Health Tea Archives - Health Tea Box

September 28, 2020


A Holistic Nutritionist’s Guide to Feel Good from the Inside Out

It’s nothing new to hear that what we put into our bodies has a massive impact on how we feel – on both the outside and the inside. The food part is typically well understood: eat lots of fruit and vegetables, choose complex carbohydrates over simple sugars, opt for whole foods and reduce processed food consumption. As Michael Pollan put it, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”


But that plant aspect is where it can get a little more complex, especially when you stray from the typical broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and carrots. What if you started to explore the health benefits of herbs? And more than that, what if you started to use these in combination with healthy, daily habits and lifestyle changes? Check out these four changes to get you started:

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Feeling good at the beginning of the day – and then for the rest of the day –  starts with the night before. Adopt a nightly sleep routine, which starts in the hour before bed, reducing your exposure to screens and blue light, having dimmer lighting around you and refraining from any physically or mentally energetically stimulating activities. You can also add a sleepy time tea option with sleep promoting ingredients:

  • Chamomile
    If you have reached for a chamomile tea in the hours before bed (maybe even in our night-time tea!), or in a quiet moment in the afternoon, you already know the calming effects of this herb. Another one to have on your radar for reducing anxiety and helping quiet the brain, chamomilehas antioxidants which also help promote sleepiness and improve sleep quality. Consume this flower turned tea after eating however, and you will be privy to additional benefits: chamomile has been shown to promote digestive health and lower blood sugar levels in the body, which helps protect against diabetes.
  • Lemon Balm
    Similar to chamomile, lemon balm is another herb to have on your radar to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality. Research has shown its ability to help ease insomnia and sleep disorders and as having a calming affect on the mind, boosting cognitive function. The special thing about this herb however, is that it not only helps reduce anxiety, but can also relieve anxiety symptoms, such as indigestion, nausea and headaches. Enjoy Lemon Balm in the night time tea with chamomile.

Find Your Mind

Another aspect of reducing stress is becoming aware of what causes stress and focusing in on getting mindful instead of letting your mind be full. When was the last time you stopped and took a breath? Like a real, complete, diaphragm filling breath. Inhale, exhale. Have you let your mind wonder lately, just letting the thoughts come and go, getting curious and not being judgemental of what shows up. You can be an observer of your thoughts, without becoming attached to them. This is an aspect of meditation, one way to help you feel good and be more in control of your thoughts and emotions. Start your day with some meditation or mindfulness and some energizing tea to feel good and stay on track after your good night’s sleep. These herbs are a great place to start:



Hit up Nature

The research abounds that supports the role nature has in promoting the reduction of stress hormones. In an article published last year in Science Daily, researchers showed that just a 20 minute stroll in nature was enough to reduce levels of cortisol released into the blood stress. Keeping these at a base level is important to reduce the occurrence of chronic stress and fend off the development of anxiety and chronic stress related illness such as adrenal fatigue and burnout. Having a stress-reducing routine, which includes time in nature, and other things such as activities that bring you joy, things that make you laugh and your favourite calming tea can help. Choose teas that include adaptogens, anti-stress and anti-inflammatory herbs, as all of these help mitigate the negative effects of stress on the body:

  • Rhodiola
    An adaptogenic herb, rhodiola delivers its benefits through modulating the stress response in the body. In times of stress, the sympathetic system is activated, which inhibits parasympathetic activities like digestion, sleep and deep breathing. Adaptogens however, let your body adapt more efficiently to stress so that the byproducts of the stress response do not negatively impact you health long-term
  • Turmeric
    Perhaps the more well-known member on the list, turmeric is commonly known for its anti-inflammatory effects. The yellow colour of this popular plant comes from curcumin, an antioxidant-rich plant compound which also elicits anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Inflammation is a natural and necessary part of healthy systemic function, as it is an immune response. Present in excess however, it can lead to poor health outcomes including decreased energy, gut distress and other disease processes.
  • Valerian
    These uncertain days of 2020 present with no shortage of anxiety and stress, but there is definitely lots that is in your control that you can do to help alter the outcome. In addition to practicing mindfulness, going outside and moving your body regularly, valerian is a calming, anti-anxiety herb which can play a positive role in reducing your anxious feelings, inability to sleep or difficulties concentrating. This ancient herb has several compounds which inhibit the chronic stress-inducing breakdown of GABA in the brain, an important step in maintaining mental clarity and feeling energized.

