I’ve been fighting a cold for two weeks now, which begs the question:  why have you not gone to a doctor yet?  To which I’ll give the very unsatisfactory response:  it just doesn’t seem to be a priority at the moment.  I know…weak.

What that has left me doing, is self-diagnosing and self-medicating with any natural concoction I can get my hands on.  You see, I’m one of these very unfortunate people who can’t tolerate almost all medications, that includes children’s cough syrup.  My staples for the past two weeks have been:  oil of oregano – vile tasting; Oscillococcinum – an herbal remedy that helps with cold and flu symptoms; and yes…tea.

Interestingly, the thought of milk in anything makes me want to gag when I have a cold – so the teas I reach for are different.  I’ve been downing Ginger Sencha, for its green tea properties, its ginger properties as well as the fact I can squeeze lemon and honey into it to soothe my throat.  Is it possible that a shot of bourbon falls into the cup at bedtime?  Perhaps… Don’t judge a girl with a cold!

I hope most of you have managed to keep yourselves from this horrible virus that has invaded the city, for those of you that haven’t, feel free to use my remedies…or…better yet…get yourselves to a doctor! 🙂


So we’ve made it out of 2014 in relatively one piece and are facing a fresh new year.  It’s a blank slate really, and that’s the way I like to look at it.  Forget detoxing, and re-booting and resolutions.  Let’s just decide to start new habits.  Good habits.  Healthy habits.  We’ve all heard the phrase:  It takes 21 days to form a new habit.  I’m afraid that it is a myth.  Reality is that it takes about 2 months to form a habit – but come on, what’s 2 months relative to a lifetime of a good habit??

So instead of making lists of what I want to give up, I want to make a list of new habits I want to form.  In case it’s not on your list already, quickly add:  DRINK TEA to the top.  It’s such an easy habit to form.  It’s tasty and healthy and you know I could fill this page ten times over with reasons why this is a habit everyone should form.

I want to be realistic about my new habits.  So I’m committing myself to a schedule I think I can keep – regular yoga classes and running as part of my exercise regimen.  I developed shin splints after several years of rigorous running, so am forced to reconsider my habits.  Second, I’m already an avid reader, but am committing to the habit of making a few of my books non-fiction.  The topic can vary.  Next, I love podcasts and listen to them in the car all of the time – so my new habit will be finding a podcast I wouldn’t normally listen to…and just give it a go.  The last habit on my list is a big one:  de-cluttering.  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to master that one, but I think I’ll start by getting into the habit of putting something in a ‘trash’ or ‘give away’ box every day.  I won’t be overwhelmed with the task of de-cluttering all at once.

Most important of all, I’ve wrangled an accountability buddy into this – which means we check in with eachother every month to check on how each is doing with their list of habits.

Some things will be easier than others, but I know I’ve got the best habit already down:  DRINK TEA!  I’ll let you know how I do with  the rest 🙂

It’s been a hectic few weeks and we’re settling in nicely at the office and the new Eglinton store. All the relaxing teas are definitely helpful!

There’s been a lot of talk about the amazing properties of teas like matcha and rooibos (well-deserved, of course!) but one tea that often gets overlooked for its healing properties is chamomile.

Chamomile has been used for millenia to calm the nerves, reduce anxiety, and to ease stomach discomfort. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making it a good remedy for cramps and minor stomach issues. chamocup

It has a soft, mellow,  honey-like flavour. While it is a calming herbal tea, it does not induce sleep so feel free to enjoy it throughout the day, particularly if you are trying to reduce your intake of caffeine. If you prefer herbal blends, why not try an orange blossom chamomile tea (Yogitea) or for more traditional herbal tea lovers, there’s always Herbal Relaxer with mint, sage and melissa flowers. Chamomile tea can also be used as a tonic for irritated skin. Brew yourself a cup and enjoy its aroma and many wonderful benefits!


January 16th

I’m feeling great!  And the best part is that I’m getting through my day with more energy.  I have added two shakes to my daily routine.  I’ll give you the recipe below.  They keep me full and going all day long.


