Posts Tagged ‘matcha’

Matcha latte

Just over three weeks ago I embarked on the Teapigs matcha challenge. For two weeks I was to take a daily dose (a tiny spoonful) of a vivid green powder that is ground-up green tea, to see if it could deliver health and happiness (or at least health, vitality and a svelte figure). At the time, January was shaping up to be its usual, long, rather wearisome self and I needed a boost that would deliver results without resorting to my usual extremism. You can read about how I felt about the challenge at the beginning here.

So, nearly a month later, how was it? Well, for a start, it tasted nicer than I expected. If you happen to like the taste of green tea, which I do, it’s great as it’s similar only more concentrated. That said, the flavour is fairly easily masked, so if you don’t happen to be partial to the green stuff, all is not lost.

I took it in lots of different forms. Some days I went for the easy shot with water. On others I chose the matcha latte – mixed with hot milk and honey (much tastier than I expected). I also experimented with matcha with hot water as a green tea (OK, though not marvellous), in smoothies (couldn’t taste it) and in yogurt (just don’t). In the end I found myself resorting more and more frequently to matcha porridge, largely because the crazy green sludge appealed to my Shrek-like aesthetic. I’ve even, for my own amusement, been doubling the quantities to make the colour more intense, but there’s no need for that.


Fruit smoothie - you can't see or taste the matcha

Matcha porridge - to make it even greener add another spoonful

Most importantly, though, did it work? Unlike some others, I didn’t notice an instant buzz or boost of energy on taking it, but there’s no doubt that I have been irritatingly full of beans this month. Just yesterday two friends commented on how well I looked and one asked if I’d been on holiday. How often do you hear that in January when you’ve spent the last four weeks in a dark, damp, Welsh valley? I have definitely had a spring in my step and have often awoken before my alarm (almost unheard of).

As to its slimming properties, I can’t say that it’s made a huge difference. I’ve been eating pretty sensibly, with the odd dip into ill-advised but delicious excess, and have dropped a couple of pounds, but that’s to be expected after the lardathon that was my Christmas and New Year.

But will I carry on taking it now the challenge is over? The answer is a definite yes. I should point out that it is expensive (though you only use a tiny amount every day so it doesn’t work out that wildly expensive if you break it down), and I was lucky enough to have been given a sample by the nice people at Teapigs. You also need a whisk (Teapigs recommend a bamboo or electric one). But I really do suspect that my chirpiness is due at least in part to my daily fix of green powder, so I’m going to stick with it.

If you’d like to try it for yourself, as a thank you for reading to the end, Teapigs are giving you a 20% off offer on matcha, which lasts until 12th February 2012. To take advantage of it, just buy your matcha here and enter the code MATCHABLOG12 at the checkout. The offer only applies to matcha and not to other Teapigs products.

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Regular readers of Girl on the River will know that I am striving to make 2012 the year of moderation. Having done quite a lot of damage to myself trying to keep up with the Big Girls in the squad, this year I’m learning to keep a more realistic pace in everything. No more stupidly heavy weights. No more ignoring twinges. No more showing off. So far so good, but where does matcha come into it?

Well, here’s the thing. This sort of moderation isn’t easy for an extremist like me, so I need some help along the way. For a start, I’ve got a lot of recovering to do before I can even think of getting back on the river, and that requires rest and healthy living. I can’t deny that Christmas and New Year were pretty indulgent, as the extra layer of lard around my waist demonstrates. This is where the Teapigs Matcha Challenge comes in.

Mmmm - the best use of matcha?

Fans of the Hummingbird Bakery (mmmm) might have come across matcha as an ingredient in their vividly coloured green tea cupcakes. It’s a super-concentrated form of green tea in a powder which can be stirred into drinks, taken as a morning shot or even mixed into icing on top of a cupcake (OK, that’s probably not the healthiest way to take it, but maybe as a weekend treat?)

Green tea is known to be packed full of antioxidants and to have near-magical slimming properties (Sophie Dahl’s a fan), so it’s exactly what I need right now to start the year how I mean to go on. Since I’m sworn to moderation, extreme diets are also out of the question, so I’m hoping that the matcha will help to boost an uncharacteristically sensible regime of eating a bit more of the good stuff and a bit less of the bad stuff. Since Teapigs’ matcha was recently voted Slimming Product of the Year by Your Healthy Living readers, perhaps it can help me shed the last few pounds.

Matcha is also reputed to boost energy levels, and with January looking dull, wet and windy I could do with a bit of help to stay full of beans.

I’ll let you know at the end of the month how I’ve got on. Hopefully by then I’ll be bursting with energy and slim as a whippet.

In the meantime, as a special treat for all of my lovely readers, the kind people at Teapigs have given you a 20% off offer on matcha, which lasts until 12th February 2012. To take advantage of it, just buy your matcha here and enter the code MATCHABLOG12 at the checkout. Just promise me that you won’t use it all up on cupcakes.

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