Start Moving

If you’re going out in nature, why not make your 20 minutes count for double and exercise outside? Going for a walk or bike ride on the trails, practicing yoga or Pilates in your local park, or heading out for a run on the beach are all great ways to integrate both movement and nature. Moving your body helps you feel good because it releases feel good hormones, including dopamine and serotonin. In addition, exercises stimulates brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been referred to as fertilizer for your brain. It helps promote neuroplasticity and improves the health of your brain cells. Naturally, this is important to help maintain current levels of cognitive function, but also low levels of BDNF have been shown to be a factor in the development of conditions such as Alzheimers and dementia. And while you’re looking after your brain through movement, why not boost your brain health with cognitive promoting herbs:

  • Ginseng
    A prominent player in the cognitive memory assist day-tea, staying cognitively primed is important for optimal  feel-good function today, and in the days and years to come. Ginseng helps with this by acting as an adaptogen (like rhodiola!) and offering anti-stress effects on the body. It helps improve mental performance and has anti-inflammatory properties which act to reduce the risk of more sinister disease processes such as vascular disease and diabetes.
  • Ginkgo Biloba
    The use of Ginkgo extract has seen a quick uptake in the last several years due to speculation of the plant’s ability to enhance brain function. Additional studies have looked at the mediating affect of Ginkgo in helping reduce the rate of cognitive decline in people experiencing dementia. While none of the studies are conclusive and many of the results are inconsistent, given its powerful plant compounds, it is a benefit to add it to your diet (like during tea time), regardless of the cognitive benefits.

If you’re ready to shake things up with spring and get out of your WFH routine, reach out to us to learn more about how you can get a Tea Box delivered right to your house. With all these herbs and health benefits to speak of, you’ll feel an extra spring in your step and revitalised from the inside out.


Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



July 31, 2020


Making the Most of Teatime

On these chilly winter days, it seems to be that tea time is always in order. Whether it’s to warm you up, or wake you up, if you find yourself reaching for tea more and more often, you’re not alone! But it’s nice to know that what you are choosing to drink regularly has more than just it’s physical warming properties.

Tea time

When we crafted the blends for the Tea Box, a lot of time went into choosing the ingredients and creating the perfect combination. Every ingredient has its purpose and an intention behind why it is there. You can dig into this on our website, but we wanted to take some time to highlight some of these for you so that you know exactly what’s in your daily warming cup:

Cognitive Memory Assist

Whether you are working from home or home-schooling kids, these days, with the distracting media and all the new roles and life routines we are adopting, it can be hard to keep cognitively on track. Our Cognitive Memory Assist blend is a specially formulated blend which enhances alertness, working memory, focus and Cognitive function and which also can play a role in reducing Alzheimer’s. A few of the specialized ingredients that offer these benefits include:

  • Gingko Biloba – An anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory ingredient, which helps improve blood flow and circulation, and is cognitive and memory enhancing.
  • Panax Ginseng – Reduces plaques which build up in the brain and can lead to Alzheimer’s, as well as offers anti-inflammatory properties
  • Golden Root (Rhodiola) – An adaptogen, which helps the body adapt to stresses that are present and respond appropriately

Morning Tea

The star player in this tea is Matcha. We wanted to create a tea that you could have as a way to boost your energy without the after effects experienced in caffeine.

Matcha

  • High in antioxidants
  • Natural energy booster because of its green tea properties
  • Contains L-Theanine, a natural relaxant

Gut Health Tea

The connection between the brain and gut is well documented and research continues to show up which supports the role the gut has in influencing the brain. when your gut health is suffering, it can impact things such as concentration and focus, mood and emotion, among many others. The good news is however, that there are lots of things you can do to help improve your gut, including consuming gut friendly ingredients. We have included two of these in our tea:

  • Turmeric- Anti-inflammatory, helping reduce inflammation in the gut which can lead to compromised digestion
  • Ginger – Aids in gut distress symptoms such as gas, bloating and nausea
Gut Health Tea

Immunity Boost

COVID time or not, boosting the immune system is always beneficial. We think of our immunity as being important when we are sick, but it is important all the time! It helps us recover from exercise and manage stress levels; it helps remove toxins from the body and improve cellular health and function and it ensures our body is ready to fight off invaders whenever they show up. Immunity is enhanced through Vitamin C rich foods, exercise, lymphatic movement and these ingredients:

  • Licorice
    • Adaptogen, increasing the body’s ability to respond to stress, by adapting to the stressful situations
    • Antioxidant, contributing to reducing cellular oxidative stress
  • Hibiscus – Hypotensive, helping to reduce blood pressure
  • Pomegranate – Rich in antioxidant, a key player in the immune system, as it helps to remove oxidative cells which can compromise immune functioning

Tension Taming Relaxation Tea

This tea is our night blend, which we recommend you consume before bed to help with sleep and in quieting your mind. However, it can be consumed any time during the day when you need tea to help in reducing stress and tension and when you need to take a few minutes to breathe.

  • Lemon Balm – A natural sedative and calming ingredient, which helps calm the mind and body in preparation for sleep.
  • Valerian – Similar to lemon balm, with natural sedative properties, but also acting as a nerve tonic, to relax the nervous system.
  • Goji Berries – Immune modulating, the Goji berry is able to respond to immune changes in the body, which are often closely connected to experienced changes in sleep and tension.

Over these next few weeks, whether you are drinking tension taming tea or not, remember to breathe! Press pause, get up from your chair, walk around and move, and take in a few deep breaths. Your body and mind will thank you for it.