Start your day with five minutes of quiet – your time – breathe – stretch and start your day. 

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” ~Max Ehrmann

Take care of yourself, your body, your heart and your soul.  It won’t be treated by others any better than you treat it.


Go home and watch a comedy.  A silly, mindless ridiculous comedy.  Laugh.  Laugh.  Laugh.  And then laugh some more.


Yes, the broken record continues…drink lots of liquids.  Lots and lots and lots.

I make these two shakes every morning – 2 litres each – and bring them to work with me – I drink one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Green Drink:
1 cup kale + half an apple + 1/2 cup grapes + 2tsp Agave.  Place in blender, fill half with water and blend well.

Fruit Drink:
1 cup frozen berries + half an apple + 1/2 cup grapes + 1 banana + 1tsp Matcha.  Place in blender, fill half with real orange juice and blend well.
I prefer the Fruit drink in the afternoon because it satisfies my blood sugar low in the afternoon.

Hot water with lemon
1 cup low fat yogurt with muesli and berries

Yunnan Imperial 

1 avocado mashed, squeeze of lemon, chilli powder.  Spread onto a whole wheat tortilla.  Makes two tortillas.

Rooibos Prickly Pear 

Chicken Breast with Shaved Brussel Sprouts – click for recipe.  Don’t turn up your nose!  I love brussel sprouts.  Yes, I always have.  But these brussel sprouts are treated like slaw – try it!

Hibiscus Herbal iced.

January 15

Okay – so I gave you a break this weekend – I won’t be doing that again 🙂  I admit to having been guilty of a glass of wine and my ‘out of the box’ was going to a Sake store on Saturday and having a ‘flight’ of Sake.  It was such a great experience!  Never done a Sake tasting before.


Ahh…my favourite quotes…Seussisms:

“Today you are YOU, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive, that is YOUER than YOU” – Dr Seuss


 Read a newspaper today – but not your regular news.  If you lean left…read news that leans right.  If you lean right…read news that leans left.  Open yourself to a different side of the argument.  You may still disagree with it, but true discourse comes from hearing all sides of the debate.


You still drinking?  I sure hope you are.  Dehydration can lead to lethargy, poor skin, low blood pressure.  Just drink!  I’ve said it before, I’ll keep saying it – water isn’t the only source of hydration…tea is as well.

Hot water with lemon
Oatmeal made with water or skim milk – a squeeze of Agave and a sliced banana

Cream of Avalon 

 Chili Spiced Salmon Salad – click for recipe.  I love these kinds of recipes because spice is my answer to removing fat from my diet.  Fat is flavour unfortunately, but so is spice…without the…well…fat!

Imperial Jasmine 

Moroccan Turkey Skillet – click for recipe.  Yup…spice!

Moroccan Mint iced, sweetened with agave – add a splash of club soda

Low fat yogurt with cinnamon – slice an apple to dip into the yogurt
Sliced vegetables – carrots, celery, etc with a fat free Greek yogurt and horseradish dip.  This is one of my favourite dips! The greek yogurt is thick enough that it doesn’t make you miss any of the fatty thick dips and horseradish has ZERO calories!

January 11th

Day four and going strong.  Email me or tweet me with your thoughts and suggestions – some of your favourite recipes!  We have a lot of days ahead of us, recipes shared that get posted…will get a detox package of teas from us! 🙂



“There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – ALBERT EINSTEIN

Look at your day and everything around you as though it were a miracle.  Set that as your intention of the day as you start your morning with five minutes of quiet time and reflection.  Stretch your limbs.


Walk or drive home a different route today.  If you’re like most people, you walk or drive home the same way every singe day and become quite oblivious to the things around you.  Take a different route today and be aware of your surroundings.  The houses, the people, the trees.


You guessed it.  Drink and drink and drink.  We truly don’t understand how much our bodies need hydration.  I have the coolest new tea toy to share with you next week – it will change your water forever!!

