I'm a tea drinker. I always have been. I cheat on my tea with Starbucks lattes on a regular basis, but give me a choice between plain old coffee and tea and I'll choose tea every time. So, when PBN gave me the chance to review The Ultimate Tea Diet by Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra, I said, "What the heck. Why not?"
I have to admit that I came into this review skeptical. The only thing that has ever worked for me is Weight Watchers and some life style changes. Fad diets may help me lose a few pounds, but they always come right back. So, having no idea what to expect from the Tea Diet, I assumed I would be panning an unhealthy diet.
Boy was I surprised. The Ultimate Tea Diet (let's call it TUTD for short) is not a fad diet. It's part of a lifestyle change, much to my relief. And here's the thing, it actually works.
The book is split into several parts. The first explains the tea and weight loss connection or how it is exactly that drinking tea can help you lose weight. Dr. Tea goes on to explain how the chemical properties of tea, along with the caffeine, help suppress your appetite and rev up your metabolism. And no, coffee doesn't do the same thing. You need a true tea - caffeine and all - to get the benefits. Dr. Tea also goes through some of tea's other various health benefits.
In the second part, Dr. Tea goes into to the details of TUTD. It's not complicated. Really. There are no hard and fast rules other than drink tea every day. This section of the book is really about lifestyle changes and positive thinking, not just the switch to tea. There's even a section in the chapter called "The Tao of Tea: You Can If You Think You Can" that gives you space to write down all the areas in your life and health that you want to work on. Then, this section goes into finding the tea you love, the meal plan, exercise, and kicking the coffee habit. (Tip: If you must drink a cup of coffee in the morning, have some tea right after it.)
Part three of the book is about tea. Dr. Tea lists some yummy sounding recipes that all incorporate tea. They range from simple, like boiling corn on the cob or shrimp in tea instead of plain water, to more complex. I'm dying to try the Artichoke Tea Chicken. Finally, the book wraps up with a history of tea. Frankly, this was my favorite part of the book. Yes, I'm a nerd. Want to know where the phrase "tea for two" comes from? How about who it was that had the brilliant idea to put those leaves in boiling water? Then you'll love this section too.
Overall, I was impressed with TUTD. It's not just a fad diet. It's not a proposal that you ingest nothing but tea for 30 days or that you grind it up and insert it into strange orifices. It's a great book advocating lifestyle changes that incorporate the psychological and physical benefits of tea drinking. We all know that a big part of losing weight is psychological - believing that you can be a better, healthier you and then doing it. Dr. Tea clearly understands this and that's where his book really shines.
Now you want to know what TUTD did for me, right? Well, I've mentioned on some of my previous blog posts that I lost about 30 pounds earlier this year. Since the great big gorilla has taken up residence in my living room, I've gained about half of that back. In the 2 weeks I've been incorporating tea into my diet, I've lost 4 pounds. Of course, that could be related to the violent stomach flu I had last week, but I'm going to keep at it. When I start Weight Watchers again, I'll definitely keep the tea and incorporate some of Dr. Tea's yummy recipes.
I'll keep all of you updated on how the psychic benefits of tea are working on me. Drinking tea is a great excuse to have some "me" time, whether getting out for a walk, or curling up with a book that doesn't involve primary colors. If the tea helps the Effexor, I'm all for it.