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



May 31, 2020


Getting back on track with tea!

When the Corona Virus first hit and we had our routines and schedules turned upside down, the common question was, “for how long?” How long until we can get back to “normal?” How long until we can be back doing the things we love and following our usual schedule – kids in school, head to the office, social gatherings on weekends?


It has been nearly two months, and it looks like that time is upon us. But you might be noticing that you have gotten used to your new routine. Maybe you kind of like not having to commute to work and go through the traffic. Maybe you kind of like not having to deal with school pick-ups and drop offs. Maybe it is kind of nice to be able to wear your sweatpants on the bottom half and only look professional from the waist up.

It is normal to find it difficult to go back to work after being home for so long, or to find it difficult to adjust to another new routine after you just got used to the altered one. But that is the answer: routine.

A routine is a series of small habits that you repeat in a certain order. When you started working from home, it was hard because you had to break your current habits and establish new ones. Now however, you have established these new ones and have to go through it all over again, creating new habits as we adapt to the easing restrictions.

But there is no better way to form routine than around soul warming tea!



To help start your day: Energy Boost Morning Tea

The Energy Boost tea is strategically crafted to offer you the perfect boost of sustainable energy via the addition of matcha, while also boosting antioxidants through hibiscus and blueberries, and tasting delicious. In times of transition, it can be difficult to get started in the morning, when the day is looming ahead and it is filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Having a consistent way to start however – with a healthy energizing tea – is a great way to get yourself on track and stay motivated.


To help pass the time: Immunity Tea

Is it Tuesday? Friday? What’s a weekend? If you feel during this time that all the days blur together and there is no difference between workdays and non-workdays, you’re not alone. One of the best things you can do to help combat this however is to get into a consistent routine. Do things at certain times of the day that mark that time of the day, so that it helps mark the passing of time. Ditto for doing things on certain days of the week so you can help tell them apart. For example, you can plan to have tea every morning at 10:30 am and every afternoon at 4:00 pm. Not only does this give you some consistency, but when you consume the immunity tea, you get the extracts from immunity friendly ingredients, including peppermint, orange and fennel.


Health Tea Box

To ease anxiety symptoms: Gut Health Tea

If you have noticed that your digestion seems to be a little off in these last couple of months or that you are getting an unusual amount of nausea and bloating, it’s no surprise. When we are stressed, we are activating our sympathetic – fight or flight – system. Part of the functional path of this system is that it downregulates digestion. This means that it does not prioritize the need to digest food or extract adequate nutrients. In order to do this, we have to focus on reducing stress and activating the parasympathetic system. As you get back into routine, use our gut tea, which contains ginger and anti-inflammatory turmeric to help reduce symptoms of gut distress.


To improve cognitive function: Cognitive Memory Assist

Back to the office and back on track with business, it might seem like everything that was put on hold a couple of months ago, is now happening all at once. This requires strong cognitive skills from you in terms of focus, memory and attention, but also in processing and problem-solving. Enter our Cognitive Memory Assist Tea and you’ll be in office mode in no time!


To help de-stress: Tension Taming Tea

This evening tea is made of a special selection of calming, de-stressing ingredients, such as chamomile, lemon balm and cinnamon. During this time, sleep is critical to help maintain optimized immunity and ensure you have the full mental functioning capacity to get back into the office while also taking care of the last few days of home-schooling. Finish the day off with this tea each night to make sure you get a restful night and wake up refreshed, or simply sip during the day if you find yourself getting too stressed out.

As we navigate the next stages of Corona Virus at home and for work, use the regularity of your tea consumption to help guide you into the next stage and have them form a solid routine that will bring you joy and productivity.



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



April 29, 2020


Tackling the day . . . one cup of tea at a time!

The sun is just coming up glimmering through the window as you get out of bed and walk into the kitchen. The cooler mornings make it a little harder to get started, and leave the warmth and comfort under your covers, but you know there is something waiting for you every morning when you get up: a warm cup of tea. And tea isn’t just there to help you start the day, it is there for your entire day. In fact, in more ways than one, tea is there to help you get through all of the day’s challenges and be a constant, comforting companion by your side.



Starting your day with a hot cup of tea warms you up from the inside out and offers a motivating incentive to help you get your day started. When you choose a tea that has added health benefits however, you get more than just a warm cup between your hands. Energy boosting ingredients such as matcha are an incredible alternative to caffeine-filled coffee, and it gives you the energy boost without the crash afterwards. Antioxidant-rich ingredients such as pomegranate are also a great addition to morning beverages, as they help in detoxifying the body and removing any oxidative compounds.

As you carry on through the morning, tea can continue to be that comforting companion. With the whole day ahead, you do not want to allow the first stress of the morning to bring you down. Tension taming ingredients such as peppermint and lavender are great options for a mid morning tea. Have these in the presence of other herbs and flowers as a herbal tea, or on their own as a refreshing cup of peppermint tea!

