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 – this is day two. If you missed Day One, click here
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.
It’s now day two of our matcha makeover and we’re ready for some more matcha madness. If you enjoyed yesterday’s meal plan, then you’ll love this one.
THE MEAL PLAN – DAY 2
Banana protein smoothie:
Half a ripe banana, half a small ripe avocado, one small handful of organic kale (if you have a high-power blender) or organic baby spinach, 2 teaspoons walnut or cashew nut butter, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened protein powder, 250ml of unsweetened almond milk.
The combination of banana with avocado and nut butter gives you a delicious creamy smoothie that will provide slow-releasing energy and help keep you full till lunch. The avocado, protein, and the antioxidants provided by the spinach can support healthy detoxification.
For the ‘cleanest’ protein powder, go for a natural protein powder without sweeteners or artificial additives. Whey protein is a good option if you can have dairy – it’s easy to digest, and is rich in amino acids that support detoxification. Rice, hemp or sunflower proteins can be great choices for vegans or those who prefer to avoid whey protein.
1 cup of Clean Matcha Green tea.
So, with breakfast, enjoy a cup of 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.
1 cup of Ginseng Matcha Green tea.
A warming drink of energising 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.
Three-egg frittata with broccoli, red pepper and chestnut mushrooms
Accompany with a wholemeal or gluten-free pitta bread if you need extra energy support. Don’t forget to use organic, free-range eggs if possible.
Eggs are a great source of protein, energy-supporting B vitamins, and liver-supporting choline. Broccoli contains compounds called glucosinolates, which have been found to support detoxification too.
Have one cup of Mint Matcha Green tea with your meal.
And sipping on 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 roast organic chicken thighs with roasted vegetables.
Use gentle spices such as turmeric, cumin, ground ginger, coriander and dried oregano to coat the chicken thighs before roasting. For the veg, use carrots, parsnips, baby potatoes, courgette, fennel and red pepper. Make extra roast veg to keep for tomorrow’s lunch.
These spices – ginger in particular – can be supportive for digestion
These spices – ginger in particular – can be supportive for digestion. These vegetables are also easy to digest, and provide slow-releasing energy. Although you may not think you need energy in the evening, having a good source of slow-releasing carbs with your evening meal can help to ensure you get a good night’s sleep and don’t wake early.
1 cup of warm water, or caffeine-free herbal tea
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.