Monday, January 28, 2008

The Ultimate Tea Diet from the Good Doctor Tea.

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
--C.S. Lewis

Remember when tea was just something old ladies and English people drank? Well, no more, my friend. Now, it’s severely hip. Ever since Moby opened up his own shop. (Or maybe it was cool before that. I can’t tell.) And it's been fiercely cool for at least as long as Miley Cyrus has been in a bra. Give or take.

But Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra, has been going all tea, all the time for much longer. In fact, his family has been involved in the tea biz for generations. And today, he runs a schwanky tea store and wrote about book called The Ultimate Tea Diet. And he swears that tea will “help us lose weight, reduce our cravings for sweets, suppress our appetite, increase our insulin’s effectiveness, lower our cholesterol, and stimulate thermogenesis, which helps the body burn fat for energy.” And stuff.

Big claims from someone whose name reminds me of a certain gold jewelry wearin’ 80s star. But. It turns out this guy is nothing like B.A. Baracus. Except they both live in LA.

I pity the fool who drinks coffee.
The good doctor starts off by making some pretty serious accusations that coffee is the devil. Like, it makes you trap body fat. It raises your blood sugar. It slows down your metabolism. It worsens your PMS. And it makes you kill kittens. Maybe.

But you get the gist. Coffee = bad. Tea = good. I’m a serious coffee drinker, so I already have one eyebrow raised.

He’s not a doctor, he just plays one on tea.
Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra makes no claims to be a doctor. He’s just a guy who owns a cool tea shop and talks to people about tea all day everyday and has for years. (Oh and some little girls at a birthday party gave him the name and then his co-workers wouldn’t stop razzing him about it, so he embraced it. That’s the story.)

So, basically, you could call him the Pope of Tea or the Tea Czar, whatever. He’s just a guy that knows a lot about tea. And in this book he says that is has three main ingredients: caffeine to stimulate, L-theanine to neutralize the harmful side effects of caffeine and act as an appetite suppressant, and ECGC, which causes you to burn fat faster and more efficiently. In other words, tea reduces your appetite and stimulates your metabolism.

So there’s this book about tea.
The book starts off by going into the history of different kinds of teas...white tea, green tea, etc. but maintains they all come from the same plant (Camellia Sinensis) so all have essentially the same benefits. There's a lot of other stuff, but here are some interesting tidbits:
  • Tea’s been around for almost 5,000 years.
  • There are 12,500 to 20,000 types of green teas produced in China alone
  • oolong is he Champagne of teas.
  • White tea is the ‘tea of Royals’ and is the most delicate and least processed
  • Black tea has the most caffeine but still only half the amount of coffee.
  • 75% of tea produced is black tea...which is the type consumed by 87% of Americans
Then he goes into a lot of detail about the details of tea, the history of tea, the nuances of tea, the preparation of tea, the serving of tea, and so on of tea. The dude seems to know his tea, hence the pretend name.

The research found in 2006 that EGCG could “modulate insulin secreation by inhibiting glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). Which seems to mean that this is good for weight loss. Actually, they go into two pages of detail about what consuming too much sugar and carbs do to your body and not much of it is good. It’s enough to make me want to eat bark for a year. And that’s saying something.

And then they talk about a study that showed drinking tea helped you burn 12% more fat than drinking water.

Lots of talk about flavonoids, free radicals and cancer prevention. The first two sound like people that hang out in my neighborhood, the third sounds like a cause I can get behind. So by page 53, I’m sold.

He puts the T in diet. (So it’s not just die.)
Okay then the diet part starts. A 14-day diet plan and a 35-day totally reasonable workout chart.

Then there are a lot of recipes. That incorporate tea. A lot of recipes. This chapter looked like skiing down the black slopes to me, so I basically skipped it. But it’s nice to know it’s there if I’m ever feeling adventurous.

It ends with tons of great tea store recommendations. With web addresses and phone numbers. This is brilliant. I would be a fan of this book if only for this list. Sure, his store is the first one; but he also includes his picks for other great tea stores (and remember, the dude knows tea) including 20 different cool tea finds online...including my fave, Mighty Leaf.