It might however, be the perfect time for a boost to your brain power! Ingredients such as Ginseng and Chinese Clubmoss present in our Cognitive Memory Assist Tea are all beneficial ingredients for your mind and cognition. A great, natural way to keep you focused for the day ahead and not let any anxiety or distractions take over from your productive mindset.



Lunch time! With lunch only marking the halfway point of the day, you want to make sure that your productivity throughout the rest of the day continues to be at its all-time high. Once you finish your lunch, enjoy a digestion-friendly tea. These teas, consisting of ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and liquorice are digestive boosting. They encourage the appropriate balance of bacteria in the gut and also help reduce any unwanted digestion symptoms such as bloating, upset stomach or gas.

With lunch and digestion behind you, you might feel those mid-afternoon tummy rumbles, or that 4pm fatigue that has you waning to reach for a cup of coffee. Counter both of these thing with a cup of tea instead! Now is a great time to turn to a fun, deliciously flavoured tea. Perhaps something that has cacao, and makes you feel like you are drinking chocolate, or something that has vanilla or liquorice and satisfies your desire for something sweet.

Tea takes on the flavours of the natural ingredients it is crafted from, so get creative and think of what your dream flavour would be and make yourself an afternoon cup of tea!




As your day draws to a close and dinner is done, sit yourself down on the couch and take a deep breath. Exhale as you allow yourself to breathe out the stresses of the day. As you continue to breathe deeply, close your eyes and let calm overtake the chaos in your mind as you encourage all the distracting thoughts to move on. Whether you have been working from home, or working in your newly assigned job as “Mum/Dad the teacher,” these thoughts try to intrude and be present.

Get up and pour yourself a calming cup of tea. Perhaps chamomile or lemon, or another cup of peppermint. And as you sit there allowing yourself to unwind rom your day, allow your deep breaths to continue and the soothing warmth and comfort of the tea take you out of the day the same way it brought you in – with peace and a smile.



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



March 31, 2020


Immune System, We’re Coming for You!

The time seems more important than ever now to focus in on maximizing immune health. To be sure, there is no magic fix or quick acting ingredient that will make you instantly safe from any immune invading viruses (we’re looking at you Mr. COVID!). But there are some smart things you can do that will help your body be better at what it is already meant to do: activate your immune cells to be able to fight off invaders to keep you healthy.


Eat Whole Foods
Eat Whole Foods

One of the best ways to encourage optimal immune functioning is to make sure your body has everything it needs to support ant reproduce healthy immune cells. When our body is stocked up on nutrients and phytonutrients – like Vitamin C, B vitamins, antioxidants, and magnesium – these are available in supply for the cells to call on when they need them.

  • Consume vegetables and fruit that are bright in colour and in their natural form
  • Choose whole grain sources of carbohydrates to increase fibre intake and maximize B vitamin intake
  • Eat a variety of foods to maintain an efficient level of fat, protein and carbohydrates. All of these macronutrients are important in body functioning.
  • Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, a compound which helps remove free radicals in the body. This is why it is important in immunity, and can be found in red capsicum, citrus fruit, Kakadu Plum and many other fruits and vegetables.

Hydration Nation!
Hydration Nation

While you cannot “wash away” a virus, there are many reasons why it is important to consume adequate water or hydrating beverages like herbal teas:

  • Water is required to maintain blood volume, and adequate blood volume ensures consistent blood circulation of immune cells.
  • Hydrated cells are healthier cells! Think about how you feel when you are dehydrated – tired, low-energy, fatigued – and the same thing happens to your cells! Lack of water means they might not have the functional capacity to do their job

Plain water is the most accessible source of hydration for your cells. Other options however, like herbal tea, sparkling water and coconut water all present hydration alternatives. Mix it up in your daily routine to make sure you get enough and aren’t bored by just plain water!



Keep Moving
Keep Moving

If you have always thought about committing to at-home workouts, or want to make use of the set of dumbbells you have in your garage, now is a great time to do so. You can do your own at-home workout with bodyweight or hand weights if you have them, and integrate high intensity cardio activities, like jumping Jacks, running, high knees, jump squats or Burpees. In these times movement is good for many reasons:

  • Helps the movement of lymph which contains waste that your body is trying to get rid of.
  • Encourages the intake of increased oxygen and helps with blood circulation. some immune cells travel through the blood and need to get to their destination!
  • Improves your state of mind, helping reduce stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more in control
  • Move outside! Doing it outdoors gives you the added bonus of a Vitamin D hit from the sunshine. Vitamin D is important for immune cell function.

Boost Your Body
Herbal Tea

Eating whole foods and drinking adequate water goes a long way in making sure you maintain a heathy body and a fully functioning immune system. However, there are some ingredients or foods that are particularly high on the immunity friendly list.