Hot water with lemon
Cottage cheese with fresh fruit

Formosa Silver Moon with a splash of skim milk – this tea is a rather full bodied black tea and my stomach is happier if I put a splash of milk into it

Whole wheat wrap with avocado and sliced vegetables.
Cut your vegetables into strips – peppers, cucumber, zucchini, tomatoes – pick your favourites.  Slice in some avocado.  Squeeze in a touch of lemon juice and hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Roll into a whole wheat tortilla wrap.

Rooibos Tropicana 

Fruit smoothie – in  a blender combine your favourite fruits – add unsweetened apple or orange juice, 1tsp Matcha – blend well. 

Soy cured Tuna – click for recipe.  Now this recipe is served with egg noodles, so replace the egg noodles with whole wheat noodles.  Remember, we are eating nothing WHITE!

Dung Ti Oolong – everyone who knows me, knows this is my absolute favourite tea in the world 🙂



There is a story that an engineer performed some aerodynamic calculations on the wingspan, body weight and shape of a bumblebee and concluded that bumblebees should not be mathematically capable of flying.  And yet…we all know that they can and do.  How is this possible?  Because nobody ever told them that they can’t.  This is one of my favourite stories and one I try to remember when I hear the words ‘you can’t’.  

Think of that as you wake up and give yourself your five minutes of quiet time.  Stretch and start your day.



Smile at a stranger today.  Not a cashier or a sales person.  I mean a random person that crosses your path on the street.  A real smile – smiles don’t count if you don’t look the person in the eyes.



I’m going to go for a run today – 5km – but I’m a runner and don’t expect you to suddenly start running.  Put on your sneakers and go for a walk – 30 minute brisk walk.  Put your favourite music in your ears and walk in the clouds!

DRINK DRINK AND DRINK.  Water or tea.  Make sure there is no sugar in what you’re drinking.  Add flavour with my favourite Genmaicha Sticks in a bottle of water.


Hot water with lemon
Whole wheat toast with almond butter and sugar free jam
Fruit Salad

Blend 103

Spinach salad with grilled skinless chicken.  Make your own dressing:  Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper

Sencha Kiwi Garden

Green Drink:  Combine kale, apple, grapes, cucumber, 1tsp agave in a blender, fill half with cold water.  Blend well.

Vegetarian Chili  – click for recipe

Sunburst Raspberry iced – sweetened with 1tsp of agave and a splash of club soda




January 9, 2013


So…how are we doing so far?  Easy right?  It is only day 2 tomorrow so we’ll have to keep that motivation going.

I’ll say this every single day…DRINK DRINK and when you think you’ve had enough, DRINK some more.  Yes you can drink water and you can drink tea.  Why tea?  Because although it has caffeine, it does not work in your body as a diuretic, therefore not dehydrating you.  Pick your favourites, but my suggestion is to mix it up.  There are far too many teas out there to be drinking something you don’t enjoy.

Missing something sweet in your day?  No problem – I’m going to give you some sweet this morning.

Let’s start our day with five minutes of you time, lay in your bed quietly.  Close your eyes and rest one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.  Feel your own energy.  Reflect on what you want out of your day and set your intentions for the day.  Stretch and let’s get started.

Hot water with lemon
Fruit Smoothie
In a blender mix your favourite fruits – at this time of year, I like to keep a bag of frozen fruits in my freezer, chop in a banana, fill blender halfway with real orange juice (yes you have to check labels here because most of the orange juice you purchase, is filled with sugar), add 1/4 tsp of Matcha and blend well.  

Keemun – China black tea   (I prefer black teas in the morning, but don’t feel obligated to follow my lead)

Egg salad sandwich on whole wheat bread (thin slice)
This egg salad is super healthy and super yummy…no mayo.  Yes, you heard me right..no mayo!  2 hard boiled eggs,
cut into small pieces: small cucumbers, carrots, red onion, bell peppers, one pickle
combine the above with fresh Dill, fresh garlic, white Vinegar fresh cracked black pepper.  

