by Tea Master DANIELA CUBELIC
Food & drinks bring us pleasure. My philosophy on this subject has evolved over time. I now think it’s essential to enjoy the things that make life worth living—it will contribute to your happiness.
The key is to find ways to counteract indulgences. If you don’t, they take away from your quality of life & they can have negative short & long-term consequences for your health.
Thanks to invaluable wisdom I’ve learned from ancient traditions & recent research, my favourite antidotes to overindulgence are not difficult or unpleasant. On the contrary, they are often as easy as putting the kettle on & reaching for a particular tea.
Nowadays, I partake in deliciousness guilt-free, because I know what to do to balance it. That wasn’t the case for me when I was younger. I tended to alternate between being overly strict & too indulgent, but neither felt quite right. Being too rigid is a recipe for not enjoying life. Yet when I overdid it, I didn’t feel great. My energy level would plummet, I’d get skin breakouts, eczema flare-ups, a bloated tummy & sometimes even a weird discomfort & swelling in my knees, which made me think arthritis was going to appear there in the future. I also didn’t like the impact on my waistline or feeling guilty when I overdid it. Feeling badly or negatively about yourself only adds to your stress & can lead to a vicious cycle of unhealthy choices.
In Chinese medicine, as well as in Ayurveda (the ancient medical system from India known as the “science of life"), immune function is linked to diet & digestion, which is a connection western science has recently begun to make. Allergies, frequent colds & flu or a lack of vitality are linked to the health of the digestion as well as diet. According to these ancient traditions, the health of your digestion is foundational for every aspect of your health.
Everyone responds somewhat differently to rich foods, sweets, treats & alcohol. Beyond the symptoms I tended to experience, you may experience low moods, anxiousness, mood swings, energy crashes, flared tempers, tougher PMS symptoms, headaches, migraines, digestive issues, skin irritations, difficulty sleeping, physical tension & discomfort, or aches & pains.
A quick way to understand the ancient perspective on what happens when you indulge too much is that it overburdens your system, which can lead to a range of issues. The modern scientific view that is gaining ground is that diets that contain too much refined carbs & sugar, alcohol & rich foods cause inflammation, which can lead to a variety of symptoms & issues. Interestingly, many of the most potent traditional remedies for over-indulgence are being revealed to be powerful anti-inflammatories.
These are the remedies I reach for & the reasons why:
- When I’ve been eating foods that are heavy, rich or oily, I’ll have 1–2 cups of Detox Tea half an hour to an hour afterwards, later that day or the following day to help reset things. It’s a caffeine-free blend of gentle-but-mighty herbs that are traditionally considered supportive of the body’s digestive processes. For hundreds (& in some cases thousands of years), they were thought to have naturally detoxifying properties. As well, three of the ingredients (holy basil/tulsi, blueberry leaf & rosemary) were also thought to be helpful in balancing blood sugar & recent research is showing some support for these uses.
- When I’ve really overdone it for a period of time because I’ve been travelling, eating out a lot or enjoying the festive season, then I give myself a digestive rest by making up my recipe for a batch of the TEA SOUP CURE. It’s an alkaline, anti-inflammatory soup base made with Detox Tea.
- When my digestion is sluggish, my metabolism feels slow, or I’ve really gone to town on oily or heavy foods, I add a pinch of IRON GODDESS or WUYI ROCK oolong teas to Detox Tea while it’s steeping. Oolong teas are known as slimming & digestive teas throughout much of Asia & are often served with oily foods to counterbalance them. Some studies link oolong teas to cholesterol-lowering effects & regular consumption may also lead to mild weight loss.
- Another essential in my cupboard (& my travel bag) is MULBERRY TEA. This antioxidant rich, caffeine-free herb has been prescribed in traditional Asian medicine for diabetes, metabolic syndrome & to aid weight management. It sounds too good to be true, but recent studies indicate it appears to block sugar & carbohydrate absorption & help balance blood sugar levels. After carbohydrate-rich foods or sugary treats, this is my go-to. I brew a cup or two to sip on after the treat. It has a pleasant, soothing, green tea–like taste, which makes for a nice palate cleanser.
- If I’ve had a rich meal that combines starch, sugar & oily foods, then I want the combined power of MULBERRY TEA & Detox Tea, so I add 1 teaspoon of each with 1–2 cups water & steep them together.
- I love the calming effects of chamomile tea & adore it in our slumber-encouraging LULLABY TEA, but never have it after a meal because chamomile can actually slow digestion. It’s a natural antispasmodic, which means it can relieve stomach cramps, but preventing motion in the digestive tract can be counterproductive to the digestive process. Having chamomile two or more hours after eating is best.
- One of my favourite studies in recent years indicated that a hot bath after a meal can lower blood sugar more rapidly than exercise! A bath can also improve circulation while soothing any aches or stiffness. I’m obsessed with our DETOX BATHSALTS for a purifying, revitalizing 20 minute soak, often accompanied by Detox Tea.
- The ancient remedy from China & Japan for recovering from a hangover is green tea, which can have potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Sour tastes are also considered helpful for supporting liver function & vitamin C has an anti-inflammatory effect as well. For these reasons, I reach for QUENCH TEA, which is made with green & white tea, as well as other anti-inflammatory, liver-loving herbs, all with a yummy, zesty flavour. A bath in DETOX or TONIC BATHSALTS can also be very restorative.
Get inspired with more tips, techniques & recipes - watch & learn directly from Tea Master Daniela Cubelic in this captivating VIDEO SERIES.
Learn how to make chai tea soup, tea hot chocolates, mulled cider teas, tea infused oatmeal, ice cream tea floats, tea lemonades, iced teas & more. You’ll also discover fascinating facts & info about the health benefits of tea, tea history & secrets for tea brewing.