  • Turmeric – an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce unnecessary inflammation in the body so immune resources can be more efficiently used.
  • Vitamin D rich foods – Mushrooms, eggs and fatty fish contain this vitamin that is essential for immune function. Added bonus if you head out into the sunshine and get a double dose!
  • Peppermint – Great for fighting congestion or helping reduce symptoms in the early stages of illness.
  • Probiotic foods – These help maintain a healthy gut biome and ensure a proper balance of bacteria in your gut. The bacteria function in manufacturing some of the immune cells, so it is imperative that they are able to do this.

There is no one food, one thing or one ingredients that is going to protect you from contracting a virus or instantly give your immune system a boost. But when you stack together lots of healthy habits and stay consistent, there is a great chance that your immune system will be armed and ready in case anything decides to make an entrance!



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



March 2, 2020


Who said self-care has to break the bank?

Some people focus in on March for March Madness . . . but we get mad about focusing in on Self-Care. Last month we talked about self love, and this month we’re giving you five ways to practice self care that don’t even cost a thing!


Integrate Movement
Staying Active

We have unfortunately made the concept of movement way more complicated than it needs to be and interwoven it with exercise and gym time and “that is not enough.” Moving your body reinforces for your brain that you care about yourself and how you feel and how you are able to function. The brain and body do not care about what the movement is, they just want movement – even 5 minutes!

Instead of calling it exercise, call it movement, and find time every day to move! It does not have to be an hour or in a certain place or for a certain duration. You can go for a five minute walk outside on your lunch break or after you finish work, or you can spend 3 hours on the weekend on a hike. You can go to the gym at 6am for a spin class, or finish your day at a Pilates studio for an hour class.

And if you can’t go to any gym or classes or studio, it doesn’t matter. Just go outside and walk. Or stand on your step and stretch and jump up and down. Something is always better than nothing!


Choose Optimal Fuel

The truth is most of us know that we are supposed to eat lots of vegetables and leafy greens, choose whole grains, focus on plants and eliminate processed foods, refined sugar and simple carbohydrates. But wherever often stumble is creating a food selection that is optimized for our own body and our body’s preferences. Some people feel great eating lots of fruit with their vegetables, while others find it makes their energy crash. Some people tolerate gluten and grains well, others feel heavy and sluggish after. One of the best things you can do for your self-care and self love is find your feel best diet.

Find the selection of foods that helps yu feel the most energized and at your best mentally and physically, and stay away from the ones that you know cause you to feel unwell or put you in a negative mindset. This can take some time to work through, but give yourself a chance and don’t fall into a diet because everyone else is doing it.



Stay Hydrated

Poor hydration can actually be the root cause of many other symptoms in the body that we may mistake for something else. Things such as headaches, poor concentration, irritability, hunger, poor gut health, decreased energy, fatigue, muscle cramping and much more can, in some cases, be mitigated by just adding more water to your life! If you are struggling to get enough in, consider consuming it as herbal tea, or adding some fresh mint and lemon to your ordinary glass of water.


Find a Mantra
Mantra

Sometimes the hardest part of slef care isn’t the care itself, but avoiding everything else we do that negates the care we provide. That negative voice in your head that discourages you; that line that keeps going around in your mind as you run, telling you you are slow; that voice that says you aren’t good enough, smart enough, fast enough, funny enough, skinny enough . . . just not enough.

Caring for yourself is about reminding yourself you are worth caring for. Find a mantra that you can repeat in times of self sabotage to reverse it. Things like “I am enough;” “you’ve got this;” “you can do hard things;” are all good examples of where you can start.


Do something for Someone Else
Help Others

While we are talking about self-care, at the root of it is feeling good about yourself and in your body, physically and mentally. If you’ve ever done an act of kindness for another person, given selflessly to someone, expecting nothing in return, you know that this in turn makes you feel really good. One way you can practice self-care is to turn outward and do something for someone else. This might be a surprise – such as having flowers delivered to them at work – or it might be something simple, like making dinner for a friend who is really busy at work. Choose something you can do that will allow you to still conserve energyto devote to your other self care practices, but get in the habit of giving to others and you might see the biggest gains for yourself!



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



February 3, 2020


When was the last time you committed to self love?

When February rolls around, many people turn their thoughts to Valentine’s Day. The universal day of love, it is often the time when we think about giving to others and showing our love to our spouse, partner or family. But what about treating the day as an opportunity for some self-love?


Rethinking Valentine’s Day

In a time where we are bombarded with content and media, and constantly exposed to images and curated feeds, we are also often sitting in the comparison cycle, where instead of seeing ourselves as enough, we see ourselves against other media and images and think we aren’t good enough. We offer negative talk instead of positive comments, self-sabotage our efforts to make progress and sometimes verge on the edge of self-hate instead of self-love.

This Valentine’s Day, no more! Commit to Self-love. You can still offer your normal love chocolates to your partner, or best friend, but treat yourself the same as you would your best friend: show yourself some love.


