Christmas Eve: a time for good tidings, togetherness and … tea. Yes, tea! Tea may seem an unusual holiday tradition, but for me, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a cozy night in with family and friends. And ever since ditching my daily hot chocolate for healthier tea a few years ago, I’ve become something of a tea enthusiast—and not just on holidays.
I basically drink tea all day long when it’s cold out. Even in the summer, I love my tea in the cool mornings and chilly evenings. In fact, the only thing I love as much as my chocolate is my tea!
My favorite teas come from two companies in particular. I love them not only because their mint and chamomile tea is the very BEST in my opinion (and I have tried many teas!), but also because they are both socially conscious, which I love.
Here are my picks for seven of the best, most truly delicious teas:
1. My favorite tea brand is Mighty Leaf. They are a great company, and I absolutely love their Organic Mint Melange in the a.m.
2. My second favorite from Mighty Leaf is Chamomile Citrus in the p.m.
3. Their Organic Green Dragon is a fave of my friends who like their teas caffeinated.
4. & 5. My second favorite brand is Numi. I just love their Moroccan Mint and their Chamomile Lemon. They do a lot of giving back; check this out—they are a cool company!
6. My caffeine-drinking friends swear by Numi’s Chinese Breakfast tea.
7. My favorite loose leaf tea is from Mountain Rose Herbs. Their Firefly Chai is super delicious, and it’s the only chai I’ve ever found that is caffeine-free.
When Leah D’Ambrosio (my SARA co-founder) and I return to London in August 2015 for SARA teacher training, we will be looking for some great places for afternoon tea. (These look like top contenders!) London is such a hot spot when it comes to tea. This was our absolute favorite tea place last time we visited. You can bet we’ll be visiting it again!
And now for the secret to a perfect cup: According to a study commissioned by Cravendale Milk, the most important ingredient is patience. Click here for their step-by-step instructions.
I would love to hear from you! What are some teas I simply MUST try?
How do you feel about raw food for your dog or cat? Before I became a raw pet food believer, I was a little unsure. You hear so many negative things about it in the media—that it’s expensive, difficult to prepare, dangerous to humans and animals due to the risk of salmonella and other pathogens, that a lot of vets don’t recommend it and so on. But then, my beloved dog Dakota entered his golden years, and a host of medical issues began to creep up. Could changing his diet help? I liked the idea of switching him to a minimally processed food and was willing to try almost anything to improve his quality of life.
With a little trepidation, we decided to try My Natural K9. I’m so glad we did! He loved it and did so well for his last three years—his coat was shiny, and his energy improved. I really believe the raw, grain-free diet had a lot to do with it. (If you’re new to the idea of raw pet food and need guidance, check out this article on how to make nutritious home-prepared dog food.)
Apparently, I’m not the only one with such a positive experience. In 2011 (the most recent year for which I can find figures), raw pet food sales totaled $100 million. And in 2013, U.S. sales of raw and refrigerated pet food grew a healthy 25 percent. It’s no wonder why: Users often report improved health in their animals and fewer allergies.
In 2012, Robert Mueller, vice president and raw pet food guru at BARF World, spoke at one of our SARA member meetings. (BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food; the company sells frozen raw meat patties, supplements and treats for dogs and cats.) He was wonderful and had so much to say about raw food diets.
Even BrightHaven, the holistic animal hospice where I teach my animal Reiki classes, feeds their cats and dogs a raw food diet using Feline Instincts. They’ve reported to me that people who are usually very allergic seem to do OK when visiting BrightHaven: amazing!
I’ve heard good things about these raw food brands as well: Nature’s Variety and Stella & Chewy’s; both use high-pressure technology to prevent bacterial contamination, in case you are concerned about that.
What about you? What are your thoughts and experiences regarding raw pet food?
When I’m working, I’m usually up to my eyeballs in dog, cat and horse hair. I like to dress up as much as the next girl, but day in and day out, being comfortable is important to me.
I find myself reaching again and again for the same comfy pieces when working with animals. The following has truly become my animal Reiki uniform. If you’ve taken one of my classes, yep, you’ve seen me wear the following:
- SARA T-shirt: I “paw” Reiki is my favorite, but I wear them all!