This Culture Is My Friend

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Of course the culture I’m referring is the probiotics and all the goodness found in the Master Brew Kombucha by Kevita.

What else would I be talking about?

I have a few people to thank for getting me into Kombucha, and it has enhanced and expanded my horizons, and given me some more content for this blog.  And I’m all for new stories (here are my previous write-ups on Kombucha) and experiences

My mind was set on writing about this amazing beverage, but with which brand and with with flavor(s) was to be determined.  Even when I have some semblance of a plan, I rather still keep it fresh and as meaningful as possible.

So in browsing the natural and organic aisles of my local supermarket, I noticed the list of companies making Kombucha is rapidly expanding.  I’ve even met some folks that are in the process of brewing themselves.  That might be a topic for another time but let me not lose focus.

I had seen Kevita in many grocery store refrigerators, and paid it plenty of mind.  It’s been in head to sample a couple of there Master Brew’s to see if they’re in fact masterful.

For this post I decided to make it a two for one and try two of the more summery flavors. We still got a long season to go ladies and gents so I want to make the most of it.

First up is the Pineapple Peach.  Seriously, does it get any better?  It’s quite possible, no. Now many of us have had fruit cocktails or fruit punch drinks that tend to mix one or more fruits too many.  And that’s drinking unnatural and products likely high in sugar, among other nasty additives.  And with all that sometimes these big companies still tend to mess up something so simple.  Not here.

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This was awesome.  And this is one of those kombucha drinks that if you’re not careful, you can finish off rather quickly.  I’m of the belief that these drinks are meant to be savored, not chugged and rushed through.  My body is still getting used to drinking this, so I believe in taking it slow as it gets adjusted to change.  That’s just an opinion and observation I’m making for myself.  You may think and feel different, and that’s what makes this tea and kombucha journey so exciting.

Pineapple and peach were merged together to create something so colorful, so delightful, and so invigorating.  I had about half of my bottle.  The other half I will enjoy soon.  But I want to appreciate the beautiful color and texture of this Master Brew.   Seriously, isn’t this so radiant?

Kombucha can go with anything but sometimes I like to have it with nothing.  This time I had it (again slowly) with a couple of equally fruitful and powerful health bars, perhaps you heard of them.  Yes Larabar is awesome too.

Next up was the Raspberry Lemon.  This tasted more like what you’d expect from a kombucha.  It’s not as easy to drink in my opinion.  And while I still thought it was alright, it’s nowhere near the Pineapple Peach.  Some going are going to love it, but this is one that took a little more time for me.  And in a way that’s a major point of this.  It’s not supposed to be rushed, but something about this flavor combination didn’t hit me like the first one.  And that’s quite ok.

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This was more for display, but you can see the Raspberry Lemon is paired with purple heirloom chips.  The Larabar’s is what I truly feasted on.  They’re so yummy.

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Since the kombucha thing is still so new to me, I want to revisit Kevita much sooner rather than later.  They have a plethora of flavors I want to try, and there’s no time like anytime, or something.

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Kevita is easily accessible in your area and here’s the link to find it near you.

Here’s a little local culture for you, and the live stuff too.

This is all good stuff.  Culture can be your friend, and this is one instance where it absolutely is.  I’d love to go it again.

Come to think of it, there will be likely be more kombucha next week from a different source, and source energy.  And I’m so excited.

Thanks so much.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

Carolina Tea Party

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I’m so out of sorts here.   I honestly forgot it was the 4th of July.  Happy Holidays.

One of the main joys and appreciation feelings I get from doing this is when close friends suggest trying a tea.  There’s a sense of validation, value, and a level of seriousness that people see I give this ongoing story of my love for tea.  It means so much.  I mean that sincerely.

So my friends suggested I try the Carolina Honey from Argo Tea.   I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them or given them much consideration.  Not for many reason in particular.  The bottled and iced tea genre is loaded with options, so there’s some I may never get to in this lifetime.  Well a lifetime is a long time, maybe I have a chance.

I did a little research on Argo beforehand and their story is one to root for.  They’re a proponent on working with local growers, local tea organizations, and use Fair Trade ingredients whenever possible.  This is all the good energies that make me want to sample their teas for a second and third helping, and then some.

