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!



anthony616 said...

Hi I'm new to the SCD...Just found out I have UC and have been on the diet for a week now and feeling better already— but I am missing my daily latte! Do you know is espresso legal-and In time I hear you can try Almond Milk (but is it only the kind you make or can it be store bought?)

fernpixel said...

@anthony616: Hiya :)

I'm not sure if espresso is legal. I haven't looked into it because I know my body can't handle it. Also, it seems pretty strong especially if you're just starting the diet. You might need to substitute for tea. I know its hard but its possible. I used to drink coffee every day and now I only have tea.

Almond milk is legal only if you make it yourself. I saw some store-bought ones but I always see added sugars and starches inside making it illegal. Almond milk is also an advanced food. I think its recommended after 3 months.

But for reference on what is allowed and not allowed, you can check out the original SCD site and they have a huge list you can check out :)

sirikotoinaspin said...

Oh! Thanks so much for sharing this! I cant wait to try some tea :)

Myriah said...

Hi Fern. I have enjoyed going through your posts both here and on youtube. I've had Crohn's since I was 13 (16 years now) and on the SCD for almost a month. The info that you posted helped me make the choice. So thank you. Reading your retro stuff was comforting because I remember feeling that way too when it was really bad. It's hard for the people around you to understand the depths that this disease can take you. Luckily things have been much better for a few years but it is still nice to know there are others out there who have been though the same stuff. Cheers.

Mrs. Ed said...

You are so creative! My brother likes this type of tea. Now I can try to impress him on his next visit or I might just give myself up and send him this link.

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