Monday, January 31, 2011

Are there Calories in Tea?

In this obsessive fight against fat, and in the name of the 'perfect body image', some people have developed special powers in counting their daily calorie intake. It seems that most of these people manage to take note of every calorie in both their food AND drinks; including our all time favorite quick breakfast... i.e tea!

So, you might be happy to read this; Tea is one of the few drinks that is virtually calorie free when prepared with nothing but water (... that's a calorie off your mind!). This means that teas without the additions of milk, sugar, honey, cream or any other additive it's Calorie and Fat-FREE.

So for every teaspoon of sugar you add to your tea you will need to add 16 calories and for every teaspoon of 2% milk you will add 5 calories. So if you have a cup of tea with 2 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of 2% milk then you have a cup of tea with 42 calories.
Tea, Brewed, Prep w/Tap Water

Now, let's try to go deeper then simply counting calories! ... Drinking tea has various health benefits. Moreover, most herbal teas (one of which is green tea) are known to enhance your metabolism, which in turn burns fat in your body. So, if you drink tea regularly, you can loose weight, prevent aging and have a younger and fresher looking skin.

We all know people in China eat rice and other foods that are rich in starch and carbohydrates. Yet, they do not put on weight. This is because of their centuries old habit of drinking (herbal) tea have turned the Chinese most slim and healthy clan on the earth! Drinking tea after every meal can keep your urge for those colas at bay.

Recent researches have shown that drinking tea regularly can prevent diseases like Alzheimer and cancer. Many studies suggest that green teas, white tea and herbal teas can be given to children from a very young age so that their immune system and skin can remain healthy. So, next time you hold that cup of tea in your hands, leave the pastries and cookies and ENJOY a glorious cup of tea...

The link below is dedicated for all those who love counting their calories... even in their drinks! 
Read more... CLICK HERE

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The soap that grows on trees!

Soap nuts are the sun-dried fruit of Sapindus Trifoliatus trees in south eastern India. They contain large quantities of saponin in their shells. It acts as a natural, gentle detergent when it comes into contact with water. Without any chemicals, fragrances or dyes, they are safe and gentle for hand washing delicates. They are also tough enough for regular laundry. They will leave your clothes soft, clean and fragrance free. No need to use of fabric softeners.

Save money! (500 grms = 165 loads) , Easy to use: (30 - 90°c) , Natural softener, Protects colours, Hypoallergenic , Anti-fungal; Anti-Microbial , 100% Organic and biodegradable

You can use soap nuts even if you are allergic to nuts. Soap nuts aren’t really nuts at all. They are actually berries that grow on trees. The term “soap nuts” is just used to describe the hard outer shell of the “soap berry” found on the trees.

How to Use Soap nuts
Using Soapnuts As a Natural Laundry Detergent:
Place 4 Soap Nuts in the small muslin bag, tie it closed, and throw it into the drum of your washing machine along with your articles of clothing that need washing. You can reuse this batch for 4- 5 loads of laundry*. The soap nuts will be mushy and gray when they need to be composted for your garden. Alternatively, you can use 3Tbsp (45mL) of soapnuts liquid detergent per large load of laundry.
*At 30 or 40 degrees, soapnuts can be used 4-5 times
At 60 degrees, the soapnuts can be used 2 times
At 90 degrees, the soapnuts can only be used for one wash.

How To Make Soapnuts Liquid:
Boil approximately 12-15 whole soapnuts with 6 cups of water for 30 minutes. When it is boiled down, you will have about 4c. of liquid left. Add extra water, if needed, to keep it at that amount. When cooled, remove the soap nuts, and pour the liquid into an airtight plastic or glass jar. It is better to make the liquid in smaller batches as it can spoil. Experiment with making liquid to see if you prefer a more concentrated version, using 3 cups water instead of 6 cups. Some prefer the concentrated liquid for hand washing and shampoo.

And after you turn into liquid, you could do this... Great for shaving & shampooing :) .... 

More ways to use soap nuts...

Mosquito Repellent
Spray liquid onto your hands and then rub onto bare arms, legs or face. Safe and gentle to use for babies and children.

Liquid Hand Soap

Fill a regular or foaming pump bottle with the liquid and use to wash your hands. It will not create tons of lather like traditional soap, but it will still get your hands clean. Also consider adding some tea tree oil to make your hand wash a tea tree soap.


Use the liquid instead of your regular shampoo. It can even help prevent dandruff and hair loss! Leave it on your scalp for 5-10 minutes, and rinse as normal. It will not create a lot of suds, but it will still work!

All Purpose Cleaner

Keep the liquid in a spray bottle and use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, floors etc. Add a few drops of essential oil if you prefer a different scent.

Window and Glass Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with 2c. water, 1Tbsp.vinegar and 1Tbsp. soapnuts liquid. Spray and wipe windows or mirrors clean. Polish with a dry cloth or newspaper.

In the Dishwasher

Fill the soap dispenser with the liquid. Make sure to scrape the dishes clean first. Add vinegar as a rinse agent, and your dishes will come out sparkling clean!

Cleaning Jewelry

Soak your jewelry in the liquid for a few minutes. Use an old soft toothbrush to gently remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a dry cloth.

Plant Wash and Pest Repellent

Add 1c. water, 1Tbsp. soapnuts liquid and 1Tbsp. Neem oil (optional) to a clean spray bottle. Shake well.
For plant wash, spray leaves and wipe clean. To repel pests, spray plant thoroughly, covering all surfaces and allow to air dry.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea has been enjoyed by many for hundreds of years as a relaxing refreshment and as a herbal remedy to treat ailments. Hibiscus tea is great served hot or cold.

Delicious Iced Hibiscus Tea with Lime
Some benefits:

Blood Pressure

Studies have shown hibiscus tea to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure and may control cholesterol.

One study was done using adults with pre-hypertension or mild hypertension. Those who had three cups of hibiscus tea a day had better results than those who didn't (a 7.2 point drop in systolic blood pressure compared to 1.3 points). Those who had the highest blood pressure reading at the start of the study, showed the greatest results.

Weight Loss

Hibiscus tea contains an enzyme inhibitor which blocks the production of amylase. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars and starches. Drinking a cup of hibiscus tea after meals will reduce the absorption of dietary carbohydrates and will assist in weight loss.

Immune System

Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C and makes a wonderful herbal remedy to fight off colds and infections by strengthening the immune system.

Other benefits of hibiscus tea include preventing bladder infections and constipation if taken regularly.

Contra -Indications : Women on hormone replacement therapy or estrogen issues should not use the tea. Due to its effect on the hormone function of the body, it is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.