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Drink Green Tea!

Posted on 24 January, 2011

Every January in an attempt to start the year in a healthy way I abstain from alcohol for the month. A few years back, I decided to go a step further and do a 'proper' detox. I wasn't allowed to have caffeine, alcohol, dairy, wheat, meat or sugar. It was meant to last for four weeks. I lasted for two – now that may not sound very long but I really stuck to it for two whole weeks. Think about it – there wasn't much left that I was allowed to eat! It was really tough and a bit miserable! When I resumed 'normal' eating I developed a skin condition called Idiopoathic Urticaria – 'idiopathic' means of unknown cause and 'urticaria' is an allergic type rash – you might know it as 'weals' or 'hives'. It is not an uncommon condition and very annoying as it crops up anywhere on your body and then disappears only to reappear somewhere else. I had to take antihistamines for some months to get rid of it and occasionally still get mild recurrences. I have recently come back from holiday when I had some hives on my face – not a good look!

It is my belief that by withdrawing these everyday foods suddenly and then reintroducing them that I triggered some kind of sensitisation process in my body resulting in this allergic rash. This kind of detox is something I would never repeat, I really don' t think it is healthy or beneficial, after all we are all kitted out with our own sophisticated detox system – our livers. Moderation has to be the key in all dietary aspects unless you know that you have specific allergies.

Anyway what's the point of this story? Well the only good thing to come out of this detox programme was green tea. Green tea was not commonly drunk at that time. I didn't actually like it initially, I found it to be a bit bland, a bit bitter, but I grew to like it, in fact I grew to love it! Years later I am still drinking green tea. Drinking tea and coffee can be a bit like smoking cigarettes, in that there is a lot of ritual involved, the boiling of the kettle, preparing the cups, it's something you do with friends, you do it at break times at work. Half the time you don't really want it – it's just what you have. Green tea does contain caffeine so it will give you a boost but it does not contain as much as coffee or black tea. It is bursting with vitamins and anti oxidants which help the body fight the free radicals that increase our chances of disease and speed up the aging process. It is thought that green tea is not only good for your health but also helps to keep your skin looking young. It is the perfect alternative to coffee or traditional black tea. Try it – if you don't like it straight away – stick with it for a while. Once you get used to the taste you will find it refreshing & thirst quenching, it won't stain your teeth as much as 'normal' tea or coffee, it is calorie free, has health benefits and it may just help to keep you looking young!