Sunshine Mate tea

1/4 cup nuts – your pick

Mediterranean Fish
2 filets of your favourite white fish, chop 1/2 onion, large tomato, 2tbs fresh basil, 2tbs fresh parsley, combine with 2tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  combine oil, vinegar, seasoning, herbs and vegetables in a bowl, spoon over fish.  Cover and place in oven, 20 minutes 350F or until fish starts to flake with a fork.  Serve over brown rice. 

Imperial Jasmine iced with a squeeze of Agave and splash of Club Soda – for some reason I prefer drinking something cold with my dinner – but feel free to leave this as a hot beverage if that is your preference.

Let’s watch a foreign film today.  I’ve heard great things about “I served the King of England” a Czech film, so I will watch that.
Some of my favourites are Cyrano de Bergerac, Cinema Paradiso, Life is Beautiful, In the Mood for Love, The Three Colours Trilogy.


JANUARY 8, 2013

Okay – here we go!! This is the plan. We all live in our comfortable spaces. And by comfortable I mean, you get into your routines and tend not to shake out of them. Well, how do you experience anything new when you don’t try anything new?? So besides the January detox that I so desparately need, I’m going to challenge us all to do something outside of our box every week. So my re-fresh your-self plan is going to consist of two parts:


Just so we’re absolutely clear…I do not believe in starving yourself. So don’t fret, I have no intention of telling you to drink lemon water with cayenne pepper for a week. By the way, whoever came up with that detox is a serious sadist! I just want you to think about what you’re eating, and we’ll kick start that with a month of healthy foods. I’m a big believer in three elements when I feel I need to pay attention my intake. Portion control, spices = flavour, and nature’s vitamin water…TEA. So for the month of January we will exclude the following out of our diets:

1. alcohol
2. white anything – sugar, flour
3. red meat
4. coffee
5. soda and other sugar beverages
6. sugar

I will post daily what my food plan is for the following day as well as what exercise regiment will be part of that. I will post an inspirational quote to keep you going and I will give you a challenge, something to do that you wouldn’t normally do.

Here we go:
Day 1 –

Every single day:  DRINK!   Keeping hydrated is the most important factor in staying healthy.  Drink water, drink tea.  But drink!  I like to add a Genmaicha stick to a bottle of water and drink that during the day.

Start your day with five minutes of quiet time for yourself.  Lie in your bed and be present, lay out your intentions for the day.  Do some light stretching today to get your day started.

LET’S START A BOOK!  I want you to finish a book this month.  No time you say?  Leave the television off and read a few pages.  It doesn’t have to be War and Peace – it can be anything you want.  I am reading:  GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn.

Hot water with lemon
1/2 cup oatmeal cooked in water or 1/2 cup skim milk
top with blueberries and a squeeze of agave

Tomagong Black Ceylon 

Quinoa Salad
Prepare quinoa according to directions on box.  Chop up your favourite vegetables in fine pieces.  Add herbs – I pile mine with flat leaf parsley or dill.
Combine lemon juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, 1 tsp olive oil.  Mix all ingredients together.  I like to spice mine up sometimes with chilli.  But that’s completely up to

Green Tea Kombucha Lime


Poached salmon with steamed vegetables
Prepare poaching liquid – boil water, add 2tsp Genmaicha tea, add skinless salmon to boiling liquid and allow to cook.  Steam your favourite vegetables in a steamer until you’ve reached your desired cooking point.  I like my vegetables crispy, so this is a very quick process for me. Stir a mixture of chopped herbs (parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, dill, ) with minced shallot, extra-virgin olive oil, and a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice; season to taste. Spoon over fish and vegetable mixture.

Iced African Queen tea with a splash of Club Soda



We know tea is good for us – and the truth is, we just simply love tea – the fact that it’s good for us is really just the icing on the cake. But…we’re always happy to see more scientific evidence being released to back up what we know. A recent study out of a medical university in Taiwan done on a group of 500, showed that both smokers and non-smokers who drank a single cup of green tea a day, greatly reduced their risk of lung cancer. Ofcourse they were careful to add that this does not diminish the dangers of smoking! Smokers that did not drink green tea were 12 times more likely to get lung cancer.