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Unfortunately the Carolina Honey didn’t do anything for me to stand out.  And based on everything I just wrote, that makes me a little disheartened.

Nilgiri black tea, wildflower honey, and a splash of tart lemons sounds like a trio of flavors merging together and bringing you something incredible.  I wish I could say that. The flavors did not wow me like I had hoped.  It seemed lighter and standard at times, while after other sips I felt a few of my sips were a little too sweet for my liking.

How could that be?  The honey is in every bottle, and is going to be spread out evenly in every container, and hopefully with most sips.  Maybe it was the mood I was in.  I went from eager and excited to wondering if my expectations were too high.   When it comes to a tea and a company of this magnitude I feel expectations should be raised.

I actually waited to have this at my same friends’ party this past weekend because I wanted to pair it with some charming foods and be around some equally charming people.  I just wish this tea had done the same for me.

The party was beautiful, but as you can suspect, tea was not the main beverage being served. But for the sake of purity, water and this tea is the only thing I drank.  And the latter I couldn’t finish, and was only taking sparing sips over the course of the day.

I paired my tea with various finger foods; peanuts, pretzels, tiny sandwiches, and the the likes.  The smaller bites worked here.  I wish the tea did the same.  Can you tell I’m slightly despondent?  Yes I am.

But with all this being said, I’m here to support Argo Tea.    Their variety of teas and variety of bottled drinks, and among so many other fun things, is going to make this easy for me to find many things enjoyable.

Here are is their fantastic options for purchasing their tea and tea supplies online, and a link to find of their cafes near you, and finally here is a link to where you can find their bottled teas.

From their list of flavors I sense I’m going to really enjoy and appreciate the craftsmanship, the heart, and soul in many of these bottles.  I look forward to it and I also look forward to trying their loose leaf teas down the line.

I want to thank my friends for opening up a world to me that I otherwise may not have explored anytime soon.   This is the only beginning and I can only see things looking better and brighter.

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More from Argo is coming.

Happy Holidays, Happy 4th, and all the other good stuff.

Ideen

 

Always Go With Your…

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I hadn’t even thought to do a post related to Earth Day.  This may or may not be it.  But I’m going to go with it.  There’s so much good to write about HEX Ferments that I didn’t know where to begin.  But I did go with my gut (hmm…) in more ways than one and the results were glorious, beauteous, and illustrious.

Whenever I have the opportunity to talk about a local business, it’s a blessing, it’s a joy, and it’s a one of the main reasons I do what I do.  I love local and to me it’s the soul, the conscience, and backbone of society.  It’s truly of the most authentic things we have in a world that may be running out of that authenticity.

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So another couple of visits to Belvedere Square Market, where HEX is located, left me never any doubt I was going to try their Kombucha and try I did.

I ask myself this question after having something so amazing.  Why did it take me so long?  Well there’s no answers.  There’s so many uncovered gems in the world of tea, and the world of anything for that matter, that I haven’t tried them all.  But that’s the joy of the journey.

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No I didn’t try all their Kombucha’s, but I did get to have two.  Yes, the two pictured above.  And these two are something I’m going to savor for a long time.  And even for the short time as they’re both still sitting in the refrigerator staying fresh because that’s how Kombucha works.

Fortunately, I had a friend for the first visit to help with suggestions on what to try.  We had different ideas which led me to wanting to have what they had the second time.  And that’s exactly what happened.

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First, the Basil Jasmine.  This was a seasonal item that is no longer well, in season.  But I still have some.  And even though it’s a little bit past best by drinking date, it’s still magnificent.  And it’s the one that’s easier to savor and drink slower.  Because of that, I gave this the wine treatment.  Yes that’s right.   The bottles by the way are $15, yet $5 of that is refundable if you bring it back.  And yes that goes towards another Kombucha. This is beautiful stuff I know.  And that’s the stuff of Earth Day lore and living that I love so much.  And speaking of beautiful, yes this Basil Jasmine is giving me goose bumps as I write about it.

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That golden honey color is mesmerizing.

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I can’t put into words how amazing this is.  I said ‘is’ because I want hold on to this as long as I can.  I don’t know when it’s coming back.  Well yeah I did, most likely next Spring.  This is no sipping tea.  It’s something to take your time with.  Is it the honey, the basil, the Kombucha Culture, or the cane sugar.  I just reeled off everything.  It might be all of the above.  But all of the above is absolutely awesome.   I just wish it was still available for you to try.

