Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hello its tea time!

I finally got my computer back from the repair shop. My iMac computer was part of a generation that was known to have problems with its power supply. With my luck, I ended up with one of the buggy machines. It was only a matter of time before the fuse blew and I had to get some innards replaced. The good news is that I didn't have to pay for the parts or labor. Hurray!

A week without a computer was strange and made me think about what a crutch I have for technology. There were times when I would reach for my desk looking for tomorrow's weather, a recipe, or new messages only to realize that there was a big space where my iMac used to be. My computer was my phantom limb!

So now that I have my machine back, I'll share something that I've been meaning to try! Before I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, you could probably find me hanging out at tea houses, Dunk!n Donuts, St*rbucks... Examples of my orders would be a mocha frap, ice coffee with a shot of coconut or cinnamon, chai latte, Thai iced tea... pretty much anything that sounded exotic.

I miss pleasure in the form of hot cups of caffeine. But I think I may have found a substitute. But before I get to that, of course I need to review with you some helpful tips for java and tea that complies with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

If you are just starting or are a beginner of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, only drink herbal teas such as Chamomile or Peppermint. You can drink as much of this as you like because it is beneficial to your body in any amount. Chamomile and Peppermint have natural healing properties that soothe and ease digestive problems. They have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years (wow!). Herbal teas are the most gentile of all the teas which makes them perfect for you SCD'ers out there. Just be careful because some herbal teas are also known to be a laxative. If this concerns you, stick to peppermint or spearmint only and weaken the tea by adding more water. And of course read the labels to make sure there is no sugar added if you are buying tea bags)

Black and Green teas are allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but use caution. I don't remember where I read this, but please don't have more than 1-2 cups total per day and prepare your tea very weak. If possible I like to brew decaffeinated tea because caffeine tends to give me headaches. And please do not add any milk, cream, or sugar. Not only are they illegal for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but more importantly, real tea connoisseurs appreciate tea their tea plain. In fact, in Japan, if you add sugar to your green tea, it is considered rude.

Coffee is allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet only if it is prepared very weak and black. I have been on the SCDiet for a little over four years now and I still haven't been able to enjoy a cup of coffee. It ALWAYS gives me problems. And knowing that I can only have coffee black... yuck! I've tried it with honey and it just has a strange floral note to it. I'm better off not drinking coffee. If you can handle coffee, than more power to ya!

If you've considered all of the above and think you can advance to another level of the SCD diet, I've found a chai tea recipe! I am modifying it for the SCD diet, but the original recipe can be found here.

Chai Tea

Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes:

1 Tbsp fennel or anise seed
6 green cardamom pods
12 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4" ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
7 Cups water

Add, 2 black tea bags, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes, then add 6 Tbsp honey

note: Chai tea usually has milk added, but this recipe seems delicious without it. I was never a fan of adding milk to my tea anyway. Once upon a time before ulcerative colitis, I had a bad experience of the milk curdling in my cup! Ew!

And here is another modified recipe that uses less ingredients. Original recipe and credits are here.

Masala Chai

1-1/2 cups water
1 inch stick of cinnamon
8 cardomom pods
8 whole cloves
6 tsp. honey (or to taste)
3 teaspoons any un-perfumed loose black tea

Put 1-1/2 cups water in saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardomom, and cloves and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the honey and bring to a simmer again. Throw in the tea leaves, cover, and turn off the heat. After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately.

I haven't tried any of these out yet, but I am planning to sometime soon!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No Wednesday

Hi guys, I'm sorry to say that my computer died last week and I won't be able to do anything until I get it back from the repair shop. It isn't very serious, but the place said that they're pretty backed up and won't get to my machine until the end of the week :(

I won't be able to post blogs, videos, twitters, or emails for a while... how sad!

Not to worry though. I'll definitely be back.


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