Tea for Love
Tea Self Love

We may be biased, but we think one of the best ways to spend some time loving yourself and looking after yourself is with tea. A universal drink, tea has been part of rituals and routines for hundreds of years. Many cultures integrate tea into rituals that are all about love, such as a marriage or birth, but you can integrate tea into your everyday life, just to show yourself some love:

  • Start your day with a cup of tea to help wake you up and energize your morning
  • Opt for tea mid-afternoon for an energy hit instead of coffee
  • Enjoy tea with friends or family, trying some specialty versions at a tea house, instead of heading for happy hour drinks.
  • Before bed, tuck into a calming sleepy time tea to help you get a better night’s sleep.


The Benefits of Tea
Health Tea Box Lemon

Now that you have tea regularly, you may be happy to hear that it offers more than just a comforting ritual and a hot cup to hold in your hand.

Researchers have found many health benefits offered from consuming tea. Tea leaves contain the amino acid L-theanine, which in addition to offering a slow energy boost, also stimulates the release of feel-good neurotransmitters. These naturally occurring hormones in the brain, including GABA and serotonin, help improve mood and make us feel good!

The L-theanine however is not only beneficial in terms of helping with hormone release: it has also been shown to help in stress. In one study, conducted in 2016, participants consuming an L-theanine containing beverage were shown to have lower cortisol levels and reported feeling more relaxed in stressful tasks than the placebo group. Cultivating self-love also requires one to learn about one’s causes and triggers for feeling stressed and find suitable ways to eliminate these. Tea may be a great stress-taming solution!


Now We’re Feeling Good!

In addition to modulating stress, an important component of being able to feel good however comes from being able to have a restful night’s sleep. During sleep, our body rejuvenates our brain and cells and does some internal housekeeping for all our bodily systems, including our digestive, and immune. Tea can be a great way to encourage this sleep, with options such as chamomile helping to prepare the brain for a restful night!

The feel good hormones tea releases are just one of the benefits. When you drink health-teas that are made with natural, intentionally chosen ingredients, you can also benefit from the science backed health advantages these ingredients offer.

The teas that are included in the Health Tea Box, for example, offer many benefits which can improve your overall state of health and help you feel better inside and out:

  • Matcha – Rich in antioxidants and a natural source of energy, this is one of the main ingredients in our energy-boosting morning tea.
  • Fennel and Liquorice – Both of these, slightly sweet plants, offer digestive support and help relieve gut distress. With the increasing research supporting the gut-brain connection, having a healthy functioning gut is critical in helping you achieve a healthy mindset.
  • Multiflorum – If aging and memory loss are at the root of your worries when it comes to fostering self-love, this ingredient is the answer. Found in our cognitive blend, not only does it improve learning and memory, but also helps reduce cholesterol and offers cardio-vascular support
  • Cinnamon – Ah, the sweet smell of cinnamon! For many of us it conjures up visions of sweet treats and gives that little feel-good dopamine hit in the brain. In your tea, it can do the same thing, but also offers blood sugar stabilization, carminative and circulation benefits.
  • Pomegranate – You can’t feel your best and show up for self-love when you’re sick. Fruits, such as pomegranate, rich in antioxidants, are great for enhancing the immune system and helping it be able to fend off any unwanted visitors in the body.

This February, treat yourself to your favourite tea, and take a few minutes to remind yourself that you too deserve some extra love.



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



January 13, 2020


What if a routine was as simple as committing to a sequence of habits?

The holidays have come and gone, family has left to go back home and the Christmas lollies have all but disappeared. And with 2019 a thing of the past it’s time to look ahead now to 2020 and a brand-new decade. For many people, this time of year involves thinking about dreams and goals for the future as well as plans for changes – new job, new health plan, new exercise routine. And at the root of much of it is exactly that: a new routine.


What is a routine?


A routine is defined as a sequence of actions regularly followed. This can be as simple as the routine you follow when you brush your teeth to the routine you follow when you get to work in the morning. In each of these, you can likely think of each of the actions you perform, and in what order. These are examples of routines that have already been established . . . But what about when it comes to establishing a new routine?

In many ways, routines are synonymous with habits. The series of actions you perform as part of your routine are habitual and you know that performing them sequentially will yield a certain result.


Why should I establish a routine?

Old New Habits

The habitual component of routines is the essence: establishing a routine means you create habits. Once you have actions that are a habit, there is less brainwork and energy involved – fewer decisions, reduced cognitive demands – and hence, it becomes easier to execute. For example, you don’t think about brushing your teeth and how to do it, or put off doing it because it is hard. But at one point, you did and it was!

This simplicity of habits in a routine translates directly to other behaviours you want to adopt – exercise more, drink more water, eat less processed food. When you can establish a routine around your desired change, you will be more likely to inflict said change due to increased automation and decreased opportunities for you to deviate from the routine or fail to follow the sequential steps.


What defines a good routine?

Healthy Routine

It is clear that routines are beneficial, and in many cases, are critical in helping you adhere to desired behaviours. But what defines a good routine, and how do you establish one that you can count on to become habitual, and hence help you reach your goals?