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Now comes the Butterfly Lime, which is always available.    This one, which is easier drink quickly, is wonderful as well.  For simply savoring reasons I’d give the edge to the Basil Jasmine, but this no knock on the Butterfly Lime.  I mean look at the purple?  This looks picturesque in any setting.  How did they make this look so good?  This is art, and it’s art to drink.   The butterfly pea flower tea and lime juice combination makes the perfect sense, yet I don’t know how it does.  And maybe I don’t need to know.  This one is always available yet I still have mine to savor and drink over time.  Honestly, I’m craving both right now.  They’re so close yet so far.   My mouth is watering.

One detail I must mention with both of these bottles is when you first unseal them, there is a fog or a steam that emanates upon first opening.  To me, this is even more exciting than popping open a bottle of champagne.  And I tried my best to capture a picture of this.  Maybe it’s the kombucha culture?  Maybe it’s the all natural ingredients opening up in celebratory fashion?  Yay nevertheless.

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If you live in and around Baltimore, I highly suggest coming to Belvedere Square Market (here is another post I made from this heralded market) to find HEX Ferments easily visible in the right in the middle of the market, nestled in the back.  It’s worth what may seem like a hefty cost.  But it’s really not.   And you can get a class of any of their goods for $6.  Oh and they have other goods!

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If you’re interested in finding them elsewhere, this link might be a friend to you.

For anyone with digestive issues these beverages are also a friend.

And here’s there list of Frequently Asked Questions you might have.   And finally here is their contact information.

This is only the beginning.  I need to come back here and soon.  HEX deserves all the praise in the world you can heap or anyone or anything.  I sincerely mean that.

Let’s do it again soon.  It’s Spring, so soon is highly possible.

Best,

Ideen

Something Sacred

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In the midst of all the tea posts I have pending, many to fall by the wayside.  Others have an expiration date or statue of limitations that would make no sense to see the light of day.  Maybe I’ll explain that another time, or maybe give you an example in the future. But then there’s others that I feel are so personal and so inspiring that either it’s a memory I want to retain just for me and the amazing people I shared it with (and in many instances I was alone), and then there’s growing businesses and the fantastic people behind it that you feel a personal responsibility to share it with as many people as possible.

Back in October I was at one of the many festivals that makes Baltimore so unique and so special.  And at many of these events I keep in the back of my mind about something I could write about in the future.  Little did I know that I would discover one of those incredible food and tea combinations I’ve ever had.  And this pairing is always going to be at the top of my list.

I wanted to give a huge thank you and hello to The Sacred Kitchen.

At many a festival food trucks and the usual food stands are all too commonplace.  The options for something different have become lost in the shuffle. What’s different now is basic meals and what’s become the norm is sometimes businesses being too cute for their own good.

And then there’s The Sacred Kitchen.

On this one day I just couldn’t make up my mind on what to eat.  I wanted something healthy, something that wouldn’t blow me up, and something out of the regular options.

These guys came through without having too try to hard.  And their booth was so much more welcoming and approachable than just about anything I’ve come across in a while.

Their mobile vegan operation is one that I’m fortunate to have discovered in the early stages of this growing venture.

I got the pleasure to meet the owners Harpreet and Kelly, and we were chatting like we had known each other for years.

But wait just a minute.  What does this have to do with tea?  Look at the menu below.

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It took me a second to figure out what this Blueberry Tulsi Mauby Tea is.  I’ll tell you what and I’ll be honest, I still don’t know.  What I do know is this was so refreshing, so enlightening, and such a healing drink.  I can’t tell you why exactly.  Part of is for me to appreciate but part of it I truly think doesn’t need to be explained.

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Meeting the great souls who made this tea and having this for the first time instantaneously is one of those truly remarkable things that I appreciate just for what it is. Nothing more and nothing less.  Well hopefully more.  I’m craving a cup right now.

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You might be asking what this visually pleasing plate of food is.  That would be the Armitsari Chole made of garbanzo beans and spices, that yes, do uplift the senses and the soul.    Throw in some Punjabi Puri Bread and this is one of those life-changing meals that will well, change your life.

