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My Addiction to Tea – Making your own teas Decaffeinated

So let me first say that if you haven’t heard of co-addictions, let me say that they are a very real thing, I’ve found that I picked up new addictions even before my Gastric Bypass.

I mean I gave up a lot of addictions in the six months prior to my surgery. I gave up cigarettes, I gave up caffeine, I gave up soda pop, and now, I’ve given up my addiction to food. But in return for those I’ve picked up some new addictions, the first is my addiction to the gym.

If I said I wasn’t addicted to the gym I’d be bold face lying. Over the last six months I’ve gone from FORCING myself into the gym for thirty minutes a day, to FORCING myself OUT of the gym.

Now I don’t exercise for the entire 3-4 hours a day, more like 3 hours, but I also spend time in the Jacuzzi afterwards, which I swear helps my muscles from getting to sore, and sometimes I like to spend 15-20 minutes each in the steam room and sauna after I swim. My normal exercise day is to hit the gym at my apartment complex for an hour right after I wake up, do my walking and then prior to surgery I’d hit the gym for a few hours every night, swimming for anywhere from an hour to two hours and then showering and all that. It’s a lot of time in the gym, but since I work from home I could justify it. I’m building back up after surgery and this Monday will be my first day swimming again. (I had to wait until my surgeon released me to swim again)

Today I fed a different addiction though, one that has gotten A LOT worse since I started my WLS Journey. Today we fed my addiction to Tea. Now thanks to my BFF Tora and her Husband Colin, I am a total tea snob. When I say this, I am NOT exaggerating, I am a tea snob. Every tea I drink MUST be loose leaf, I won’t touch a tea bag unless I bagged it fresh myself, and I rarely do that, I used strainers these wonderful contraptions called “The Perfect Tea Maker” from my favorite store, Teavana.

Now I will say that when I gave up caffeine I had to stop drinking a lot of my favorite teas. They have been sitting in my tea drawer untouched since May. But I found out today that you can naturally decaffeinate your own tea! OMG! I’m SooooOO having a cup of Coconut Aloha for breakfast tomorrow morning! Basically 80% of the caffeine in tea is released during the first 30 seconds of brewing. So if you brew your tea for 35 seconds, throw  that liquid out and then use the same leaves with fresh hot water to steep your tea, it will be naturally decaffeinated! This will allow you to enjoy all those black and green teas you love without having to worry about the caffeine content!

Now because I didn’t know this until today, in the past few months my Tea collection has expanded to include a tone of white, herbal and rooibos teas. For a tea, or a cup of coffee for that matter, to actually be considered decaffeinated it has to contain less than 4% the amount of caffeine in a regular cup of coffee. A regular cup of coffee ranges between 40-150mg of caffeine and you are looking at approx 2-5mg of caffeine in a decaffeinated coffee or in this case tea.

White teas are considered decaffeinated because they contain about 1% the amount of caffeine in a normal cup of coffee. Rooibos and Herbal teas contain 0% caffeine. These are 0% because there isn’t really any actual tea leaves in these types of teas. Rooibos teas are herbal infusions made from the red bush also known as “Red tea” and herbal teas are of course, herbal infusions as well.

Now I’ll tell you what, if a WLS patient is going to develop a co-addiction, Tea is a damn healthy one! I mean the health benefits of tea are amazing. Most Herbal teas are an amazing source of antioxidants and vitamins. Most Rooibos teas are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and can help control allergies, fight colds, improve digestion and are great for your skin and completion. White teas have an extremely high amount of antioxidants and according to Teavana, may even inhibit the growth of certain forms of cancer as well as reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Now on top of this, one of the most important things after WLS, is sip, sip, sip. Getting your fluids in after WLS is one the big things you have to pay attention to. Getting in 64oz a day is hard for a lot of people. But I NEVER have a problem get my fluids in because of my tea addiction. I am constantly brewing a cup of tea, constantly picking a new flavor that strikes my fancy, and while drinking tea makes me feel like a spoiled and pampered princess, it’s very healthy for me and it goes a long way in helping me get those essential fluids in! Every cup of tea I have is 8oz of fluid and counts towards my 64oz of water a day!

So my trip to Teavana today I picked up quite a few new teas.  Let me share the descriptions on the teas I picked up. These descriptions are from the Teavana website, since this is where I buy my teas.

Earl Grey White – Traditional Earl Grey is modernized by adding bergamot essence to white tea. White tea is the highest in antioxidants and lowest in caffeine, which makes this a very healthy choice. Studies suggest Bergamot oil acts as a mild anti-depressant. Unique and delicious!

Shanghai Orchid White Tea – The seductive floral bouquet and alluringly sweet taste of orchids blends beautifully with this exotic white tea, rosehips, melon and lemon myrtle. This tea is rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.

Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea – Rich spices intertwine with a delicious Oolong for a tea that the Maharaja himself would love. This is the famed ‘Spice Route’ in your cup: cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg fuse together to create a robust and celebrated chai tea. (This one isn’t decaffeinated so I will have to do it myself, but Oolong Tea’s contain about 10-15% the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee.)

Tulsi Dosha Chai Rooibos Tea – Legendary Tulsi, the most sacred herb in India, is blended with cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, and red Rooibos tea for a wonderfully healthy tea. This Ayurvedic tea is recommended to balance the body and reputed to be a stress reliever, support general wellness and boost immunity

Assam Breeze Black Tea – Wonderfully brisk Indian Assam tea is combined with pineapple, ginger, lemongrass and coconut for a tropical flavor you will love. A classic tea with a fruity punch! (This one isn’t decaffeinated so I will have to do it myself, but Oolong Tea’s contain about 20% the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee.) I don’t normally buy black tea anymore, but now that I found out that I could decaffeinate it myself naturally, I decided to go ahead and pick this one up, because it smelled, Oh My God, amazing.

Teavana is one of those stores that always gives you extra when you make a large purchase, ( buy large I mean buying about a pound of teas ) so they threw a couple extra tea’s in for me to try out.

Snow Peak Downy Tips White Tea – These exceptional white tea leaves were cultivated in the famous ‘garden of peaches.’ They are showered in the Spring with fragrant red peach blossom petals, which give them a rare and delicate flavor. This is an excellent white tea.

Tao De Fruit Herbal Tea – Tao’ means ‘the way,’ and this herbal fruit blend shows you the way to appreciate the bountiful harvest of nature. Experience exotic flavors and healthy graces with every sip of this delightful tisane. Includes several superfruits that boost your body’s health! Naturally caffeine-free.

I think I have time for one more cup of tea before I get ready to head to the gym. Tonight will be my first night back to swimming! I’m so excited to let you all know how it goes.

In case you’ve never been to Teavana or their website, you should really visit it. If you want to send me a gift card to feed my tea addiction while you are there please feel free! They do E-Gift Certificates and Store Cards!

I’ve also added a few things from Teavana that I really want to my Things I Want! page.

Thoughts of a new Gastric Bypass Patient

It started pouring rain here the day I got home from the hospital and I’m prone to pneumonia so Jason won’t let me walk in the rain. I’m only getting to walk up and down the hall in my little one bedroom apartment. I thought about going to the gym tomorrow and walking a slow mile on the treadmill but some wise friends here advised against it for a few more days. I’m going to ask the Doctor if I can at my post op follow up on the 27th. Until then I’m just pretty happy that I’ve been home for three days and I can already get all my protein vitamins and about 32oz of water in each day.

The one thing I can’t do is room temp liquids I can do warm like tea and soup and cold but room temp make me bring it right up. How weird is that?

I haven’t been hungry since the day of my surgery. Today was the first day that the smell of food did not make me a bit nauseous. I have been getting that “I want something” feeling but I’m replacing the old boredom eating habit with a hot tea habit. Decaf of course. It makes me feel spoiled and gets some of my fluids in. Win! Win!

I’ve had very little pain since my surgery on the 19th. Even the day after in the hospital, I was sorer than anything, I never really gave them over a 3 or 4 in the pain department.

Since getting home I haven’t experienced any real pain, in fact the IV site on my hand has hurt worse than any of my incisions.

Last night I started getting a sharp cramping feeling in my lower abdomen, very low, almost near the pelvic bone area. Started passing some major gas and felt better and pretty much assumed it was the gas pains I’ve heard so much about.

I woke up this morning at 6am to take my vitamins and I have that same sharp stabbing pain again.

I’m amazed that through all of this I have had so little pain and now it’s going to be the silly gas pains and need to fart that makes me feel so uncomfortable. I can’t handle the GasX Strips; I’m having a hard enough time with how terrible the vitamins all taste that I can’t stomach something else that tastes disgusting and medicine-y in my day.

I hate my chewable vitamins they taste nasty, I am having to dissolve my b-50 Complex in an ounce of Diet Cranberry Juice and it is still disgusting and medicine tasting, the B-12 sublingual is not THAT bad. The Liquid Vitamin D doesn’t taste but it leaves an oil residue in my mouth that feels nasty to me. The only part of my vitamins that are not horrid are the Lemon Calcium Chews and I’m spending 90 Calories a day on them to eat the ones that are more like Starburst candy then the disgusting mint explosion of Mylanta tasting crap in my mouth. But 90 Calories a day to have something like Candy is so worth it to me right now, I have to put far too much yucky tasting stuff in my mouth right now.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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