The Reason and the Why – Start with why. Your reason for creating a new routine or changing a current one needs to be really strong and compelling. Choosing to establish a routine because a friend did or because you saw it in a magazine is likely not a good enough why to push you forward when times are difficult or you do not want to perform the actions. If for example, you are looking to establish a new routine around your diet, what is at the root of your desire to change? Get really clear on this aspect, write it down and put it in a visible place. Each time you start to fall off track with your routine, read your why and be reminded of the success you are capable of.

Laws of Habits – Since a routine is a series of habits, the basic laws of habits, as established by James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits, are important to abide by. In order for an action to become a habit, Clear recommends it follows the flour laws of habit change:

  • Make it easy
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it obvious
  • Make it satisfying

If you were trying to drink more water for example, you should make it easy and obvious to get water, by regularly having a full water bottle nearby. You should make drinking water more attractive and satisfying, by occasionally substituting it for herbal teas or by adding lemon and mint.

Sustainable and Reasonable – The purpose of establishing a routine is so that you can start to carry out actions that you will be able to do for a long time, and that will ultimately put you on the path to achieving your goal. This is not possible if you have an unsustainable component in your routine. For example, if the routine is not financially viable and you will run out of money; if the routine is not time efficient and requires too much time to complete it. If the routine is not sustainable given your living, relationship, or job status. You can think of the routine as something which you are trying to seamlessly slide into your life, with minimal disruption, and hence minimal chance that there will end up being a reason you can’t carry on.

Establishing a new routine does not have to be time consuming or difficult. With a clear understanding of what a routine entails and some basic principles to follow,  you will be launching into a new decade already experiencing success.



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



November 26, 2019


This January, We’re Giving you Permission to Ditch the Resolutions

Tired of the January 1st new year’s resolution that ends before it even starts? Embrace the new decade with something different: this year, ditch the resolution and try a lifestyle change instead. We’ll tell you how!

The holiday season is upon us and amidst all the Christmas songs, shopping lists and card signing, you’re starting to hear the voice in your head that says: don’t forget about your new year’s resolution! If you set a resolution every year, only to find it takes you nowhere or ends badly, it’s time to make a change.



What’s wrong with resolutions?


Holiday season

First off, if resolutions work for you, and you set them every year and find success, maybe nothing is wrong with them. But if you set them every year and don’t see success, your mind is already in that place of “resolutions don’t work for me,” and you are setting yourself up for the opposite of success. And who wants to set themselves up for failure?

Often it’s not that the resolution itself is bad, it’s the conditions (or lack thereof!) surrounding them. For example, you might say “starting January 1st I am going on a diet!” Or, “on January 1st, I am going to start exercising!” Perhaps every year you say, “I am going to start the year off by eating healthy!”

These are all with the best of intentions, but they are broad, lack the ability to be accurately measured or tracked and are too easily manipulated to suit your life versus you having to make some hard changes and restructure your lifestyle.


What should I do instead?
Resolutions

This year, instead of pegging down a resolution, ditch that mindset and focus on a lifestyle change. Focus on making sustainable changes in your habits – forming them or breaking them – that you can measure, maintain and repeat. Here are some things to consider:

  • Set a goal or a plan to change that is specific
  • Make sure you have a way to measure your progress and a gauge for the final outcome. You need to know whether you are on track and whether you have or haven’t met your goal!
  • Set up a way to stay accountable. Perhaps you check in regularly with a friend or partner, or you keep track on a calendar.
  • Make it time-specific – set a deadline for when you want to reach your goal.
  • Break it down and change one thing at a time. If you are looking to “get healthier,” first set a goal surrounding exercise, then around food choices, then around a healthy mindset. Doing these all at once will likely make you discouraged.
  • Celebrate the small wins and give yourself positive feedback along the way.

Making small tweaks in the goals you set and the way you set them can lead to a make or break outcome. Be open to taking different approaches to change this year and you will be more likely to get a different (more desirable!) result!


How do I make sustainable changes?
Change

When it comes to making changes and adopting new habits, ask yourself: “is this something I could maintain for the rest of my life?” Drastic, large scale changes, like cutting out entire food groups or going from no exercise to an hour a day, are likely unreasonable and unsustainable. Consider some of the following sustainable changes to help you get started:

  • Make a swap – Change your daily consumption of soft drinks to tea instead, or swap to have one night meatless, and power up on veggies for a day.
  • Start small – Incorporate exercise in small amounts to begin, such as 15 minutes of walking three times per week.
  • Make it attractive – If you are trying to do more of something, make it an attractive thing to do! For example, if you want to drink more water, add lemon to it, or drink it in the form of iced tea. If you want to exercise more, choose an activity you enjoy or people you enjoy being with.
  • Don’t forget your brain – Diet and exercise are common targets for change, but it might start in your brain! Giving yourself a cognitive boostcan go a long way in helping you concentrate better, stay focused and ultimately, more effectively achieve your other goals
  • More sleep, less stress – Part of cognitive health is getting enough sleep and cutting down on stress. Start by taking your phone out of the bedroom at night and practicing some deep breathing exercises to destress your mind and body.