So here’s what I thought.
I liked The Ultimate Tea Diet a lot. It's smart. It’s a fast read, and it makes sense. I’m completely motivated to try it. So I am. Starting Feb. 4, after I finish this silly thing I'm doing with my co-workers, I'm taking tea to the next level. Of course, I'll keep you posted on the results.

In the meantime, I'm ordering some of the good doctor's peppermint patty tea (since I won't be eating the girl scout cookies.)

Want to win some?

Just leave a comment! I'll pick one lucky pal (on Wednesday @ midnight) to tea with me.



CPA Mom said...

How funny (ironic) - I just switched to tea from coffee as part of my new lifestyle (diet)! I drink hot tea all day long and would love to try this flavor! Thanks for the chance to win.

cpamomva at hotmail dot com

Bree said...

Interesting concepts. Sounds good to me!

imelda said...

Hi Laura

I've been a tea fan for years and years, and never really liked coffee.

You should try adagio teas. They have these beautiful tea flowers, that you just want to set on your desk and look at all day instead of brew.

My all time favorite tea is Genmaicha, which is green tea with toasted brown rice. It reminds me of popcorn and I just love me some popcorn!

Enjoy your veggies and your tea!

Anonymous said...

Mint tea is my absolute favorite. Not even making that up.

Super Zoe said...

Love the C.S. Lewis quote! I so agree with him!

I am off to drink some cinnamon tea. I do love it. Lemon, mint, Lady Grey...I love it all!

windycindy said...

Hello, I love hot tea and so do most of my friends! Please enter me in your fantastic tea giveaway. I will drink tea with you anytime! Thanks,Cindi

mary512 said...

thanks for the entry

Julie said...

I just saw this on the view! Looks good!

fyjules said...

I'm trying to go healthy and leave the coffee, this sound interesting.

Meg said...

Sounds delish. I love tea!! Esp. peppermint teas! ( )

Penny G said...

Sounds great - I really like tea!

Susanne said...

I love to drink tea at night and mint is one of my favorites!! Thanks

KCG said...

Every week they discover that coffee is better for us than we ever though. Fights cancer. Antioxidents great for skin. Prevents stroke. I love it love it love it.

Drink what you want, but don't be a hatuh on coffee. I give you 1 month - that's four weeks - before you are drinking coffee again. It's like crack. Crack of the Gods. Happy crack. Antioxident crack.

I've had four cups of French press, can you tell?

Anonymous said...

I love tea!

colleen said...

I would love this tea! Yuuummy!

I'm really in to drinking tea at work, instead of gorging on cookies and candy sitting in bowls all over the office.

I'd love to win!

megankortepeter said...

Looks good! I'd love to win.

Kristen said...

I'm curious. My favorite candy as a tea.

D said...

I love tea since living in Japan, and would love to try this tea and diet for that matter

Anonymous said...

Mmmm! Sounds like minty fun!
eowyn (at) bigpanda $dot$ com

mark said...

Gosh, I haven't commented forever, GcQ, but I like Tea.

Meagneato said...

mmmmm...peppermint patty

DeAnna said...

For some reaons, I have never been a coffee drinker. I am, however, a hug hot tea drinker. Have a cup every morning to start my day. I completely agree with the fact that tea helps satisfy your sweet cravings. When I am craving dessert at night, I make me a cup of tea and it does the trick. I am definitely getting this!

Holly said...

I'm nuts for tea!

Bebemiqui said...

Great giveaway! Count me in :0)

LaLa said...

Please, please, please can I have the tea? I've given up smoking (30 days free) and would love to kick the coffee habit too... and I love Poopoomint tea.

That would be the scientific term for it.

Anonymous said...

Count me in please!

blogged ya:

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I hate hot tea and peppermint patties but I love kittens.

I'm so torn here.

Super Zoe said...

Yes, KCG, we can tell you have had four cups of coffee. We can ALWAYS tell.

Congrats, LaLa! Kicking the butts is the BEST thing you can do for your health! Hurrah!

PS: Off to drink Lady Grey; GcQ, thanks for getting me hooked years ago!

Hedi said...

ou yey please enter me to the draw!

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