Flagging in energy? We have the perfect cure and don’t worry, it doesn’t involve you giving up all caffeine. Our super-easy three day matcha makeover will have you feeling amazing in no time
If autumn has left you feeling sluggish and low in energy, we’ve got help. Healthista has teamed up with one of our favourite tea brands, Pukka, to bring you a three-day matcha tea and food plan using Pukka’s new range of healthy Matcha Green teas. So, join us and watch your energy soar. Oh, and you can win a fabulous Matcha Green hamper simply by tweeting this story with the hashtag #matchamakeover – see details below.
So, what is matcha tea anyway? A type of green tea in a powdered form, matcha tea originates from Japan, where it’s best known for its use in tea ceremonies (Pukka have conveniently packaged the tea into tea bags for their new range). Matcha, other green teas and regular (black) tea are actually made from the same plant – camellia sinensis. Most green teas are simply made by steaming fresh Camellia leaves, but making matcha tea involves a more complex process. It’s made only from the fresh leaf tips. The plants are shaded from the sun between the time when the new leaf shoots start to appear and when they are picked. The shade is said to increase the content of chlorophyll and other nutrients, including the amino acid L-theanine (more on L-theanine below). After picking the best leaves, they’re steamed, gently air-dried, and then ground into a fine powder, removing any fibres.
Why do the makeover? One word. Energy. Actually, two words. Sustained energy. If you’re drinking lots of standard tea or coffee and feeling tired and sluggish, you might have caffeine overload, which can result on those familiar highs from caffeinated drinks that always come with inevitable energy crashes. Good news is, the caffeine in green and matcha tea is different. There’s less for a start, and it provides a steady, slow lift without the crash especially when you drink it at regular intervals throughout the day. In short, instead of giving up caffeine altogether (cue headaches, fatigue and grumpiness), with our makeover you can deliver yourself healthy, sustainable energy without the crash. It’s why Matcha Clean Green tea is our drink of choice at Healthista Towers.
Are there other benefits? Oh yes. As well as a gentle lift, matcha tea also has a rich source of antioxidants to help protect and purify. Without the high levels of caffeine found in coffee or black tea, green tea gives a gentle lift without making you feel jittery or ‘on edge’ and it also has natural metabolism-supporting activity.
It is often higher in antioxidants than other green teas, giving it greater anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory potential.
Matcha, on the other hand, is a special type of green tea made from the fresh leaf tips of tea plants and is often higher in antioxidants than other green teas, giving it greater anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory potential.
It’s great for weight loss too If you’re trying to slim down, green tea could also be your new best friend. Research has found that green tea in particular may be helpful for supporting metabolism and weight management. For example, in a study carried out with 35 obese men and women, it was found that those who drank four cups of green tea daily for two months lost significantly more weight than those who consumed a placebo.
In another trial on 10 men, it was found that when the men consumed green tea extract in the morning they had a four per cent higher energy expenditure over 24 hours (i.e. they burned four per cent more calories) than when consuming a placebo. Those who drank four cups of green tea daily for two months lost significantly more weight than those who consumed a placebo. When the men took caffeine only (the same amount as found in the green tea), this had no effect, indicating that it’s not just the caffeine at work.
In fact, green tea may support weight loss in several ways: increasing thermogenesis (calorie burning), increasing fat oxidation (burning of fat for energy), reducing fat absorption, and even reducing appetite.
How does the makeover work? On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we will be delivering you with three daily meal plans, designed by nutritionist Cassandra Barns, to provide slow-releasing energy, support the liver and detoxification. They’re all designed to be easy on digestion and restore flagging energy levels and Cassandra has suggested the best times in the day to get your strategic fixes of matcha tea. Choosing organic food where possible can help to maximise your nutrient intake and minimise your exposure to chemical residues. First, here’s a video with some ideas.
THE MENU – DAY 1
Two or three poached organic eggs on wholemeal sourdough toast, with wilted spinach and sautéed mushrooms.
Eggs are a great way to start your day, providing protein and B vitamins to support blood sugar and energy balance throughout the day, and choline and amino acids to support the liver. Sourdough bread can be easier to digest than standard bread.
Wash down with one cup of Pukka Clean Matcha Green tea.
So, with breakfast, enjoy a cup of Pukka Clean Matcha Green for a fresh start to the day. Clean Matcha Green contains a unique blend of organic matcha and green teas with natural plant extracts to cleanse and support detoxification.
Mid morning (around 11am) or before lunch
1 cup of Pukka Ginseng Matcha Green tea
A warming drink of Pukka Ginseng Matcha Green mid morning can help provide a gentle energy boost to get you through until lunchtime. Ginseng Match Green tea contains a unique blend of super green tea and natural botanicals which help to revitalise and boost energy – great to power a workout and lift your day.
Salmon and quinoa salad, with cherry tomatoes, cucumber chunks and green beans, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
You can use tinned (but preferably wild) salmon, or swap for smoked mackerel or tinned tuna if preferred. Mix one cup of cooked quinoa (prepared from half a cup of raw) with a half or whole can of drained salmon (or other fish), 10 halved cherry tomatoes, steamed green beans and a handful of cucumber chunks. Dress with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive oil.
Fish are a fantastic source of easily digested protein, to help keep you full, balance blood sugar and support detoxification
Quinoa can be great pasta alternative, as it provides slower-releasing energy, is higher in protein and is naturally gluten-free. Fish are a fantastic source of easily digested protein, to help keep you full, balance blood sugar and support detoxification. Lemon juice can stimulate digestion and support detoxification too.
Enjoy with one cup of Pukka Mint Matcha Green tea.
Sipping on Pukka Mint Matcha Green after dinner can be ideal for digestive support after a larger meal. Pukka’s Mint Matcha Green tea is a delicious blend of organic Sencha and Matcha green teas with the finest spearmint and fieldmint.
1 cup of Supreme Matcha tea
Spicy lentil and root vegetable casserole
For two servings, use:
1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 large carrots, 1 large or 2 small parsnips, 1 medium sweet potato, about 70g of green lentils or puy lentils (dry weight) that have been soaked in water for 8 hours, 750ml vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon curry powder (medium or hot, depending on how you like it).
A nourishing meal for a cold autumn or winter evening. Lentils are a good source of plant-based protein as well as fibre, to help you feel full; they also provide energy-supporting nutrients such as iron, B vitamins and magnesium.
Lentils are a good source of plant-based protein as well as fibre
Soaking them before cooking – then discarding the soaking water – helps to make them easier to digest. Parsnips and carrots are also easy to digest. If you have digestive problems such as gas or bloating, you may find it better to leave out the onions and substitute the sweet potato for a white potato.
TO WIN THE ENTIRE RANGE OF PUKKA GREEN TEAS: Just tweet this story with the hashtag #matchamakeover and you’ll be in with a chance. Terms and conditions apply.