Sail into a new decade setting yourself up for success, not failure. Set aside the annual resolution tradition that you do because you “should,” and instead get really specific on some measurable, actionable goals you can tackle to create sustainable lifestyle change. Bring on 2020!


Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au



October 29, 2019


Is that true?

With the increase in popularity of tea in the last few years, there has also been an increase of tea options hit the market. Some promise to be the healthiest beverage you consume, others to help your liver and others still to be the answer to your slim-down desires. But which of these claims are actually true and which is a myth? We’re here to tell you all about it!



Myth 1: Tea will dehydrate me
Tea will dehydrate me

Truth: You may have heard that coffee is a diuretic, and therefore, dehydrating for the body. This is true. Tea however, does not necessarily fall under the same category.

If you are consuming a tea made with natural ingredients that contains no caffeine, tea can actually be hydrating! Steeped in water, you can think of tea as simply flavoured water – just like you would add lemon or fresh mint to your iced water. In fact, if you struggle to drink enough water every day, tea can be the perfect way to help you drink increased amounts of water and reach your daily required intake.

Water is essential in our body for adequate digestion, brain function, helping improve blood flow and energy and for aiding the immune system in optimized function. Without enough, you may find yourself with constipation, headaches, feeling sluggish or unable to think well. Likewise, a simple change, like drinking an additional 500mL of water per day, will help you sleep better, be more alert, have more energy and enhance your digestion.


Myth 2: Tea will help me lose weight

Truth: There are a lot of teas advertising to help you “lose weight” or “slim down,” or claiming to contain the magic ingredient that will help you shed those last few pounds. Its important to understand the nuances of these statements however and recognize that tea is not a weight loss miracle drug.

It is true that tea can contain certain ingredients – such as senna – that will promote digestive movement and reduce fluid retention, but in essence, these teas are allowing your body to have an express line to emptying waste, not taking pounds off your waist.

If you are looking to lose weight, the best thing to do is adopt a healthy sustainable lifestyle, consuming a high volume of fruits and vegetables, and lots of complex carbohydrates, as well as regular exercise. In addition, drinking water is critical, and this is where tea can come in. as mentioned above, in addition to plain water, you can drink herbal and caffeine free tea to help meet your daily water requirements. One idea is to have 500mL of water (sound familiar?) every time you have a tea. This doubles your water intake, while still letting you have some of it as the delicious tasting tea!



Myth 3: Tea doesn’t taste very good
Health Tea Box Lemon

Truth: If the first thought you have when it comes to tea is the dark coloured black stuff your grandma used to drink, that you drowned in sugar, good news: there is more than one type of tea. Over the last several years, the types of teas, their flavour, nutrient profile and ingredients have shifted dramatically, and tea can now not only steer away from tasting bad, but actually be incredibly delicious!

Ingredients such as licorice, ginger, naturally dried fruit, antioxidant rich berriesand cinnamon are all examples of ingredients which not only add incredible flavour to tea, but which also have impressive health properties. Ginger and licorice or example are great for improving digestion and reducing stomach distress, not to mention, licorice tastes sweet, without having any sugar. Likewise, cinnamon and fruit add a natural sweetness, while cinnamon has also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Many berries, such as goji berries, blueberries, juniper berries and strawberries make regular appearances in tea. When immersed in hot water, they allow extraction of magnificent colours, lending the beautiful purples, reds and burgundies to teas. More than just for looks however, berries are a potent source of antioxidants, compounds that help fight free radicals in the body and work to optimize cell function.

Collectively, with the right combination of ingredients, not only can tea taste good, but it can be healthy for you too! Just hold off on the sugar and fill it with natural sweetening ingredients.


Myth 4: Detox teas are healthier than other teas

Truth: In simple terms, not necessarily. Words like “detox,” “clean,” and “slimming,” are a common sight on tea boxes. And you aren’t alone if you assume that those teas are the healthiest option and the one to go for if you are looking to tea to offer you health guidance. In reality though, it’s all about what’s in the tea that determines how healthy it is.

In many cases other teas without the fancy detox label have the same or similar ingredients – and often a lower price tag! Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and a common ingredient when it comes to detoxifying due to its ability to help reduce inflammation within the body. Hibiscus is a potent source of antioxidants, an essential compound to have circulating through the body when it comes to reducing potential cancer-causing oxidative compounds.

Not only are some of these ingredients similar, but teas without the attention-grabbing detox label, might in fact have ingredients that are even morenutritionally advantageous. Rhodiola and ginseng for example, are adaptogenic plants that help the body adapt to stress, and which also improve cognitive function. They are just two examples of the many, nutritionally opportune ingredients included in our teas.

And that’s why we want you to have some! We’re not making false promises or filling them with unsavoury ingredients. just real tea, real ingredients and the science behind them to show that they can effectively do what we say they can do.



Laura Peill
Registered Holistic Nutritionist







We’d love to help you become healthier and be the best version of yourself!

Got a question? Send us an email:
info@healthculturesystems.com.au