This entire experience raised my spirits.   Why it took me nearly five months to write about this is something I can’t explain, other than this is the time that it was supposed to happen, and…

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Spring is approaching and that means more festivals, more events, more parties, and hopefully more opportunities to try amazing tea and food like this.

I need to get myself to the Kent Island Farmers’ Market on a Thursday at the very least.  If you’re anywhere close by, I would highly recommend you do the same.

If you’re interested in having them cater your event or be a part of your party or festival, you can contact them here or email them at sacredkitchencatering@gmail.com.

When and when the opportunity presents itself I hope I get to share another amazing tea and food experience with these genuine and down-to-earth souls again.

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Everything about this was beautiful.

Ideen

With A Little Help From My…

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Winter can throw many for a loop, depending on where you live.  For those of us in Maryland we’re currently in the heart of those winter doldrums.   It’s been a relatively mild and free from much precipitation.  That part I’m embracing and celebrating.

It’s the end of January so we’re in the heart of it and yet can see the light.  The light is coming.  The days continue to get longer by a few minutes.  And that’s something to be celebrated.   Most of my dear friends haven’t really been hibernating.  They’re more so doing different things, more low key things, and more cost-effective things.  And I’m for all of the above and anything similar.

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Speaking of cost effective, I had the most beautiful and affordable meal at one of my favorite places to sip tea and exist peacefully, Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company.

There is much to embrace about winter and January.  What I should have harped on more was that January is National Hot Tea Month.  Personally, every month for me is hot tea month and tea month in general.  But I digress and I welcome any extra excuse to drink some delicious hot tea.   And to explore teas and flavors I don’t always try.

I have a bit of an adviser.  I refer to this tea guru from time to time.  And when I’m at a personal stalemate or impasse I seek guidance from said guru.  My good pal has never failed me and came through in the clutch once again.

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She mentioned that she’s been enjoying the Pure Peppermint Tea from Twinings.

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I enjoyed it too.  And how I got to try it was serendipitous, organic, and spectacular.

I was all set to buy this package at my local store.  But I felt inspired.  I hadn’t been to my usual Baltimore Coffee and Tea Shop, in Timonium, MD, in quite a while.  I actually have been a couple times recently but don’t always look to blog or take pictures.  Sometimes I just need to grab a cup and a snack, and relax.

My senses told me that this peppermint tea would be available in individual bags for me to drink on site, and to pair with something healthy.

I searched through the goodie basket of singular teas and saw loads of Twinings, but not the Peppermint.

Luckily, the staff here is so great.  They will open a box of teas upon request.  I had asked and without any hesitation the extremely kind person behind the counter was thrilled to open a fresh package of Peppermint Teas, and even mentioned that it’s most of the baristas favorite teas.  That made me feel good, and it was a win-win all around.

That kind of service is so charming, and will make me want to keep coming back. And it was going to make my tea so much better.  It’s not a little thing. This is going above-and-beyond when it wasn’t even necessary.  I’m so appreciative and so grateful.

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My day was already made.  But I just needed a little something extra, and no it’s not the free sample area (I might have more on this later) you see below.

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I’m feeling like myself again, but that doesn’t mean I abandon what got me back to near full strength.  I wanted some chicken noodle soup.  I’ve been craving it everywhere I go. It’s sometimes been a part of my breakfast.  Yes, breakfast!

This was early afternoon so this tea with soup pairing seemed a little more practical.   And what a dynamic duo.

The tea is exactly what I hope for and more.   The ingredient is pure peppermint, all natural, and all awesome.  My friend told me it helped with her bloating.  So this is something I was all about trying, and be a part of my tea rotation, not just during the cold weather months, but throughout the year.  Yes this a tea for all seasons and all temperatures.

My simple soup and tea made this a peaceful, calming, and soothing meal.  And I can’t forget healthy.   I took a few pictures but after that I shut my phone off, and just sat there. I needed this.  I need this zen as much as possible.   For such a simple and satisfying meal, at just a touch over $5, I was there for nearly an hour.

I felt great.  I feel great.  And what made this all the more great was this tea.  When you know you’re drinking something healthy and so natural, your mind and body responds in kind.

I genuinely felt a healing during and after each sip.  My stomach and bloating issues are something I’ve been dealing it for some time.  This alleviated so much of that.

