Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good Tea and Boost Metabolism by 25%

 Roasted parsnip with pickled herring

Food Diary (February 27, 2012)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with raisins, coconut, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Roasted parsnip with pickled herring
Dinner: Pasta with tomato sauce and green peas

Its not very often that I have a really good cup of tea. Today I had a cup of tea which was fantastic. I immediately made another cup but the second one missed the mark completely. I used the same water source, same tea leaves and same method. Was the result or the perception different?

There are lots of suggestions and factors in making a good cup of tea. This includes the water source and temperature, quality of the tea leaves and brewing process. My two cups of tea had the same input but very different output. I have no one else to blame but me. I’ve concluded that the taste is to a large extent dependent on your mood and your taste buds. Taste buds in turn is affected by what you ate or drank prior to drinking the cup of tea, as well as how comfortable you are, whether you are feeling hot or cold, thirst or bloated and a range of other factors.  These factors seem to be more important than the quality of the water, tea leaves and brewing process. I think I’ve even tried tea and coffee made with FIJI Water, no glaring memories even though the water is nice.

While the taste of tea and coffee is a mystery, cakes, cookies and other baked goods always taste good, or excellent. I had a slice of the Swedish Almond Coconut Cake (Kokos ToscatÃ¥rta), it tasted even better today but it never tastes bad or average, unlike tea. The moral of the story is that if you are after consistency and satisfaction every time, eat cake or cookies, avoid tea and coffee. Don’t quote me on this, this is not advise, just me thinking loud. If you follow this advise and it affects your well being including physical size, tell me about it but don’t expect any compensation.

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: masak-masak
Soba noodles

Today’s Favourite Blog 
Source: Care2
I guess when it comes to health and nutrition one size does not fit all. We are all different and different ideas and suggestions have different impact. Care2 had an interesting list of ways to boost metabolism by 25%. Some of the items may make you jump in shock, and in the process increase metabolism, unintentionally. At least the items are interesting. 

The article starts by saying “How would you like to lose 25-40% more weight without spending more time in the gym or starving yourself?” The secret is now revealed!

Prep your body to burn fat first thing in the morning
Do cardiovascular work on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. If you want to burn even more fat, as soon as you wake up drink 1 cup of black coffee together with “My Cutting Edge or at least 700MG of L-Carnitine”. I don’t know what this is.

The theory is that you are going to burn a higher percentage of body fat exercising in the morning because your body’s supply of carbohydrates is depleted and the hormonal state makes body fat more accessible. This allows you to squeeze even more fat from your cells.
AMP up your metabolic burn rate 25% right after your workout
Drink a complete protein shake. It’s geared for weight loss immediately within 30 minutes after your workout. You will amplify your fat burning and replenish lost nutrients so you’re not craving the wrong foods. The reason most of us get cravings is because we don’t eat correctly to begin with.

Fight fat by eating more fiber
Aim for 38 grams of fiber a day by filling at least ½ your plate with high fiber veggies (not fruit because it contains sugar) to boost fat burning. Fiber also keeps you feeling so full that you might not even want to snack and it helps stop blood sugar spikes. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is the key to accelerated fat burning and killing cravings before they begin. Eating lots of veggies is also a great way to buffer fat storing effects from eating a bad meal.

Crank up your calorie furnace with fat incinerating moves
The secret to faster fat loss isn’t more time in the gym – it’s targeting more muscles. The more muscles you work, the more calories you will burn. The right moves activate fast twitch muscle fibers which have the greatest calorie burn. You can crank up your fat burning furnace in less than 30 minutes with the right type of workout.

High intensive workouts such as Cross Fit and p90X make you feel like you are burning fat but the truth is they actually stop it. Some of them are so intense that they can cause stress hormones to rise making your body store fat around your stomach or even worse, you can end up getting hurt. Choose a safe program that’s not too easy or too hard that you can live on and hit it three times a week for best fat loss results!


  1. Pickled herring...hmm...I like the favorite photo today!

  2. I'll have the roasted parsnips and pass on the pickled herring. Parsnips are super expensive here and I have a weakness for them. Sigh.
    Oh gosh! You mean the 2 hourly tennis sessions everyday is making me fat?! Well, I guess it defeats every purpose anyway when we go for a nice nasi lemak or chapati after :D
    Have tried a personal trainer even and that was torture. Never did like workouts like that nor gyms. Guess I'll just have to change mirrors :)
    That was an interesting list. Thanks for sharing that.
    As for the tea tasting bit, I think your taste buds got over the initial whoopee and the 2nd cup was an anti climax, so to speak.

    1. You can't pass on pickled herring, its part of the package, like you can't just eat brownie or muffin tops, or crackling from roasted pork belly:)
      Parsnips are expensive here too but not super expensive. It costs bit more than carrots, I would have expected them to cost the same. I suppose its something to do with how they are grown,
      If I understood the article correctly it only applies to high intensive workouts and tennis is not one of them (debatable!). Keep playing until I find another research:)

  3. What a pleasure to see some herring! I already feel at home :-)
    I totally agree about the tea. Green tea is especially difficult to copy. I once bought an expensive one (gyokuro) and had to wait and measure the temperature with thermometer because it required much lower temp. than normal green tea. It was perfect, but the second one was worse because I didn't measure (I counted the same time after boiling). I suppose everything influences the taste, even the form of the cup. Wine is of course even more incredible. Remember our discussion about wine glasses? it really is incredible how the same wine tastes different in different glasses (and not necessarily the most expensive ones give the best taste...). I have also discovered wine tastes best during the day when we are not tired, unfortunately I don't have many possibilities to drink wine during the day. It must be the same with tea. The time of the day matters too! Not to mention the company...
    The list is very interesting, but reminds me I should start some excercises! I do practice the fiber point though: I often mix rice or other carbs with vegetables and thus cheat my eyes and stomach ;-)

    1. I had pickled herring after a long time. I think herrings are coming in season now, I saw some nice fresh fillets in the supermarket today
      Thats real dedication to measure water temp, I haven't done that yet. Maybe I should for green tea. I usually boil water and add bit of cold water to bring the temp down - not very exact! I remember the discussion about wine glasses, its similar for tea I suppose. Drinks always taste nicer if you drink out of nice cups/glasses:)

  4. what an interesting article. i hate working out in the morning b/c i have no energy. makes sense about the depletion of carbs. i've heard it before! and that is the first i've heard about HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training). i'll have to keep that in mind!

    1. Same, I avoid workouts in the morning but metabolism is not an issue for me. I think people with low blood pressure take longer to get started in the morning

  5. The roasted parsnips look great. I have a few bags of specialty teas, it is a scientific process to make indeed. Yikes, cardio in the morning :-S I'll stick to my yoga, that works a lot of muscles at once.

    1. Very scientific indeed, just a simple thing with two ingredients but so much complexity and factors affecting taste.

  6. I don't think I'll be able to work out in the morning without any food in me. i won't last very long! haha