lot of outrage that there’s milk in it (without a disclaimer), and then a lot of outrage that there vegans are “entitled” and demanding that the recipe be changed. I personally think it’s all a little silly. While I’ve had their PSLs without realizing there was milk in it, now that I know, I just won’t order them (not that I’m a huge Starbucks person). On the flipside, now SB knows that people who don’t drink dairy for whatever reason still love their PSLs…the ball is in their court.

 

Are you a pumpkin fanatic too? What’s your favorite flavor of fall?