Tea is a drink I’ve enjoyed over the years. Prior to being pregnant, I would drink a large cup of green tea daily (the caffeinated version). It’s a great antioxidant. I’d try different varieties, such as fruit flavored green teas. For many years, I’ve also enjoyed berry teas, multiple varieties and blends! Berry teas are tart or sometimes sweet, and flavorful, making them one of my favorite treats. I have them warm in the winter and cold in the summer (just add ice). To relax at night, I would enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or sweet dreams tea. I drink my teas without sugar, so one of the best parts is that they are a zero calorie and fat free drink! Many teas also have nutritional values, such as being antioxidants. Other teas help me when I am feeling bloated. When I am feeling bloated, I’ll drink chamomile tea (or green tea), it also helps with menstruation cramps.
Now that I am pregnant, I am not drinking green tea or certain teas which are deemed not recommended during this period (even the one’s which are probably old wives tales, I figure better safe than sorry). I recently discovered a chocolate flavored tea! It’s Tea Forté’s Chocolate Hazelnut. It really tastes like chocolate and hazelnut! It doesn’t quite replace having an actual piece of chocolate, but it has been a good replacement on a few nights. This winter, I am enjoying a variety of non-caffeinated teas more than in the past, probably because I am not drinking coffee. Plus, this winter has been colder than past years, making a hot cup of tea quite desirable in the late evening. Just holding the warm cup in my hand and smelling the essence of the tea is a pleasurable experience.
Lately, I have been writing at night and have also gotten in the bad habit of eating a late night snack in between checking e-mails and writing blog posts. In the summer, I’ll have a little fresh fruit or trick myself with a lemon or berry flavored sparkling water (also zero calories and fat), which I find to be filling. But, in the winter, with the cold weather, cold fruit from the refrigerator does not seem as appealing late at night. So, instead of having a few cookies or a pastry, I’ll make myself a large cup of hot tea. It is filling, and can also be nutritional and hydrating. Depending on which tea you drink, it can also be a good way of getting an extra cup of liquid into your day. Just be aware some teas can be a diuretic, so they will have the opposite effect. If I am really craving chocolate, which happens often, pregnant or not, I’ll have a piece with my tea. I’ll opt for a few chocolate covered almonds or hazelnuts, which are also more filling and healthy than simply having a piece of milk chocolate. By the time I finish sipping my large cup of tea, the appeal of having a late night snack has passed or I simply don’t feel like going downstairs again to look in the pantry for another snack! This trick really works for me! So, next time you have a craving for a late night snack, try enjoying a cup of tea, perhaps accompanied by a small cookie (not a bagful of cookies though), a piece of wheat toast, or a few chocolate covered almonds. It helps me keep my extra calorie intake at a low late at night, which is the worst time to eat a large portion of food! I hope I stick to this new habit even after I am no longer pregnant. Maybe it can become my evening relaxation technique after our baby arrives!
Tips: I choose teas which are caffeine free in the evening and don’t drink them too late at night, to avoid the need to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. I also purchased a box with a variety of flavors of tea. Somehow, getting to choose it from the pretty box and having a variety to choose from makes it more appealing! Reminds me of times when I have ordered tea at nice restaurants and the server brings the fancy box of teas so I can choose which one I prefer. I use a different mug (cup) every time, just like I used to do pre-pregnancy when I enjoyed my daily cup of coffee in the mornings. Choosing a different mug is part of adding variety to my tea treat, plus it brings back nice memories of who gifted me the mug or the story behind it (see Today’s Cup of Happiness)!
Do you have a favorite tea? Or, a trick to avoid late night snacking?
PS – Cut 300 calories from your daily intake by making this one change. How my Today’s Cup of Happiness posts started.