Whether it is for sipping a warm cup over weekend brunch, ducking in for a mid-day snack, or settling in to work remotely, I love finding quaint, local coffee shops. Actually, I love tea shops & dearly miss The Tea Grotto in Salt Lake, but a local coffee shop will do (since it usually has good tea too).
Even though I love coffee, I consider it a treat & only have it occasionally. I really only drink water: water with lemon, water with cucumber (in the summer), plain water, water flavored with herbs (tea), ice-less water.
It's true: I do not like ice in my water. It feels really uncomfortable, like it is too shocking to my system. An exception might be on a blazing hot day. Even then, I don't want ice; I just don't want warm water.
It is difficult for me to want to drink cold water throughout the day when the weather is really cold. Earlier this winter, I was not hydrating enough & I could tell, so I have had to make a special point of drinking more. For those of you who also find it tough to keep hydrated during the winter months, this is what I have found works for me:
The key is starting the day right & having water as soon as I get out of bed. Like I mentioned, it's hard for me to drink cold water when it's cold outside -- especially in the morning -- so I drink room temperature water or might even put the kettle on & have a warm cup with a little lemon juice before I even start thinking about breakfast or a pre-workout snack. The lemon water is especially great for detoxifying & flushing the system first thing in the morning.
Before I leave the house for the day, I brew a cup of tea in my to-go mug. It isn't anything fancy. Dave got it years ago on a trip to Yellowstone with his dad, but it seems I've somehow managed to claim it as my own. I really love the look of those adorable, ceramic "to-go" style cups, but they are heavier than I want to carry while busing/walking; plus I love the bright green, & my cup makes me think of Dave throughout the day.
As far as teas go, I am pretty open & like variation, but rooibos is my favorite.
I remove the tea bag only if it is a tea that becomes bitter from over-steeping (green, white, black). I sip my tea all morning then simply refill my cup with water from a fountain the rest of the day. It might not be the most ideal "water bottle", but I find I drink more, & more often, with it versus my Klean Kanteen right now.
I enjoy the hint of tea that lingers in the water, filtering through the Rooibos satchel. If flavored water isn't your thing though, rinse your cup a few times to get rid of any leftover flavor.
When I have a little extra time or am looking for a special treat, I brew fresh spices, like cardamon & ginger, in my tea. My good friend, Amanda, showed me how to make what she calls "Yogi Tea" a couple years ago.
- 10 oz water
- 3 whole cloves
- 4 whole green cardamon pods, gently cracked
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 2 small slices of fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp black tea or tea of choice* (I am partial to Irish Earl Grey)
- 1/2 cup milk (homemade almond milk is nice & creamy), optional
- honey or other sweetener, to taste (optional)
In a small pot, bring water to a gentle boil. Add whole spices**, cover & simmer 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add the tea, cover again & allow to steep 2 - 3 minutes or more depending on your tea. Stir in milk & sweetener. Strain into a cup. Enjoy.
* You can put loose tea leaves in a tea satchel, mesh ball, or tied in cheese cloth; use a regular tea bag; or even just throw loose leaves in (if they are not smaller than your strainer holes) since you will be straining it. I use about 1 tsp loose tea.
**You can add the spices directly to the water (loose) & strain later or you can tie them in cheesecloth & allow to simmer in the cloth for easy clean up.
Other tips for staying hydrated in winter include eating soups & adding hydrating supplements like chia seeds to your smoothies, dressings, etc.
*We have not had a chance to pull the photos from our cameras, so the post about our Red Rock trip will be up on Monday.