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Why didn’t I drink this sooner?  Maybe I’ve had it in the past and in a previous life, and it didn’t resonate with me like it has now.   Now I’m craving some as we speak.  I will make a cup as soon as this article goes up.

Having a tea like this can make a person feel good, but so can discussing it, and recanting the experience.

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I loved this experience.  Thank you as always Twinings, and thank you Baltimore Coffee and Tea.

For my previous posts on Twinings, which has been an important tea to my family and I for years, click here.   

And here are my previous posts pertaining to Baltimore Coffee and Tea.

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Finally, here is where you can find Twinings Teas at your local store, or for our friends locally, you can get it through Baltimore Coffee & Tea’s website, or in person.  Here’s their entire tea collection.

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Happy Final Day of National Hot Tea Month!  The celebration will continue into February, and for a while.

Ideen

 

Showtime Synergy

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If you got a chance to read my post from last week, this will be the conclusion from that.   Wow that sounded a bit dramatic didn’t it?  The intent isn’t drama, but more of a story of spiritual and all-encompassing healing.  Come to think of it, the majority of my tea time stories represent that theme.

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So it brings me great pleasure to write about GT’S Synergy Drinks.

The recovery process involved all the staples; chicken noodle soup, honey, ginger, all kinds of hot teas, probiotics, echinacea, and The Trilogy.  Wait what?!   Thankfully some good friends reminded me what I needed to feel good, and kombucha was heavily emphasized.

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Yes, The Triology is something I saw a couple of favorite friends drink periodically and I wasn’t sure what they were.  I built it up into one of those things where you had to be in an exclusive club to drink them.  If I didn’t know the password or in the know with the right people, I wouldn’t ever be allowed to come close to sipping the Synergy.

What on earth am I talking about?   There is a slight hint of truth (in my own mind) to what I’m saying.

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Luckily, the password is opening your heart and embracing the love.  And taking a trip to your local grocery store.   Kombucha is now being sold everywhere.  There’s a chance it’ll be your nature or organic section, which will me a forever growing entity.  And food shoppes ha co-opted eating and drinking healthy, and are evolving it into a part of normal culture.  I’m all for it.  Processed food and drink is part of what got me in this mess in the first place.

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Another thing, these bottles aren’t cheap.  They’re upwards of $3.  At my local grocery shoppe they were listed at $2.69, which is on the lower end of where I’ve seen them elsewhere. But I’ll tell you, it was worth every cent and more.

This the right alternative to soda, artificial sweetened juices, and other carbonated and poorly modified beverages.  As the label on the Triology says, one of the ingredients is 100% love.  I love that so much, and I believe it.

It’s a drink to be savored.  I’ve been one to have a bad habit of having a beverage all too quickly and not appreciating its value.  This has  value and the value far surpasses what I paid for it at the register.

Money comes and goes but good health is invaluable, indisputable, and irrefutable.

I’ve sung all the praises I can.  But what’s exactly contained in this here bottle?

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Aside from the aforementioned love, which I love so much, kombucha, raspberry juice, lemon juice, and fresh pressed ginger.  That’s it!  Well all the vitamins and probiotics that come with that too!  And everything is perfection.  Raspberry and lemon is not a combination I was ever accustomed to but now this will be a regular part of my life.  And I’m so thankful for that.

This is a gem that I finished over a couple of days.  I think having this all at once defeats the purpose and defeats the point of living a happy and healthy existence.

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If anything, the Triology and my recent ailments have taught me to slow it down and take a few steps back and appreciate the world around me.  Even if life presents itself loads of challenges, there’s also so much around to love and adore.  That’s my kind of love, in and out of this bottle.

Per all the superlatives, I just wanted to reiterate that this tastes great and is refreshingly awesome.

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Yes, that’s some not-so-homemade chicken soup paired with my kombucha.  It was the winning combination needed to get me in the (hopefully) forever right direction.

This opens up so many more options when it comes to writing about tea.  So as I’ve said before about  certain brands, this is only the beginning.  And I can’t wait to try as many of GT’s products that I can.

For more on GT’s, here is their story. here is our story, their contact information, and most importantly, where you can find their amazing beverages.

