Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Parent Bloggers Network: The Ultimate Tea Diet

Like most people, I've known about the benefits of drinking Green Tea and tea in general for several years. There have been studies conducted on its effects in a large number of countries plus, Asian countries have been drinking it for thousands of years so that tells me it's worth at least looking into.

Its no secret that I've been trying to become healthier despite my health problems so when Parent Bloggers Network asked for volunteers to review The Ultimate Tea Diet by Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra, I jumped at the chance. I like tea and it's not a crash diet so it's something I could at least give a try and hope to succeed at.

When I began reading The Ultimate Tea Diet I was honestly surprised since I expected it to jump right into how this "diet" works and what all you can and can't have to do on it. Instead this book is filled with possibly everything you could ever want to know about tea. There is info like an in depth history of tea, all the various kinds and flavors that are available, sections that tell you what the benefits of tea are, and even 70 pages dedicated to nothing but recipes! Until you read this book you seriously have no idea how many different ways you can use tea in your food. It is just unreal!

As I said, this is no crash diet. Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra doesn't tell you to drink only tea and immediately lose tons of weight. What he does do is try to help you understand how your body processes certain things and how the chemical compounds in tea can help your body fight their affects. Mr. Ukra knows that along with drinking tea you need to also think positively, exercise, and also eat a healthy well balanced diet. He doesn't offer an overnight miracle cure nor does he send you running to the store to buy the latest fad pill. The advice in this book is some that anyone can understand and follow. Ukra doesn't stop at listing the benefits of tea for weight loss though. He also lists several other health problems that tea can be useful for. That means you can continue to use this book even after you've lost the weight!

One of my favorite things about this book is that Mark Ukra's "tone" reminds me more of talking to a knowledgeable friend than talking to an expert in the field of tea. Any diet book I've ever picked up has read like a medical journal that comes across completely pompous. Dr. Tea on the other hand had me wishing I lived closer so I could come sit in this tea shop and talk to him. Knowing he has had realistic problems in his life too made him easier to warm up to and feel like he really was trying to help you. I like that.

If tea is something you've never really thought much about don't worry, Ukra's book makes it easy for anyone to find a tea they can enjoy. Included in the book is a quiz to help you find the type of tea that suits you best, ideas on how to incorporate tea into your daily life, and even ways to curb cravings for things like chocolate and sweets. The recipes in the back of the book are easy to make and I couldn't even finish reading the book before I had to try a few!

My favorite recipes from the book were the ones for the FrosTEAs and the rubs. You can feel like you're being bad and cheating on your diet while in fact you are helping it right along! Even better, my three children actually begged me to make the FrosTEAs throughout the day and my husband complimented a baked chicken that I used the rub on. AWESOME!

This diet is straightforward, simple, and will actually give you results you can see without worrying about "falling off the diet wagon". There is no set amount of tea you have to drink each day (just drink as much as you can) but the more you drink the better you will feel. It's a win win situation don't you think? The Ultimate Tea Diet is worth reading whether you're trying to lose weight or just want to feel healthier all the way around.

So, has Jo actually lost any weight on this tea diet? Why yes I have. I've lost two pounds in the last week and that is with only adding a few cups of tea in place of a three of my usual glasses of Wild Cherry Pepsi, drinking a few FrosTEAs, and trying a tea rub or two. Considering that doctors told me my chances of losing weight were slim to none because of not having a thyroid or adrenal glands....I'm one excited gal!! Can you imagine what I can do once I've cut down or even cut out soda altogether?

If anyone decides to try The Ultimate Tea Diet please let me know. We can have fun with this together and hold each other accountable. I also plan to put something in my sidebar (right under my Exercise For Comments section) that lists how much weight I've lost on the Tea Diet so keep watching as I hopefully start shrinking. *smile*

Leave a comment telling me what YOUR favorite flavor of tea is. Mine is Moroccan Mint Green Tea. Mmmmmmmm.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

MomCentral- Cranium Bloom

I'm always interested in finding new games and activities to use with my 5 year old during homeschooling so there was no way I could pass up MomCentral when they asked if we would like to give Cranium Bloom’s Let's Play Count & Cook Game and Let's Go To The Zoo Seek & Learn Puzzle a try. Both were a huge hit with my youngest son and I'm so glad we said "yes".

The Let's Go To The Zoo Seek & Learn Puzzle has large pieces that are easy to put together and a lot to look at once the puzzle is finished. That isn’t the coolest part though. This puzzle also comes with two sets of cards (Beginner and Advanced) and a dry erase marker that you can use for an awesome learning game. You show your child a card and ask them to find that number or kind of thing on the puzzle and circle them.

My son breezed through the Beginner cards and made short work of the Advanced as well because he was having so much fun! He especially loved the fact that he was allowed to draw on a puzzle without getting in trouble for it. This has become one of his new favorite learning games.

The Let's Play Count & Cook Game was equally as fun to play. This game comes with Little Chef shaped game pieces, a die, a “cookbook” with recipes that you have to make (plus there are great cooking tips and facts on each page), and round pieces that have different ingredients on them such as tomatoes, cheese, and chocolate chips. The object of the game is to choose a recipe, roll the die, and everytime you land on one of the needed ingredients you put that round piece on the recipe book. The person who collects the last ingredient is the Top Chef and gets to check out the “hidden secret” for the recipe. This game teaches kids turn taking, matching, counting, pretend play, how to work with others on things, and how to have a lot of fun.

My son absolutely loved the "cute" Little Chef game pieces as well as racing Mommy to try to get the last needed ingredient. He also liked knowing some of the ingredients in his favorite foods which led to some fun discussions about cooking.

Since I do so many reviews, my son has a lot of games to choose from but Let's Go To The Zoo Seek & Learn and Let's Play Count & Cook are definitely among his favorites. I can’t even count how many times we’ve played both games over the last two weeks and considering that he is learning and having fun, well you won’t hear me complaining.

Cranium has done a very good job with their Bloom series of products and I’m glad we had a chance to play with and review both games. Thank you Cranium and MomCentral.