A healthy experiment I’d like to forget
Some super-youthful-but-elderly yoga instructor was on TV saying he drinks green tea all day. That’s what sent me digging through the 10 forgotten boxes and tins of tea in the cabinet. Somewhere along the line I’d decided to start drinking tea and filled my shopping cart with it, only to carry it home, put it away and never touch it.
But last week, I read something about how green tea has been proven to be good for the aging brain – and mine is not going backward in years – so I set the date for my tea conversion: two days hence I would swap my morning coffee for morning green tea and then sit back and watch myself get smarter.
In theory, it’s an easy call. My morning java contains so much cream and sugar, I should really call it hot chocolate and add marshmallows. A swap for green tea would cut hundreds of calories, and the antioxidants in two cups would be as antioxidating as wrapping everything I eat in kale leaves.
This was a no-brainer that would be pro-brain.
The day of reckoning dawned crisp and autumny. I wandered down to the kitchen scratching my belly and yawning, and shuffled over to the Mr. Coffee and reached for the bag of Colombian on the counter. And then I stopped myself. There in the bag were the remnants of my former morning ritual. Maybe this would be a better paragraph if I described myself sticking my nose into the bag to inhale the rich aroma of the coffee, but I didn’t do that. If I had, the column would end here, with me falling off the wagon in the first two minutes of my new personal improvement campaign.
I pushed the bag aside, pulled down a cup and a box of Jasmine Green. I turned on the teakettle and waited. The whistle of steam was the opening bell for my new life. The hot water turned a pale khaki as it hit the tea bag. I’m pretty sure yoga man drinks his straight, and so that’s how I’d take mine.
Green tea tastes like the liquid at the bottom of a bowl of steamed spinach. I added a little stream of honey. Better, but this was no morning cup of coffee.
Don’t the nutritionists tell parents that kids will like a vegetable if they try it five or six times? I decided to apply the same principal to my green tea promise. By that afternoon, the house was littered with three-quarter-full mugs of cold green tea, each one proof that I never lost hope that this would be the cup that changed my mind.
In my coffee-drinking days (which were, like, last weekend), I’d find half-full cups of cold coffee all over the house; I’d carry one to whatever room I was working in and then would walk out without it, only to go down and pour myself another cup. Considering that I never finished a cup of coffee, isn’t it possible I wasn’t consuming as much cream and sugar as I thought? Maybe this whole green tea thing is an overreaction.
OK, maybe not. I’m making excuses – it’s another thing nutritionists talk about. When new habits get hard, we look for ways to go back to the old ones. Maybe I should hide that bag of coffee from myself – like I do the bags of mini Kit Kats before Halloween.
And just how does a girl hide something from herself, you ask?
My brain is getting old. I forget things. Hey, maybe I’ll start drinking green tea. They say it’s supposed to help.
Beth Dolinar can be reached at email@example.com.