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When the right scenario presents itself, I will be writing about them again and again…

It’s all about the love, 100% of it.

Ideen

 

 

Hitting The Reset Button

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I read other blogs from time to time and catch a glimpse into a person’s life.  As much as the subject matter is most important, we can’t help but talk about ourselves.  There is no right or wrong to that.  It’s our blogs.  Whatever we say is our discretion.  And as long as we’re not hurting anyone, I say do what you do.

I had asked a dear friend for any suggestions on what to write about this week.  I always have a block of ideas for weeks like this, but nothing resonated with me.  Either that or the teas don’t apply to winter or to anything.

The holidays are over and that means the teas will have a more winter theme, but they could be about anything.  But I want it to be just right.

My friend suggested writing about turmeric, and Numi in particular.   I liked the sound of everything I was hearing.

Then I got that ring of familiarity.  As if I had come across it before. Lo and behold, nearly 6 months ago today I wrote this post.  But this was in the Summer. And turmeric is best suited for the colder months, in my opinion.  But don’t listen to me, these teas are meant to be enjoyed the whole year.  If we have health issues that need tending, something that might taste funny on a 80+ degree today might just be what the tea Gods ordered.

That was the Amber Sun.  Fortunately for me, there is another turmeric tea from the good people at Numi, and I jumped all over it.  Today I present to you the unique and gorgeous Three Roots.

I’m under the weather.  I think months (maybe a couple years) of being spread so thin has finally caught up with me.   The holidays not withstanding, this goes back longer.

I just have not been one to sit still much.  It’s in my best interest to do so.  As much as I like to say I stay home more (and there’s been stretches of that), I like the company of my friends and all the activities that come with it.   I love drinking wine, and unfortunately I love eating food that I should have in limited doses.

To contrast that, I also work out a lot, but I do it more than necessary. And worse than that, my sleep patterns have been at the worse they’ve ever been.  However, like with anything, our bodies get used to it.  It’s an adrenaline kick that seems like it has no expiration date.

That’s over for now.   I think it has all finally caught up to me.  That and the weather patterns are there for the cold or for the flu.   I’m quite clueless as to what I might have.  I tend to just live life as if I’m happy and healthy.  Right now I’m not sure I’m either.

Thankfully this is on a holiday and the stresses are lessened.  I hope so at least.  Since it’s been post Christmas, the commotion has died now.  But it’s let me with a sense of needing that next dose of excitement.  It’s time to take it down a couple of notches.

Aside from purchasing the Three Roots tea, I haven’t left my house.  And it feels ok.  But it took being under the weather for this to happen.

I’ve been laying in bed all day.  I’ve been unable to move.  But I understand that the body and mind are just trying to heal themselves.  It’s resetting itself.  I also know that I’m not as young as I once was.  It’s a must to take it easy.   I worry a lot, I am all over the map, and none of this is constructive.

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It took whatever energy I had left to make this tea.  And I’m so grateful I finally did.

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This is not the best tasting tea nor did I expect it to be.  But what it was, is going to lead me into the continued healing process.  My dear pal suggesting this tea and me being as out of it as I am, is no accident.  These things connect.  And this tea connected me to a spiritual place I’ve not encountered in a long time.  Well maybe I have, but I just wasn’t aware of it.

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I made two cups and without realizing it took my sweet time with both.  When you are humbled and have less energy, it’ll force yourself to adjust.  Like an old man, I was starting at a wall, with nothing but my thoughts.  I’m contemplating things.   What those things are, are between me and the universe.  But this tea did something to me.

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And that golden brown color is worth the price of purchase alone.  It tastes bitter but it’s supposed to. The combination of turmeric, ginger, rose, and licorice is my best friend right now.

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The health benefits of turmeric have been widely documented.  I  hope I’m the recipient of some as I pray I get some of the best sleep of my life, and wake up tomorrow resuming the healing process.

Here is a store locator on where you can find all their amazing teas.  You can also shop online at your convenience.  Like I said in June, with Numi, we’re just getting started.

It was just me, my thoughts, and my cat (I love her so much) when sipping this tea.  When you can barely move, you start being thankful for all the things you do have.  It shouldn’t come to this where this is where you show gratitude.  But here I am.

It’s time to take it easy.

Stay Healthy,

Ideen